Monday, May 30, 2011

Chateau Elan

This weekend, Matt and I got to get away to the Chateau Elan!  It was only a 45 minute drive, but felt like such an escape.  We relaxed, laid by the pool, went on lots of walks, read, saw three weddings, and just enjoyed our little vacation!


Our room 

 View from our room

Yay! So fancy! 

 We both wish we could wake up to this breakfast every morning!

 Morning walk

One of the houses we passed on our walk- huge! 

In front of the vineyard

 Walking through the vineyard

Clearly not picking season- but still neat to see! 

The last part of our walk- so pretty!

...probably should have waited til we were in normal clothes to take this- could have been a framer! ha!

 The wine tour guy who explained the wines we were tasting after the tour

One of the weddings we watched... the bride walked down to The Circle of Life?! Yes with the jungle-theme opening included- Matt and I looked at each other right when it started and then caught ourselves and pretended like it was completely normal. haha 

 Dinner one of the nights

Matt's still talking about his steak. He had Beef Wellington- I might have to learn how to make that. :) 

Matt surprised me at breakfast our second morning with a massage!!!  Right when we sat down, he pulled the certificate out with a big grin on his face- so sweet! I was thinking it would be really nice to get one, but didn't want to say anything- I really didn't even hint at it!... turns out he planned to surprise me all along- what a treat! :)

 About to go on our day-two walk. :)

Matt got to have access to the whole spa area while I got my massage. It was so nice in there! This picture below is hilarious (the robe looks like a kimono!) but it gives you a good view of the view, ha... Matt hung out in the hot tub while I got my massage.

The "spa valet" (well well!) took us back to the main lobby in my favorite car! Wish the ride was longer.  :) 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Major Yard Day!

I am officially in summer project mode!

We finally attacked the huge job that is our backyard. OmiGOODness! I am so excited about the progress that we made in one day!  Charlie came up with mom on Thursday and went to work, ripping up all of the ivy, weeds, and poison ivy that covered the ground in the back.   Charlie works with my mom in her yard and is so sweet and hard-working.  I could not believe what he did with the back yard while my mom and I worked in the front. It looks SO much better! He really did an amazing job.  Matt couldn't believe it either when he got home.  I can't tell you how many times the two of us walked out there and stood, not knowing where to begin.  It was so overwhelming!  Now, I feel like the canvas is clean and ready for us to start planting!

Okay, enough explanation, time for the before and after pictures:

 Ivy lined the entire perimeter of the yard

It's a jungle!

This is a type of poison ivy that was all around the regular ivy.

Charlie started from the back of the garage and made a HUGE difference!

Everything that is brown was covered in ivy.


As he cleared away everything that was overgrown, he started discovering some hidden treasures! ha!

Seemingly overgrown ivy....

Wait a minute...?!

What do ya know- there was a firepit under all that mess!

Surprise #2 was uncovered while my mom and I were working in the front yard... a bird bath!

And for the 3rd surprise- St. Francis! hahah... hilarious!

We had some surprise visitors while we worked. First Don and his daughter stopped by!  Don is the contractor who renovated our house. He is working on the house next door now (we're telling everyone we know about him!) and came by for a visit. He couldn't believe the transformation!

Then, my sister and the boys came by!  The boys wanted to jump right in and help. Precious!


 So strong!


Maddox wasn't so sure about St. Francis...

And here are the rest of the pics from the day.  We got POURED on at the end, so we didn't really get to finish the clean-up stage, but I'm so thrilled with everything we got done! Mom and Charlie were amazing... working so hard to get everything done before the sky opened up... and then still working to finish after it did! I seriously never thought we would accomplish so much in one day.  The pictures may not give the full effect, so trust me when I say it is a BIG difference! ;)

This is the infamous tree that we tried to take down on our yard day back in the fall.  We were able to get the other three that lined the house, but this one wouldn't budge.  So Charlie took the chain saw and got the job done!

So much better!  We found two azalea bushes and two other pretty bushes under the ivy!

Whoa... 20 bags in all I think! And that doesn't include the 4ft. limbs piled next to the bags.