Tag Archives: Ashville

Photos of Biltmore Estate

IMG_1926

I forgot to warn you: there may be many pictures of flowers and beautiful landscaping to follow. I couldn’t help myself, everything was so incredibly beautiful!

IMG_1929

Main entrance to the house.

IMG_1930

Side view of the house. This was taken from the stables (which have been converted into shopping and restaurants.

IMG_1931

IMG_1932

This is the grand staircase, just to the left of the main entrance. Inside is the main spiral staircase. Down its center is a chandelier that lights each floor and the chandelier is three stories from top to bottom. Also notice the outside stairs. They don’t lead anywhere, but there are little doors along the way so someone on the inside stairs could step outside. The outside stairs were really just decorative and they anchored the inside staircase to the wall they shared.

IMG_1933

This is one of the patios. Its covered with (I think) grape vines which haven’t started leafing, yet.IMG_1939

IMG_1941

A view along the back of the house.

IMG_1942

I can’t say why, but these rolling hills are really beautiful. I know the picture doesn’t capture it, but come visit for yourself and you’ll see what I mean!

IMG_1944

This is the other side view of the house, the one opposite the stables. I took it from the end of the enormous (like at least a football field long, enormous) patio. The fuzziness in the middle of the house is that grape vine-covered patio we saw earlier.

IMG_1945

I walked down a staircase at the end of that enormous patio and found this beautiful scene.

IMG_1946

Here, more grape vines (I think!) cover that walkway that runs along the lower wall of that enormous patio we saw a couple pictures back.

IMG_1949

Another view of the house from the gardens.

IMG_1950

Here we are!

IMG_1952

Finally! My camera comes close to capturing the really green trees. Those that have started the leaf, anyway. There are plenty that are still bare.

IMG_1953

IMG_1954

IMG_1960

This is the covered walkway that runs through the gardens and leads to the Conservatory.

IMG_1962

Field of flowers.

IMG_1963

Another view of the walls.

IMG_1967

I don’t know what this plant is, but I love it.

IMG_1969

This is the rose garden. Unfortunatly, its not ready to bloom, yet.

IMG_1971

Here’s the conservatory. Its really just another name for greenhouse, but this is an especially beautiful, and really big, greenhouse. You can even see the trees inside through the windows.

IMG_1974

Here are several photos from the greenhouses.

IMG_1978

IMG_1980

IMG_1983

IMG_1986

I have a thing for fluffy-looking plants. Don’t know why, just do.

IMG_1988

IMG_1993

IMG_2000

IMG_2003

IMG_2004

IMG_2005

IMG_2006

A view of the main house from the Conservatory.

IMG_2007

IMG_2008

The Conservatory and greenhouses.

IMG_2019

IMG_2036

The stable courtyard withe stables in the background. That clock is the master clock for the entire house. George Vanderbilt insisted on a punctual household, so he installed wall clocks throughout all the servant areas. When the minute hand on this clock moved, it sent an electric pulse to all the other clocks so their minute hands moved, too. It kept the entire house synchronized.

IMG_2030

IMG_2031

IMG_2037

This is the covered entrance to the right of the main entrance, near the stables. This is where carriages would come if it was raining. Behind me is another entrance to the house.

IMG_2039

This is a view of the backyard where the servants worked. Here is where deliveries were made and where guests’ trunks would be unloaded. The farthest building is the back of the stable and the unmarried male servants all had their rooms on the second floor of the stable. To get to work, they walked down the spiral staircase in the black extension, walked across the brick courtyard, and went in the back door, which is underneath me.

IMG_2043

Another view of the back courtyard. Notice the circles, like manholes. This house has central heating (yes, it was original to the house in 1895!). It was heated by 3 huge steam turbines that ran on coal. So, they’s take the covers off the manholes and they’d dump the coal down the shutes to the coal bins. We went on a tour of “below stairs” and saw the turbines, as well as the “Dynamo”—the machine that generated the DC current that powered all the electric lights in the house. Eventually the hosue was converted to AC power when that became the way of the world.

IMG_2044

The gift shop in the stable was overwhelming. Too many beautiful things to even see individual things.

IMG_2045

This wine comes in a cut glass bottle.

IMG_2054

Here’s the house. On the right, behind the trees, is the stable. On the left you can kind of see the grape vine-covered patio. From that extends the football-sized patio. I should mention that just to the right of the main entrance is a little pointy roof. That is the Winter Garden. It’s a large area just off the entrance hall that made of glass—yes, that pointy ceiling is glass—and its full of all kinds of exotic plants and some beautiful sculptures. It is jaw-droppingly impressive. Of course, to the left of the entrance hall is that grand spiral staircase with the incredible three-story chandelier. It was overwhelming.

IMG_2082

More of the grounds.

IMG_2087

IMG_2088

IMG_2097

Yes, they have Segue tours. I kind of thought it was a joke, though, until I actually saw them.

IMG_2119

Field of flowers.

Smoky Mountains Photos

IMG_1673

Everything was getting green. I really hate my new camera because it doesn’t capture how deeply green the green plants are.

IMG_1676

IMG_1681

Here’s where the stream is diverted into a flume.

IMG_1683

Here’s the flume leading to the mill. This is a grist mill. Grits were, and still are, a staple food in these parts.

IMG_1690

IMG_1695

IMG_1702

IMG_1704

I think the blooming trees are dogwoods, but not completely sure.

IMG_1705

IMG_1706

Yes, our Bob was here, but he was a good boy, unlike the previous Bob.

IMG_1710

Here was are in the Smokies!

IMG_1716

A view of Gatlinberg, Tennessee, from our hotel room. You can see a little of the water vapor hanging in the air that gives the Smokies their name.

IMG_1796

A little chocolate monkey topped with really big guns? Sure, I’ll have one of those. ???

IMG_1723

We saw turkeys everywhere. There were three in this group and they were very vocal. Here you can see two of the three.

IMG_1731

IMG_1744

Lots of beautiful streams are everywhere.

IMG_1746

IMG_1750

So much potential! I wish I could go back in a month when the other trees have leaves.

IMG_1755

Here we are in a higher elevation becuase Spring has barely started.

IMG_1767

Did I mention I hate my camera? This area was vividly green, so green it almost hurt. It was really beautiful.

IMG_1770

Here’s a little more of the green, but it was eye-popping.

IMG_1776

IMG_1769

10 people lived in this little house. Part was built in the 1890s and the second part was built in the 1930s.

IMG_1777

Here’s Bob : )

IMG_1782

This is the steam behind the cabin.

IMG_1788

IMG_1792

Here’s a little more of the green.

IMG_1805

I’d love to come back to the Smoky Mountains. I see the appeal of this place. The beauty here really grows on you. However, this national park is the most visited in the country—even more than Yellowstone. Even this early in the year, it was pretty crowded and traffic was slow.

IMG_1800

IMG_1811

So pretty.

IMG_1829

The park was established with the help of the Rockefellers. Here’s a memorial honoring that fact. We also have the Rockefellers to thank for the fact there is no entrance fee into the Smoky Mountain NP, it was a stipulation of their donation.

IMG_1831

The Appalacian Trail! I’ve always been curious about this trail. I have to say, it was pretty treacherous.

IMG_1832

The first little bit from the parking lot had a guard rail, but it didn’t go far and the drop off was pretty steep.

IMG_1834

IMG_1836

And the footing was anything but sure. You had to really watch it. Also, the dirt was pretty wet and everything was slippery.

IMG_1838

Here’s Bob on the Appalachian Trail! He was a good sport because this was on my bucket list and he was humoring me. Otherwise, he probably would have skipped it. Especially since the part we were on was steeply uphill. : )

IMG_1842

IMG_1845

IMG_1846

IMG_1848

Here we are at the Appalachian Trail. Here, the trail follows the NC/TN border.

IMG_1851

See?

IMG_1864

Next up was Clingmans Dome and here we learned the meaning of steep incline. It was brutal!

IMG_1875

But the top had this nifty tower.

IMG_1878

On the ramp to the top of the tower.

IMG_1881

The view from the top of the tower.

IMG_1894

The Appalachian Trail passes by Clingmans Dome, too. Did I mention there were lots of really serious hikers around? They were intense.

IMG_1895

A close up of a bend in the Appalachian Trail. I’m telling you, it can be treacherous! Most of those serious hikers I told you about had two things in common: two walking poles and a folded egg crate to cushion the ground when they slept.

IMG_1898

Another view from Clingmans Dome.

IMG_1921