Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Carolinas: Travel Journal #2 -Asheville, NC

Submitted by Linda

One of the 'must do' items on Liz's trip list was a visit to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, and I was happy to go. For the California folks, I would say it's the east coast equivalent to the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. One difference, from my perspective, is that they seemed like genuinely nice people who valued family and friends.

On Christmas Eve 1895, George Vanderbilt officially opened Biltmore House. Three years later he brought his bride Edith to Biltmore and in 1900, their only child Cornelia was born there.
The Biltmore house had many amenities to offer its guests, including billiards, an indoor swimming pool, a library, a gorgeous dining room and more (we weren't allowed to take photos inside). Remember when I said that the Vanderbilts seemed like such nice people? I've already decided that Edith and I would have been good friends. She was a wonderful hostess, and enjoyed throwing a good party and providing hospitality to her guests. And oh, what gardens!
Edith also implemented a Sunday School program for the children of all the Biltmore Estate workers, as well as a 'moonlight school' to help the adult workers learn to read.  The picture below shows the head gardener's cottage.
This solarium was full of tropical plants and flowers.
The descendents of the Vanderbilts still own the estate, and have worked very hard to restore it to its original state. Gorgeous!
A giant bee was hunkered down in this beautiful orchid.
I snapped a picture of this hibiscus, because I needed to see the colors for a towel I was stitching on the airplane rides.
And here it is! I finished it on the plane ride home.

The shops on the estate were full of cuteness. This children's store was magical inside.
Cute hankies!
I've already texted the picture of this message to one of my boys. I think it will be a useful saying to have in the 'mommy' arsenal.
My main purchase was the cutest deviled egg plate ever. Did you remember that I have been looking for one for awhile in my antiquing adventures, with no luck? I carried this home very gingerly, wrapped in bubble wrap, in my carry-on luggage.
 As a special treat we drove up to the Biltmore Inn, on the estate grounds, for high tea. So yummy!
Alma Vanderbilt, Aunt to George, always felt like it was important to have some type of logo, to develop recognition among the other 'high-falutin' folks. I believe they used an acorn as their 'logo'. I love this idea, not in terms of earning a spot with the rich people, but using a symbol that represents hospitality or friendship.  This monogrammed china also does the trick!
I loved the white hydrangias used throughout the estate. Must. Plant. Some.
Stay tuned for the next installment of the travel journal.......

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