Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Exploring more of Biltmore!

So after spending the evening at Biltmore with Eddie Money...
 We arrived back to the estate early the next morning
for a double-tour of the house, and a kayak adventure!
There are several different Specialty tours of the house available...
And, we've been on almost all of them! For
this visit, we chose the Friends and Family tour...
Where I finally got to see inside a few of the bathrooms... Very
exciting! Because next to a beautiful kitchen, bathrooms are my thing!
On the Friends and Family tour we entered several of the restored rooms, (not on the
usual tour) where Vanderbilt family and friends stayed during their visits. We learned
interesting things about who visitors were, how they might have spent their time...
And, best of all, we read from letters they wrote explaining just why it was such a
treat to be a guest. One of the letters said: There is No Noise, No Friction, No
Jar. Which pretty much sums up how I feel during our visits to Biltmore too!
It's also how I feel about being at our home too... Less the architecture of course!
But not the landscape... Because while there's certainly more of it, our landscape
at home comes pretty darn close to the lovely surroundings at Biltmore Estate!
By the way... Did you notice that our view just changed?
That's because you're now on the Architect's Tour, which is
the second tour we chose for our Autumn-day visit of Biltmore!
One word... Spectacular!
I'm used to seeing the Winter Garden this way...
But I loved seeing it from this angle even more!
It wasn't all about the incredible views from the rooftop of Biltmore though...
We also learned lots about the design, construction and
lesser-known features and facts about the house too!
I took it all in... And, was always the last to leave each point of interest!
I couldn't stop staring at the lines...
Stunning views, and the glorious mountain landscape!
It's difficult to say... Does the house fit the landscape like a glove, or is it
the landscape that fits the house like a glove? I don't know... But it all fits!
I don't want to give away too much of the fascinating stuff one learns on
this particular tour. But here's a little tid-bit I cannot resist sharing...
Looking at this, I see copper... But did you know that Biltmore's exterior is also
covered in gold? No, really! Under all this beautiful green patina, there lies
solid gold. If you look carefully, you can see a little under the monogram!
It's still visible there at the bottom of the 4-point cross, and on the
acorn and its leaves on the left. Can you imagine seeing Biltmore just
after construction was completed? The exterior was snow-white, with
its stately roof capped off in rich, brilliant copper and gleaming gold!
What I wouldn't give to see her like that today... Just once!
From below that copper dome on the roof hangs this stunning light fixture over
the staircase. Weighing more than 1,700 pounds, it hangs from one single bolt!
I highly recommend exploring Biltmore's other tours that take you a bit...
Off the beaten path!
Because unless you do, you'll never discover that stone masons took a
bit of creative license to carve faces of actual Biltmore employees...
Into the figures that keep watch over Biltmore!
I would never have guessed! And, I surely would have been extra
kind to anyone constructing Biltmore, had I been employed there!
I think knowing these things helps the formality of Biltmore melt
away a little. And, it certainly injects a little unexpected whimsy!
On this tour we also learned where to go elsewhere on the property...
To capture post-card-like shots of what her family refers to as, Lady on the Hill!
So while the tours we took were new to us, we couldn't help
but revert to being our predictable selves in our lunch choice...
Because we do love Biltmore's Cedric's Tavern!
After lunch, we spent a fair amount of time in the Biltmore gift shops...
Where I found a few things to enjoy here at home!
I love these little window vases!
Very much!
After our gift shop excursion, we headed over to Biltmore's
Outdoor Adventure Center for our 3 o'clock kayak excursion!
Next on our list is the Segway tours. There are three different
ways to see Biltmore by segway. How fun does that sound!?
There are tons of ways to play at Biltmore. But this time...
It was about kayaking down the French Broad River in Asheville!
Surrounded by blinding Autumnal colors!
No Noise. No Friction. No Jar.
I so get it...
I can't wait to get it again!
This wasn't our first trip down the French Broad...
It's actually the same river we were on during this trip
Look! There's the Inn at Biltmore... I can't help but recall what
a grand time we had there in August for mom's birthday!
I sure wish mom and dad were waiting for us there now!
But not this time... This time it's just us, and these chickens!
But in my heart, I'm planning the next
time we'll all be together again at Biltmore!


  1. We have season passes and go to the Biltmore House often. The one thing we have not done so far is the Architect's tour. Great photographs of the mansion and grounds.

  2. Fabulous pictures!! Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
    AL from CA

  3. You always take such BEAUTIFUL photos! =) I always love seeing what you are up to!

  4. *Sigh* How utterly beautiful and love the tidbits about the gold and the stone mason's sense of humour.

    Your bust and your window vases are so neat!


Readers who comment ROCK!