Personal: Southern Adventures

Two weeks ago, I had the chance to visit my sister Katie in South Carolina.  We had planned this trip months ago, even before finding out that my sister would be leaving to spend a year working at an orphanage in Tanzania, Africa.

As the time approached, Hurricane Irma kept us in suspense.  We weren’t sure if my Atlanta flight would be affected and watched as Charleston, where we had planned to spend two days of our girl time, flooded.

In the end my flights were on time and we decided to go to the Biltmore Estate instead of Charleston.  We had an amazing time together and the weather was perfect the entire time I was there!  Day 1 was spent flying, then finding lunch and visiting my “second mom” from college.

I didn’t realize how few photos I had taken until I got home and started sifting through them.  The notable exception would be the Biltmore Estate.  It was my first time going and WOW.  It was incredible!  Several of you wanted to see the photos from that, so here they are.  Said images are followed by the few I managed to take during the rest of my trip.

Disclaimer: All images taken with Iphone 6s.  That’s my excuse anyway.

DAY 2: Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate was built in the late 1890s by a member of the Vanderbilt family.  It took 6 years to build, which sounds like a long time until you get a scope of the vastness of the property and remember that they didn’t have the tools we have now!  The estate property itself comprises around 8000 acres of privately owned land.  We drove a couple of miles up to the parking lot, where we took a shuttle from there to the mansion.  (In case you hadn’t grasped the vastness yet.) We headed for the stable first, as we had gotten a late start and were both starving!  Yes, we ate in the stable.  They had left the original stalls intact and put booths in them!

I may or may not have felt like I had just walked into a Jane Austen book.  All that creamy stone and a view to boot!  Katie said we had to check out the greenhouse and gardens…and here’s why.Yes.  That is a greenhouse.  (They called it a conservatory.)

From there we headed into the mansion.  My little interior designer heart was pretty happy and that might be why I took so many pictures.  This wrought iron work was crazy!

Check out the fantastic ceiling in the the winter garden!^ Turns out that I was a little obsessed with the ceiling details.

That fireplace was in the dining room.  Which looked like the great hall btw.  Also, doesn’t the library look like it walked out of Beauty and the Beast?!

I loved the children’s bathrooms – does the tile look familiar?  You’ll see that vintage or “artisan” ceramic tile as well as the hexagon look in most showrooms nowadays!  There is truly nothing new under the sun. 🙂

The kitchen and main laundry (There were two laundry rooms and a pantry everywhere you turned!)

A swimming pool and a bowling alley. Not pictured – the gym.

The Biltmore Estate was incredible and in case you wondered, yes, it IS worth the price of admission!

DAY 3 : Random Wanderings

This was a day that we had to wander aimlessly because we didn’t have any plans at all until evening!  I finally got to check out Tandem Creperie and Katie got her favorite rooibos tea – it reminds her of Africa <3 Isn’t she precious?
Somewhere along the line, my picky little sister became a foodie and during my visit, she introduced me to some new things!

  1. Sully’s Steamers for steamed bagel sandwiches – sounds gross but it tasted amazing!
  2. We had to check out the latest thing – rolled ice cream!  That was a been there, tried that, don’t need to try it again  – it tasted like the ice cream had somehow lost flavor when rolled.  Weird!
  3. Tacos.  I will be the last person to say, “hey, lets go get mexican”, but my sister dragged me to White Duck Taco Shop and it was possibly the most delicious food that has entered my mouth.

In fact, it was so good that we went back on Monday morning before my flight in order to satisfy my new-found craving.  Yes, it was just as good the second time!

DAY 4 : Indie Craft Parade and more wanderings

For some reason I didn’t take a single photo at the Indie Craft Parade but it was incredible.  If you ever have the chance to go, GO!  (Also be prepared to stand in line outside for at least 20 minutes!) So many fantastic vendors!  After we got our fix of cool handmade things, Katie and I wandered around downtown for a while.  And ate steamed bagel sandwiches.

Day 5: Church

It was incredible getting to spend Sunday at my sister’s church with her.  The messages emphasized living out my faith – a theme I’ve heard a lot this year from many sources!

Lemme sum up:
I’m so thankful that I was given the opportunity to visit Katie in Greenville.  When we started planning this trip, we had no idea it was the last time we would be seeing each other for a while!  It was also wonderful to be able to see some friends from college as well.  I wish I could say that I had gotten a photo with every friend that I had gotten to see, but alas I did not.  Photog fail.  I guess I was just too good at that living in the moment thing?  We’ll go with that 😉

1) My dear Mrs. Faber – a college employer turned second mom <3 Doesn’t she look like she could be my sister?!

2) My sweet roommate from sophomore year, Emily.  2.5 hours of chatting at Starbucks catching up on the last 6 years of our lives.  It was lovely <3

3) My wonderful hosts, Jon & Lauren.  (Isn’t their hashtag adorable?!)  Jon is a good friend from college and when he and his wife moved to Wisconsin for a while, I got to get to know them both as a couple!  They now live just down the road from my sister was living so it was perfect for me to stay with them.  Not pictured: Lauren’s hostessing skills, their super special lab Annie, and the yummy, yummy food Lauren cooked for us!  So thankful that these two opened their home and that we were able to spend some quality time together!

And then it was time to leave.  Katie had just two more days to get ready for Africa and I had to be back at work.  It’s been a week and a half since I got back, but it feels like a lifetime.  ‘Til next time, Greenville!

<3 Amy