Friday, November 16, 2007

Asheville or Bust

The last day, standing outside on the porch off the Billy Graham dining area. It was freezing but the views were awesome. It was so nice the retreat center. There were huge fireplaces and hot cocoa at every stop.
Loading up and heading home. I wish you could have heard GG say, "If I don't get this coat off, I am going to pass."
Did I mention that the view was Beautiful!
Posing It Up...which is well deserved.
Erica and I at the top. We defeated the mountain.

Erica bending over and of course me behind her like I was the whole way up and down. I did it so I could document, right????
At the top
Erica calling "Bill" to see if maybe they need to come get us because we won't make it down before dark or supper. He states, "Keep coming girls". Not the answer we had hoped to hear.

Before the hike: Looking cute, SueSue with Coke in hand, and in proper shoes on feet. By the time we had walked 0.5 miles the jackets were off and we meant business. 3.5 miles seems easy unless you are a novice hiker and don't realize that 1,600 feet straight up makes 3.5 miles way more intense.
Looks pretty at the base of the hike, not too steep.
The only break we took and the point where SueSue quit the hike. She said she sang and collected leaves on the way home. That was not quit the experience that Erica and I had on the way home. Tired and trying to beat the impeding darkness in the woods.

The front lawn of the largest home in the U.S. Can you imagine everyday waking up to the North Carolina views??
One of the windows in the chapel that Billy Graham designed. Only the foursome would set Billy Graham's chapel alarm off on Sunday. How were we to know that it was not opened on Sunday.
At the most fabulous breakfast place ever. It is in downtown Asheville and it called The Corner Kitchen, everyone should have these waffles.

Me, GG, and SueSue outside the front door of the Biltmore. It was freezing and I am not dressed properly.

All excited, about to board for Asheville or Bust. It is 05:00am, we look like some annoying excited travels.
Can you believe of all people GG was the one who got the random search. She looks nervous about the frisking:)
Erica and I eating at the Biltmore, put us in the Christmas spirit

GG, SueSue, Myself, and Erica headed to one of the most beautiful places in the US. We went to hear Paul Walker of Atlanta at the Billy Graham Retreat Center. If you have never been there it is a place to experience. We enjoyed bible studies, praise and worship, hiking, shopping, and sight seeing at the Biltmore Estate. Though Erica and I were probably 35 years younger than the person closet to us in age excluding SueSue, we had a blast. It was really interesting to hear others prospectives from all domination's, places in the world, and ages. Everyone about fell out when they learned we were married...they thought we were 19 years old. The Biltmore was all done up for was beautiful. I cannot for the life of me understand why Mr. Vanderbilt needed a house that big for he, his wife, and one daughter but to each his own.

We ate some of the best food three times a day the entire vacation. I think I would have gained 10lbs if not for the hike. Now about the hike (Tab I want you to know that it was my mom who didn't make it and YOUR wife who tried to convince me to turn around.) It really bothered me that we at 27 years old would not be able to hike this mountain in a reasonable amount of time. Let's just say that had we read more about this hike we probably would never had done it. They said if took the average skilled hiker 4 hours. But because we are idiots we had 2 hours before dark, no fluids, and New Balance shoes on instead of professional hiking shoes. It was the hike from Hell. I seriously wished on the way down that I would fall and break something not too severe, but severe enough that "Bill" would have to come and get us. We should have known when you have to call someone before you leave with your name and departure time that this was not for two girls looking for a Sunday afternoon stroll. You guys know my stubbornness and that I had to complete it no matter how bad it got. They asked us when we got back, "Did you see a bear."...that would have ruined my stubbornness had I known that we a possibility, two girls in the middle of no where in bear territory is not smart. Here is the description: The hike to the overlook deck is very strenuous. It is about 3.5 miles with a constant steep uphill grade of up to 20%, climbing over 1,600 feet vertically. A minimum round trip of hiking time is 4 hours for a novice hiker. Persons other than those in excellent health should not attempt this hike. Hikers please bring plently of fluid to drink and be aware of remaining daylight.

What were Erica and I thinking. Let's just say that after this crazy hike, which I was thinking positive thoughts that at least on the way down it is downhill. At one point I was going down and it was so steep that it made me pick up speed to the point where I wondered if I could stop....ever. (Erica almost has a busted shoe where her toe was poking though)I was shocked that Erica and I did not have to be in wheelchairs the next two days. We had so much fun. Lots of good girl talk, no kids, shopping, and lots of sight seeing. It was such a great that I cannot wait to take again...(I really want Tab and Rusty to experience "the hike", or description does not quite describe this "the hike")


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Becky said...

The Biltmore is beautiful isn't it?! My parents live up in NC and I think it's a beautiful state. Nothing likes hiking hills to workout your backside! : )

beckbrock said...

How fun!!! I've been to the Biltmore, but didn't know there was a Billy Graham retreat there.

Hope ya'll had a great Thanksgiving! We certainly did.

Love you!

Katriana said...

Hey Girl! Sounds like yall had a great time. My brother in law & his wife went to the Biltmore for their honeymoon and loved it. Glad yall had so much fun! The kids are adorable by the way! Toodles! :)~