Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Wolaver Weekend, Vanderbilt Style

During summer 2009, this blog's first and only thread to tie the Vanderbilt family to the Olympics got posted in the form of a special offer for the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.

Though I found no other direct Olympic connections to the Vanderbilts, this weekend afforded me a nice return visit to Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., for the wedding celebration of Annie Moses Band member Alex Wolaver, my second cousin. The family held the reception at the Lioncrest, which was great fun.

Following the morning ceremony and early afternoon reception, my cousin Karen Wolaver and I spent a chilly yet fun couple of hours driving the Biltmore Estate grounds, walking around the Biltmore House, and snapping photos of the "Being There" movie set including the gardens, forests and Inn on Biltmore Estate in the distance. To share our photos with the family and friends, posting some of the "greatest hits" with this blog. Enjoy!

I hope the Biltmore P.R. team will consider a donation to the Atlanta Press Club silent auction coming up in December. The Biltmore generously donated in recent years.

Photos by Nicholas Wolaver and Karen Wolaver

Friday, October 28, 2011

St. Louis Cardinals Win World Series (Bravo!)

Watching the St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series brought back a few Missouri memories.

In 1994, during the closing ceremony of U.S. Olympic Festival (held at the previous Busch Stadium), all of the volunteers and staff were invited onto the field. Amid the athlete presentations and fireworks, it was fun to walk hand-in-hand with my then-girlfriend as we approached the pitcher's mound, waved to the crowd and smooched while tuning out the cheers and activity all around us. At once we also felt like the whole world was applauding our kiss, which was pretty cool. (It actually was quite dark as the field lights were out for the fireworks, so probably only few folks saw us.)

Seeing the final few pitches tonight, then the Cardinals' celebration and the traditional catcher-tackles-pitcher and group hug, I wondered the extent the team was tuning out the applause (intentionally or not) then embracing the cheers. Though I am only a fair-weather fan of the Cardinals (St. Louis was my "hometown" for only one season), it was fun to root for them since their defeat of the Milwaukee Brewers (my second city to Atlanta).

But not one Cardinals player had their spouse or girlfriend on the field to kiss in celebration. I recommend they find a way to visit the pitcher's mound hand-in-hand when possible.

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