Thursday, June 30, 2011


It is now Thursday evening and I have 3 days worth of adventures to fill you in on.  Let's see...

Tuesday morning we awoke in North Caroline to beautiful skies and cooler temperatures since we were up on Sugar Mountain.  What a refreshing change from the 90 degree heat we left behind.  Our plan for the day was to explore Grandfather Mountain and then venture over to The Biltmore Estates and finally driving up into what I was hoping would be Ohio.  Well...Grandfather Mountain was absolutely beautiful, we drove up to the animal preserve and museum and the views from the mountain were breathtaking.  It was however quite an interesting drive UP the mountain itself hence the only making it part of the way up ;)  The animal preserve was beautiful and I loved the way that they kept everything so natural looking.  We saw three bears, a pair of otters and some deer...we couldn't find the cougars and the eagles were not on display unfortunately.  Oh well, maybe there will be a next time.  From Grandfather Mountain we ventured toward Ashville and the Biltmore Estate.  When I tell you that we barely made a dent in the grounds at Biltmore Estate it is because I don't think anyone can cover 8000 acres (yes 8 thousand) in a single afternoon.  What a spectacular property.  The estate home itself was amazing and then you have these lush, green, beautiful gardens, the inn, a village and a restaurant all to see.  Definetely someplace that I want to return to and spend more time at.  So we finished at the Biltmore and hit the road to Ohio!

Oh ye of great trust that I am I followed what my GPS said to do!!!  BIG MISTAKE!!!  So remember last blog when I filled you in on my driving in the rain and bridges...ADD CURVEY DARK MOUNTAINS TO THE LIST!!!  So let me set the scene for you.  We left the Biltmore Estate and the GPS said it is about 6 hours to Ohio...okay not bad should put us there at about 8 or 9 o'clock righht???  WRONG!!!!  I finally stopped STILL IN WEST VIRGINIA at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night!  Here is how things went...Stopped and got McDonalds for the girls as we left the Biltmore, gased up in North Carolina and hit the highway North and it started to rain :( okay no big deal.  Entered Tennessee, still raining on and off, no big deal.  Entered Virginia...WHAT ...yes Virginia, hmm a little odd but okay I'm following what Gertrude (my GPS) is telling me to do... need to stop for gas and find it for $3.23 (woohoo)  pull in and reach for my debit card...OH NO it's not there.  Yes ladies and gentleman my debit/visa card is GONE!!!  Should have stopped for the night right then and there because it only got worse from that point on...Now as I start driving again, worried about my lost card, I start to notice a trend...the mountainous highways that I thought I left behind in North Carolina seem to be getting worse, it is STILL raining and what the heck is this...we are entering WEST VIRGINIA!  So know I am getting a little bit panicky...lost debit/visa card, rain, lots of winding, curving, STEEP roads, it's getting dark, no street lights and LOTS of SEMI's...can it get any worse???  Yup we had to drive THRU 2 mountains...that's right, not around or over, thru them!!!!  The level of panic rising in my system was close to meltdown status.  Thank goodness for my girls because they helped keep me grounded on what I thought was going to be a never ending night!!!  Looking back now I realize that I should have stopped for the evening a lot sooner than I did, but I was bound and determinded to get to Ohio that night, unfortunately that did not happen!  I finally gave in when it became apparent that exhaustion was setting in so we found the nearest hotel in West Virginia and called it a night! 

So Wednesday morning rolled around and I was hoping that my lost card might appear somewhere in the car...No such luck!  Oh well, cancelled the card and spoke to the bank about there shared branch locations and then hit the road.  Amazing what day light and a little bit of sleep will do for a person!  With a renewed sense on confidence we hit the road to Ohio and guess what??? We FINALLY made it into Ohio!  The drive through Ohio was quite uneventful...we stopped for lunch at a wonderful place called Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland (it was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives) and had a delicous lunch and then continued on!  Hip Hip Horray we are in Michigan, but that darn Gertrude got us screwed up again!  We exited where she told us to and thank the good Lord I was paying attention because she was trying to make us get on the Ambassador Bridge!  For those that don't know it...that is the bridge that connects Detroit to CANADA!!!  I DON"T WANT TO GO TO CANADA!!!!!!  After multiple u-turns and another half hour of driving we made it to Aunt Nina's house!  Once we got settled we took the girls swimming so that they could burn off some of there pent up energy, came back to Aunt Nina's house, ate dinner, and then ALL crashed for the night!

Now it is Thursday and I will continue my blog on all of todays woderful adventures tomorrow as it is late and I am exhausted!

By the way...  Gertrude...YOU ARE FIRED!!!  I will be mapquesting my way back home thank you very much :)

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