Friday 25th and Saturday 26th April 2014
Day 4 & 5 Ashville to Wrightsville Beach
7 hours – 330 miles – 1 State NC
After all the excitement at the Dan Deacon show the night before, this morning started a little slower than many of the others! We went down to a top class breakfast served in the Downton Abbey like dining room and exchanged a few stories with the other guests across the table about where we had all been and what we were doing. Some of them had been to the Biltmore Estate and having also had a few other friends recommend we saw it we decided to give it a go.
The Biltmore Estate and the house therein is the largest privately owned home in the states. It is enormous. It took as 30 minutes just to drive out of it when we left. we had a look around the beautiful garden and conservatory. With it being a little warmer down there than up in New York, spring had come a little earlier and the tulips were in full bloom. We followed the signs to the Bass Pond but upon arrival realised that what we think of as a pond is very different to what the owners of the estate think. It was a huge lake with a waterfall. We wandered back up to the house and took in some of the rooms. What struck me was how similar it looks to stately homes in Britain that are 2 and 3 hundred years old despite the fact that the house is not much older than a hundred years old itself. It is as if the family wanted to create some of their own history.
By the time we left the estate we were both very hungry. Katie had the great idea that we cannot come to the South and not eat some BBQ. She was straight on yelp and came across a place called 12 Bones. Frankly if it is good enough for the president (Obama visited a few years ago) then it is good enough for me and we were not disappointed. We ate enough to very nearly put us into a food coma. I went for the full rack of ribs, which, in hindsight might have been over stretching myself but I fought hard and finished the whole thing. And a side of pulled pork. And mac and cheese and baked beans. And corn bread. It the best BBQ I have ever had and I was very grateful that Katie drove the next leg to get us to our final destination.
We pulled into Wrightsville Beach around 9.30 pm, had a quick drink with the bride and groom after their rehearsal dinner and hit the sack. Tomorrow was to be the wedding and the reason we were there!
It was great to wake up in the morning, open the window and step out on the balcony to be greeted by the ocean. The weather was beautiful. We wasted no time in grabbing breakfast then heading out to get tarted up for the wedding. I went for a shave and Katie got her nails done in time for us to spend a little time before the pool before the ceremony.
We were able to walk out the back of the hotel and along the beach to the ceremony with took place on the sand. I have never been to wedding out doors, let alone to one on a beach. The weather was perfect and we got seats down the front in time to see the bride and groom walk down the aisle. They didn’t hang around. It was a short service then back to the hotel for the party.
What a great day. Marty and Megan, the happy couple, were just that, so happy. It was a pleasure to be a part of it. I was made to feel so welcome by Katie’s family and friends that it was like I had known them all for years.
As the evening wore on and more and more drinks were consumed, it somehow came out that I am a Blue Man and have a talent for catching things in my mouth. Cut to 9.30pm in the middle of the dance floor, all the lights up, music down, me being introduced on the mic by JP, one of Marty’s work colleagues, as I stood on the opposite side of the floor to Katie as she threw cherry tomatoes at me. Fortunately I caught enough to make it look like I knew what I was doing and despite the fact I was actually quite nervous and a little embarrassed, everyone had a good laugh. I am sure it is something you don’t often see at weddings!
Well, the reception finished up in the main ballroom then, well, it gets a little hazy after that but I am sure we closed the hotel bar down before stumbling to bed!
A great day all in all. Congratulations to Megan and Marty.