Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

We had a great 4th of July holiday. Our great friends from Orlando came up to visit for the weekend; Todd & Maria and their son Austin. We visited the Biltmore Estate during the day (see prior post) and then stopped and stocked up on fireworks at the state line. Can you say trouble? Our neighbors invited us over for a BBQ that was so incredibly good. Ribs, chicken, shrimp on the barbie...my mouth is still watering. Top it off with Paula Dean chocolate cake, sweet potato pie and the most incredible sugar cream pie (think warm sugar cookie in a pie form)...yummy!
We then pulled together our arsenal of fireworks from 5 different families. Keep in mind that South Carolina is that place people visit to just get fireworks. You can buy the big boys here and we definitely did. Dale and the rest of the men were in their happy place for over an hour. We only had two incidents...yes, it could of been worse if you knew how much fire power the had. The first was a big one that the guys lit and dropped into the pipe (one of the big exploding ones you see at Disney World) and it shoots out only like a foot and then drops back into the pipe. It explodes outward at eye level and gets everyone. We only had one person get burned...and unfortunately is was a little girl that was already scared to death of them. Can you say therapy? Poor thing. So the first one was definitely a dud and an accident. I wish I could say the same regarding the second. Dale and our friend Todd couldn't get one lit. It would burn and then fizzle out. By the time it lit it only had a wick on it about 6 inches long. They lit it not thinking and dropped it in the tube to shoot but it launched so quickly they didn't have time to set it down and direct it upwards. Instead, Dale was holding it against his chest and pointed it away from the group of people and towards our house instead. It launched, kicked back on Dale and exploded in our cul-de-sac. It lit up all of the houses on our street. Everyone in unison said..."Whoa". It was a good laugh...afterwards of course.

Our Visit to the Biltmore Estate

Playing Victorian games of the area..."Hello...anybody there?"
"Games of Grace" (games that taught ladies to be graceful)
Gracie thought it was cool they named it after her. I didn't have the heart to tell her otherwise.
The Biltmore Home in the background
Dale, Tristan, Austin, Grace, our good friends Maria & Todd

Dawna & Dale in the Biltmore gardens

For those of you that have never checked out Asheville, NC and the Biltmore Estate...you're missing out! This was our second visit here and just as fun and interesting. Built by George Vanderbilt in 1888, it is the largest privately owned home in the country to date with over 175,000 sq ft...that's no typo. It's huge! It includes a 70,000 gal indoor pool with underwater lighting and bowling alley. It's an amazing home and the gardens surrounding the property are stunning. It covers about 8,000 acres now but was originally 125,000 acres. The acreage was sold to the US govt. in the early 1900's and preserved as National forest. This is a definite must see if you're ever in the area. Call us and we'll join you, we're only 2 hours away!

Here Batter Batter!

Getting ready for the game...play ball!
Grandpa Buckley got Grace a Drive foam glove...charge!!!
Dawna & Grace having fun
Dawna, Grace, Tristan, & Dale at the game

We had a fun experience last Thursday. We met up with my brother and his cute family as well as my Dad and stepmother (visiting from VA) and attended a Greenville Drive game. The Greenville Drive is the farm team for the Boston Red Sox. This was the kid's first experience with baseball (besides T-Ball) so it was a toss up as far as if they were going to enjoy it. The weather was perfect, slight breeze and the atmospere counldn't be beat. Add some popcorn and cotton candy and all was good.