Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to JULY!!!! Our Lilies are blooming now... So gorgeous!!! Here is one of my many favorites! Meet DIZZY.

Monday, August 12, 2013

My 71st Birthday, August 5, 2013

As we get older,  we don't just celebrate our birthdays on ONE day... We celebrate for SEVERAL days!!!!!! ha..... Anyhow---my birthday has come and gone,  so I'm back to blogging today (will try to catch up on your posts sometime) after a fabulous celebration last week!!!!

Thanks to all of you for your kind words wishing me a Happy Birthday... I got SO many greetings this year (between Blog friends and Facebook friends, along with other family members and friends) that I felt pretty darn special!!!!  Thanks again SO much.

Today I will 'highlight' my special week --and then, on future posts,  I'll go more into details... On my actual birthday,  we stayed home and I enjoyed hearing from all three sons (which makes me so very happy).  George took me out to a Mexican dinner that night...  It was a wonderful day.

The photo above is a picture of me with some gorgeous flowers, sent to me by one of my sons (Mark).  They have been gorgeous all week long ---and Mark knows how much I love flowers.  Aren't they beautiful?

This  is one of several beautiful gifts from my wonderful hubby (who spoils me EVERY day -not just on my birthday).  This is a photo which George took of the Little River Falls (in the Little River Canyon,  Alabama).  He had it turned into a CANVAS picture for me.   I now have 4 beautiful canvas pictures hanging on my wall... FABULOUS.

The next morning (August 6),   we headed to Asheville, NC to visit one of our favorite places,   Biltmore House and Gardens.   For the past few years,  the Sunflowers bloom during August (for my birthday of course) at Biltmore ---so we just HAVE to go and see them... This year was no exception.  Can you see how much this Birthday Gal loved being in the sunflowers??????

Another part of Biltmore we love to visit in August is the Italian Water Gardens.  The waterlilies were AWESOME---probably the best we've seen since beginning our visits there several years ago.  Above is a photo of George and me sitting at the Water Gardens.  (I'll do an entire blog post showing you all of the gorgeous waterlilies soon...)

After leaving Biltmore,  we drove to our cabin at the Springmaid Mountain Resort near Spruce Pine, North Carolina.   Above is a photo of the cabin --where we enjoyed two nights.  George is standing on the porch!   I forgot to take my birdseed with me (which I usually do when visiting cabins) ---but maybe it was just as well since there were three kitties who visited us one day!!!

Springmaid Mountain Resort even had a tiny waterfall JUST for us...  How 'bout that?????? ha ha

My 'official' birthday dinner was spent at a FABULOUS restaurant right off of the Blue Ridge Parkway (near Spruce Pine).  This restaurant  (MOUNTAIN VIEW RESTAURANT) was amazing in every respect.  First of all,  the food was delicious (both George and I had Chicken Wellington).  BUT--better than that,  we sat on the porch --and had a fabulous view of the mountains/valleys from the top of that mountain...  We HIGHLY recommend this restaurant if you are ever on the parkway in that area..

Here's one more photo of  the view from the Mountain View Restaurant.

The next morning (August 7)---- it was raining cats and dogs (and managed to rain most all day long).  BUT---knowing George and me,  we never let a little rain stop us from having a good time.  We wanted to do some hiking (did FIVE+ miles) and we wanted to visit some waterfalls (saw two)....  The picture above shows a very wet but happy girl at CRABTREE FALLS ....   Did I mention that it was raining hard --and very foggy??????  ha ha .....

Here is a picture of CRABTREE FALLS (70 feet) near Milepost 339.5 near the Little Switzerland area.  This is a popular waterfall along the parkway --and it is one which George and I had never visited.  SO---we loved seeing it,  even in the rain...   One nice thing about having alot of rain:  the waterfalls were HUGE.....

Our 2nd hike was to the ROARING FORK FALLS  (100 foot cascade) off of Highway 80 from the Blue Ridge Parkway (Milepost 344.1).  We had been there before several years ago---but this time,  there was MUCH more water.  Wow--what a beauty.

Here is a picture of George and me (the two drenched rats---ha ha ) taken at Roaring Fork Falls... Another great thing about hiking when it's raining is that there are not many other people around (which we love)...  The waterfalls were there JUST for us!!!!

The next day (August 8),  we headed home!!!!!  It was a great trip --and a tremendous birthday celebration for me.  I love traveling, hiking and just having fun with George.  BUT---getting home and seeing this gorgeous rose (PERFECT MOMENT) --which was waiting for us to get home,  made me smile BIGTIME.... Life is good---live it to its fullest!!!!!

Thanks again to all of you,  and especially to George,  for helping to make my 71st birthday so very very special!!!  I love you ALL!