Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spending a Little Time With the Vanderbilts

     Today it has been a one year since my mother-in-law died. Last year at this time, we had a trip scheduled to Asheville, NC and a few other stops. We cancelled the trip because she was so ill. My husband told me a few months ago that he wanted to take the trip this year and he wanted to spend today touring the Biltmore Estate. It is a place his mother would have loved.

     It is currently the Festival of Flowers at Biltmore. The house is filled with fresh flowers. There are more than I've ever seen. The dining table in the banquet hall must have thousands of flowers standing 4 feet tall and running the length of the table. I was so frustrated that they don't allow any photographs to be taken in the house. I did manage to snap one quick one (above) as we entered the mansion.

     The home was completed in 1895. George Vanderbilt's 250-room chateau is as impressive today as it was more than a century ago. Original art by Pierre Auguste Renoir and John Singer Sargent, magnificent 16th century tapestries, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, and a bowling alley are just a few of the things we saw as we walked through this amazing home. Most of the objects throughout the house are from George and Edith Vanderbilt's original collection.

     I really had the feeling as we walked through the rooms that I couldn't absorb everything I was seeing. With my love of flowers, I couldn't get enough of the massive fireplace mantels that were draped with grapevine and hundreds of fresh flowers. The walls were covered with everything from gilted wallpaper to velvet to massive tapestries. The stonework and the carved wood throughout the house was so detailed. The furnishings were lavish and ornate. I can't imagine living in a space this large, but it certainly was interesting to see. Now I want to read the book we bought cover to cover so I can learn more about the famous Vanderbilt family.

     There will be more pictures to share, but I am going to end this post with some of the gorgeous flowers we saw as we strolled the Biltmore gardens. The azaleas are in bloom and the pictures don't begin to do them justice.

     Our weather here is perfect so far. My son says it may be blowing away at my home tonight and tomorrow. I hope all of you in the paths of the storms have been safe.


Leigh Powell Hines (Hines-Sight Blog) said...

Welcome to NC! Glad you are here. You will love Asheville.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

That trip is on my bucket list. Your pics are stunning and I am sure the flowers are unreal. Hugs, Marty

xinex said...

I would love to visit this grand inn and stay there. It's gorgeous! Enjoy your trip, Sue....Christine

Barbara F. said...

A lovely way to remember the day, Sue. The flowers are gorgeous. xo

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. That place is just amazing - I would not want to be responsible for the upkeep.
The storms calmed down before they rolled thru here last night - thank goodness. Other areas not so fortunate. :(

dee dee said...

I have been to visit the Biltmore many years ago and loved my visit! The grounds and home (if you can call something that big home) are beautiful! It was cold when we were there and would love to revisit during this time of year! excellent photos!
dee dee

NanaDiana said...

I absolutely loved touring the Biltmoe. How sad that your mil was not alive to make the trip with you. I am sure it was kind of bittersweet day. I have never been there when the gardens were in bloom. xo Diana

Dorothy said...

what lovely azaleas!

Sue said...

It looks beautiful. April looks like the perfect time of year to see it. It's always been on my list of places to visit.. maybe some day.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures. I've been there several times and loved it.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures. I've been there several times and loved it.

Rettabug said...

I have ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wanted to go there! I am pee green with envy & totally bummed that they wouldn't let you take photographs, Sue! Phooey!

Thanks for sharing the detailed descriptions & what beautiful pictures you did capture.

It is on my bucket list. We were on a golfing trip to NC years ago, right there near Ashville & everyone but me had already been to the Biltmore, so I didn't get to go see it. I should have just gone on my own but I was younger & stupid back then. I'll get there eventually!!


JRFrugalMom and Family said...

Your photos are stunning! This took me back to a European Castle tour I made with my boys a few years ago.

bj said...

Maybe I can hook up with Rett and we can go see all this splendor for ourselves.:)

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Angie said...

How beautiful, Sue! Looks like a wonderful way to spend a lovely day :)

Poppy said...

I would love to visit Biltmore Estate some day! Loving the beautiful display of the azaleas, thanks for sharing these gorgeous pictures with us. Have a wonderful week!~Poppy

Beth said...

The flowers are stunning! I have this estate on my bucket list. I enjoyed my virtual tour.
Blessings, Beth

xinex said...

That is one place that I would really love to tour. Thanks for sharing the photos, Sue...Christine

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