Crazy to think that 2 weeks ago we were enjoying time together in Asheville, North Carolina. We started planning our mini vacation for a few months prior but decided at the LAST minute exactly where we were headed. When people found out our plans to travel to, one common suggestion was bestowed on us… go to the Biltmore Estate.After our visit, we can understand why everyone suggested visiting the estate. The grounds were stunning and HUGE! It took us over 20 minutes to get from the entrance to the parking lot.
Our day started by touring the house. Leave it to us to take a 90 minute self-guided audio tour and turn it into almost 3 hours. We made our way from room to room slowly, enjoying and studying all the beautiful things. A few times… we stayed put in a room slightly longer just to get away from a large group of people… especially if they had children with them. Don’t get us wrong, we love the fact that children were enjoying the estate… but we wanted to enjoy the estate on an adult level.
Ryan has a knack for finding a random cat on our vacations… this time, however, he will have to settle for a painting of one!During the tour, it was amazing how nice and pleasant people were. Several times, we were approached by strangers offering to take a photo of us! When on vacation, we normally will only get “selfie” shots. We are extremely grateful to these kind people that took a quick snap of us… and of course we returned the favor!
The audio tour was full of amazing facts about the Estate that would have been lost without it. During WWII, national artwork was moved from museums and stored in the unfinished music room of the Estate for safekeeping from the Japanese. Very few people knew where the art work was being stored. The government was never charge for storage or usage of the Estate, as the lady of the house felt that it was their patriotic duty.Ryan’s favorite fact of the tour was explained in the beginning. There is a flag with stars that hangs in the formal dining room. Each start represents a member of the staff that served in WWI. Each soldier’s star is white indicating they returned home safely after the war, except the 3 gold stars in the center. Those 3 stars are in honor of 3 soldiers who gave their life for their country. The Vanderbilt’s wanted to acknowledge and honor those who served during the war and remember those who were not able to return home. We were astonished at their love and respect for the people who worked for them.
As the day was winding down, we took a leisurely stroll through the gardens. Nicole enjoyed all the beautiful flowers. Of course, she needed a photos, even though the lighting was not ideal.
When we took the shuttle back to our car, we asked to be dropped off at the stairs to get the “must have tourist shot” with the Biltmore Estate in our background. The shuttle driver was a sweet older lady, who gave us a short cut to this spot from our car, to save us a bit of walking. Not only did she suggest a short cut, but she gave us a tour of the grounds as we drove by… one of the perks of being the only people on the shuttle!We ended our day at the getting a few photos in front of the house and then decided to head to dinner before driving home. As we headed toward the entrance, traffic came to a stop stopped. We watch 3 black bear cubs play and cross the street towards the woods. The only bad thing about seeing 3 black bear cubs, is that there is a momma black bear nearby but out of sight. Unfortunately for Ryan, Nicole was right… there are bears in the forest and mountains of North Carolina!
Our trip was quick but packed full of quality time together. To us, creating these memories with one another is a key to a happy marriage! Asheville was filled with great food, wonderful people, and gorgeous sceneries. There was definitely talk about planning another visit to this beautiful city… maybe next time, we will invite some friends to join our adventure.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our trip!
Nicole & Ryan