Thursday, August 27, 2015


On our final day in Asheville we made the trip over to THE BILTMORE ESTATE.  I have wanted to go see this home for a long time and being there in person was so much more than I ever could have imagined.  It's obvious that the property and the home itself are grand on any scale, but the beauty of it all was really overwhelming. 
We chose to take the audio tour which took about two hours total to get through the house.  It was really interesting to learn about George Vanderbilt wanting to build his "little mountain escape" -aptly named George- and the time it took him to complete the project.  It was especially interesting for me to learn that George himself traveled all over the world to find furniture and carpets and even little trinkets to fill the home.  Seems like the man knew what he wanted and had the time and money to make it happen.  I won't turn this into a history lesson but I will say that if you are in Asheville or anywhere remotely close to an exit for Biltmore, you should certainly get tickets and go see the estate.  Yes, it was crowded and no, you are not allowed to take photos inside the home, but to be in the presence of the history of that property is certainly a memory that you can hold onto.

Before they broke ground on George's modest "little mountain escape", he had a temporary 3 story lookout post built to take in the views and make sure that this was what he would want to see off of his porch.  I think he chose a pretty good view if you ask me.

With a property of 125,000 acres, you probably aren't going to Home Depot and getting on with the whole "You can do it. We can help" philosophy.  George Vanderbilt hired Fredrick Law Olmsted on as his landscape architect and let him buy, propagate, nurture, invent, and plant just about anything he wanted to make the place the lush oasis that he had envisioned.  There are 75 acres of proper gardens and the rest would seem like a forest but it was all planned down to each and every shrub.
The green house was absolutely magnificent.  I got split up from Mom and Ali so I wandered around lost for a bit until I found them.  There were plants from all different regions and I especially liked the desert room.  The garden staff changes out the flowers seasonally and from the looks of it, keep up serious hours to have such beautiful grounds.

After Biltmore and one night of shameless room service and movies, we were on our way home after one last view of the mountains.  I couldn't finish these posts without giving you a shot of all of us together in our commemorative shirts for the weekend.  We took on Asheville, we loved it, and hopefully we will be able to come back again some day.  Thanks for having us!


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