Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I had to include this picture of Paul dressed for the rain on Friday, complete with his plastic hat cover made for cowboy hats (I've never seen one, though, have you?).
When we got back we quickly dressed and went out to the apartment complex Halloween party to see if we could meet some neighbors. We met a few, but it was mostly kids and parents playing with their kids. We watched the kids, ate pizza, chatted a bit and came home.
In case you couldn't tell, I dressed as Wednesday from the Addam's Family and Paul went as "The Crow."
Ok so back to our indulgent day. Our plan for yesterday was heading to Asheville for the Southeastern Fiber Fair (Paul was kind enough to come along for this) and to the Biltmore Estate to spend the rest of the afternoon there. I was planning on taking Paul to a nice dinner to celebrate his new job and so thought the Biltmore Estate would be a great place especially since we got annual passes last time.
We packed a picnic lunch, hot chocolate in our travel mugs and we were off. The kitchen was a disaster, but we didn't care because the day was for us and not our kitchen! Asheville is about 2.5 hours away and we got lost since I was the navigator, and the driver I might add.
We finally got to the fair and it was fabulous! It was sensory overload seeing all the booths set up and the folks spinning, weaving and all the things for sale- oh my! We met the gentleman who designed the Fricke drum carder, saw the "Fricke Finest" in action, and met many angora rabbits and llamas too.
The rabbits... I feel like one of the rabbits here in my pink and with my bunny face on.
The booths... always plenty for sale!
The spin-in where you can plop down with your wheel and meet other spinners while you spin...
The fleece judging of fiber from alpacas, llamas, sheep, rabbit...
In case you think that this looks like a pelt (skin and fur), a fleece is merely the hair from an animal getting a "hair cut". The animal still has it's skin and is fine and healthy after the ordeal.
The stars of the show!
As we were winding down and about to leave, we saw a traveling spinning wheel that a lady was selling. She has 6 wheels and is trying to downsize and so was selling off some of her fiber stash, wheels and miscellaneous spinning trinkets. This wheel is the infamous Hat Box wheel by Louet which was made years ago and has not been made for years. It's now a collector's item I think, as I had heard about them quite a bit when I was a part of the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild. Now, I have to admit that it isn't the prettiest wheel out there, but it is small enough to take on a plane as a carry-on and it will be much easier to bring with me in the car with all my field gear when I travel for work. Plus, it is such an ingenious design with simplicity at the heart, that it is just dang cool! Anyway, we spent most of the rest of the afternoon giving it a test-spin and deciding whether we could afford it or not. Pleased to say, we came home with it.
All buttoned up in it's hat box case
Paul was really looking forward to this since last time he had High Tea was at the Empress Hotel in Canada, coincidentally the last place where I had High Tea! Grandma and Grandpa took me there when I was about 10 and Paul went to the same place with Mum when he was in his 20's. This was just like how it was served at the Empress, complete with the British traditional English cucumber sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, lemon curd and all that good stuff.
After the wine tasting event, we had our dinner at the Bistro, also on the estate. It was good food, but I think the ambiance of being on the estate is what you pay for.
What a day! We began our drive home at 10:30 and had to swap drivers a half hour into it because I was really fighting to keep my eyes open. Luckily Paul was wide away and so I nodded in and out of sleep the whole way home. This was a day to remember.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I don't know what the green paper does, do you?
This is taken from the kitchen looking into the gathering room with the fireplace.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Fort Darling itself is not much of a fort anymore. All that remains that I could see was the cannon that fired at Union battleships coming up the James River. That was neat, but I guess I had envisioned an actual fort complete with stone walls and turrets.
I still like the name, though, and if you ever come to visit don't be surprised if you see "Fort Darling" written on the curb where the address is supposed to be.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Paul surveying the backyard
The Biltmore House itself
We ran low on buns so had our sandwiches open-faced, like a halfway In-N-Out Burger's Protein Burger: each person got a bottom or top bun and a lettuce leaf to act as the top bun to hold everything in. It was pretty dang chilly, but note that the Englishman still doesn't need a jacket.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
We have had a lot of fun working with Nancy and talking with her on a personal basis. After many visits with us to the model home of the floorplan we have chosen, Nancy decided that she wanted to have her ceiling painted like the dining room in the show home. I said, "I can do that for you," and a few weeks later the three of us were back at the model home and down to Home Depot to get the paint.
Friday, October 5, 2007
American Falls by Light
Then next morning I woke up at 6:30. Ok, I'll be honest. I initially woke up at 6:30 but got up at 7:00 and got ready as fast as I could, did some boring work emails and then grabbed breakfast, my passport, my camera and my purse and headed out along the park to figure out if I could walk over to Canada. The bridge leading across wasn't far, but I didn't enjoy driving around the area the night before, getting lost, so figured I would have better luck walking.
American Falls view from Canada
American Falls and Horeshoe Falls in the distance
Dressing for work is not the best attire for closeup falls viewing-- oh well.
Horeshoe Falls up close
And closer still!!
Monday, October 1, 2007
Our outdoor dining in Chatsworth, CA
Alfresco snack- Charlotte, NC
In case you were wondering why I look patchy, I was experimenting with the Paint program. It looked great in large view but kinda not so great here. Plus, please excuse the PJ's.