Monday, April 9, 2012

Pilgrimage, Easter, & Chris Flies!

Hey y'all! I know it has been a while since I did a "life" blog.   This Pilgrimage was the past two weeks and I had so many pictures to share, I wanted to do them all in one post.  I had fun hosting at three different houses and getting to dress in this antebellum dress...homemade by some of the wives on base...which did not include me! They are really some talented ladies! I got to wear a hoop skirt underneath, and when I was standing in those beautiful old homes surrounded by antiques and other people dressed like me, I felt just like I was Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind, my favorite least I felt how Scarlett O'Hara felt at the beginning when she was surrounded by lots of parties and nice things.. Maybe not so much like how she felt at the end when she was dirt poor and starving...

Last Saturday, Chris and I went on a couple of the home tours together during the morning.  First we went to this one, which is called Rosedale.  It was filled with the most exquisite, incredible antique furniture I have ever seen.  It has been restored to its original state by the family that now lives there.  This includes details right down to the wallpaper and rugs, most of which were hand made and imported from Europe.  They had some kind of experts come in to examine the house and determine what kinds of patterns would have originally been there.  I didn't really take pictures of the insides of any of the houses, because some you were allowed to take pictures, and some you weren't so I just didn't want to take my chances. If you want to see the insides, you will just have to come down next year from the Pilgrimage, or perhaps this fall for the fall tours of homes...

I kind of had to drag Chris with me to see the homes that morning, but he actually really enjoyed it.  Chris and I both have an appreciation for beautiful things, and these homes are chock full of them.  Chris said he doesn't think he could do the home tours all day long the way I could, but he definitely enjoyed seeing a few of them with me.  We also went to Twelve Gables that morning, which is a historic home here in Columbus where a few women got together and decided to go to the cemetery to decorate the graves of Yankee soldiers.  They felt bad because no one had decorated those graves, yet the graves of the Confederate soldiers were all decorated.  These women realized that the Yankee soldiers also had wives and mothers and children who were mourning their deaths, but could not visit their graves.  This act of kindness led to an article being written about it in the New York Times, which eventually inspired a famous poem called "The Blue and the Gray".  I'm not going to put the poem here, but if you have a minute, I would suggest finding it online because it really is a moving poem.

Chris and I had lunch at the Quartier Cafe, and then headed over to the Artisans Alley.  I mentioned those two stops on my Friday Favs post.  After that, I met up with another one of the wives that I know from the base and we went on a few more home tours while Chris went home to study.  Here are the ones we explored together:

This house is called Whitehall and has always remained in the same family.  It is filled with some fantastic antiques and has the most amazing wrap-around porch that I hope to emulate one day! The porch even includes a deck area large enough to put out some tables and chairs.  One of the things I just love about these antebellum homes are how inviting they are...from the large porches to the high ceilings and huge walkways between rooms, they all had excellent flow for entertaining.  I imagine the people who once lived in these homes had a lot of parties.  I also enjoyed learning about the jib windows, which are windows that open all the way up from the floor to become walkways out onto the porch.  That way, if you are having a big party, you can open all the windows, and have 6x more doorways!

This is Rosewood.  The owners of this home have a vast collection of porcelain from around the world.  I have never seen so many interesting "knick knacks", and the entire time I was touring it, I was terrified of knocking something over.  My favorite thing about this house was the gardens.

This chapel was in Rosewood's garden.  It was in disrepair somewhere up north, so they brought it down, restored it, and put it in the garden.  They have had (very small) weddings here.

The inside of the chapel.  There was a Bible from the 1700s!
Another picture of the the quatrefoil fountain (it's a Phi Mu thing :)  )

Pavilion...really cute inside.  It had a fan and a bunch of plants and places to sit.
 The last place we went was an old home, but the owners are still working on getting it ready to show for the Pilgrimage.  However, they opened the beautiful garden for visitors, as well as their guest house.

I loved this idea for a stained glass window in the guest lists all the places that the previous owners had been.

More gardens

Friday night I toured White Arches...I had to go alone because Chris didn't get out of training in time to join me, but, like all the others, it was pretty amazing.  I just love the architecture of this one!

This Saturday, we visited a couple more homes.  My favorite was Bryn Bella...why did I not take any pictures there?? I guess I just wasn't thinking.  What I loved about Bryn Bella is that, whereas most of the homes we saw were considered "town homes" that the wealthy would live in part-time so that they could be closer to the social events, Bryn Bella was a true plantation home...what I imagine Tara being like in Gone With the Wind.  The owners had a lot of beautiful antiques, as well as interesting pieces like a stuffed giraffe!! The house was surrounded by acres of beautiful land.  My favorite part? The smokehouse out back! The owners were smoking a bunch of ham and it smelled DELICIOUS.  Then they let us sample some of the bacon and ham.  It was incredible!

The last tour we went on was of Waverly Mansion.  This is a local tourist attraction that is actually open daily for tours, not just for Pilgrimage.  This home sat empty and abandoned for over 30 years while the family couldn't decide what to do with it.  Local high school and college students would throw parties there and carve their names in the woodwork.  When the family agreed to sell it and the new owners began to renovate it, it was filled with all kinds of wildlife that had made its home there.  It took 27 years to bring it up to the state that is in now. A confederate general lived there with his children.

I felt a little do you go about posing for a picture with a pretend Confederate soldier?

Waverly Mansion
Whew! So as you can see, we stayed pretty busy with that the last couple of weeks! And I didn't even include the homes I gave tours of.   There are still plenty of homes that we didn't see.  Hopefully we will be able to see those next year.

Another project that we...okay, it was pretty much all Chris...worked on last weekend was this little project for Mason.  It's not the most beautiful thing, but it is very functional. 

Since Chris started formal release last week, he isn't able to come home during the day to let Mason out of his crate and play with him.  I really can't make it home on my lunch break, at least not every day.  My office is about 20-25 minutes away so I don't have enough time.  This is over on the side of our house.  We put a doggie door in the screen door, pulled some of the panels off of that little gate (that is supposed to hide our trash cans, but oh well...) and put this fence from Lowe's around.  Now we can put Mason in the kitchen and close all the doors so that Mason can have some room to spread out during the day, and when he needs to go potty, he can let himself out the dog door.  Our neighbour says Mason has been enjoying sitting out in the sun during the day.  This has been so nice because even when we are home, we don't have to constantly keep an eye on him to see if he is standing by the door to get out. I might eventually get around to spray painting that iron fence white so that it at least matches the other fence.  But with it being on the side of the house (the side where we don't have any neighbors or anything)...I think it is fine.  We do live in a rental, so we don't want to spend too much money on building fences, etc! This fence we can just pull up and take with us when we move.

This Sunday, Chris and I went to church at Columbus First United Methodist for Easter, and then I cooked lunch for a group of us.  
At church

Easter has always been one of my favorite can't help but to feel great on a day that is dedicated to remembering that, thanks to Jesus, we are saved from our sins...

This deviled egg recipe came from a Southern Living cookbook and was the bomb!

Chris doing the honor of cutting the ham

Broccoli and cauliflower casserole and squash boats...and Hawaiian rolls, yum!

After lunch we dyed eggs :)

Our neighbor Jaime is taking care of a litter of kittens for the humane society.  Here is one...isn't she cute??

The kitten love Mason...she wanted to sit on his back and bury her head in his fur.  She was purring the whole time.  It was so cute!

Mason liked playing with the kitten, too...

I worked in Birmingham last week and wanted to share this picture from The Club restaurant where I went one night with some of my coworkers.  Pretty fantastic view of Birmingham!

I think Chris and I would love being members of something like The Club one day.  No golf, no pool...just a bunch of private restaurants with an awesome view! The menu changes regularly so you would never get bored.  And the food was just flat-out fantastic.  There were also a bunch of specials...the night we went, they had 1/2 price bottles of wine and free dessert.  They have a range of restaurants that vary from more casual to very formal.  So you have an option for any type of occasion!

Now that Chris is on formal release, his schedule is very hectic.  He didn't get home until 8:30 Friday night...I was so sad! I know I will just have to get used to it though.  He won't be on formal release for the rest of pilot training, but we don't know exactly how much longer he will be on it.  He got to fly twice last week.  The first time, he got bad motion sickness.  These planes are a lot faster than the ones he has flown on before and the center of gravity is in the back of the plane so that makes a difference.  When you get bad motion sickness, you have to go to the doctor to get medicine, then you have to fly every day until your body adjusts to it.  Chris did not get motion sickness on his second flight.  However, a bunch of the guys are still getting motion sickness, so they get priority and actually wound up taking some of his other flights after he stopped getting sick.  Also, the weather did not cooperate with him every day.  So he is a little disappointed that he only got to fly twice last week when others got to fly as many as four times.  However, I'm sure he will eventually make up for it.  He got out of training around 9 most days last week.  This morning he went in around 6 so he should be home around 6 tonight. Last week he was able to practice maneuvers such as barrel rolls and loops. His first flight involved flying through clouds as well. This week he will practice his landings.
Suiting up for his first flight
Ready for takeoff...that's the IP (Instructor Pilot) in the back.  Eventually, Chris will be doing flights alone.
I can't believe it, but today is our 9 month anniversary! This year is FLYING by.  Before we know it, we will be hitting the one-year mark, and will no longer be considered "Newlyweds!" That is so hard to believe.  The past nine months have been filled with nothing but good times.  I'm sure we have hit a few rough spots. but I can't even think of any off the top of my head.  We have definitely been living in newlywed bliss! I'm sure pilot training will bring on a whole slew of new stressers.  I'm confident that we will be able to handle them gracefully.

Thanks so much for reading!
Dubs and Mason...BFF!!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed the updates. Miss you guys and so glad the first year of your journey has been so memorable. Keep up the good fun and adventures!! Jeannine