I've got a big birthday this month and decided to celebrate with a girls' weekend at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville.  We started planning our getaway months ago, but we didn't count on injuries.

I've had back issues on and off for years – latest flare up was this past March.  I tried to tough it out for a while but finally started physical therapy in August.  I was signed up to play in a charity golf tournament last Monday and felt pretty good.  I took one swing and holy cow. Worst pain since childbirth.

So while this was my expectation:


…this was my reality:


That's a TENS unit. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. It zaps you enough to confuse your nerves so they don't send the pain signals (my explanation).  It looks weird, but it helps.

The worst part was driving because I couldn't sit for very long.  They laid me out in the back seat with the luggage.  I didn't see very much of the beautiful mountain view on the way there - I could only see out the top third of the window most of time.  The sky looked nice. It was blue. 

I was able to hobble around the amazing Biltmore Estate and we sampled some lovely wines, thanks to our sommelier Wilson Whisenent. No relation to this Wilson. Or this Whisenant (of course I asked!).  Poor guy - for some reason we kept calling him Winston.


Had some great meals at the Grove Park where the service is always wonderful. The waitress at the Sunset Terrace saw I was uncomfortable and brought me a pillow for my back. Then another waiter chased me out into the lobby with it. We were all so confused – turns out he thought it was mine to take home!

The spa was heavenly of course. That's one of my favorite places on earth and at least I got some relief for the day.  We're still not exactly sure what's going on with my back - I've got more tests and doc appointments this week.

Not quite what I expected, but definitely a memorable start to my big birthday.  No old jokes, please.  I'm feeling every year right now!