This was supposed to post while I was away in Illinois – but it did not?
This was our Biltmore* day!
We had a reservation to tour the house at 1:30pm. We arrived before noon, after a quick bagel breakfast at the local Bruegger’s Bagels. Prior to touring the house, we walked up the grassy hill in front of the house to the statue of Diana the Huntress; as well as touring the gardens and Conservatory.
This was Tristan’s first time inside the house. He had been to the Estate with me for work events, including a special dinner out on the South Terrace. As much as history and architecture are much more MY interests, I think he really enjoyed himself.
It was HOT. Super hot. Kind of a bummer, but it meant getting to enjoy a margarita at some point in the afternoon, while sitting on a bench at the Conservatory. Not a bad thing, indeed.
Photos are not allowed in the house, so here is everything ELSE…
(Boy do I miss using my employee discount at the Winery!)
It was a lovely, albeit muggy day on the Estate. After coming back to the Cottage and showering, we decided to cancel our dinner reservation at Zambras. Relaxing on our private porch, with a glass of wine, and getting take-out from HOMEGROWN sounded much more appealing at that point.
HOMEGROWN proved delicious, once again. I opted for the Smoked Tempeh Burrito (w/local Smiling Hara Tempeh), and a side salad. T and I split a Candied Bacon Brownie for dessert. Our first choice was their Banana Pudding, but they were sold out for the day. The brownie was yum, and I loved the little candied bacon flecks throughout. The bigger chunks of bacon were a bit unappealing simply because they weren’t as crunchy.
Even in take-out, HOMEGROWN proved exceptional. The take-out containers were compostable, as was the plastic carrier bag. Incredible. I brought the containers home, and put them in my composter. Hooray for loving the Earth! 🙂
* Background information… If you aren’t aware, I used to live in Asheville. I worked in Human Resources for Biltmore Estate in their corporate offices, on the executive level. It was quite a job! had daily interactions with Bill Cecil Jr. (President and CEO of Biltmore), who is the great-grandson of George Vanderbilt, who built the Estate.
Being the “Jill-of-all-trades” that I am, I also worked a couple of weekends a month out at the Estate Equestrian Center. The BEEC (Biltmore Estate Equestrian Center) is not open to the public, per say. When you visit the Estate, you don’t encounter it, unless you know where it is! Rather, it is for people who live in the area to board/ride their horses at; and also for those people who travel and camp with their horses. It was an interesting, albeit dusty, experience. Now if I overhear someone talking about “Coggins reports”, I know what they are talking about. (Any horse riders here?)
I also briefly assisted Philippe Jourdain, the former Winemaster at Biltmore Estate, as part of a side-project. I was able to learn a lot about wine in a short amount of time. (While deciphering his very thick French accent!)
So, that is my Biltmore background. It was a great company to work for, and I truly enjoyed my time there. I was sad to leave, when I ended up moving to Charlotte to be closer to Tristan. *