I finally spruced up this place with my spring/summer theme and I wanted to post some pretty new summer-y photos along with it! These photos are actually from last June when Brandon and I visited Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s House) before leaving Charlottesville (in other news, I can’t believe we’ve lived in Nashville for almost a year!).

Spring or Summer is really the best time to visit Monticello because the gardens surrounding the house are amazing. If you’re interested in that kind of stuff they even have tours around the gardens explaining why each flower is where it is. (Jefferson = huge control freak. lol) I mainly just tagged along for a while so I could get pretty pictures!

We lucked out that the weather was—mostly—beautiful that day. It was nice when we arrived but as we were standing in line waiting for the tour to start, it got dark and cloudy and suddenly started pouring. Thankfully, the shower only lasted about 15 minutes and by the time we completed the house tour the clouds had cleared and it was beautiful again. I’m so glad we got a chance to go before leaving Virginia.

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Long Beach


I grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast but haven’t had the chance to visit since my family moved away after 6th grade. I finally went back in February for my grandmother’s funeral. I could only stay a few days but despite the sad occasion it was nice to be able to show Brandon where I grew up and see some of my other family.

I’ve never been much of a beach person, despite living right across the street from it for several years, but I honestly forgot how beautiful and peaceful it can be sometimes.

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Missing the snow


I was starting to like Nashville and think maybe it would be a good place to finally settle down but winter has made me reconsider. I miss snow! It’s been depressingly cold and rainy all week resulting in a few short flurries but nothing substantial. Today has been especially frustrating because it snowed in Alabama and now it’s snowing in East Tennessee/North Carolina and to the north in Virginia where I used to live. So it’s snowing all around, but completely skipped middle Tennessee. How does that happen??

Last winter when we were still in Charlottesville it was very warm and only snowed—lightly—a few times. This winter they’ve already had a few snowfalls and will probably have several more. I guess I’m just sad I didn’t get a normal winter before having to leave that state and move to one with an even warmer winter.

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Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock

After a long break for Christmas, I’m finally posting the last of my vacation photos. These are all from Chimney Rock near Asheville. Crazy people can actually hike up the series of stairways (about 500 steps) from the parking lot to Chimney Rock, but I am not crazy so we took the elevator. The actual rock is smaller than I thought it would be and not very flat so it’s difficult walk around on. But since it was almost winter, it wasn’t busy so I really got to walk all around and get pictures from all sides which was nice.

Once you get up to the rock there are even more stairways that lead to other views and the highest peak of Chimney Rock park called Exclamation Point (ha). I wasn’t really planning to bother with that because I hate hiking up stairs and inclines, but the hiking trail to the waterfall I wanted to see was closed so it was either go up or go home after only 15 minutes. So we went up and up and up some more, at least 10 different sets of stairs and I almost died. I guess it wasn’t that bad. Once in high school I had to hike 8 miles up a mountain and it was probably the worst thing I’ve ever had to do (and I love to hike and was in waaayyy better shape back then so that’s saying something). This was only a mile or two so it was doable. Still, I was proud of myself!

After hanging out at exclamation point until I wasn’t going to die anymore we headed back down all those stairs. Then I went crazy and decided it would be fun to go down the 500 stairs from Chimney Rock back to the parking lot instead of taking the elevator. Because going down stairs is so much easier, right? Unfortunately, the muscles in the back of my legs did not agree with that after about 100 steps but thankfully there were places to rest along the way. Hopefully, one day we can go back so I can finally see that waterfall. I’d love to see the view in the spring or summer when all the trees are green.

So, despite a rocky (har har) start to our vacation it turned out to be pretty awesome. Asheville was a nice little town that I felt very at home in. Besides Biltmore and Chimney Rock we ate at some really excellent restaurants. I had pork belly for the first time and now I understand why people on Top Chef always go crazy for it! Ideally, I’d love to come back next year and do it all over again!

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The Biltmore Estate


These photos are from our visit to the Biltmore Estate on our first full day in Asheville, NC. It would have been nice to be able to get a shot of the house without those ugly tour buses in front, but I guess that’s a good indication of just how large it is. The house is beautiful and the interior was fully decorated for Christmas (but I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside). We walked all around the house and the grounds. The view behind the house of the mountains and river is especially stunning. I would love to wake up to that view every day!

One day I’d love to go back in the summer because the miles and miles of gardens around the house are not as pretty in November. But there is a huge green house with tons of exotic flowers which was fun to walk around in. I went a little crazy in there so I’ll have a separate post on Thursday with those photos.

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