Friday, April 3, 2015

The Biltmore.

If I could be a part of any family, it would be the Vanderbilt clan.

Or maybe not. I've always admired the home of the late Henry Flagler, and marveled at the American royalty that is the Kennedy family. And if we're branching out, it would be incredible to be the daughter of a President or a member of the Royals just across the pond.

But really, I love the Vanderbilts. The University is powerhouse with students of elite rankings, the professors are phenomenal figures, and the school itself has connections with massive companies across the nation. The estate in North Carolina is breathtaking. The family name carries power, wealth, and business savvy. Not to mention, I'd love to be related to Anderson Cooper (who doesn't love the Silver Fox?!).

My parents had a wedding to attend at the sprawling estate. They had asked if I'd like to tagalong. I answered with a resounding yes, quickly echoed by my brother and sister. A trip to the charming Asheville, North Carolina couldn't be denied, especially with the promise to stay on the Biltmore Estate.

We flew into the Charlotte airport and took the two hour drive to Asheville. I napped most of the way. I roused at my brother's urging once we'd rolled through the gates. We wove past three miles of forest and field before pulling up at the Inn. It was decadent, but charming.

A baby bunny nibbled on grass roots as if we were in a Disney movie. I was enamored, requesting for the rest of the weekend that we all please keep our eyes on the lookout for any other baby bunnies. We did spot one more.

It was nearing dinner time, so we took a quick stroll of the grounds near the Inn.

And hopped down to Antler Village for a bite to eat.

Antler Village is a built up town with a spattering of shops, restaurants, a small farm area, and some historical teaching sights. It's also the home base for their estate excursions, segway tours (!!!) being among the offerings.

We patted our full bellies on the stroll back up to the Inn, when we were stopped suddenly by flashing lights. Not the kind you're imagining. There were fireflies! Everywhere! I felt like I was living life in a country song. With great sadness I tell you that fireflies don't photograph very well; a lesson not learned without many attempts.

We ambled up the winding path and peered at the softly lit Inn from over the small vineyard.

 And took a moment to pause in appreciation while watching over the estate ground and the quaint vineyard. The ground was alive with bunnies and birds alike, bouncing through the grasses in search for dinner.

The next day held our trip to the grand home, as well as a round through the gardens, but I'll save that treat for next time! The delay will be made up for with boatloads of pictures.


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