Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Thursday morning, after a hearty breakfast at The Blue Ridge Inn, we stop for coffee and get online as fast as we possibly can. I know you’re asking yourself, “why are those people in such a toot to check the world wide web?”

Let me tell you a story. The conversation the day before goes something like this. “R. did you know this expires 4-09?” I look up from the car registration sticker on our windshield to see the horror on my husband’s face. Not the most reassuring expression when you’re miles from civilization (remember we’re on those back roads in the middle of Georgia).

Hubby recovers quickly and states he’ll take care of the problem, which brings us back to the coffee shop. With the click of a few buttons, free Wi-Fi and a credit card the registration is on its way. Disaster averted and we’re on the road again. Destination: Boone, North Carolina.

Along our day’s journey, R. keeps mentioning Asheville, North Carolina and I can’t figure out why the town sounds so familiar. We stop at a Visitor’s Center and the man asks if we’re going to stop at the Biltmore mansion. I almost give the gentleman a kiss for jarring my memory.

“R. it’s the house HGTV always talks about,” I explain, and then chuckle at his ‘deer in the headlight’ look. I go on to tell him that it’s a very large home and we MUST see it. Mr. R. nods and we drive to experience America’s Largest Home®.

But first we need to go to the bank to secure a small loan before we can buy the two tickets. This fact comes to light after we read the sign above the counter.

“Please tell me that doesn’t say $50 per ticket.” R. utters to no one in particular.
I can only nod at his observation because at the moment I’m speechless. Pretty soon words start to form in my mind, but none of them will convince my hubby why we should fork over the absurd price to see the famed Vanderbilt estate.

So what to do? Well, we could leave, but I rrrrreeeeaaaaallllyyyyy want to see the house. I decide to bring out the big guns. “R., the price includes wine tasting at the Biltmore Winery.”

His pretty gray eyes light up and we waltz over and purchase the tickets for our self-guided tour of the 250-room mansion, the wine tasting tour and the magnificent manicured gardens and greenhouses.

As we drive through the Biltmore estate it’s an orchestra in bloom. I, again, marvel at God’s handiwork. He gave countless people the talent to transform the 8,000 acres into a work of art. Come to think of it - isn’t our writing the same? The Lord gives us an idea (seed) and it’s our responsibility (with His help, of course) to ‘cultivate’ it into a Masterpiece. Just a thought!!

Late afternoon we leave the grandiose mansion behind and travel farther into North Carolina. Since scenic byways are singing our song, we venture on The Blue Ridge Parkway. Winding roads through the mountains remind us of Colorado and we can’t help but smile.

Since I’m in such a good mood, I decide it’s high time I crank out some words. I take out my computer and open up the file I’m working on (it’s the last couple of scenes in my novel) and start typing. Tension builds between each of my characters. Excitement flows through my finger tips and I feel like I’m going
to. . .throw-up.

You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? HA! But that is what I feel like doing. While I’m trying to write The Great American Novel, R. is ricky racing around the hairpin turns. So much for finishing the crucial scenes while riding in a car. I put my computer away and go back to enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Our destination of Boone, North Carolina comes into view. We’re tired and decide snacking is a good dinner for the evening, that is after we check into the Super 8 Motel. Yes, people, that’s what I said. One minute I’m in a mansion hobnobbing with the rich and famous, the next I'm in a motel half expecting a creepy craw...oh, never mind. Guess R. and I love living on the edge.

The comfy (and cheap) room and (free) breakfast hit the spot. And, today we’re off to our next destination: Herndon, Virginia and our ‘new’ home-away-from-home for the next three months – Monroe Place.

Love ya,

PS: I'll tell you all about Virginia in my next Back East Bloglog.


Caleb's mom said...

Sounds like a very cool day! And I like that contrast with your sleeping arrangements. It's good to be content in all things. :) Love ya!

Linda Kozar said...

Ah, how well I remember summer vacations and the Super 8 motels! The toilet paper was abrasive, the soap--Cashmere Bouquet and the mattresses would please any monk who vowed to sleep on bare wood slats. Hope your night was better than my memories!

DebbieDoesLife said...

So was it worth the $50?? Sounded fun - especially the winery part!

Cathy Messecar said...

Nettie, very engaging travelog. I think it was $100 well spent, you'd spend as much at a theme park in a day's time.

Enjoy your rolling along...

Unknown said...

I'm so excited for you! Sounds like you're having a blast! Don't get carsick, girl! Sounds like you need to be keeping your eyes on the road, not on the books!

Sharen Watson said...

What great entries! I almost feel like I'm there with you--though I'm trying to avoid the car motion. I'm jealous about your visit to the BIG house. I've had my eyes on the Biltmore for a looonnnngggg time. Someday...

Annette O’Hare said...

Janetta, what an awesome tie-in to your writing. To bad you nearly threw up. It would have been a full fledged barf if I tried writing in the car. I don't think I could have convinced my hubby to spend that much to tour a house, even with the wine tasting. LOL

dwanreed said...


I am glad that you broke Ray down and got to see the Biltmore. I went last year with a friend and realized that I was really out of shape. My friend pranced through all those miles of mansion like speed racer and I wanted to strangle her.

Take care,