I had a couple of things on my hypothetical bucket list for 2012 and one of those things that I listed was to visit the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina.
I checked off that little dream of three years yesterday, as I had the rare opportunity to make a quick over nighter and join Brian on a business trip he needed to be to in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I finally get why they call the mountains SMOKEY…the fog and clouds were like smoke..beautiful in an odd way!
Never mind that it was raining cats and dogs and that I wasn’t able to pull out my good camera and had to shoot everything with an iPhone 5. That is just the story of my life at every destination.
Why the Biltmore Estate?
This house is the largest in the US, covering over 125,000 square feet or roughly 4 acres of house.
Of course, you can’t take photos there but I squeezed a few out along the journey where appropriate or not …I am a rebel I guess:).
I spent most of the afternoon wandering from room to room wondering if I had stepped into Downton Abbey that takes place during approximately the same time this was built.
Owned by the Vanderbuilts who have a summer cottage (Mansion) in Newport, Rhode Island, The Breakers, that we like to visit in the summer, this was their country home, owned by the son of the railroad magnet.
The family still owns the house today and it rivals anything in Europe. You could call this American royalty at best.
I took this photo of the deck…but notice the one below is almost identical that I took at the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence this summer. So much European influence….love it.
The house is well kept and maintained as a historic preservation by the grandson’s family and the surrounding acreage makes up a tremendous amount of Asheville.
The Vanderbuilts loved the homes in France in the Loire Valley, which happens to be the exact location that we missed on our trip a couple of years ago due to a schedule change and were built to rival those chateaux. Still crying about my French bad luck!
The Biltmore is busiest at Christmas time as the house is unbelievably decorated for the holiday season.
(These two photos shot by Romantic Asheville where you can view professional photos of the Christmas home.
This photo is of the Atrium in the front lobby of the home.
I made my inaugural trip to North Carolina last year when my daughter was looking at Wake Forest as a potential college of choice.
I loved the surroundings of the south, but man alive, I am still taken back by the foreign language that they speak down there and the kindness of the people everyone.
Perhaps we have lived in the East to long, but I am always shocked at how friendly people are in the south. They just talk and talk and talk. I do too….a perfect fit!
This was in the hallway of the basement leading to an indoor bowling, swimming and gymnasium.
The accent took a little getting used to also, it is so thick in “these ol’ parts of the country”.
The other thing that is so shocking, was the fact that they are so Christian. We are Christians, so I was elated, but they have no issue just bringing it up in conversation and sharing the good news. Wow- that is the difference with the agnostic East Coast that we live in. People just don’t talk in those terms usually. It was refreshing.
Rich in European elegance, this home is a must see and better yet a must stay in the inn nearby on the property.
I will definitely go back with a couple of daughters in tow…The Biltmore Estate is not to be missed.