Sunday morning we woke up early in Asheville to a ton of rain. We showered, checked out of our room, zipped up our rain jackets, and headed around the corner to Biltmore Village to grab a quick breakfast at Breugger's. If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that no trip out of town is complete without bagels for breakfast.
We drove into the gates of the Biltmore to the ticketing office to redeem our Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. We declined the audio tour on this go around to cut down on costs and give ourselves a little more freedom to pace our tour the way we wanted. I find that listening to the audio tour makes you linger a bit longer in places than you might like. They're really quite crafty about it all. Sure enough inside the house, there were people just standing around in the way of the views because they were waiting to finish up the audio description of each room. I've done the audio tour before and it's full of fantastic details about the history of the home and family... we were just looking for a bit of a different experience this go-around!
If you've never been to the Biltmore before, it's America's largest privately owned home and every bit as grand on the inside as it is on the outside. George and Edith Vanderbilt commissioned Richard Morris Hunt (one of my favorite architects) to build the French chateauesque style home in 1889. It boasts 250 rooms including a bowling alley and an indoor swimming pool in the basement! My personal favorite room, the Louis XV room, is only part of the behind-the-scenes tour since renovations to the wallpaper were completed. During our visit, a costume exhibit called "Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics" was on display. While the costumes were gorgeous, I felt like they took away from our ability to see some of the furniture in the rooms!
We had planned a trip to the Biltmore for the Spring so I could finally see the gardens. I've previously only been during Christmas time. Unfortunately, we opted not to stand outside in the pouring rain so we just have an excuse to visit yet again! We did get to see lots of beautiful blooms throughout the house, though! There were grand arrangements on every table and mantle. Our trip to the Biltmore didn't turn out exactly as planned but I'm glad that Alex was finally able to visit just the same!