Are we there yet?

Love can be defined in many ways but when it comes to a road trip, lets face it, the test of true love can be answered in this simple question. Can you survive a road trip with people and not want to shove them in the trunk as you approach the first dimly lit rest stop?

Luckily Melinda, Bob, and my mom were awesome road companions as we went on a long weekend adventure where the final destination would be the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC. First we would stop in Knoxville, TN to drop off a few donuts (4 dozen to be exact) to someone who shall remain nameless…. oh you know it’s Lindsey and here she is with the loot!



They were not ALL for her….in case you were wondering. (At least that is what she told us.)

In was so good to see Linds and her dogs which I kinda consider my own… Oscar and Hannah! I miss those crazy kids and the adventures we used to have in our workout walks, hikes and runs! I felt good knowing that they seemed to remember me after being gone for a couple of months.

Never underestimate the power of doggie smooches!

Never underestimate the power of doggie smooches!


Speaking of doggie smooches you might be wondering about my dogs, Tristan in particular. There was a time when I didn’t think mom and I would be able to take trips together, not sure what I could do for Tristan to make him feel safe and it would seem too traumatizing for him if I considered boarding. Things certainly happen for a reason and my friend Jessica, who adopted Journey the dog that came from the same abusive home as Tristan started a franchise of “Paw Joggers” in Northern Kentucky. Paw Joggers (click on the link to check them out!) provides amazing services such as dog walking/running and dog sitting, including overnights! Tristan has come to love many people in my life, but from the very beginning Jessica has been different, she is Journey’s mom and Tristan not only can smell him on Jessica, he senses her love and kindness so he adores her. She came to the house twice during the day, always sending me pics along with a text to let me know everyone was doing great and then she would come back in the evening and spend the night. I can’t tell you what a great experience it was, I was shocked at how relaxed I ended up being  knowing she was there with my gang. Here is one of the first pics she sent me of Tristan.


Clearly having a great time!

Clearly having a great time!


I held off giving Tristan the handmade toy Auntie Shannon sent to him as a treat while I was away! Of course Tully stole it most of the time, but tug o war was alive and well!


How cute is this guy!

How cute is this guy!



Back in Knoxville we loaded up the gang and made our way downtown to eat at Tupelo Honey, and the 45 minute wait did not phase us as we walked around Market Square shopping and taking in the holiday festivities. Does not matter what time of day  it is, when I eat at Tupelo Honey, I always get breakfast!


Five very full bellies....

Five pretty happy people after a late lunch…


We stopped by the University of Tennessee and took a visit to the football offices to say hello to Lindsey’s hubby and while we were there my mom gave the recruiters something to think about….


Look at that form!

She is all business on the field!


We said our goodbyes to Linds and the dogs heading back on the road to Ashville. I love road trips, the adventure, the scenery, the unknown possibilities and the embarrassment when you wake yourself up snoring after falling asleep against the cold window. (and no, that did not happen…much)  Ashville holds a special place in my heart, and while I have been there several times, never at Christmas and never getting to stay on the Biltmore property, which was a huge treat! I could tell you all about it, but I will just let you get an idea from some of the pics we took.



Mom and I at brunch on Sunday. The food was amazing, I probably should have walked home...

Mom and I at brunch on Sunday. The food was amazing…a little too amazing,  I probably should have walked home…




We did the candlelight tour at night, we could not take any pics inside but there is the Biltmore in all of it's glory during the day.

We did the candlelight tour at night, they do not allow pictures  inside but there sits the Biltmore in all of its glory during the day.




My mom and Mel were a little too excited about the wine tasting.....

My mom and Mel were a little too excited about the wine tasting…..




Elegant tree at the Biltmore Inn..... WAIT... wrong one... this it the Elegant University of Tennessee tree!

Stunning and Elegant tree at the Biltmore Inn….. WAIT… WRONG ONE… this it the elegant and umm stunning University of Tennessee tree!



This is the other one....

This is the other one I mentioned…




Special dinner with very special people. As Bob puts it "This is my family I am not related to".... perfect.

Special dinner with very special people. As Bob puts it “This is my family I am not related to”…. a perfect trip with my family.




Stunningly beautiful…it was hard to leave.



Memories made during this trip will last a lifetime.  I have a white knuckled grasp on the ones I can remember of my dad, mom and I on our road trips to Memphis visiting family or vacationing in Florida each summer. There is nothing quite like the open road making more of those special memories but being away also makes coming home so so sweet. I had this crew to greet me like I had been away for years when I got back……





Vacation is over…. meeting Jessica at the gym tomorrow morning at 11:00am……. I am already sore.




  1. Cherie says:

    I’m so glad you had a good time, and that the doggies had fun with their “sitter”. =) That’s a gorgeous shot of you and your mom, and the ones of the holiday trees and scenery are beautiful as well.

  2. Lillian says:

    I’ve loved seeing pictures of your trip.

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