Friday, March 29, 2013

A Long Weekend Highlights ...

Well, this week is Spring Break, and I don't know who did more cartwheels on Friday - the teachers or the students. 

All I know is that I burned rubber in the parking lot because Ken and I had plans the next morning at the big house out East. 

And when I say big house, I mean this:

Where we toured the gorgeous rooms, learned a little history of the family, and took in the spectacular views further understanding why George built the ol' place where he did. 

This is my third trip, and Ken's first. It took me a few years to convince him that he would love it. He did. 

It also nursed my obsession with old homes and architecture as well as get my Downton Abbey geek on.

On the main tour, my favorite rooms where the kitchen and indoor pool. 

I could easily just sit, take in the room, and allow my imagination run wild about the previous owners and all the secrets the house holds. 

I also wanted to find some back stairs and go exploring. 

I am pretty good at finding passages and discovering new areas. I minored in this at college. 

However, this probably would have expedited our visit, and my husband would not be happy with me. 

So we stayed on the beaten path, jammin' out with our audio tours, and admiring the details.


The winery was on our list, and it did not let us down. They make most of their wine on the premises and offer a wide selection. Their tours are complimentary and are well-informed. You also get to view more of the property as you make your way to winery. 

It was fun upgrading our palates and trying new things outside our usual moscato box.

(I truly believe that my taste buds are currently in transition because I suddenly want stronger coffee and have a obsession with raspberries.) 

We came. We toured. We conquered and left with 3 sophisticated bottles of non-moscato wine. 



The gardens were just starting with buds, but due to being cold and rainy, I did not get to scout it out as much as I wanted, but I did manage to get a few pictures. 

We also toured the gardens as much as the weather would let us before upgrading our tickets for the next day.

(You can buy an one-day ticket and then upgrade it for $10 for a second day.)

We sashayed ourselves to the ticket counter, before we knew it, we side barred, and signed up for a specialty tour, the Butler's tour that allowed you to view all the different entrances and the generator. 

The Butler's tour had Ken at generator. 

This was a total score because we would get tot see the mechanical side of the Biltmore as well as the Butler's pantry in which I could layed out on the Butler's table and stared at the TWO STORIES OF DISHES!!!

It was a win/win for everyone involved. 

We also go to go out on one of the balconies, where I tried to snap as many pictures as possible. 

I also ran into one of my students and her family, which was neat, because when I told my students where I was going for Spring Break, I was met with crickets. Her group was the only group that I did not see that week before, so I had no idea. It gave us something to talk about. :)


We stayed at a quaint cottage where Tootsie could stay with us.

That was one of the pluses. 

Another plus, was the free range chickens that provide our eggs one morning. 

We were also quiet successful in preventing Tootsie from getting a taste of those free range chickens. 

It was complicated that involved intricate moves and leashes, but we made it without any travesties. 

We were able to book this cottage through airbnb, a suggestion by Middle.

We had a kitchen that we took advantage of, a living area on one end and bedroom on the other, with a bathroom. It was perfect for us.


We ate like royalty, which is always first on our priority list. In keeping with trip tradition, Mellow Mushroom was first on our list, where we happily split a his and hers specialty pizza.

Thank goodness for his and hers pizzas. It has saved our marriage and our love for pizza. 

We also frequented Starbucks every morning. It was strategically located at the entrance, and worked its magic on most that past through. 

We ate at the Stable Cafe twice. It's menu was quite diverse, so we were able to try different things each time. The quantities of food are huge, so one day, we split a meal while the next, we were quite stingy. 

We enjoyed going downtown Asheville as well. We ate on night at Early Girl Eatery, one of my favorite places before, but this time, I was disappointed. It was good, but not great like I remember. Next time, we will try out a new place. 

So, basically, we could visit the Biltmore during the day, come back to the temporary home base and play with Tootsie before catching up on our movie watching. This included Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, and Flight

If you are planning a trip to the Biltmore any time soon, I would recommend the following:

- Book tickets online and upgrade second day tickets when you get there. 
- Rent an audio tour upon arrival and bring ear buds to share. We rented two at $10 a piece only to see all the smart people with one and sharing ear buds. Duh.
- Eat at the Stable Restaurant. They have a variety of items on the menu, so eating there on a daily basis is no biggie. 
- To save a little money, try using AirBNB. We loved that Tootsie could go with us, and she did not seem to mind. 
- Make sure to take pictures of your sweet husband carrying your purse. 


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