MY TRIP WITH FAMILY TO ASHVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA.
Few weeks ago I went to visit my son and daughter in NC, the Durham-Raleigh area. Then, I was thrilled when the whole family drove about four hours west for my grandson’s 2-day soccer tournament in Ashville, a quaint city in western NC’s Blue Ridge Mountains. (By the way, my baby scored the winning goal, J.)
George Vanderbilt loved the NC mountains and after a visit, he began to purchase land. In 1895 he created this castle as a retreat similar to several castles in France and Britain.
The Biltmore Estate is perhaps, the only “castle” in the USA. The total building has four acres of floor space holding 250 rooms of which 35 are bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, with indoor plumbing, an elevator and electricity. But get this about electricity; Biltmore Estate had underwater lights in its indoor 70,000-gallon swimming pool at a time when most homes in USA were still lit with candles, gas lamps and oil.
The estate continues to be owned by Vanderbilt descendants and operates as a self-sufficient for-profit, meaning no federal or local dollars are used to operate it.
Finally, to this day, the castle is still filled with the original furnishings, and other pieces collected by Mr. Vanderbilt, including an impressive art collection. I can only imagine the grandeur of that era, been invited to tea, to wear my hats, or a party or even Christmas, since they continue to decorate the place as the owners did back in those days.
I invite you to visit the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, NC to experience what was like living back in those days. I was transported back in time to 1895. Charming. Therefore, stay tuned for my Biltmore Series, you will not regret it, smile:
PART 2: THE INDOOR LIVING
PART 3: THE WINERY
PART 4: THE GARDEN
PART 5: THE MANY PATHS
This Spring, I took a long 2-day drive trip from the east coast to the mid-west. The trip took me through many states; VA, MD, PA, West Virginia, OH, Illinois, WI, and MN. For whatever reason, the trip awakened in me a profound interest for what I saw and have been taking for granted; the American farms.
These farms are so beautiful; there are so many of them, and they are so different from one another. I don’t quite know what they produce; however, I appreciate their effort in contributing to our economy probably by producing meat product, grains, or poultry to mention few. I also saw pine tree and sod farms.
Some of these structures looked relatively new or are kept in top shape. You can tell by looking at my photos. The remains of others buildings just triggered my imagination about their prime years; what their role in the community was; what they produced or how beautiful they were back in those glorious days. Today the ruins still stand proud of what they did so many years ago.
Overall, I enjoyed what I saw and I feel grateful that the hard work of these farmers is helping me, you and our country to live a better life.
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.