north carolina

Surprise! My sister Cami knew my mom was coming, but didn't know that my sister Erika and I were coming too. It was the best to see the expression on her face when she pulled up at the airport.

Breakfast at Toast in Davidson, North Carolina.

Just a little bit of shopping...

Cami's house and two of her three cute kids.

My niece Imogen {she looks just like Cami!}.

I love this shadowbox Cami has in her house...the needlework "klokkestreng" was done by my great-grandmother from Norway, and there she is in the picture with Cami in 1978. The other photo is of my other Norwegian great-grandmother with my dad on her lap, 1952.

Some snippets of our day at the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina. Photos weren't allowed inside, but check out that balcony!

Craziness at the airport! Just me and Erika with our babies. Help!

This was the second week of November, such a fun trip! I'd never been to my sister Cami's house in North Carolina before, and it was so beautiful there with all the tall trees dressed in fall colors. And any trip with my mom is favorite quote this trip was when she and I had to squeeze into the front seat of the minivan. As she slammed the door she said, "Sorry I'm big butted!" Mom had reserved a rental car at the wrong airport, and since Cami wasn't expecting me and William and Erika and Casch, she had her three kids with her. So we all had to pretend we were clowns in a car! It was a real squish but we made it. Poor Erika sat on the floor in the back and got carsick.

I started a little Christmas shopping on the trip, picked up some Lego Star Wars magnets for Ben at the Lego store, some cute clothes at killer deals at The Children's Place outlet, and a handmade flower pin for Hailey in one of the artsy shops in Davidson.

We were so sad Mom went home after the first day. Not only did we miss laughing about everything with her, but we were sad that Grandpa Stanley was going through such a hard time at the hospital. Mom was so worried about losing him she couldn't stand it, she just had to go home. She was so sweet, she paid for our tickets to go to the Biltmore Mansion without her. That's her favorite place to go when she visits Cami, especially when it's decorated for Christmas and she didn't want us to miss it.

It really was amazing and worth the 2-hours-sharing-the-front-seat drive. Part of it is open for touring, and there were Christmas trees in every room. We were laughing about how all the rooms had buttons at the doorways, one that said "MAID" and one that said "BUTLER."

"How lazy were these people?" Erika giggled.

{The Vanderbilt family that lived there had only one kid!}

But here's the kicker:

They had an indoor pool {pretty crazy for 1895} complete with lights in the bottom of it, and of course...TA-DA! A button at the door that said "VALET" so that Mr. Valet Person could come and help you change out of your bathingsuit...ha!

Will kept screaming through the tour {SUCH a screamer on this trip}, so Cami took him outside since she'd been there a few times before. She had her three kids out there too. Everyone there was looking at us like we were totally insane for bringing so many kids with us. Yeah, we got some dirty looks for sure, haha! It's not exactly a fun place for kids anyway. Zach was so upset he had to spend his day off of school there, but Tate {always the optimist} was saying stuff like, "This place is beautiful! It's beautiful, huh, Mom?"

We ate lunch in the stable house restaurant and later had hot chocolate and ice cream there in the courtyard. The Christmas lights around the mansion sparkled while we loaded 5 cranky kids into the minivan and an old lady gave us the evil eye. It was great. And then I told Erika, "Sorry I'm big butted" since we had to share the front seat for 2 hours on the ride back! We had some really good laughs that night about crazy old grandmas and stuff.

Other than that, Cami and Colby treated us to some of the best Mexican food I've had in my life, and we watched movies, played the Wii and slept in. Ate some more. Went for walks around the neighborhood and in foresty parks and around lakes. nice. Except for Will screaming.

The time came for Erika and I to go home. Cami dropped us off at the airport, lots of hugs and then "BYE!" We thought it was a little weird that the Delta terminal was so deserted when we went inside. "You won't be going home tonight," the lady at the desk informed us. Huh? Apparently an ice storm in Minneapolis meant that our connecting flight had been cancelled.

Yahoo! Another night of vacation for us!

So we called Cami to come back for us, but no answer. No answer. No answer.
So we called Colby, who answered, but was on his way to the Jazz/Bobcats game in downtown Charlotte with the boys. Luckily he was caravanning with a friend and was near the airport, so he stopped by the airport and gave us his car. He and Zach and Tate jumped into their friends car and Colby tried to give us simple directions back to their house and said, "Get thee to a gas station!"

Haha, no kidding! The fuel light was on and we had no clue how to get to Cami's, and of course Will was screaming! So we pulled out the trusty Google Map and found a gas station, and then surprised the heck out of Cami at her house! She was about to dive into a triple chocolate cheesecake on her own...darn! She ended up having to share it with us, haha! And when the boys all got home from the game, Zach cried because he had to sleep on the floor AGAIN! He couldn't wait for his pesky aunts to leave and get the heck out of his bedroom.

Flying home without Mom's help made us nervous with the babies. If one of us had to go to the bathroom, the other had to juggle the two. Will screamed for a while on the first flight and I'm sure I was beet red and sweating before we landed. BUT, the benefit of getting your flight cancelled is that sometimes the only available seats on the next flight are in FIRST CLASS. Oh yes. It was great. On the connecting flight Erika and I had seats together, room to stretch, the babies slept almost the whole way, and the food was actually pretty good.

I love girl trips, thank you Mom! And thanks Cami and Colby for letting us stay {and especially to Zach for giving up his bedroom}.