July 4th Visit to the Biltmore

July 4th we got up at 5:30 in the AM and made the drive to walk some of the trails at the Biltmore. It was so worth the early rise time! We took our lunch and just had fun hanging out with each other and taking pictures. We saw some views of the backside of the house that I'd never seen before and just getting out in nature for a bit was really refreshing. We also got ushered out of the woods by a stranger and his dog who'd just seen a black bear. Apparently they're so used to people in Asheville that a lot of times they don't even run away. 

I'm always so amazed at the vision that it took to build the house and grounds at the Biltmore. When you walk around the grounds now, you see them in their fullness of growth but when George Vanderbilt and Frederick Law Olmsted were planning them they didn't get to see their vision in full maturity. As someone with a designing heart, I hate the thought of maybe not getting to see the full vision of something I create, but having so much vision to build something that future generations can enjoy is really inspiring and motivating to me. 

Christmas at the Biltmore

Last weekend Kendall and I got to take a day trip to experience Christmas at the Biltmore. It was the perfect time to go, because the masses hadn't started flocking in yet, and we actually could see everything and take our time getting through the house. I'm pretty sure we were one of the last people out of there and it was awesome! 

I'd been to the Biltmore a few times, but never at Christmas. The decorations were amazing and I was ready to pack my bags and move in for the holidays. But let's face it, I'd be happy to pack my bags and move into there any time. 

Kendall had never been, and I wasn't sure if touring a house (or castle, which more aptly describes this place) would be his jam or not, but he loved it. It was fun to see his amazement as we toured the house and grounds and we're already planning to go back in the spring. Segway tour here we come! (It's going to be interesting, and I'm pretty sure one of us is going to end up in a Segway accident.)

Unfortunately you can't take pictures inside the house. I tried. A little old lady who was amazingly quick for her age nearly threw herself on top of me when she saw me snap a shot. In my defense though, I looked around for signs that said no pictures when we entered the house and didn't see one. I was having a party inside until she crushed it. I did get that one shot and it's the beautiful chandelier you see in the gallery of images. 

Since we couldn't take pictures inside the house, I wanted to share with you a few of the ones that we took around the grounds. They were beautiful even this time of year. If you ever get the chance to go to the Biltmore, go. Just be sure you where a chin pad because yours will be dragging the ground in amazement the whole time your there. And believe me, chin burn hurts.