Mike Nelson demonstrated his uncanny gift-giving aptitude this past Friday in pulling off what many claim to be one of the most spectacular birthday experiences ever. An excellent selection of presents was demonstrated, including representatives from tennis, art, home decor, and experience.

An intimate breakfast at Donut Connection included an exquisite plain glazed donut and a fried morsel of chocolate-and-sprinkles-covered perfection, complete with lit candle. Later moments of the day would prove a veritable cornucopia of excitement as Nelson announced his intent to take a half-day off in order to surprise his bride with a birthday trip to Asheville.

Arrival in Asheville was coordinated flawlessly with a sunset reception at the Biltmore House complete with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a jazz band, and a candlelight tour of the house. The Nelsons remarked, “Something about walking through the house in the darkness makes it seem so much more like a family home rather than a museum.

Following a night in a splendid Asheville hotel and breakfast at the artsy, homey Tupelo Honey Cafe on Saturday morning, the birthday girl was taken to tour the nearby Southern Living Idea House. Packed with gorgeous design and smart green technology to maximize efficiency, the Idea House proved to be room after room of engineering marvel, decorating prowess, and, indeed, ideas aplenty.

The festival was not to end at the Nelsons’ return home, however, as a surprise overnight visit was made by the birthday girl’s parents, being caught in a lie about the fact that they couldn’t come celebrate because of prior engagements.

A good time was had by all.