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If you follow me on Instagram or YouTube, you know that I was on vacation last week. I wanted to share a few of the photos with you all! Plus some of my favorite eats, of course.
Our trip got off to a rocky start. As we were literally starting to load the car, my husband notices a low tire. After looking at it closer, her realized we had a nail in the tire! So we postponed our departure so that he could take the car to Pep Boys and get the tire repaired. That delayed us four hours, unfortunately.
That just gave me more time to pack! The longer I sat there, the more things I kept grabbing here and there. I got together a really awesome snack stash. I wanted to have plenty of Weight Watchers friendly snacks available to me. I might have gone a little overboard.
But it did come in handy several times! It really helped to stay at a hotel with a fridge in the room. Three out of the four hotels we stayed in had them, and that was really helpful.
Our first stop was Chapel Hill, NC. We got there about midnight on Friday. We woke up Saturday morning and headed to the visitor center.
We took a little walking tour on the UNC campus, which was BEAUTIFUL!
Then at noon we caught the UNC vs. Wake Forest basketball game. It was so much fun!
We grabbed a late lunch after the game at the local Carolina Brewery. It was so good! I got a cobb salad with Dijon vinaigrette. Yum!
After lunch, we got back in the car and headed west. We arrived at our hotel in Asheville, NC after 8pm. We asked the hotel to recommend a local place for dinner, and they recommended Cornerstone Restaurant. The place looked like it has been there forever! It was very good. I got Athenian chicken, vegetable medley and Greek salad. I was so tired and hungry that I neglected to photograph my entrée, but I did snap a picture of the awesome Greek salad!
It was a long day with LOTS of activity. Over 15,000 steps, according to my Fitbit.
We slept pretty hard. The next morning, we woke up early to take a tour of the famous Biltmore House. It is amazing to me that people actually lived like this.
There was so much to see on the grounds. We spent a whole day touring the house and walking the trails and gardens. They did not allow pictures inside the actual house. So the pictures you see here will include the outdoor parts. Like on the terrace with the amazing view.
We ate lunch at the Stable Café on the property. Like the name says, it was once a horse stable that has now been turned into a restaurant.
They even left up the stalls! It was very cool. I got a cup of potato soup, plus chicken salad on greens. It was so yummy!
After lunch we explored the gardens surrounding the estate.
The views were off-the-charts.
The conservatory was beautiful.
Even though it was not growing season, there were plenty of beautiful flowers in the conservatory.
We took a brief rest break at the hotel, and then we headed to the Grove Park Inn for dinner. My pictures are terrible since it was so dark, and they were taken with my iPhone. But it was really incredible! If you are ever in Asheville, you need to stop by and just see it. I love the giant fireplaces out front with rocking chairs to sit and enjoy.
We ate dinner at the Inn at a Restaurant called Edison. I got grass-fed steak with fingerling potatoes. My husband and I also split a dessert! We got the flourless fudge cake with whisky cream and hazelnut. It was ah-mazing! Definitely was a splurge meal.
The next day we walked around the farm and took the Biltmore winery tour. We also had lunch at the Bistro. I had a yummy winter vegetable risotto.
That night we went to downtown Asheville and ate at Tupelo Honey Café. It was awesome! They bring out a complementary biscuit with home-made blueberry preserves. For dinner I had some baked trout with goat cheese grits and asparagus.
Looking back over these eats, I am really marveling that I was able to lose a pound on vacation! I guess I owe that to all of the activity.
The next morning we headed back east to Durham to Duke University. When we got into town, we headed straight to lunch on the 9th Street district. We found a little place called Tijuana Flats. It was a chain, but we do not have one in my neck of the woods. They had 18 different hot sauces. I sampled 4, and they were all awesome! I sure wish we had one of these in our town. I got a No-Ritto bowl with chicken and black beans. It was basically the filling of a burrito with no shell. It was so good and filling.
We walked around campus all afternoon. It was really fun because it was a school day, so there were students everywhere. I deluded myself into thinking that we would blend right in and that we could still pass for college students. Then I SAW the actual college students, and they looked so young. Harsh dose of reality for me!
All kidding aside, it was another gorgeous campus. The chapel was my favorite. It was breathtaking.
We grabbed a quick dinner on campus at The Loop. I got a grilled chicken sandwich and a fruit cup. No picture to share, but it was really fun to eat amongst all of the college kids.
Then we headed on to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the Duke versus Virginia Tech basketball game. It has been a life-long dream of my husband to go to a game here. I really enjoyed it too! The energy surrounding basketball there reminds me to the energy surrounding football in the SEC. The college kids even camp out there outside the stadium for regular season games. That is some dedication!
The next day we headed to Charlotte, where we spent the afternoon at the Billy Graham Library. I grew up watching him on TV. My grandparents really loved him, and I always remember watching him preach in different locations all around the world.
When I grew up, I read his autobiography Just As I Am, and I really gained even more respect for him as a person and a messenger of the gospel. He really led an amazing life, including having the opportunity to counsel all of the US Presidents, as well as many other world leaders. The hubby and I still watch some of the re-runs of the old crusades. It is amazing to watch some of the old ones and see how timeless the message is.
Of course we grabbed lunch after our tour. I got a turkey sandwich on wheat with a small side of potato salad.
After we checking into our hotel, we asked the front desk for a good local place to grab a quick dinner. They recommended Tryon House Southern Café. It was pretty good! I got a Greek salad with grilled chicken. The dressing was so very tasty.
The next day we drove home to Birmingham. We had somebody who sure was glad to see us! Sweet little buddy!
It was a great trip, but there sure is no place like home!
Are you planning any vacations any time soon? Where is your favorite place to road-trip?