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.