This isn't even the end of the trip's photos, I still have to show some pictures from The Grove Inn and Spa we visited to see their huge display of gingerbread houses from the national competition held there... they were awesome.
George Washington Vanderbilt was the first owner of the house and all within and about are from his ideas coupled with a fabulous architect and about a million other folks. Wanna know how big the house is? They don't tell you in square footage - it's 4 acres of floor space. That's 4acres of indoor house! I can't even wrap my brain around it.
Then there's the stables, the winery, the indoor gardens and the TOWN BUILT JUST FOR THIS HOUSE so that all the people who worked there (the maids, stable people, gardeners, farmers, cooks, and on and on) could live close by with their families. The Biltmore estate was completely self sufficient - all the crops were raised there, had their own dairy cows, and any other thing you could possibly need.
It was 1895, and they had 43 bathrooms - indoor plumbing was a luxury. Also, they had a heated indoor pool, with underwater lights - amazing for that time and age. But the details inside the house were the real show-stoppers and unfortunately I can't show you those. No expense was spared and the Christmas trees and decor that the tourism peoples put in there these days was gorgeous as well.
The memories made with our family on this short 4 day trip are priceless. I'm so glad we could all share this together. I plan on going back for the "Festival of Flowers" in the spring/summer months one year. You're welcome to join us!
The Vanderbilts owned as far as the eye can see all around the mansion! That's hundreds of thousands of acres!!!!!!! The mountains in the distance are now owned by the government and are Pisgah National Forest. Amazing!
Check out the booths - their inside the actual horse stalls! You can even see indentions in the brick wall where the horses had kicked and paced.
Now we're heading back out tonight after Nick comes home from work. We're staying with my sister and David in Richmond tonight, then finishing our Christmas shopping tomorrow and getting to see many of our friends at a Christmas party at Adam and Jamie's. Have a great weekend!