My summer adventures started off this weekend in North Carolina. My best friend and I road tripped from Durham, NC to Asheville, NC. Asheville is apparently the happiest place on earth according to Eric Weiner, author of The Geography of Bliss. I can see why after visiting. It’s a small European looking town with tons of organic food based restaurants and cafes. It also houses the fanciest McDonald’s in America. It had a gold ceiling, self-playing piano, a granite fireplace and elegant seating as well. Although I’m not a huge fast food fan, I definitely had to stop by here.
The Biltmore Estate is also situated in Asheville, NC. We visited Biltmore, an 8,000 acre estate that belongs to the Vanderbilt’s. It was built in the late 1800s and is considered to be the largest home in America. It is a lush, luxurious, time capsule. As soon as I saw the French inspired chateau I fell in love. The inside decor is so rich and beautiful. It is full of secret passage ways, salons, smoking rooms, ladies changing rooms, and one beautiful library. As I walked through the 43 rooms open to the public, I was thinking to myself “I was totally born in the wrong century”. The outfits and the romance of living in such a home are so appealing to me. Everything the Vanderbilt’s collected were antiques; Napoleon Bonaparte’s chess set, 16th century Danish tapestries, books, art works, and statues. The view from the estate is breathtaking. You see mountains peaking up behind the thick forest and green carpeting every bit of land. I really do wonder what it would have been like to be a guest there. They would have 4-7 day long parties and guests were given guest rooms within the house. The entire place reminded me of all the various Jane Austen books and movies I watched. Biltmore is definitely worth another visit back, at least for interior design ideas once I have a house! 🙂
The estate has its own garden and vineyard/winery. My friend and I tried the Vanderbilt’s ice cream, truffles, lemonades, grape juice, and strawberries. We pretty much food guided our way through the Biltmore. Everything was fresh and delicious! It is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in NC.
My friend and I also decided to drive a few miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway since the entrance to the parkway is in Asheville, NC. We stopped at a few view points and turned back around to visit Charlotte. I am now adding driving the full length of the Blue Ridge Parkway to my bucket list.