Back in 2001, Benson and I celebrated our third anniversary with a trip to the Biltmore House. I was beyond excited. I had waited years to get to see this magnificent place. It did not disappoint. Now, I understand that some people think that is a gross use of one's money to build such a place. But I look now and think of the provision to the Asheville area that it not only was in that time period, but how the Estate contributes to the area today. I am putting a link on here so that if you want, you can take some time to look at it online and see what an incredible place this is to visit - Biltmore Estate. And, no, I am not a paid representative for the Biltmore House, although I would LOVE to be :0)
Now, onto our 3rd wedding anniversary. I asked Benson if I could plan our trip. Now mind you, this was before I had internet. I think that is so funny how weird life was without it. But I think I will write about that another time -- anyway, sorry I rabbit-trail a bit! I called up to Asheville and checked out some of the area hotels and motels for pricing. I also looked for hotels that had a spa tub. A lot of the places were $80 a night, but this Motel 6 was I think around $45 - $50 a night - this should have been my first clue! We were staying for a couple of nights, so we thought it would be best if we stayed someone less expensive.
Well, let's just say that I now know how handy all these trip planning and star system things are on the internet! The place was okay. It had exterior entrances, which I am not crazy about, but I was with Benson, so I didn't think about not being safe! When we went in, there was a sofa, bed and Yes! I was heading to the bathroom, which I was thinking, "This is too small for a spa tub." I was right. In the regular-sized bathroom was a standard bathtub. I looked in and to my surprise there were two jets -- however, they were right under the faucet. I laugh now thinking how disappointed I was. I complained to Benson about it, and he said we could look for another place to stay. We did call, but the places were too high, and we really had planned to get to Biltmore and look at antique stores. So, I happily swallowed my disappointment, and I told Benson that this place would be fine. I even took a bubble bath in the smaller tub and tried to enjoy the jets. We got a chuckle out of that tub for some years!
The next day we were out and headed for the Biltmore House. I was so excited about it. When you drive up, there is the place you get your tickets. I was so ready to see this incredible home. My excitement increased as we continued on our drive around the turns of the long road that takes you to the Big House. When we came upon the house, I was in awe. How incredible this place was! The height and width of the mansion were spectacular. There were stone gargoyles - I lost count. Pillars, the windows, the door, and the steps to it - just awesome. And that was just outside. When we went in on the first floor, our eyes were drawn to the Winter Garden filled with flowers and plants. Breath-taking. We traveled on through the house and the first huge room was the Banquet Hall - seven-stories high with a triple fireplace!! Fantastic! The wood and fabrics and furnishings throughout the home were spectacular. There were tapestries, paintings, sculptures, vases, you named it, it was there! There was a billiard room, breakfast room, music room, tapestry gallery, the library, and that was just the main floor. On up on the next floor, there were other rooms and bedrooms to see. We were having such a great time. One of my favorite things was in the basement! The history of the home was available there to read. The BOWLING ALLEY was down there, too. Also, a mansion tour wouldn't be complete without seeing their indoor pool!! Yes, and indoor pool in a home built between 1889 - 1895! The servants quarters, pantry, cellar, linens, laundry area, were all downstairs. It was just the neatest thing to see! One more thing that I just recently learned about the House on Wikipedia was this place had 178,926 square feet (16,622.8 m2) of floor space (135,280 square feet (12,568 m2) of living area) and featuring 250 rooms!! Amazing! I want to go on and on, but I won't! I REALLY LOVE this place!
Benson and I went out of the home and onto the patio. The scenery alone was breath-taking. The Blue Ridge Mountains were amazing. The gardens were lovely, too. We were able to see all kinds of plants and flowers. There are several trellises that had oval cutouts just perfect for taking pictures. We saw so many roses! Earlier in the spring, there were tulips, chrysanthemums, and lilies of all types. They have a festival of flowers in the spring. Check out their website for the dates. The have a greenhouse as well. We loved walking through the gardens and would love to return to see it during the Festival of Flowers. Anyway, we loved walking through that area, too. It took most of our day to tour just those two areas. The pond area was closed that day, so we didn't get to it. We ended our day after looking at the gardens. What an amazing time that I will never forget!
This was our first trip to take, other than our honeymoon, by ourselves. We usually traveled with my parents or Benson's parents or friends. I loved our third anniversary trip. It was so much fun! I really hope that we will go back there during Christmas time! I hear that it is amazing! Check out some of these pictures on this site - http://www.biltmore.com/events/christmas-at-biltmore-daytime-celebration-.
A few things that I learned about this trip that I hope to apply are as follows - 1) Pay a little more for a nicer place for anniversary trips. 2) Have a good attitude even when things on your trip aren't exactly what you thought! (spa tub!) 3) Take trips with your honey!
I like ending with a song, and I may all the time. The song is appropriate because the Biltmore House to me is a castle. I thought about the movie The Princess Bride - you know, castles, princesses, "Wuv! Troo Wuv!" This song means a lot to us as a couple. We saw it on our first date! But that, my friend, is a whole other entry! I will post pictures of our trip later!
Hugs and Blessings!