Friday, May 16, 2008
Asheville at last!
We arrived here in Asheville Friday morning after a quick stop in Mt. Airy, home of Andy Griffith and the basis for his fictional "Mayberry." Mt Airy isn't the small quaint place we had envisioned - even less so with so many trying to profit from the popularity of Andy's shows. We hadn't planned to stay long and believe me we DIDN'T! It wasn't long until we were back on the freeway headed for Asheville.
When we got to Asheville, we drove stright to it's most famous landmark, the Biltmore Estates.It's that little shack behind Julie. 250 rooms, 43 bathrooms, indoor swimming pool, two lane bowling alley, 15 foot ceilings - all of it built by George Vanderbilt (yes, that same one as in Vanderbilt University, Health Center, etc) before 1896. Stinking unbelievable. I'd show you pictures from the inside, but they don't allow indoor photography. 45 bucks a head and you can't take pictures. Hmmmmm. Ah well. It was a pretty exceptional time to be honest. The house is overwhelming and the gardens are as well. We had a great time and it was as worth as an empty house can be. The picture of me on the tractor was allowed at the Farm area of the Biltmore - one of the best parts that a lot of people miss. We met an exceptionally friendly woodworker and a very entertaining blacksmith. I enjoyed the time at the farm best. Saturday is supposed to be an easy day for us - I'll let you know!