Sunday, December 28, 2008

What did you get for Christmas?

With the economy being so scary this year, hubby and I made a decision way before Christmas to not exchange any gifts this year. We still decorated and bought a real tree to enjoy the whole spirit of Christmas. But with just the 2 of us, I told hubby we needed to be frugal and just remember all the previous great Christmases we've been fortunate enough to share. Not unlike the situation many others find themselves in today, hubby's company is going through hard times, and we're uncertain of the future. Had it not been for my big-hearted Virginia sister, we'd have had nothing under the tree! She always finds the greatest deals on gifts for the family and friends. She sent us a box of gifts in the mail ~ a cute ceramic dog treat canister and a big bag of dog treaties for our 3 girls, a Case pocket knife for hubby, and a Vera Bradley tape measure and pretty quilt-themed notepad for me. As usual, we couldn't wait for Christmas and opened our gifts on Christmas eve!

Hubby kept bugging me right up through Christmas saying I needed to tell him what I wanted. I kept telling him that I didn't need anything! He was unrelentless, and I finally told him I'd like to take a trip up to The Biltmore Estate in Asheville while he was off over the holidays. We watched the weather and decided to make the drive, only about an hour away from home, yesterday. This very famous attraction is a huge property to tour with the actual house, winery, gardens and conservatory. We must have walked 4 miles, and by the time our scheduled house tour at 5:00 p.m. arrived, we decided we were too wore out to do it this time around. We agreed that we'd return in the Spring when the outdoor gardens were all in bloom. Although we did visit the winery and do the wine tasting tour, I can't say I was enthralled with their product. Not serious wine connoisseurs by any means, we still know a good wine when we sip it! We did end up buying one bottle and some "Biltmore" wine glasses as a souvenir. My all time favorite part of the trip, however, was our visit at the Conservatory. The range of blooming plants, including orchids, amaryllis, narcissus, poinsettia, orange trees, cactus, and so many other flowering variety of plants was so beautiful! Another visitor even offered to take my and hubby's picture together, and although I had my eyes closed, I was touched by the man's kind offer.

So sit back, and enjoy as I share my Christmas gift with you...
(clicking on the image will give you a larger view)

Til next time, hoping you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season!


Prim's by Kim said...

Awesome photos girl!!! Glad u had a lovely holiday. Hugs, Kim

Tammy said...

You know, I am only about a 2-3 hour drive from Asheville. And I have never been. I would love to go. Love the pics. I know it's just beautiful.

Meadowbrook Cabin Primitives said...

Hi Mary,

I happened upon your blog and the photos of the Biltmore estate are just awesomely beautiful !..

My stepdaughter lived in Asheville for a few years and darn, I didn't get a chance to go there , even though I saw it from a distance and took a pix of it. Have you been to Black Mountain near Asheville ? It is a small village with little shoppes. The mountains around Asheville sorta scare me as there are hardly any guard rails along the roads... :o)
If you get a chance, send up the warmer climate...LOL..
Hugs and a Happy New Year !

Kelly~MysticalEntities said...

Wow looks like a wonderful trip Mary and those pictures are beautiful~
I love the statues!!

Leslie said...

Isn't this just the most beautiful estate ever? My husband and I were there several years ago in the dead of winter when EVERYTHING was covered in snow. Just breathtaking! So glad you had a nice time.


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