Last Day of Vacation:(

Day 8

Ashville, North Carolina. The day was spent roaming around the Biltmore Estate.

(Biltmore Home in Panorama)

The house is huge. It has 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. I thought this place would just be a show of excess. But what I didn’t realize was the whole idea of Mr. Vanderbuilt was to make a working, self-sufficient estate. And to share it with many friends.

(Biltmore Conservatory Panorama)

There are also several gardens. And many fields where the estate raises most of the food to supply their restaurants. If they have to buy more food, it’s usually local. There is also a huge vineyard where, of course, they raise their own grapes to make the wine sold in their winery. Yes, I did a tasting and now have some wine to drink at home.

(In the Walled Garden)

Originally, the estate was to have the fields and gardens closer to the home, but due to the very hard ground, it was decided to place those in the lower, wetter fields. So, the Vanderbuilts had their landscaper design more of a sitting garden area closer to the home. And his designs included a reforestation of the land around the home. The man, sorry I have forgotten his name, that took over to actually make the plan happen turned out to be one of the first Forestry students in the country and started what would later become the US Forestry Service. And I thought this place was all excess!

Well, we ended up spending about seven hours there. And there is more to explore. But it was time to go home and the vacation to come to an end. Boo!

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