Well, here we are again. I think I've posted more on vacation than I do when I'm just hanging out at home! I wanted to share one more picture of our evening with Mary from A Breath Of Fresh Air that was taken at the restaurant we dined at on Saturday. I thought you might want to see her husband of 49 years, Bob, as well as The Husband. Did I mention that our guys get along marvelously? So funny. We blogging ladies always seem to hit it off, but most of my meeting up with bloggers have taken place when traveling and we always seems to include those hubbies!!
And I couldn't forget this. When we went back to Mary's she put out a simple but very elegant spread of coffee and dessert. She used demitasse cups and if you look closely at the patterned china...years ago when I first met her she gave me a teacup from this set. And then she had a French sort of tart with pears, and she gave me the name of it but since I'm pretty bad with remembering things, especially in a foreign language...I can't remember it. She did tell me it was something that French school children would have waiting for them as a snack of sorts when they came home from long day of studies. This melted my heart, I gave my kids Gummy Bears and juice boxes. And the fruit can vary. I hope to get the recipe. It was unbelievable. And she had freshly whipped cream and raspberries. Heavenly! She served this quite casually in the living room on beautiful trays. So elegant and so Mary.
I never mentioned the B&B we stayed at in Raleigh. Really, I haven't shown you much of anything as far as the places we've stayed. I'm just not sure how to incorporate them into a post. Most of the pictures I took were of their beautiful gardens. Well, we'll see how that works out. This was a cool place located in a residential area just blocks from a park and really great sort of outdoor shopping area. No big name stores, just individual boutiques and restaurants. We loved it.
I also fell in love with the front porch of this B&B. I love the swing and black rockers. The fabrics. The owners had a sort of modern/traditional decor that was comfortable but classy. Many things out of the box of sorts. You can glean so many ideas from these homes...and from the breakfast you are served every morning. So many differnt ways to jazz up a simple morning meal. I have a ton of holiday ideas for cooking for a group from these places. At this B&B we had breakfast with three other couples and we were all in the same age group. We spent 2 hours talking about where we were from, why we were in Raleigh, where we were off to, It's just so much fun.
I snapped tons of pictures of the gardens, too many to share. But I really loved the blueberry bushes that the owner had mixed in with shrubs and plants right in the front yard. Very unobtrusive and a nice touch of color. Oh, the ideas I come home with! :)
Another peek at the condo...this time the kitchen. It's great and we stocked up on just a few things for breakfast and some snacks. And wine of course! I am getting used to working with an electric stove, something I've never done. Our place was stocked with dishes, glasses, flatware, pots and pans...you name it. It's sort of weird...we can't add one single personal item to our place...all of the condos must be uniform in style so one isn't preferred over the other when booking. Not that I need anything...it's all very nice and cozy, but sometimes I want to play house! :)
We've had such a great variety of food here. We never have breakfast. We're usually good until about 1:00 p.m. and then we have have a casual lunch. Dinner is just what we have the taste for or maybe a restaurant we happen upon. Asheville is truly a mecca of great food, interesting shops and everything in between. At lunch the other day we had the roasted kale with sea salt and vinegar. It was super tasting and addicting! Even The Husband liked it. There is not a drop of oil added so it sort of flakes and turns to dust. Ha! Best to have a toothbrush after this. ;-)
If you can believe it, restaurant food, no matter how good it is can get tiring. The whole process of getting dressed up, driving, finding parking and well, maybe we just started missing a home cooked meal. And jeez, I have a wonderful kitchen! The first night we ate in I made hotdogs and chips! lol! And then the other day we stopped at the grocery and The Husband picked out a fillet for himself, a strip steak for me, and some fresh shrimp. And I made boiled fresh carrots tossed with butter. There are zero spices here...what a challenge!!
After that particular dinner we sat on the balcony with a glass of wine and watched the sunset. We are on the third floor. I tried to crop out the buildings across from us, but it's a just reality. Nevertheless, it's beautiful and fun and a huge, huge thing in our lives right now (if you know what I mean).
Penny and Penny came over this morning to pick me up for our lunch and shopping trip. I was so excited for them to see our place. In our previous trips here we've managed to do a lot together and I just love both of them to pieces. We have so much fun together...I have true blue friends in Asheville and I met them through blogging!
We went to a really neat spot called The Screen Door that is filled with everything and anything. My heart was breaking because I saw so many things I wanted to bring home...mostly garden pieces. One was a hare statue, about 3 feet high and made of concrete. It would have taken two people to lift it and would totally weighed down an airplane! Yet it was only $40.00! I could only imagine the shipping cost. I did find a few neat thugs, my favorite was a set of wind chimes. The "chimes" were old tarnished silverware (forks, knives and spoons hanging from colorful beads). The "Penny's" joked that they would never lose me, they could hear me and my chimes coming (like a cat with a bell on it's collar...ha!).
We had lunch at a really neat place that was very elegant and had wonderful moderately priced sandwiches and salads for lunch. Then we shopped more. And all of this took place in "the village" just a few minutes from our place. In fact, The Husband has walked there.
And tomorrow that guy is going fly fishing, something he has been waiting for for the past two years. Again, with a guide that he has come to know very well. He is beyond excited. Me, I want to go to our pool so bad. Yes, I'm not feeling good about putting on a bathing suit but sometimes you just have to get the "I don't give a crap" attitude and do it. I had a terrible winter with eczema that left scars on my legs. Only the sun will clear that up, but I'm careful and use a low SPF. Then I was thinking of driving into the "village" for lunch in a quiet place with my laptop to blog...or maybe into the downtown area. I bought Emily and Abby each a pair of Tom's sandals. If you aren't familiar with them, for every pair of shoes sold, they donate a pair to children in impoverished countries. But these two devils of mine insisted I send pictures and Emily is not happy with hers so I want to exchange them. And oh...my worries. The packing situation. I have found some linens I fell in love with, the chimes of course, some books...
And then the Penny's. Penny from The Comforts Of Home gifted me with this cookbook, Farm~Fresh Recipes from the Missing Goat Farm. I can't wait to dig into this. In fact, I'm going to go through it tonight in bed in lieu of my regular reading. And Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, gave me a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon which is a favorite of she and her husband. She had it in a burlap wine bag that is so cool and she also included some candles in little tins and a little sachet of lavender that she brought home from France last year. Can a girl get any luckier? Good friends. Good times.
Can I say I'm homesick?? Milo and Layla are alone from 6:00 a.m. til 4:00 when Abby gets home from work. Sometimes Jeff or Emily stop in when they can during the day. Abby is doing a great job taking them for walks and snuggling with them but their routine has been upset big time. Sometimes I wake up at night in all of the different places and beds and I feel for Layla who sleeps against my tummy, and Milo at my feet. And then I get a lump in my throat. Silly me. And my routine. Oh, I don't mean to complain. Two weeks is just a long time for me. And I am so anxious to start gardening! All in good time, Jane. I just keep telling myself that. I can be such a baby!!
Okay...onward and upward. We will be home Friday evening. Business as usual. I thank you for following along on our adventure. And shhhhh...I am going to print out pictures at Walgreens of all of our great moments, especially the historical stuff The Husband had on his bucket list. I'll try my best amateurish job at making a scrapbook for him for Father's Day. I thought that would be nice.
See all of you soon (hopefully from Sweet Home Chicago :)