Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Our Trip To North Carolina

It'd be a hardsell to get me to move out of Florida, but I would absolutely consider moving to the Charlotte area where my in-laws live! They moved there about 8 years ago, right as Blake and I were planning our wedding. We just love going up to visit them. 

I made a quick trip there last summer, with my parents for a business trip, but I'm having a hard time remembering the last time Blake and I went! That's just means it's been too long! His parents have been to see us plenty, but it was definitely our turn. 

Originally, we were going to make the trip over Labor Day weekend, but due to a death in the family that didn't work out. We rescheduled for the week of Thanksgiving since everyone had off work. I'm glad we did that instead, because this trip was still too short! 

Thursday
We were pretty exhausted from our drive (which we did Wednesday afternoon), so on Thursday we woke up leisurely and had an amazing breakfast. One of my favorite things about visiting Blake's parents are the meals we eat together! They spoil us, and they can really cook. 

A trip to North Carolina is not complete without a trip to the greenhouse where my father in law works. He is so proud of where he works, and he should be. This is the largest greenhouse in North America, or something like that. I'm talking acres on acres of flowers-as far as the eye can see. He is the mind behind the temperature controls for the plants. There is SO much science here. We've been several times, but every single time I'm still impressed. Plus the flowers are gorgeous! 

You have to take a golf cart around the place, it's huge!! They have beautiful 8 seater golf carts, but my FIL insisted the smaller ones are easier to drive, so we all piled on! 









These plants are sold at Walmart and Lowe's, so chances are this is where your flowers started out! It's really amazing how much work goes into something that we typically take for granted. 

Friday
Friday was the real highlight for me! We popped over to Asheville to visit The Biltmore Estate! We have been once before, about 5 years ago. Blake's cousin Staci was with us, and it was her special request. I'm so glad we went because I had forgotten how much I love it there!! 

It was pretty busy, but not miserably. The shuttle from the parking lot pulled up to the front door with one minute to spare before our tour time. I have no idea how we managed that! After touring the house we grabbed a cocktail and a soft pretzel from The Conservatory Cafe. We were going to sit for just a minute before continuing our exploring, but the gin spritz ended up being way stronger than we anticipated so we just hung out in the courtyard for a bit! It was so gorgeous out. I can't picture a better afternoon than laughing, sitting outside in the sun and having such good snacks. Plus it's prime people watching. 

We realized that our lunch reservation was in 15 minutes, so after a quick look in the gift shop we headed to the Stable Cafe! It's such a cute place! We sat in a booth, which was nestled in a horse stall. So cool! 












When we passed by this fountain, I had to get Blake to recreate this picture that I took when we were there last! He looks exactly the same, I think maybe his hair is brushed in the opposite direction now though. (He definitely went from head to toe American Eagle to head to toe J Crew!)

I remembered him being on the other side of the fountain, and I wished I would have gotten it right! 
                                       2017                                                                               2012
     




One of my new favorite pictures! It was so fun to get out of Florida and actually see some orange leaves. And I got to wear my Barbour coat for the first time! (I've been stalking them on Ebay for months.) We could not have had better weather. It got a little chilly when the sun started setting, but we warmed up in the conservatory before heading home. 

I had so many memories while we were there! I remembered that I had just gotten my DSLR a month before our first visit-so I was going crazy with the photography. At that point you couldn't take any pictures inside of the house. You can now. This time I did bring my big camera with me to North Carolina, but I didn't feel like carrying it around in Asheville. So you just get phone pics! I never regret the pictures when I actually bring my camera, but I can never convince myself it's worth the hassle. 

Saturday
On Saturday, after some french toast, we headed to Charlotte for something I've been wanting to do for ages! I had bookmarked The Brews Cruise when I saw it online a few years ago. I thought it would be really cool, but it hadn't worked out yet.

Breweries are popping up everywhere. These tours are great because they choose 3 different breweries to take you to. You get a backstage tour and 4 samples of different beers at each place. (Generous samples too!) 

We had Hannah as our tour guide and she was so knowledgeable. I personally learned a lot! Even my father in law, who loves beer, said he learned quite a bit about the process.

Our tour included Birdsong Brewing, The Unknown Brewery and Heist. Birdsong was our first stop. They definitely had no frills, but I think that was their goal. Just good beer! We all bought beer to take home from that stop. Unknown was a cool place! It was right near the Panther's Stadium and I can really see tailgating there would be a lot fun. Heist was a place I could absolutely hang out in! It was more like a restaurant, with a hostess. That was our last stop, and where we ate. Their beer cheese was out of this world. I am not eating dairy right now, but it smelled so good I had to have a taste. 

It wasn't until I was typing this that I realized I took hardly any photos from our tour! It was really immersive and I like that I didn't feel inclined to take pictures. 

They have Brews Cruise tours in many cities! I think it's an awesome thing to do with your family (drinking aged family) and a different way to tour a city you are visiting! Or even your home city! I was really impressed. 



I was definitely not ready to leave on Sunday! The drive is long, and it was a holiday weekend anyway so traffic was quite heavy. Thank goodness for Google maps helping us navigate the back roads along the way! 

After a long weekend of eating like kings, I'm determined to get back on track with a healthier meal plan. In fact, as much as I adore traveling, I am becoming such a homebody in my 'old age'. Coming home to the pugs and my own bed is just as sweet as the excitement leading up to a trip! 

10 comments:

  1. Looks like so much fun!!
    Hope you have a great holiday girl!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a fun weekend! You guys packed in so much!! The greenhouse looks awesome, Biltmore is always just so stunning and somewhere I would love to go check out! And thank you for letting me know about Brews Cruise - that sounds like a good gift!! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must do the Biltmore someday. It's so photogenic!
      I agree, the Brews Cruise would be a great gift!! Perfect for someone who is hard to buy for, and I love gifting experiences.

      Delete
  3. Sounds like such a fun filled weekend!! I haven't been to North Carolina in SO long. I'd love to plan a trip back!

    Katherine | www.oneswainkycouple.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was. I have a pin board for all the stuff I want to do in the future! It's a beautiful state.

      Delete
  4. LOL the pug statue. Only true pug lovers understand. My sister and her boyfriend want to move to Charlotte! I secretly hope they do so I can go and visit! What did you do with the pugs while you went away? Sounds like a really fun fall trip!

    Katie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hehe, you know it! Out of everything in there, I zoomed in on the pug! It was actually a little keepsake box, with a matching pug necklace on the inside. The ears were gold rhinestones!!
      We have a house sitter come stay with the pugs when we go away. It's worked out great. Keeping 3 dogs would be a lot to ask of someone else's home, and I absolutely hate boarding them!

      Delete
  5. Your fater-in-law's job sounds amazing AND beautiful! I've heard awesome things about the Biltmore Estate- I'd really love to go some time!
    Last time we were in Charlotte we went to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, while is right up my alley ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, yes! The NASCAR museum is right by the Unknown Brewery we went to. I actually really like that we can keep visiting and still have new stuff to do each time. (So different than when people come visit us...not much to offer here!)

      Delete