Hello! I know I've been absent from Blogland for awhile. I have good reasons, I assure you. First of all, my husband and I took a much needed vacation, just the two of us, to Asheville, North Carolina. I had such a wonderful time, it was such a romantic adventure. And, because my blog is about 'anything of creative interest to me', I'm going to share it with you.
Our trip to Asheville was mostly to see the Biltmore Estate. It's advertised on HGTV and Splitcoaststampers all the time, so I'm sure most of my readers are aware of it. Although I was surprised at how many of my husbands and mine friends and co-workers never heard of it. It is 'America's Largest Home'. It sits on 8000 acres in the beautiful Smokey Mountains and has beautiful grounds and gardens. There are 225 room, 40 some bathrooms, 63 fireplaces, and indoor pool, conservatory, sun room, library, bowling alley......the lists is endless! I won't bore you with the history of the home and all the details of the house, because I know you can google it and find all this information yourself.
Because we weren't allowed to photograph the inside of the home, I can only show you pictures of the outside grounds and gardens.
First up is me sitting in the beautiful Carriage Courtyard having a delicious Cafe Latte in the sun. This would have been the place where the horses and carriages came through to enter the Carriage house. It now contains quaint gift shops and great places to eat. We had pizza for lunch, it was so good and reminded me of the pizza I ate in Italy: Thin crust, covered with feta cheese and spinach. Yum! My favorite!
This is the carriage house. Can you believe this beautiful structure actually just held horses? The stable boys lived above and there were also different rooms belows for work related to horses (like tack rooms for example)
This is me anxiously waiting to go in to the house!
My husband and I in front of the house.
We spent the entire day at the Estate. We got there before it opened, and stayed past the time all the buildings closed. They allow you to stroll the grounds after everything closes, so we took a romantic walk through the gardens. It was a lot of miles, it's a pretty big garden, so I had to take off my high heels because my feet were hurting!
There is a man made bass pond on the property with a boat house, this rustic bridge, and a small waterfall. We enjoyed sitting on a park bench overlooking the pond and watching the geese come in for a landing.
This is my favorite picture of the estate. I love the view of the Smokey Mountains behind it. I will have separate posts on later dates describing our adventures on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I have no idea why my pictures turned themselves sideways after I put them upright. Sorry. I'm not a computer geek! Anyway, I wanted to show you this photograph because it was one of the wonderful unexpected surprises of our trip. I was expecting to see beautifully decorated rooms, but I was not expecting every single room in the house to be filled with gorgeous fresh floral arrangements. There were fresh spring flower garlands hanging from every fireplace mantel and post. There were flower arrangements on all the tables too. And they were GORGEOUS! Probably the best flower arrangements I've ever seen anywhere. The only one I could photograph was this one since it was located outside the house just as you enter through the doors.
Here I am in front of the house. We were mostly looking up at all the sculptures and gargoyles on the exterior of the house.
This is my husband standing at the base of a Wisteria vine that was growing on a patio next to the house. It was such a joy for me to see plants like Azaleas, Rhododendrons, and Wisteria in bloom because we can't grow those in Wisconsin! Some people can grow Azaleas and Rhododendrons, but they never liked me, and they certainly don't get that big here!
This is a side view of the house.
Me in front of an Azalea bush.
Here I am under a Wisteria Vine. I love the Blue pot behind me. The building behind me is a Conservatory.
Some pretty flowers growing inside the conservatory.
I loved all the ancient stone work all over the grounds.
This is the barn. It was so unique and beautiful.
There is also a winery on the property.
In addition to seeing Biltmore, my husband and I spent a lot of time in historic downtown Asheville, hiking the Smoking Mountains, and driving the Blue Ridge Parkway. More to come soon!
Have a great day! Amy