We woke up early Thursday morning and heard the weatherman warning Asheville residents to be careful because the day was going to be the hottest day of the year. A whopping 92 degrees. On one hand it was kind of funny that we were there on the hottest day of the year and on the other hand it cracked us up that 92 was the hottest day of the year. (The next day it would be back to 85.)
We had breakfast on the balcony and headed out early to the Biltmore. The Biltmore was one of our biggest reasons for wanting to go to Asheville. Isn't this place gorgeous? It is the largest home in America. This 250 room estate was built in 1895 on 8,000 acres. The house takes up four acres of floor space, has 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces including an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, bowling alley, and kitchens.
We took an audio tour of the home. We have already decided that when we go back we will be taking the "behind the scenes" tour.
My favorite parts of the house? Definitely the library. There are 10,000 books in this room alone and that is not all the books in the house. Mr. Vanderbilt was declared the most well read man in the world during his time and if you saw all those amazing books you would know why. There was a secret passageway from the library to Mr. Vanderbilt's bedroom so he could slip in to get a book anytime he wanted it. Ahhh... perfection!
They had three kitchens: a main kitchen, a pastry kitchen and a rotisserie kitchen. Wouldn't my Little Guy be in heaven? I can't wait to take him back so he can see it.
After touring the house we went to see the gardens. I was almost afraid to get too close to all those beautiful plants. I have such a black thumb that I was afraid everything would wilt in my presence.
Frederick Law Olmsted designed all the gardens and grounds of the Biltmore. He also designed New York's Central Park. Out of all the things he put on this 8,000 acres, by far our favorite thing was the reflecting pond behind the estate. He designed and put it there simply to reflect the beauty of The Biltmore for those who drove past.