Sunday, October 17, 2010

Beautiful Day at Biltmore

Thanks to Tim's generous employers (and my stellar performance in a "dance-off" at the annual company picnic...yes, you read that right!) we won two tickets to the Biltmore Estate. Perfect timing since fall break was just around the corner. So, on Friday we enjoyed a spectacular day in Asheville. Luckily our good friends, the Larkin family, were also visiting Biltmore so we enjoyed spending the afternoon with them.

We rented the audiotour for each of us, so the boys enjoyed having their own headset to lead them through the house. Here we stand on the loggia overlooking the stunning mountain view.

As you can see, it was a beautiful fall day with amazing blue skies. Though the shuttle bus driver told us they expected more than 4,000 visitors that day, we enjoyed touring the house and exploring the grounds at our own pace.

The gardens and grounds of Biltmore Estate are beautiful in any season. Catch a glimpse of the fall foliage and plantings in the pictures below:

Since our last visit probably ten years ago, Biltmore has added Antler Hill Village surrounding the winery. There's an outdoor shop, the ice creamery, and a few restaurants. Here Reed and his friend Sophie enjoy the sculpture of Cornelia Vanderbilt and her dog Cedric.

The Farm at Antler Hill Village was especially fun for the kids, with a blacksmith, farm, and games from the early 20th century. Here Tim and the boys try the "Game of Grace," which they caught on to quickly (look for the wooden ring midair in the first photo). Below they pet on a 21-year-old horse now enjoying his retirement at Antler Hill Farm.

While everyone enjoyed petting the animals at the farm, Reed seemed to have a special affection for the goats. He spent time petting each and every goat, and he shared a long, quiet moment with the one little fellow (third photo down). I wish I knew what Reed was thinking.

What a beautiful day to share with our friends! Here's a group photo taken at the end of our time at Biltmore Estate.

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