Thursday, February 25, 2016

Keep Calm and Carry On

I've been away for the past week (was it really just a week???) so in the spirit of throwback Thursday I'm going back a whole seven days on the blog today.

Actually the beginning was a little over ten years ago, but let's start with last Thursday.

Y'all remember I lived in the UK for a chunk of time (six years, but who's counting?) and during that time we shared a lot of hours, meals, and laughter with several couples, and we eventually started traveling together too. Our first organized trip was a picture perfect getaway to the Champagne region of France back in 2009, and by organized I mean one highly capable woman in the group booked everything and we showed up for the fun.

You might not need all this background, but I feel the need to give it to you anyway so strap in.

The group decided to make this an annual thing, typically venturing to a wine region somewhere in the world and almost always these trips occurred during the month of May. If you've been reading here a while you know that quite often the month of May in recent years has seen us graduating and/or moving daughters from one dorm to storage unit to apartment to still another apartment, always in high heat and humidity, but I digress. Because of these big life events meant to be celebrated (and they were!) hubs and I didn't get to participate in every wine tour.

Last year we were moving from Point A to Point B to Point C ourselves, so our last gathering with this crowd was Portugal, 2014. Which was completely fabulous, but let's get back to present day. You should know that these friends are spread hither and yon, and since our time together in England have resided in France, Switzerland, Florida, Belguim, Michigan, Germany, Chicago, Washington D.C., China, and of course N.J.

N.J. was us, and we're now SC, but I think you get the idea. We've got some miles under our collective belts. Fast forward to 2016, and in a funny turn of events, one couple has landed in the Tar Heel State. By way of England and then China, but hour and a half from our current cozy little home in a neighboring state, so whoohoo!

Best of all, they purchased the most charming Inn in the quaint town of Waynesville, NC and reserved a whole entire long weekend for all of us to move in and make ourselves at home.

So we did.

Beginning last Thursday when we piled in, unpacked, and enjoyed the first of too many wonderful meals. We ate dinner in town each night, but our gracious hosts prepared an amazing breakfast each morning.

Thank goodness there was some walking in the weekend. Those are lemon ricotta pancakes, and they're the lightest, airiest, pancakes I've ever tasted.

We spent all day Friday at the Biltmore House in nearby Asheville. Hubs and I had been there decades ago, but many in our group had never visited, and we all really enjoyed the day.

As it happens The Biltmore had 'wedding gowns in the movies' on display, so two or three gowns were set up in each room of the house, and that was really fun to see.

We might have made ourselves at home in the Vanderbilt's place too. These chairs in their conservatory definitely said come sit for a while.

Over the course of our four day stay, there were many meals and conversations, walks and talks, jigsaw puzzles completed, and maybe a little bit of singing too, because this group does love to sing.

Quite often when you're with a group of couples the women are the glue, but these boys are fast friends, and that's an extra special thing I think. One's not pictured here, but someone jumped in to save his spot.

Of course the weekend went way too fast and we're already making plans for next year so there's that.  I realized as I was writing this post some other thinky kind of thoughts were inspired by the weekend, but in the interest of 'brevity' I'll save them for a blog post all their own.

Actually I started to put them here, and they turned into something more than a closing paragraph so, next time.

After I rewrite them because when I went to cut and paste I managed to delete. Bother.

I don't talk about England too often on my blog anymore, but you should know there is a very tender spot in my heart for the years, memories, and especially the friendships made there. I had to go fix a cuppa while I sat here and pined for it just a little bit.

Not everybody gets that, but these people? They get it.


  1. How absolutely wonderful. I'm already looking forward to hearing about next year's get-together. Love the photos. The Biltmore is such a great place to visit.

  2. How fun to have the inn to yourselves - lemon ricotta pancakes - I must find a recipe immediately!

  3. How fun this all sounds. From the places you visited to the friends you shared it with. I am not much of a traveler. But I do enjoy SEEING the places others go through their photos. This was especially enjoyable.

  4. Joyce... looks like such a fabulous weekend with good friends. Emptynesterville is pretty darn fun. Missed your Hodgepodge this week!!

  5. How simply lovely for you all! Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

  6. I'm glad you had such a great time.

  7. I think it's so cool that you all meet once a year! Those pancakes look yummy!

  8. Wow! Those pics from the Biltmore are great! I'd love to see all of that some day.

  9. I have to say that chills ran down my entire body when you said they bought a charming in and cleared an entire weekend for all of you. What a great friend that is, so generous in spirit. Sounds like a perfect long weekend and so enjoyable for all of you.

  10. I enjoyed reading about your fun 'get away' with old friends. It sounds perfect, especially having the inn all to yourselves for the weekend!
    I've never been to the Biltmore, but I've heard it's well worth the trip.
    Kathy (Reflections)