If I eat one more mini Twix, I’ll explode,
Recently, Starr Style traveled to the beautiful town of Asheville in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa.
After a very pleasant drive on a gorgeous fall day we arrived in Asheville and checked into Room 2025 (such an appropriate number) at The Grove Park Inn. We were immediately mesmerized by the breathtaking view from our room. We knew right then and there that this would be a very restful and renewing getaway.
We were anxious to see more of this beautiful resort and to get familiar with everything it had to offer us during our stay. It had been 25 years since we last visited this inn and the building and grounds had undergone major changes during that time. Here are some of the sites we enjoyed during our initial walk around (my first sans crutches)!
Everywhere, a gorgeous view!
The Main Hall
After a long mountain walk one evening, at the sunset hour, scarcely more than a year ago, I sat down here to rest, and while almost entranced by the panorama of these encircling mountains and a restful outlook upon green fields, the dream of an old-time inn came to me – an inn whose exterior, and interior as well, should present a home-like and wholesome simplicity, whose hospitable doors should ever be open wide inviting the traveler to rest awhile, shut in from the busy world outside.
~ Edwin W. Grove ~
July 12, 1913
Founder – The Grove Park Inn
Every morning, Denis prepared our lattes and we enjoyed the view while planning our activities for the day.
Then we enjoyed the lavish and scrumptious breakfast buffet each morning in the Blue Ridge Dining Room.
Our favorites from the buffet had to be the made-to-order veggie omelettes, the juicy fresh fruits and the outstanding potato casserole. A hearty meal, indeed!
We had many delicious dinners as well, but of special note was our anniversary dinner on the Sunset Terrace.
We started with our favorite Martini (Dry, Vodka, Extra Olives). Stuffed Portobello and Fried Green Tomatoes for starters, next was the best ever Butternut Squash Soup. Our entree was a dense and richly seasoned veggie version of Pasta Puttanesca paired with the Grove Park Inn Cabernet Sauvignon. It was so delicious, but we were so full that just a few bites were enough. We boxed up our desserts, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Truffle Torte to be enjoyed at another time! A nice, long after dinner walk was in order!!
There was so much to see and learn about this historic city. Here are a few examples of the inspired architecture that is so prevalent in the downtown area:
There is a residential neighborhood in Asheville called Montford Park. If you considered moving to this part of North Carolina, this is probably where you would want to live! The homes are gracious, most of them sitting on gently sloping hillsides. The area parks are lush and inviting. It was here that we spotted a lovely little grotto.
We returned to that spot on our anniversary to share the same vows that we did 25 years ago.
I take you, Denis/Starr, to be my husband/wife and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will obey, respect, trust, help and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven; and I will try with you better to understand ourselves, the world, and God, through the best and worst of what is to come until death parts us.
And then, it was back to the Grove Park’s Sammons Verandah to witness yet another flamboyant sunset while we toasted our long and happy marriage with the same champagne glasses we toasted from 25 years ago. And, as is our yearly anniversary tradition, we reviewed our 5-year plan and gave thanks for the many blessings we enjoyed this past year (and in this case the past 25 years) and kudos to ourselves for making plans for our lives and then living our plans.
Along with the GPI’s wonderful hotel, spa, dining rooms, nightclub, open spaces, gardens and golf course, the resort also boasts some world class shopping. There are beautiful boutiques for clothing and jewelry, a shop just for items emblazoned with the GPI signature logo and a gourmet cooking store with cafe. At Treasures in the Park you can find delightful home decor items and the cutest toys and accessories for babies and children. At Christmas in the Park, I chose the perfect ornament to hang on our Travel Tree this Christmas!
And to satisfy our tea time tradition, we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea with all the accoutrements at Chelsea’s Cafe & Tea Room in the Biltmore Village.
The tea room was perfectly pink and chintzy, but the day that God had made was so delightful that we chose to sit outside on the cobblestone patio.
The Savories included a Stacked Caprese with Basil Pesto, Asparagus Quiche, Tomato Topped with Broccoli Slaw, Parmesan Wafer Topped with Truffle Cream and Brown Bread Topped with Pickled Zucchini & Carrots.
The Sweets included Rice Pudding, Layered Lemon Cake, Layered Coconut Cake, 3 Varieties of Cookies (Gingerbread, Chocolate & Butter) and Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies.
For the Bread Course, Crumbly Cinnamon Scones with Cream and Raspberry Jam.
There were 3 shops inside Chelsea’s, one for tea time items, one for home decor and upstairs the most adorable boutique for children.
Annexed to the Grove Park Inn is an artists’ community called Grovewood which claims to provide its visitors with a magical experience of art, craft, history and old world charm. And, indeed it did, during one afternoon that we spent there.
The Gallery represents over 500 artists from the United States, mostly from the southeast.
There are two museums, the Homespun, which showcases memorabilia including letters, artifacts and woven samples for its historical overview of Biltmore Industries, and the Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum. You can take a studio tour where you can see artists creating jewelry, furniture, pottery and glass art.
We ate a tasty meal at the Grovewood Cafe. We shared a real home-style, southern vegetable plate consisting of the creamiest mac & cheese ever, surrounded by roasted parsnips, beets & asparagus and garlic spinach. It was yummy!
Our favorite part of the Grovewood consortium was the Sculpture Garden.
During a late afternoon drive around town, Asheville was ablaze with fall colors…
View from Grove Park Inn 2025
View from Grove Park Inn 2025
Alas, it was time to turn our thoughts toward home, with the promise that we would not let 25 years pass before returning again to the enchanting Grove Park Inn!
Twenty-Fifth Wedding Anniversary. Check!
PS – Here’s a Blast from the Past…Enjoying ourselves at the GPI 25 years ago!
Here at Starr Style, we’re celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary today!
One by one each year flew by,
Since we said “I do”
25 years of memories,
Shared by me and you.
From big events and holidays
To simple daily pleasures,
Some tearful times along life’s way,
Some joys that can’t be measured
One by one each year now gone,
But still they’re ours forever
Each and every memory,
Of a quarter Century together!
Happy Silver Anniversary To Us!
The #1 item on my wish list for Santa in 1968, was Hunter Davies’ The Beatles – The Authorized Biography. The jolly old fellow did not let me down. I spent the next couple of days reading and rereading this up close and personal look at the Fab Four!
I am a Beatles fan! I have been since I first saw them on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964. I remember our family rushing home from a day of skiing at Bear Mountain so that we wouldn’t miss this really big shoe! I think we were still wearing our ski suits when we gathered in front of the black & white console t.v.
First up was All My Loving. Then came Till There Was You, and with that sweet and nostalgic tune, mom became a fan too! By the time they got through She Loves You, I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand, we were forever changed.
So, it was exciting for me, indeed, when I learned that mom and I would be spending the entire summer of 1969 in London. If I would ever have a chance for a Beatles’ sighting, London is where I needed to be!
Our home away from home that summer was in Putney, SW15
Our lovely apartment was in a property called Ashleigh Manor on the Upper Richmond Road
I learned how to get around by bus and Underground and before long, I was confident enough to make the 5 mile journey to the Charing Cross Station and then head over to The West End, where everything was happening!
Mom at St. Paul’s Cathedral’s Statue of Queen Anne
1960′s Vintage Postcards
On July 3, just a few days after we had arrived in London, former Rolling Stones member, Brian Jones, was found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Sussex. The coroner’s report read “death by misadventure.”
What ensued was perhaps one of the most historical concerts ever. On July 5, 1969, together with half a million other fans, I attended the Stones in the Park concert in London’s Hyde Park.
Later that summer on August, 15, the USA would one up the Brits with the iconic “Woodstock.” Funny, at 15, mom would never have allowed me to go to Woodstock, but she had no problem with a happening in Hyde Park!
But as much as I appreciated the Rolling Stones and their music, I wished that it had been my beloved Beatles up on the stage that day!
Some of my fondest memories of that summer in London were the times when I took my place as an Apple Scruff near Apple Corps Studios at 3 Savile Road. It’s hard to convey exactly what an Apple Scruff is, so I will let Wikipedia and the Urban Dictionary help me out here:
Wikipedia: The Apple Scruffs were a loosely-knit group of Beatles fans who were known for congregating outside the Apple Corps building and at the gates of Abbey Road Studios in London during the waning days of Beatlemania in hopes of seeing or interacting with the band members.
Urban Dictionary: A member of the Beatles fan group, the “Apple Scruffs”. The Apple Scruffs were a group of Beatles fans in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They were known to camp out in front of Abbey Road studios and the houses of the members of the Beatles (esp. Paul McCartney).
As for Beatles sightings, I did one day catch a glimpse of John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls Royce as it approached the Apple Studios, only to pass right by without stopping.
And then on August 28, just a few days before we were scheduled to fly back home to the States, mom and I ventured out to St. John’s Wood. I had learned that Paul McCartney’s London home was in that part of town on Cavendish Road. Here is how Hunter Davies describes it in his book…”(he) lives in a large detached three-story house in St. John’s Wood…just round the corner from EMI’s recording studios (later called Abbey Road)….The front of the house has a paved courtyard. On the left, attached to the house is a double garage in which he keeps his Mini Cooper and Aston Martin. The house is guarded by a high brick wall and large double black gates controlled from the house. You speak into a microphone, someone inside answers, and if you say the right thing, the doors swing open and then clank shut again to keep out the fans.”
Now, what I am going to describe next may seem unbelievable. But it is true! If you will, notice that behind me in the photo above there is what looks like a brass mail slot. I lifted it up to see if I could get a glimpse inside the estate. It wasn’t a mail slot at all, but appeared to house some electronic wiring, etc. As I was standing there waiting for my mom to take a picture from across the street, I heard the big gate start to open. Then I heard the voice of a woman say something, I don’t know what, and then the gate closed shut. My mother and I were both sort of in shock! Look at the expression on my face! Mom took that shot right after the gate had closed!
We left then and speedily walked back to the St. John’s Wood Tube Station giggling all the way and making up all sorts of “what if this” and ” what if that” scenarios! When we surfaced from the Underground in the West End we were greeted at the corner newsstand with the just breaking news that Paul and Linda McCartney’s baby girl, Mary, had been born that afternoon!
Perhaps the lady at the gate had been the infamous, Mrs. Kelly, Paul’s housekeeper, waiting for news about the new little Miss McCartney! I’m sure she was annoyed when she found that it was just another Scruff (and her mother)!
England swings like a pendulum do,
Bobbies on bicycles, two by two,
Westminster Abbey the tower of Big Ben,
The rosy red cheeks of the little children.
~ Roger Miller, 1965 ~
Cheerio for now,
I’d like to know – Are you a Beatles Fan?
Happy Birthday, Starr Style! One Year Old Today!!
And here at Starr Style, I’m pleased to report that my post op appointment was very positive! I’m officially one-crutching it for the next two weeks.
It’s amazing, the myriad of tasks I can accomplish now that I have one hand free. First up, a proper tea time featuring a Cranberry-Walnut-Pumpkin Scone! And a nice long session of photo organization. A Pumpkin Retrospective, if you will…
Creamy Corn Chowder
A Taste of Fall Scones!
Autumn Pear Tea
One Package of Sticky Fingers Cranberry Scone Mix (easy to find at HomeGoods)
1 Small Can Organic Pumpkin
3/4 Cup Toasted & Chopped Black Walnuts
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
Prepare as directed on package and then add the 3 additional ingredients. Spoon into lightly greased muffin tins. Increase bake time to 40 minutes at 375 degrees
Homage to the Great Gourd
The Zen of Pumpkins
Here’s to another 25 Awesome Autumns Together!
Orange you glad you read Starr Style?