From Atlanta, we headed to Asheville, NC for a few days. I've got a ton of pictures from this leg of the trip and I'll be putting them all in this post just because that's better than drawing this series out! My brother insisted on calling us Chinese tourists (why is that a stereotype, BTW) with all the pictures we were taking. By the end of this post, you might agree with him.
The drive there was super uneventful. I think we only made one stop before meeting up with my brother in Asheville. The first was at a rest stop just as we passed into South Carolina and the second was at a Quick Trip in Greenville, SC. We made it to Asheville in time to have lots of hugs with my brother, drop our stuff off at our friends' house, and head to dinner before the attending a candle light tour at Biltmore.
PSA: If you go to Asheville, eat at Appolo-Flame Bistro. Have their ranch dressing and try not to eat it all.
My favorite part of the candle light tour was the group they had singing in the winter garden. Until we left the main area of the house, we could hear them singing and it really added something special. After the tour, we browsed the gift shops and bought a few souvenirs. My Mom and I got matching key chains and I'm really glad we did!
On the shuttle that took us back to our car, the driver asked if everyone on board would sing Jingle Bells...It was a great way to end the night! Whenever I go on vacation, there is always a moment when I feel like I am on vacation with everyone else who is also on vacation. As we bumped along on that shuttle, singing a familiar song at the top of our longs, that was that moment. Thank you, Mr. Bus Driver, for the ride and for that memorable moment!
After a hearty breakfast (that included some of the best breakfast potatoes I've ever eaten) with our friends, we took some goodbye pictures and headed back to Biltmore for a day of touring during daylight hours!
The butler's tour was scheduled for the morning, which worked out perfectly because there as a bunch of smoke in the air. After a quick lunch at Wendy's (sister and youngest brother), Moe's (brother), and McDonald's (Mom and me), we headed to Biltmore one last time for the architect's tour. The smoke had cleared, the sky was blue, and we were ready to go up on the roof!
Check out that bamboo!!! We pulled over because every time we entered the estate, I kept forgetting to take pictures of it. I hope to get back there to take pictures during warm weather! I should note that my brother has made several trips to Biltmore since moving south and he always asks the best questions! Touring the estate with him was like having a second tour guide. He was always pointing out things that he has learned on his previous trips.
Now for the architect tour pictures...I'm pretty sure that this part of the tour was my brother's favorite!
|via my sister :)|
|via my sister :)|
|via my youngest brother|
The estate was buzzing when we were there! Everyone seemed so excited. Strangers offered to take pictures for one another. Strangers shared jokes and exchanged memories of past visits to the estate or excitement over this being their first visit.
One man in our group kept joking that he was going to push the woman he was with off of something at some point during the tour. She kept laughing and asking when...Eventually, people in the group started suggesting appropriate times. I offered to take pictures of a group of ladies and ended up teaching them how to use their digital camera. We talked with a man in Antler Village who was from the same area of England where my friend Hannah has spent time doing mission work.
You can read about the first part of our trip here. Next time, I'll be sharing pictures from our visit with family back in South Carolina.