Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Biltmore-Asheville, NC

It was a gloomy Monday but everyone had high spirits for an exciting 2 day trip from Etowah to Asheville.  But wait, there is a rock-slide on I 40 that should take us straight to the Biltmore House.  Ah, our fearless driver, Larry, knows all the roads in the area and can take us anyway we needed to arrive at our destination.  BTW, his GPS partner is Martha.

We hit the road driving south on 411 but not before I'm given the assignment of counting to make sure everyone is on board, gee, there are 19 of us, how hard can this be?  Now mind you we are a group of "seniors" from North Etowah Baptist Church but the liveliest bunch of people and folks who know how to laugh and have a good time.  But I digress, The chosen route is to go Hwy 64 over to Copper Hill TN, through Murphey NC, Waynesville NC and then over the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville, NC.

We stopped for a bit in Copper Hill for a short breakfast stop at Hardee's, then on to our next stop of Mast General Store in Waynesville NC.   Ah, but not before I count, yep, 19 of us we didn't leave anyone eating biscuits so on we go.

Now I mentioned earlier how everyone loved to have fun and laugh on this trip, didn't I.  Okay, then, take a close look at this face, looks perfectly innocent, right?  Looks like he would love to have a great time and laugh, right?  This perfectly innocent, smiling face belongs to Darewin.  Seems Mr Darewin has taken it upon himself to be the practical joker of the bus!  Yep, he got me so now I'm having to think of something to do to get him back.

See I'm the new kid on the bus so it's time for my initiation.  Darewin is in the back of the bus, we had been on a curvy road and I'm sitting on the front aisle seat.  All of a sudden, all I hear is someone coming from behind saying how the curves were making him sick and that he... (spew alert here) all of a sudden I hear a sneeze, feel something wet in my hair and ear and on my shirt.  OOH, I just froze.  First thing in my mind was I have this guys puke all over me, what am I going to do and sure hope he doesn't have anything contagious!  And my poor sister, Wanda, the nurturer, couldn't decide what she needed to do; take care of her baby sister or help Darewin who was "sick."  Tom on the seat behind us said it was more fun to watch Wanda's reaction than the other things going on.

Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, Darewin had water in his hand and when he made the sneezing sound, he threw water on me, yep, water.  Of course the whole bus, 18 of them, was in on it and they just cracked up and for the rest of the trip we were reminded of the practical joke.  Pay backs are tough, though.  When Darewin leasts expects it, his payback will be tough.

We arrive at Waynesville NC and my sisters and I have to pose for a shot with the local art.  This is a quaint little southern town and one of it's claim to fame is the Mast General Store. 

Barrels of candy

Now it's on to the Blue Ridge Parkway and I'm sure you can see how it got it's name. 

There was a forest fire on the parkway but we never heard/saw anything on the news so I guess it didn't get too out of control.  Probably made for a good sunset though.  OMG the road is blocked with another rock slide so we have to get off the Parkway.  Oh yes, Martha chose a terrific little road, Hwy 151.  It had many kiss your booty curves and put us out in Hominy NC.  The sign said not for big vehicles but that didn't bother Larry, we just went on anyway.  Thanks for getting us safely down the mountain, Larry and Martha.

It wasn't too much farther to our hotel and we had a good sign waiting to welcome us.  Not only did they put the sign up here but they had a nice welcoming snack of cookies and hot chocolate.  It was welcomed because by this time, it's cold and rainy.

Here is a good shot of the group partaking of the goodies before some of the ladies head out shopping.  Now I ask you, do you think I was with the group of shoppers...NOT!   My loyal readers know that is just not my think.  But it is sister Shirley's thing.  She didn't go, I should have known she wasn't feeling too well. 

 Meet Brenda and Gary.  These folks moved into Etowah when I was a teenager and she was the leader of the Young Women Association (YWAs) at our church.  She had a profound impact on my life.  She helped me write a speech for competition and gave me tips on presenting as a public speaker.  I know that as an adult I have drawn on her advice more than once.  She was cool back then and she is still cool.  Thanks to you Brenda.

Here are Bobby and Willa.  They were (read She) the planners of this trip and it was a good trip as are all of Willa planned trips.  This couple travel with DS Shirley and BIL Doug.  They have fun wherever they go.

You have already met Larry, our driver.  Here is Judy, his better half.  Since we had rain and fog, it was tough driving for Larry and by the time we got back to Etowah I'm sure Larry was a little stressed.  Larry and Judy went to Pigeon Forge with the group to celebrate DS Wanda and BIL Don this year.

 Here is the group of 19.  I was DS Wanda's roommate.  Don't we all look like a fun group of people out to have a good time.  Great fellowship. 

Well, maybe except for that Darewin person.  I'm still thinking of payback.  If you read this Darewin, you never know when or how but you will get paid back.  VEG (very evil grin)

Oh, I almost left out this great shot!  DS Shirley and BIL Doug goofing around and posing for the camera.

It's off to the Biltmore.  The pix I have here are the only ones I could take.  No pix could be taken inside.  It was beautiful.  That Vanderbilt guy was way before his time.  If you haven't been, I recommend it.  This was the first I had seen it decorated for Christmas.  DS Wanda and I got the headphones for the audio tour and it was just like being back in that era to hear the narriation and different sounds.  Guess you can tell some of these shots were taken through the screens looking inside out.

Saved the best for last.  Here are us girls having a good trip with each other.  A good time was had by all.



Beckles said...

Enjoyed the trip through your eyes!!

Margie said...

Great post! Those Baptists sure know how to have fun! I suspect that your payback will be exceptional - he doesn't know who he was messing with. Be worried Darewin, be very worried! Having said that - I thought his joke was terrific!

Dustin said...

Is this your first trip to Biltmore? My wife and I have season passes and have had them for about 9 years. If you want to go again without the group, let me know, we get a discount on tix if we order them for you. I am glad you had a great trip. We went before Thanksgiving and took our 4 month old with us. It was his second trip already.