The Great Escape

The Grove Park Inn.

Matt and I ditched the kids after Easter lunch and started a mini vacation in the North Carolina mountains. We decided to splurge and make it an early 10-year anniversary trip and it was so, so lovely. We stayed at the famed Grove Park Inn, in a charming sixth-floor room (see those fun, curved windows at the top? That was us!)

It rained on us the entire way to Asheville. It was gray, chilly, decidedly un-spring-like. But we weren't too concerned because our plans for the day involved exploring the hotel and holing up at the spa. Before we ditched our jeans for robes, however, we got a celebratory drink and discovered the two most comfortable leather chairs in the entire hotel. They looked out over a gorgeous view, and were positioned perfectly by a vent so my toes were deliciously warm. I could have stayed there all day, but the spa was calling our name.

Best view in town.

Only the promise of a massage could make me leave this spot.
There are no pictures of the spa to insert here, because phones were not allowed. But you can go google the promotional shots yourself if you want an idea of how we spent our day (and money). Now, the spa is not cheap. You either have to book a treatment or pay for a day pass. But it is so, so worth it. Matt and I agreed that any trip to the Grove Park Inn has to include the spa, even though when I told him the price of our couples massage, he was more than a little taken aback. Ya'll, it was expensive. But now that we've experienced it... so worth it. Our massages were at seven, but we showed up at three to enjoy the many steam rooms, indoor grotto-style pool (complete with pool-side fireplace and LED "stars" twinkling in the rock ceiling), therapeutic waterfalls (they massage your back) and even braving the yucky weather to hang out by the outdoor pool (we cozied up by the crackling fireplace with our hot toddies). After all the relaxing, we headed further into the underground spa space for our soothing couples massage. I love spa atmosphere. So quiet and calm, zen music, everyone walking around heavy lidded and blissed out. If only I could recreate that at home. The massage was exquisite and capped off with a glass of champagne - cheers!

After the spa, we poured ourselves back into our clothes and headed to one of the hotel restaurants for dinner. We had a table outside (lots of fireplaces and heaters in this hotel) right by the balcony, which was fun. Dinner was delicious, and include the first of many "tiny beers" that we would have in Asheville. Day one was a complete success!

Tiny beer!
One of the fun things about Grove Park Inn is how historic is is. We stayed in the main building, which I highly recommend, in part because it means you get to ride the ancient elevator several times a day. The elevator is built into the massive stone fireplace in the main lobby, and is run by the most delightful staff. On our way up to the room, we got the suggestion to sleep with the windows open to get the fresh mountain air. And this is what greeted us the next morning!

What light from yonder window breaks! Fresh mountain air indeed!
Although this was the most sun we saw on day two. The clouds hovered ominously close, although we managed to escape the rain all day. First up on the agenda was grabbing some local doughnuts with an old friend from my grad school days who happened to be spending her spring break in Asheville too! How fun!

Doughnuts with Stephanie!
 Then Matt and I stuck around downtown Asheville, popping into the little shops, stopping for lunch (and more tiny beer) at a couple local breweries before finally stuffing ourselves full at dinner at the Tupelo Honey Cafe.
Hanging with these two dudes at Wicked Weed Brewing.

Tiny beer!

Happy ten years, you crazy kids!
Our last day, we signed up for the historic tour of the Inn, because we're dorks like that. But it was fun, informative, and a great way to end our stay. The tour includes info on all the famous people who have stayed at the Inn (everyone from Helen Keller to Margaret Mitchell to Mickey Mouse, and ten presidents in between), a look at the million dollar grandfather clock that's just casually hanging out in the lobby, and the legend of the Pink Lady ghost that supposedly haunts the place.

You can't tell, but this fireplace is big enough to stand up in. And the lobby boasts two of them.

Finally, blue sky!

One last look our our window.
And that was it! After our tour, we grabbed our bags and hopped back in the car for a much sunnier drive home. Short and sweet, but I can definitely imagine coming back here once I win the lottery and can afford to even breath the eucalyptus-scented spa air.


Gimme a Break

Good Friday. A good Friday indeed. The countdown to spring break started with a bang.

Violet's school egg hunt. Look at those springtime girls!

A little treat for the teachers.

I put the phone in selfie mode... she kept asking for "more Ninnie".

Blowing kisses!

My Ninnie.

They have been really sweet together lately.

Playing in the dirt. Violet decided she was going to grow a tree.

Good thing it's bath night.


Daddy Day

Matt recently returned from a five-day business trip. I didn't want to complain, but now that he's back, I wasted no time leaving him with the girls while I had a day to myself with my other girls, my book club pals.

Here's what life looks like with Daddy...

Bath time. Even Gus got involved.

Game night! (Okay, I got talked into one round.) Current favorite: Spot It!

Playground stop while waiting on a prescription. Apparently Annie bee-lined to the biggest slide in the park. 

Back to the prescription.

Easter Egg Hunt with our small group! Such a pretty day for it, too!

Annie had fun finding the same egg over and over.

My man, holding court with the ladies.
I'd say they had a pretty good time without me! I had a pretty good time without them, catching up with old friends. There may have been a bloody mary involved. There was definitely lots of good conversation and laughter and promises to do it again soon. Somehow I don't think my girls would mind...


Blue Thunder!

Blue Thunder team photo!
We had our second soccer game today and Blue Thunder rocked it! I mean, no one was keeping score or anything. But considering we had to drag Violet out of the car and onto the field, she played exceptionally well once she was out there. I'm happy to report that Violet only touched the ball with her hands once and kept the skipping around the field to a minimum. She even scored three goals! Two of them were for our team! (Ha!)

Practice time.
Despite the freeeeezing weather (hello "feels like 35 degrees") Violet played hard, ran hard, listened well, and even had a chance to defend the goal. She's not a bad little defense player, I gotta say. The jury is still out on whether she'll be ready for position play next season, but I can already see how much she's grown from last season. So much with Violet has to do with how comfortable she feels. New experiences, not good. But once she's had the chance to observe, absorb, get the hang of things, she's generally good to go.

She shoots... she scores!
As for my first round of being a Team Mom, I have to say I'm pretty terrible at it. I haven't managed to collect all the money for our uniforms, I haven't sent any reminders about who is bringing snack... Although I prefer to keep things low-key - I do give a little "hey, don't forget..." reminder at each practice. And at least I have a list of who still owes me. I did pick the team name, though, so I guess there's always that! Consider it my contribution to the team.

Learning the word of the week, "perseverance". Trying your best even when you don't want to.

Field Trip to the Aquarium

BFFs with matching shoes!
Violet's Pre-K class took a trip to the Georgia Aquarium this week. She got to buddy up with her pal Emma and Emma's mom was sweet enough to send me these pictures of the big trip. Everyone had a blast. I thought about trying to go, but with a parent for every two kids, I think they had plenty of help! I'll try to go next year if kindergarten makes it one of their field trips.

Violet reported that she got to touch a starfish and see the giant beluga whales. And her favorite part was the penguins. Emma and Violet have been friends from the infant room at daycare, and this will be their last year together. (Sniff sniff!) We've been lucky to have such great friends for so long!

The wonder!


Storytime with Violet

Do you think she'll be a teacher when she grows up?
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