Anatomy of a Vacation

Life has been wonderfully crazy in the last few weeks. So I am a little late in writing about these events but I still want to memorialize them. First up- 5th anniversary vacation to the Biltmore Estate!

Do you have certain things you do before you head out of town? We have the car ritual (for road trips) and the packing ritual.

My husband and I have a thing about cleaning the car and making sure we have a plastic bag to hold garbage. There is a detailed snack negotiation that happens (“We should bring fruit!” “We need Oreos!”). Finally, we meticulously go through our CDs so we each have what we want for our own portion of the driving.

The packing ritual consists of me trying on all possible outfits to make sure I like the way I look in them. Sometimes, when I put on clothes, I look in the mirror and think I look dumpy. Sometimes, I then cry for 30 minutes, mourning the loss of the body I had that might never, ever come again… so, since I do NOT want to put a huge damper on the trip, I do all that in advance.

Departure time was set for 9 am Monday morning to account for the loss of an hour to the Eastern Time Zone and stops for food, gas, and the bathroom, allowing us to still arrive a little before check in. I like to have every possible moment in that hotel room, you know what I mean? Unfortunately, somehow, we ended up leaving at 11 am. Let’s see- making breakfast, cleaning the apartment, loading the car, and stopping for cash somehow ate up two hours. I don’t really know how that happened.

Then we got it into our heads that we had to have Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Hubby’s phone said there was one 3 miles away or something like that. The problem was that we were smack dab in the middle of Knoxville, Tennessee. We pressed on, though, and found ourselves winding through one way streets and numerous stop lights. 45 minutes later we were heading back to the highway with the beloved sandwiches in hand… making it almost worth arriving about 3 hours later than planned.

I don’t know about you, but I get a bit anxious driving to an unknown place. As we approached our destination, I sat up real straight in my seat, eyes darting back and forth from GPS to road, and I started to worry about getting lost and finding parking. I always get real uptight about parking! Someday I need to psychoanalyze that. Anyway, we made it without mishap to the Inn at Biltmore Estate.

This was the view from our room:

hr-1354-611-716--1354611716002

Sigh. Relax and release. The mountains were indeed there as the website had promised. Our room was pretty too- I jumped up and down and giggled, opened everything, touched everything. Hubby checked to see what channels we had and I analyzed the items in the bathroom (What? Why is there a scale here? Why would a hotel in a vacation spot put a scale in the bathroom? I couldn’t NOT step on it though). Then I unpacked every single thing we brought.

You know the drill from there: eating, sleeping in, movies and room service in bed, walking and taking in the sights:

hr-1354-611-770--1354611770002The Biltmore House- the largest house in America! And this is the side view.

Horseback riding:

hr-1354-634-902--1354634902002I get the whole safety thing but these dorky helmets really ruined my photo ops! Oh well.

Off-road drive in a Land Rover:

hr-1354-634-964--1354634964002Now hubby wants to buy one of these, which costs roughly the amount of a small house.

Here’s what didn’t happen: exercise. We brought our stuff. The hotel had a fitness center. But we didn’t do it. Every time I go on vacation I think I will exercise and it hasn’t happened yet. Before we left, we both stepped on that blasted scale again. In order to save money and calories, we shared most of our meals- but the numbers went up anyway. Hey, I guess a vacation isn’t a vacation without weight gain, right? : )

hr-1354-634-982--1354634982002Fancy dessert at the end of our fancy anniversary dinner!

This trip was a precious time for us to reflect on how far God has brought us in the five years we have been married. I love how our intimacy and oneness has grown, and there is still so much to learn. We made a list of the year’s top moments and the miracles God has performed in our lives individually and as a couple so far. I am truly blessed and grateful. Happy Anniversary to us!

Now, go plan your trip to the Biltmore. They are not even paying me to say this, although I sure wish they would…