Friday, May 13, 2016

4 Year Anniversary Trip

We've been married four years! It seems like forever but then it also seems like it's flown by. We've gotten into a bit of a tradition (does 2x equal a tradition?) of going on a trip every other year for our anniversary. Two years ago we went west to California, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite and it was amazing!

This year we're ramping up for a busy summer (is anyone surprised?) so we decided to keep it a bit more local and do a long weekend in Asheville. Derrick typically takes the reins on traveling and books our adventures and accommodations. I love it. It's such a process to figure out travel time, where we're staying, what we're doing, and he does it so well. I love not having to worry about it...I just get to enjoy it and know he made all the right decisions for an awesome trip.

Thursday was our anniversary so we hit the road Wednesday afternoon, dropped Crosby off with Derrick's mom (Thank you!) and continued on to the Doubletree by the Biltmore. Ever since my dad and I stayed at the Doubletree on a daddy/daughter New York trip it's been my favorite hotel. Probably has something to do with the free cookies. Derrick knew this and booked us for 4 nights!

For our anniversary we had the best day ever! Let's see if you agree. Derrick found an escape room company in Knoxville. We hadn't done an escape room in months because we'd already done all the local ones in Raleigh but we always try to find one when we travel. Well....Derrick found four! And then we added on a fifth so that we could completely round out there rooms! Five escape rooms in one day!! We were a little rusty on the first on and missed getting out by 30 seconds but after that we got continually better. The manager was so impressed with our brain stamina that he came out to meet us and give us free t-shirts. Derrick and I work really well together in these escape rooms. I think it's because we both buy in so completely. You ready for this series of pictures as proof?

The casino room was definitely our favorite and it didn't hurt that Derrick knew all the rules to the casino games so we got through the first part in under 8 minutes. The game master came over the intercom just to tell us we were crushing it. 

We did get a lunch break in between room 2 and room 3. I was able to grab this sneaky picture. Can you spot him? The Slytherin? There's not a single witch or wizard who went bad who wasn't in Slytherin. clearly we geeked out on our anniversary day.

We fancied up a bit that night by hitting up Chestnut for a late dinner. It's a local place in Asheville and it was delicious with perfect portion sizes. It actually allows you to save room for Then we promptly passed out from brain exhaustion.

The next day we were scheduled to go white water rafting but we had to re-schedule to Saturday because the minimum number hadn't been reached. We met Derrick's dad for a delicious breakfast as Tupelo Honey and then visited the Biltmore Gardens.

Not a bad view out of your backyard. I could probably sell that view.

The most beautiful greenhouse in the world.

I thought these were hundreds of little meerkats until we got closer. Not meerkats...just roots. I still think they look like meerkats.

That's a maple to the left. I hope our maple doesn't get that big. Our house will disappear.

After the Biltmore we found a local bouldering gym and got in a workout. It was pretty good but it definitely made us realize how spoiled we are by our local gym.

We met Blue for dinner that night and killed some time walking around. We came across this drum circle. Just a lot of drummers jamming with a huge crowd around them.

And Mom! I forgot to tell you! Look who it was smack in the middle of the drum circle! (The rest of you don't know him and I just forgot to tell mom about it so....forge ahead).

And, you know, because we can't help it, we did another escape room that night! Blue had never done one so we found one in downtown Asheville. It was not your typical escape room and it wasn't our favorite but it was still a good time and even better that Derrick got to wear this cool top hat!

Saturday was the highlight of the trip! Besides seeing Blue of course...she's always a highlight. We went white water rafting on the Chatooga. We went with the Nantahala Outdoor Center and they were excellent! It was a very early morning because we were two hours away and had to be there at 8:00 but the trip was spectacular and so worth it.

The river is in a nature preserve and the preserve has limited it to only three commercial rafting companies allowed permits on the river. They also require that groups are spaced out so that when you're out there on a trip you won't see any other rafters. They want visitors to really feel secluded and immersed in the amazing nature and beauty surrounding them. It was truly amazing. The entire 12 mile route probably had 30-40 rapids including some class 4s and an awesome class 5 sequence. The guides were so good and made us feel so safe even though it was actually a pretty dangerous environment. They took every safety precaution. Our adrenaline was pumping but we never felt in danger.

It was freezing when we got there and we were pretty nervous about that, but they had wet suits for us to wear and rafting jackets. Thank goodness! We were able to enjoy the whole experience without shivering the whole time.

Cute outfits.

They make a lot of money on these pictures but, the photographer does bring his kayak the entire way and we couldn't not buy one as a memory. We selected this one that we thought really captured the trip for us.

This should help you.

This trip was amazing. It was so refreshing and nice to get away and the rafting was such a cherry on top for us. We're already talking about going back with family or friends.

Congratulations for making it this far if you did! This was a monster post but it was about monster love. Happy Anniversary Derrick! I love you! Can't wait to see what you plan for us for year 6 ;-)

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