Thursday, November 13

Rich Girl (Gwen Stefani)

After visiting the Space & Rocket center, and hiking Paradise Falls, we headed north to Asheville.  We rested up that evening and spent the following day exploring the Biltmore House.
We hiked from the parking lot to the house, and were very grateful that it was only foggy, and not raining.  Next time, we'll need to remember to pack an umbrella!  The boys had never seen such opulence before and were overwhelmed when they first saw the house.  It was a lot of fun to watch their reactions!
 My oldest was taken with the architecture and the details around the house.  We spent a lot of time examining the outside of the house before even going inside.  He noticed that one of Joan of Arc's swords was missing...something of which even the doorman was unaware.  He took many notes in his art book and drew sketches of things that he liked.
 After touring the first floor,  we stopped to appreciate the full-length balcony on the back of the house.  It was a fairly quiet day for tours, and the serenity of the landscape and French Broad River were so relaxing.  We all agreed that this would be a fabulous addition (as long as it came with the scenery) to our own home! 
 Another thing we decided we needed was a heated, indoor swimming pool.  Remember, this was built in 1896 - very ahead of its time!!!   (There are no other pictures of the home's interior because patrons are not supposed to take any photos inside.  While we saw that most people were ignoring this rule, this was our only concession.)
The grounds were beautiful...cloaked in morning dew and the fog that steadily rolled in.  It reminded us of home, only with more trees.  We particularly liked the several bridges scattered along the property.  Because of the rain, we skipped over the gardens, but here is a short video about visiting the Biltmore Gardens.
At the Winery, we learned about fermentation and the process of wine-making.  My children surprised the seniors on our tour with their extensive knowledge of fermentation.  We make our own kefir and kombucha at home...and they've been paying attention!
My youngest loved playing in the "dungeons" of the wine cellar.  It has a nice echo, and the kids enjoyed running around down there a bit while it rained.  There were no other patrons in the cellar at the time!  All that exercise worked up a thirst, and so we went to the wine and grape-juice tasting bar.  This is free with admission, and they felt so grown up!
Can't get to Asheville, but want to tour the Biltmore House yourself???  Try these three short YouTube videos, by people who had permission to film inside!

Biltmore House unit : 


Joy Bee said...

Very cool. I grew up in NC less than an hour from Asheville and I have never been inside the Biltmore house. One of my classes in elementary school took a field trip to the Biltmore but I wound up sick that day and couldn't go (and I'm still mad about that). Later when I was in college I drove around the estate (whatever was free at the time) but I still haven't been in the house. Now I live in Hawaii but maybe next time I go back home to visit my family I'll have to make a detour. Thanks for sharing with us at Great Idea Thursdays...this reminds me of home.

Yvie Field said...

I also grew up about an hour (east) of Biltmore, so this entire trip to NC was a fantastic opportunity to share some of my favorite places with the kids. Hawaii - THAT is where the kids want daddy to get a contract! :-) Just a heads up, if you buy the Biltmore tickets online, more than a week in advance, they're considerably cheaper! Thanks for taking a moment to reminisce about home with me. :)