Total Miles: 120
Cost: $20 (ok...mom bought my ticket and I just paid for gas)
"We're just going to a house around the corner." Kudos to Mom for the title. Not so much on the directions. I have (to mother's chagrin) trained the LPs on timing for road trips. So when we had left the house and not arrived at Biltmore within a few minutes (which they inferred from mom's directions), the general outcry from the back seat was to be somewhat expected. Mom was able to explain the true distance, and disaster was temporarily averted.
This was an unusual trip for me, mainly that mom came with us, and Grandma Rush and Robin (Mom's youngest sibling) met us at Biltmore. But true to form, they kept things lively...anybody who knows that side of the family knows how crazy they are. Especially when they are together. NEVER a dull moment.
We left around 0930 and didn't get back until almost 1800 (6pm for you normal people). Because it was considered "off season" we were able to do the audio tour for free. The house, however, closed at 3:30pm.
I should have prefaced this post by stating that I have been to Biltmore before...but the times I've gone, I've been paid to go. By Biltmore, no less. Hehe. A music team I traveled with in 2009 sings occasionally at Christmastime in the Winter Garden. So, I've seen the house (in bits and pieces) and some of the grounds. But never in the Spring...and I could not have asked for a more beautiful day to visit!
If you have not had the opportunity to visit the Biltmore Estate, I would highly recommend it (both at Christmastime and the rest of the year). Check out their site to learn more about the house and when to visit.
The kids loved the audio tour! They've been learning about American history in school, and of course with their teacher (aka: Mom) on this field trip, they recited the facts they've learned about the Vanderbilts. I loved learning about random facts, not only about the house, but about living at the turn of the century. (It was like visiting an American version of PBS' Downton Abbey).
Coming off my night shift-self and trying to be a day person was a little harder for me (come to find out, the older one gets, the more sleep one needs to function at a level of compatibility with the world at large). By the time we were leaving, I was finally waking up (this is my theory) and felt more freedom to be myself. That, coupled with the fact that the masses of visitors had dissipated, I had mom take the following pics (proof that I have some of her side of the family in me)...