Friday, September 26, 2008

That's One Big House!

My mom and I had a great drive to Asheville yesterday. The weather was nice and the sun was shining. Today, not so much. It was cloudy and drizzling all day, and it was a little bit chilly. That didn't stop us from spending the whole day at the Biltmore, though.

It only took a few minutes to get there from our hotel, and we stopped and got our audio tour tickets on the way in. There are lots of winding tree-lined roads around the estate. It's beautiful! I wish I could have gotten some pictures of that part, but there was no place to stop. So anyway, we parked our cars and got on the shuttle to go see the house.

We came around the last curve and this is what we saw:

It's huge! I had seen pictures before, but the real thing is just amazing. Here's what we saw when we were standing in front of the house, looking out towards the grounds:

Even though it was rainy, the mountains were still gorgeous. Here is a view from the terrace:

It took us a good three hours just to see the house. I was really glad that we got the audio, because it gave a lot of information that we wouldn't have heard if we had just walked through on our own.

After we got done at the house, we decided it was time for lunch. We ate at the Stable Cafe, which is right off the main house.

After lunch, we looked around at the shops for a little while, and then went back to our car to drive around the rest of the estate. We wanted to check out the gardens, but it was just too rainy. We'll save that for next time. Here's a picture of the gardens and the conservatory that I took when we drove through:

Then, we went to the winery. We took a self-guided tour of the winery, and then we tasted some wine. Yum! We bought a few bottles of wine, and then we decided that we were too exhausted to see anything else! By then, it was almost 4 in the afternoon. This is the building that houses the winery:

We also managed to find a gas station that was actually selling gas, and there wasn't a big long line down the street. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check this out.

What a day! I'd definitely do it again, though.

Biltmore House - By the numbers:

9,973,638: Pounds of Indiana limestone
1,000,000+: Visitors per year

175,000: Square feet of floors
70,000: Gallons of water to fill the basement swimming pool
48,000: Grapevines planted in the vineyards
30,000: Q-tips used in restoration
8,000: Acres of land that make up the estate
1895: Year George Vanderbilt moved in
1700+: Employees
250: Rooms
102: Steps on the Grand Staircase
65: Fireplaces
43: Bathrooms
35: Bedrooms

1 comment:

Annemarie said...

I demand more pictures!