Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The Great Getting Out Of The House Southeast USA Vacation Of 2021 - Day 4

On day four we left Erwin, TN and headed southeast, away from my Appalachian Trail memories, toward Ashville, NC.  On the way we stopped at a small diner for a good down home breakfast at a greasy spoon where you had to listen carefully to the waitress to understand what she was asking.  The food was excellent.

Ashville, NC is the home of the Biltmore Estate. This small bachelor's pad (and eventually a family home) was built by George Vanderbilt with help of architect Richard Morris Hunt.  The not so modest home with its adjoining gardens (designed by Central Park designer Fredrick Law Olmstead) occupy a small portion of the eight thousand acre estate.

The Biltmore house and its modest front yard.
We were shuttled from the parking area to the home and arrived roughly an hour before the entry time on our house tour tickets.  We use the time to walk through the expansive gardens and the green house with it's models of the estate buildings and model trains.

One of the model buildings and trains in the greenhouse.
By the time our house tour started the day had turned hot.  The tour was a self guided audio tour.  We walked room to room with the other visitors.  There was no air conditioning so we moved from one blowing fan to another as we admired the large rooms and the custom made decor.  By the time we reached the servant's quarters and kitchen area we were both getting warm and the Wife has never handled warm well so we rushed through the basement area to the food court in search of shade, hydration, and a snack.

The modest library.
The house itself reminded the Wife of Hearst Castle.  It felt less ostentatious to me.  Hearst Castle was filled with actual European antiques and furnishings and had a darker, more cluttered feel.  The Biltmore house felt more open, airy, and all the furnishing were custom made.  It felt much less crowded.  In my opinion George, and his wife Edith, Vanderbilt had much better taste.

A stop at the gift shop for t-shirts and magnets and we left the moneyed abode and continued southeast towards our next stop on the coast.

Photos can be found in my 2021-06 Southeast USA Google Photos album.

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