May 24, 2012

Visting the Carolinas, part 4

Thanks so much for reading about my visit to the Carolinas. I can't believed I've already shared 4 parts! I thought breaking it up into separate posts would be easier to take in. Can you image one loooong post? Hey I've been trying to cut back but there are just so many wonderful things to share with you. Have you ever been to the Carolinas?  If you haven't I hope I'm convincing you.

One of the day's we were in Asheville we went to Biltmore. The last time I went to Biltmore it was in the heat of the summer, this time it was the during the Festival of Flowers and I looked forward to spending lots of time in the gardens. Have you ever been to Biltmore?

It's a huge mansion! Actually it's the largest home in America with 250 rooms.

The property is breathtaking. Winding roads take you over and under stone bridges, between flowing streams and through the most vibrant green forests of enchanting trees.

It rained off and on while we were there. But that didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves. The rain was so refreshing and gave us unique photo opportunities. Not to mention it really decreased the crowds. The rain made our experience very memorable.

We found the prince enjoying the rain! He was magical.

Can you imagine if that was your view everyday?

I love this architecture. Do you see the whimsy?

We enjoyed touring the inside of the mansion, unfortunately you're not allowed to take any pictures on the inside.

We ended our day at the Biltmore Winery. They have a great selection of wines and it's a lot of fun to try them all. We ended up choosing the Festival of Flowers seasonal wine to take home with us. I was so excited to find out that the artist who designed the label was there. She happily signed our bottle for us!

On our way out of Biltmore we drove by the barnyard and we saw the cutest little baby goat.

Next time I'll share the last part of our trip....I think. 

May 22, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (squirrels)


Isn't that a fascinating tidbit? A tidbit can be anything that's interesting or helpful, sometimes they're fun facts, generally they are kept short and sweet. Hey it's my blog so I can make the rules :) If you have a good one please share it. I would love to feature my readers' and fellow bloggers' tidbits. 


May 21, 2012

Visiting the Carolinas, Part 3

While we were in South Carolina we couldn't resist taking advantage of strawberry season. We decided that Willard Farms would be the perfect place to pick strawberries. Willard Farms is located just off Interstate 95 in Gable, South Carolina. It's a stop for many people on there way to the coast. I highly recommend stopping if you ever get the chance. It's a magical place!

As you can see we filled our basket with juicy strawberries. They were so good!

After are all hard work it was time to head back and try one of Willard Farms Famous burgers. This burger is voted as one of the top five in the state.

You can't see it but on the board there's a little sign that says, "fresh bacon available!"  I had to get some bacon on my burger and of course some Chowchow. You do know what Chowchow is right?

I loved everything about the Willard Farms store. I could have taken pictures all day. It was such a beautiful, bright, well done space.

I've never seen so much fudge in my life. This is all homemade fudge!

My sister-in-law got some ice cream and ate it in front of us while we waited for our burgers. Isn't she beautiful? Once our burgers arrived I was so excited I didn't take any more pictures. Take my word for it, it was amazing.

We had a great time visiting our family in South Carolina! Next we loaded up in the car and drove with my husbands siblings to Asheville, NC to visit his other sister.

On the way to Asheville we had to stop at a place called Abbott Farms. There were tons of signs directing us to the homemade ice cream. How could one resist?

It wasn't quite a farm but I'm sure there is actually a farm located somewhere. The Blueberry Milkshake I got was good and the boiled peanuts were even better. Have you ever had boiled peanuts before? I love 'em! We tried the Cajun flavor, woooweee they were hot. I thought that Moonshine Jelly was too funny, I was very curious to know what it tasted like. Maybe next time...

Asheville was rainy. It actually rained off and on our whole trip. Since we arrived in the late evening we all went out to dinner first thing.

We went to one of my favorite restaurants ever! Tupelo Honey is the best. I could have gone there every day that we were in Asheville and been happy. The Cookie Monster actually got me the new cookbook last Christmas. It's an amazing book full of history, beautiful pictures and tasty recipes.

It was so hard to choose what to order. Of course they always send a plate of biscuits out! I had to try the Carolina Cosmo which was house infused lemongrass moonshine, Cointreau and cranberry juice. Next time I might have to be brave and try the Dirty South, Jalapeno and bacon infused moonshine, olive juice and pimento cheese stuffed olives. For dinner I got the Roast Beef Po' Boy, slow roasted thinly shaved prime rib with fried green tomatoes and cherry pepper aioli. Is your mouth watering yet?

I adore Asheville! It's a town full of character, diversity and history. I love how full of life it is, It's a very vibrant place. One thing I love to do when I'm there is go in all the fun shops. One of my favorite that I go back to again and again is New Morning Gallery. It is OVERFLOWING with inspiration.

 I could spend a lot of money in this store.

Wouldn't you love to own a desk like this? I've always wanted a giant calendar like that one!

This mirror is gorgeous! Who wouldn't want to check themselves out in this everyday?

Asheville is such a wonderful place, how lucky am I to have family to visit there?  I still have more to share about our visit so come back soon. Thanks so much for reading! 

May 20, 2012

And the winner is....

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the giveaway! CONGRATULATIONS to Amber and Soccermom1. Please contact me by Tuesday May 22nd with your mailing address, so I can get these lovelies sent out. If I don't hear from you I will have to choose another winner. You can e-mail me at

May 19, 2012


The giveaway is still on! Silly me put midnight but what I really should have said was 11:59. I hope that makes sense now. I wanted the giveaway to run a full week. So you still have a chance to enter if you want. Leave a comment on this post to enter. The winners will be announced tomorrow!

Happy Weekend!

May 18, 2012

Visting the Carolinas, part 2

The next part of our trip we drove from Charlotte to Manning, South Carolina. My husbands family recently moved there from Charlotte. You know you've arrived in Manning because there is a big sign that welcomes you, unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of it, but it made me smile every time I saw it. The sign says, "Welcome to Manning matchless for beauty and hospitality." They really held up to their motto too! What a lovely small town Manning is. We enjoyed exploring it and getting some local doughnuts.

I miss seeing so many churches.

 I also miss giant pine cones.

My husbands family has a backyard that backs right up onto a field. We had fun walking through it to the woods.

 My husband and his brother were target practicing, lets just say they missed a few times. 

 It was a field unlike the many here in Nebraska. It was full of life, color and diversity. It was pretty.

Their dog Sienna as you can see really enjoys the freedom of the country life too.

Just a short drive from Manning is Santee National Wildlife Refuge. There is a section that they call Alligator Alley. We were excited to go exploring and see some gators.

As we got closer to Alligator Alley the forest kept getting more and more dense.

As you can see we had a lot of fun spending time with my husbands younger siblings.

The entire time we explored Alligator Alley we only saw one warning sign. It didn't even really tell you what to do in case one is aggressive. I suppose there isn't too much to worry about.

Then we spotted are first gator. Ironically very close to the warning sign.  You didn't actually think we would see any did you?

Then there were two.

With all the excitement of spotting our first gators we decided to go for a hike down Otter Trail in hopes of finding more.

The first thing we spotted when we set foot on the trail was a small pile of bones. How creepy is that!?!

It was easy to imagine gators in the murky water on either side of the trail. We definitely heard something big splashing around a couple times.

We encountered lots of spider webs.

And some very pretty views.

On our way out we saw this guy. When we stopped to observe him we realized there was an entire gator family just a few feet away. The Cookie Monster got close enough to get this picture.

I kept my distance. I know not to mess with a mother and her babies!

After a long day of exploring there's nothing better than sitting down to a good meal.

We were treated with a full southern experience at Redbone Alley. How fitting?

This inside of the restaurant is designed to actually look like it's all outside. It was too fun! I highly recommend eating there if you ever get the chance.

It was a tough decision but we settled on Cajun Shrimp and Fried Green Tomatoes for an appetizer. My husband ordered Cajun Fried Shrimp with Blue Cheese Bacon Slaw for his entree and I got Blackened Salmon on top of Pimento Cheese Grits. We of course had sweet tea to drink. Yes if you're wondering it was roll your eyes in the back of your head good!

A South Carolina sunset was the perfect end to the day! Make sure you come back to find out what else we did while we visited the Carolinas.

P.S. Did you hear I'm doing a Giveaway and that it ends May 19th at Midnight? Click HERE to find out about it. Times a tickin' folks!