Sunday, August 23, 2015

Monday Musings

Bristol 130

Highlights of the week: Holy cow, this week was totally awesome! There was a highlight on every day:

Monday: My husband is in the Air Force and we'll be moving to a new base this winter. The assignment list with all the possible jobs for Jarrod's rank and career field was released Monday, so now we know what our potential living locations might be! There were some not-so-great places but some exciting ones too, like Colorado, California, Seattle, Alaska, Virginia, Florida, Germany and England. Now Jarrod has to put together his top-20 list and we'll find out this fall where we're moving. (There's NO guarantee whatsoever that he'll get anything he wants -- it hasn't happened yet! -- so we'll just have to wait with bated breath!)

Tuesday: We went to see the Broadway show "The Book of Mormon"! It was written by the creators of "South Park" (Colorado natives -- woo hoo!) and it was absolutely hilarious. I fully recommend it! Even Jarrod was laughing out loud, and that never happens.

Wednesday - Thursday: My best friend Katie was in town for her brother's wedding and we got to hang out in the middle of the week. Katie lives in Dallas and I hardly get to see her, so any day we spend together is a great one!

Friday: We set off for Tennessee and Jarrod's 30th birthday gift from me, the NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Saturday: The race! It was my first-ever NASCAR race and it was so much fun. A lot of people say, "Why would you want to watch cars driving around in a circle?" and I admit that I usually read or knit while my husband watches races on TV, but in person it was a totally different experience! The vibration in my seat, the smell of rubber, the incredible noise! It was a blast!

Sunday: We visited the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, which was just gorgeous. The Vanderbilt residence, finished in 1895, is the largest privately-owned house in North America with 250 rooms and situated on 8,000 beautiful acres. Not surprisingly, my favorite room was the library. And the gardens were totally stunning -- they were designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, landscape architect of Central Park and the Chicago World's Fair, who was featured in a great book I read a few months ago, "The Devil in the White City." After touring the Biltmore, we headed  back to Tennessee and made our way to our cabin in the Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg. The Smokies are one of my favorite places on the planet. So incredibly peaceful and relaxing.


Also: Our veggie garden is doing awesome this year, as you can see below. And our mini pumpkins have exploded. Fingers crossed for a bumper crop -- I love pumpkins!


Reading: I'm still working my way through "The Little Paris Bookshop." It seems like it's taking me forever to read this short book! I think it has something to do with it being translated; the writing just doesn't always flow that well for me. I also started the audiobook of the first Harry Dresden novel by Jim Buctcher, "Storm Front." I'm enjoying the narration so far, and the story is intriguing.

Eating: Tons of barbecue! We ate at Ridgewood Barbecue near Bristol and Moe's Original Bar-B-Que in Asheville, and we'll be eating at Calhoun's and Hungry Bears BBQ here in Gatlinburg. Also, Krispy Kreme donuts! We have a tradition of always getting a box of fresh  Krispy Kremes when we arrive in Gatlinburg. We accidentally attracted a bear to our cabin with our empty Krispy Kreme box the first time we came here together two years ago (blame the cabin owner for not having a fully bear-proof trash can) and now we get Krispy Kremes as our bear-sighting good luck charm. Hasn't failed us yet!


Looking forward to: Spending the next couple days in the enchanted forest that is the Smoky Mountains!

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