Saturday, April 6, 2013

Our Trip to the Biltmore Estate

This week we took a loverly kid-free vacation to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  Let me publicly thank both Scott and I's parents for each care taking a kiddo for us to make this trip possible.  We are so, so, so, so, so very grateful!

Where we stayed:

Night #1:

Night #2:

The Sleep Inn was adequate.  The Biltmore Inn was PHENOMENAL.  Not cheap, but amazing. 

What we did:
Day #1 - Played some mini-golf.
The course had some weird rules.
 I made a new stray cat friend.
...
Some ducks showed us their butts.
Any of you that know Scott could've guessed this putting discrepancy between us two. (Scott: 40, BA: 51)
Went to dinner at Barley's Taproom in downtown Asheville after 7pm.  With small kids, we never ever go out to eat this "late".  It was so liberating to eat out sans kids after their bedtime.
Back in the hotel, we toasted to US with some champagne.  Two sips later, we poured the rest out.  We're not big drinkers.
Since baby Reese is still breastfeeding, I spent a lot of quality time with a pump and the above pictured parts.  Fun times. 
Day #2:  We started our day by touring the house.  It was miserably cold and rainy outside.  It was slightly less cold inside the house.  Apparently 1895 homes (even mansions) were not known for great insulation.  Who knew?  Still, it is such an incredible sight to behold.
I was absolutely ecstatic to take an hour lesson in off-road driving in a Range Rover.  I white-knuckled my way through the muddy trails and bumpy terrain while an instructor talked me through the obstacles.  I was amazed at how scared I was driving on the trails.  I doubt we ever broke 5 mph.  Most of the time the car idles through (no gas or brake) the obstacles.  One might think because of the slow speed, it wouldn't be very thrilling.  NOT THE CASE.  I've never been in a car tilted at such angles before, much less behind the wheel!  It was intense.  Scott (bravely) rode along in the back seat and he lived to tell about it!  
"Check out those muddy tires!  I did that!!"  I was really proud of that.  Side note:  that car cost $113,000.  I'm really glad I didn't know that BEFORE the driving lesson...
We had some time to kill before Scott's adventure.
So of course we put on silly hats and took pictures.
This one is some kind of monkey or something.  Don't I look precious?
 Scott chose Sporting Clays as his outdoor adventure.  The guy on the left was the instructor.  He was hilarious and a really good teacher.
Scott did a great job learning to shoot!
The instructor even let me try a few shots.  It was louder and more violent than I expected.  After three shots, I was all done.  I did "break clay", though, so that was thrilling!
Another side note:  I don't know that these pictures do the terrible weather justice.  In the morning, it was 40 degrees and raining.  By the time these pictures were taken at 4pm, it was 35 degrees and raining/sleeting.  I was frozen to MY SOUL watching Scott shoot.  
After shooting, we ate at Cedric's Tavern.  The Vanderbilt's loved St. Bernard dogs, apparently.  Cedric was one of them.  He got his own restaurant and ale named after him.  Sheesh...just a dumbdawg...
Elevators at the Biltmore Inn bearing the Vanderbilt "V".
A view of the lobby at the Inn.  I seriously love this place.
 Day #3 - Before heading home and returning to reality, we soaked up a few more sights of the Estate.  Scott tested out a few of the wines.  As he is not a drinker (of wine or any other alcohol), he thought what he tasted was horrible.  I would not suggest you assign much value to his recommendations...
Maybe an outdoor adventure for next time:  The Segway Tour.
They have a barn full of old equipment from the early 1900's.  In this picture, Scott was saying hurry and take the picture because the metal seat he was sitting on was COLD.  The weather was much improved (sunshine!) on Day 3, but the temperatures still lingered in the 40's.
We met some goat friends.
And some yummy chicken snacks friends.

All in all, it was a fantastic trip.  Although brief, it was exactly what we needed.  If you are contemplating an Asheville/Biltmore trip, I would highly recommend it.  Leave a comment here if you've ever been there.  Where did you stay?  What did you do while you were there?



























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