My nine day vacation came to a close with a “surprise” trip to Asheville, North Carolina. I put surprise in quotations because Mom had Dad’s surprise figured out from day 1, but she kept her mouth shut and allowed him the pleasure of keeping us kids in suspense. While in Asheville, we visited Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in the country. Holy cow. I have never seen such a display of wealth in excess. If anything, touring the Biltmore mansion reminded me why I want to have a small house: having a big house is so overrated. Don’t get me wrong…the mansion was stunning. Floor to ceiling, it was covered in beautiful things: tapestries, wall molding, furniture, everything was state-of-the-art and top-of-the-line. We toured 44 rooms with our audio players feeding us historical background via headphones. These rooms varied greatly – there was a dining room with a ceiling 7 stories high, a music room that was never completed until 1980, breathtakingly beautiful views from the back porch, and my personal favorite part, the stunning library, covered with books from ceiling to floor, complete with a small, curvy staircase leading up to a small porch overlooking the room. I want to have a library in my small house when I grow up – which is fairly strange. It doesn’t really make sense to desire a library the size of Hong Kong and a small, cozy house. Ehhh. YOLO.
Here’s a picture of the library at Biltmore:
Biltmore was beautiful, if not completely and ridiculously giant and more than a little unpractical. Gosh, I think poverty could be eliminated if Vanderbilt hadn’t been such a fan of material objects.
After we left Biltmore, we set out to find our hotel. The thing is, Hotels.com messed up our rooms. Instead of two rooms, the hotel only had us booked for one. So we were out of a room. We debated for a little while what to do, and after a few prayers from me, set back out onto the road, determined to find a hotel a ways down the road. We hit the jackpot with Holiday Inn Express in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was great to be back in my favorite state – we dined at Jimmy Johns (my family had never had their sandwiches before, so I got to introduce them). Bright and early in the morning, we set our for home. I got to drive about an hour and a half, which was pretty exciting. I spent that hour and a half trying not to get yelled at by my dad, who was in the passenger seat freaking out that I was drifting over the lines when I obviously wasn’t. Oh dad.
Cooper and I got home in time for the final Epic Unplugged, which we were stressing about getting to the entire vacation. Epic Unplugged is our church’s youth group’s summer sessions. We meet at people’s houses, eat dinner, worship, hear from students, and talk about Jesus. It’s really fun…and last night’s was my last one. It was really hard to even think about saying goodbye to everyone, so I didn’t. When I tried walking away after we were done, Cody Brewer quickly said, “Aren’t you going to say goodbye”? So I begun the awful obligatory goodbyes, not knowing when I would next see my closest friends.
I wasn’t ever sad about leaving high school. When people were crying the last day of school, I was standing there, looking around, thinking how much I really WOULDN’T miss my high school peers. But now that we’re all leaving for real…literally going different directions…it has become a very sad event for me, this act of going off to college. Already my friend Zach Muller has departed for Cincinnati Christian University, and is in class as I type. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. The Moser’s are in Seattle setting up shop. I’m leaving for Cedarville in three days. Everything is about to change.
BRING IT ON.