Mar 18, 2019

{Birthday Trip-Chapter 2}

In Chapter 2 of my birthday trip I would like to share a few more pictures with you and I will begin with our Walking Food Tour in Downtown Ashville, NC. 

If you want to take a peek at Chapter 1 here's the link. I shared the Biltmore House, Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, the Cabin that we stayed in and more.

First of all let me say that I have never been on a Food tour or as some call it, a Foodie Tour. I have family and friends that have and some has said...Yay, love food tours...and some has said Nay, not for me. But, I am a fan of Food Network and that is where I first learned of food tours so decided that a Food Tour was in store and why not in downtown Ashville. 

First, let me say that we had a wonderful food tour guide. She was young, energetic, spunky and a cute little thing at that. She shared a wealth of history with us about Ashville as well as history of the area's that we dined in. We couldn't have been more pleased. There were quite a few food tours to choose from but since we had never been on one we chose a walking tour that covered about a mile round trip or a little more of walking. We also chose a mid day tour because you mild-stone age people like to be home by dark. Two other ladies joined us and that was a treat itself. One of the ladies was also celebrating her birthday. These two ladies were born 4 months apart and their parents lived next door to one another. They have always remained the best of the friends. They both live in different areas but at least twice a year they meet and share a "Best Friend's Vacation" weekend. I thought that was really neat.  One of the ladies said that on one of their two trips a year they always do a food tour.

So let's head out on the Food tour, shall we?

First stop was: Zambry: Pomegranate Braised Pork Spring Rolls with avocado and mango dipping sauce. Marty and I both enjoyed this very much. I am not a fan of avocado but I actually enjoyed this very much. 

Second stop was: Mojo. We had Mojo’s Tostones (green plantain chips), fried, Citrus-cumin slaw, chimichurri & grilled NC catfish.
I honestly did not think I would care for this dish but was pleasantly surprised. Marty loved it but said, "Wished they had of fried the catfish". LOL! 

Third Stop: Aux bar.  Pork & Porridge with crushed peanuts.
Well I am going to have to say NAY! Neither of us cared for this dish at all. I actually picked the nuts off the dish and ate them. But, the establishment was booming with music, laughter, and we met the chef who could not accommodate our party enough. 

Fourth Stop: Strada: Grilled Florentine Ravioli.  I personally liked this a lot. Marty...not so much. He is not a fan of anything tomato based.

Of course this beauty was sitting out front of Strada's and my man spent most of his time admiring this ride.

Fifth Stop: White duck taco shop : Bangkok Shrimp taco. We both enjoyed it but I think I enjoyed it a little more than Marty. But in all honesty, by the time we got to White Duck we both felt full. I was surprised at how large the portions seemed to be. Well, that's my opinion as I have heard some say...not enough food for them. But you have to remember, it's a food tour...not an "all you can eat buffet". LOL! 

Last stop: French broad chocolate lounge
Fudge brownie with crunchy cacao nibs and salted caramel. YEP...probably our favorite! I actually carried my dessert back to the cabin to eat. LOVED this place. The funny thing was that I had read great reviews on this place so the day before we actually had stopped there.

My chosen dessert the day before was none other than the caramel creme brulee.  This place was a "hangout" place for sure. Booming with people. Some talking, some reading, and lots of laughter. Our guide said that in the Spring and Summer months people are lined up as far as you can see. NOPE...glad we went when we did. 

And last but not least while on the Food tour I was so inspired about the different spices that I learned about that after we left the food tour we stopped by Trader Joe's. They have the most unusual things there and tons of spices. YEP, came home with several things that I love!

I will sum up the food tour by saying that we are really glad that we went on a food tour. As my husband said, we probably would have never tried any of those foods had we not. Some food items were more enjoyable than others. The history alone was worth the food tour. To be totally honest with you....there's no food like my food. I am soul food lover at heart but I do enjoy trying different cuisines. A food tour is not something I would want to do every weekend but, will we go on another food tour? You betcha! 

The Jerusalem Cafe' was not on the food tour but we stopped there one evening to eat. This was the first time we’ve had lamb. Not bad . It’s not our fried deer back strap either. He actually had the lamb and I had a starter dish of combination foods such as hummus, crackers, two different kinds of salads, fried chickpeas, and etc. Well, I am going to have be gut honest. NOT MY FAVORITE. Matter of fact, about all I did eat off that plate was the hummus as I love hummus. I did honestly taste the other items but NAY.  Marty actually liked his food a lot. It was moderately priced which was great since I left almost a whole plate of food sitting on the table. YIKES!  The atmosphere and decor was beyond gorgeous. I would have paid a fee just to experience the Jerusalem type decor. And, should I ever return I would be willing to try a different dish.

Marty was a good trooper trying out different foods with me throughout the week. But, needless to say the big hit was his bacon cheese burger and fries. LOL! 

Best Tomato Bisque I've ever had too! 

Since we have been on a food tour let's take in a couple of waterfalls. My husband's absolute favorite thing to do is look at Waterfalls. 

The day of waterfalls began with an overcast day and almost gloomy. But, when you look at God's creations the gloom gets pushed to the back burner and all I could see was beauty created by the Master Designer Himself.

We've been to Sliding rock before but as always, it's breath taking to view. 
The Sound of the waterfalls always has a calming effect doesn't it?

411 foot Fall. 

This was probably my favorite of all. We went to several other falls as well. We made a full day riding through the mountains, stopping and sightseeing along the way. The gloomy day turned into a "Wonderstruck" moment. 

Next week will be my final chapter of my Birthday Celebration week. Bet y'all are glad! I will end with the Billy Graham Library. Oh my! What a wonderful place to visit. They should have named it the Billy Graham Museum. It was truly a most humbling experience.

Til then....

Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Mar 11, 2019

{I'M BACK} Birthday pictures to share....Chapter 1

I will begin by sharing a couple of pictures of the lovely cabin that we stayed in while visiting Ashville, NC for a week of birthday celebration. For those that are on FB with me then you saw where I posted daily pictures of our outings. I will not post them all on the blog. WAYYYYYY to many. To be honest...I think I could have have stayed in the cabin all week without leaving. Of course having a hot tub sure made it enticing. 

If you are bacon lover and a sweet lover then my man says this bacon donut is a MUST! I'm your regular glazed donut kinda girl so that did not appeal to me at all. He said that anything with bacon on it was good. If you have a Ducks Donuts in your area it's worth a stop. You would not BELIEVE the different types of donuts they offer! My plain donut with a cup of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream suited me just fine. 

The Biltmore has four acres of floor space, including 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces. This doesn't even begin to cover the ground area!

The Biltmore house was wonderful. It was COLD. My man layered up but ladies, I put my "if it snows" jacket on! LOL! Of course while inside the Biltmore I winded of carrying it. But, not outside for sure! BRR.....

I'm just sharing a couple of pictures we made on the inside. It was so beautiful. The history was awesome. They are running a special through May where they are displaying replicas of the clothing from that era of time. I loved it. 

Even though the outside gardens was in the midst of being prepared for Spring and Summer in which I can only imagine the beauty of it, the green houses held tons of flowers and all kinds. So beautiful! We spent 7 hours at the Biltmore and this behind end was dragging. Ate at a lovely place and though the meal was wonderful, the sitting down and resting was GREAT! LOL! 

We went to visit the Cove. Oh we enjoyed it so much. We had two different tour guides, a husband and wife team and we loved them. 

See the Cross? It is actually 8 feet tall. 

The chapel was beautiful! Only members of the Billy Graham family are allowed to get married in the chapel. There was so much history there as well. 

We met another lovely couple while touring and winded up connecting. Of course kindred spirits usually do connect. The Bible says that Spirit will know spirit. SO TRUE. Our last thing to do while at the Cove was simply to take time to kneel and pray. Five us knelt here that day and each one of us prayed. We prayed for one another as we traveled as well as for things near and dear to our hearts that day. It was a very sweet time in the Lord. 

The beauty of the Lord is our strength.

We made a trip to Lake Lure and Chimney Rock one day. Absolutely breathtaking views. 

And....before you ask the question I will go ahead and give you the answer! NO, NO, NO I did not attempt to walk 26 flights of stairs to the top of Chimney Rock. See here...I walked straight to that thing called an elevator and mashed that button that said UP! And....I got to see the beautiful view all the same!

Needless to say, Ashville is a happening place! I was actually shocked at all the activity that goes on there, even for the off months for tourists. However, we went at a good time. Weather was cold, cold in the mornings and especially if there was wind. But the days would turn into lovely rays of sunshine. YOU STILL NEEDED A JACKET FOR SURE! We didn't wait in line for anything. That's a huge plus for someone like me that gets claustrophobic quick!

He was in hog heaven looking at the tools.

We even went to an old tobacco barn that had been turned into an antique barn. It was quite amazing. I couldn't believe the things they displayed that was over 100 plus more years old. NOR THE PRICES! When I saw some of the same dishes there that I have and the price.....I told my husband that he better be real good to me because I was worth a fortune! LOL!

And this was my favorite time.....YES, PJ's, fireplace and coffee! Thank you Jesus! 

I have more pictures and stories to share with you all so stay tuned. Next week I will try and post a few more pictures and outings. We went on a walking food tour, waterfalls, the Billy Graham Library and more. We had a wonderful time. Needless to say, I winded up getting sick after returning. That's another story for another day. Let's just say this mild- stone age afforded me a birthday celebration the whole month that was grand...but this mild-stone body reminded me that I can't do everything, 100 mph either! 

I will leave you with this today in case you need to drool.......One of my favorite places we visited. I went twice! 

I hope that you all have a lovely week. I am counting on a week of good health.

Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Psalm 37:4 - Delight in the Lord - Bible Verses To Go
Web Image

Feb 18, 2019

{It's My Birthday and I can Cry if I Want Too}

But, I'm NOT because I am thankful for the life that God gives to me. Whether it be another year, month, day or moment...I am truly grateful. 
But turning 60 does have some advantages...

Web image

Gotta love Maxine!

My three daughter's surprised me for my birthday. It all started with this pretty red and silver box. 

Nestled inside the box was a scroll tied with red ribbon. 

Here is a snap shot of my birthday gift from my daughter's and their family. I was so surprised and needless to say excited. My man was excited too because this was a treat for him as well. He was liking my birthday pretty good. LOL! 

We had such a wonderful time together. 

My oldest daughter and her husband.

My middle daughter and her husband.

My youngest daughter and her husband. 

I was greeted with birthday confetti on the table and a card signed by some of the staff. The food was absolutely delicious and my birthday choice of dessert was none other than Crème brûlée

The girls gave me this beautiful necklace with charm. I just love it! 

We had a great time and I have surely felt spoiled by my daughter's. They arranged for our family to have family pictures made as well.  Memories made and I love how they turned out. I will share just a few.

I sure have enjoyed my "special day". And all month long too. Us Conner women believe in celebrating all month. LOL! I am glad I could share my special day with you all too. I just wish that we could celebrate together with a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, tea or coke. That would have made it even sweeter. The month isn't over yet either.....I am fixing to be off for 10 days and for 7 of those days me and my man will be on a birthday celebration. I will give you a clue....

Web image 

I had someone say to me, "My birthday isn't that big of a deal to me, it's just another day". NAY.....It's a special day...... 

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1st John 3:1

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Yep, I'd say He loves me pretty good and I am going to celebrate LIFE...Life with my husband, children, grandchildren and friends. Life, as a child of the Living God. And...another year of life to celebrate with those I love the most is worth celebrating. Don't ya think?  

I hope that you all have a wonderful week and remember....

Web image

Hugs and blessings, Cindy