Where can you go and see a house with 43 bathrooms? Hidden passages?
Horses named Bert & Ernie?
Why right in our very own backyard - of course!
We have been given the honor of being a part of a focus group of families to use the Biltmore Estate just like it was our backyard. The Estate is making a very good effort to be attractive to families...so all this summer we plan to make very good use of our "yard".
On Saturday (June 16) David & I, along with our friends, Kim, Lance, Linsey, Millie & Avery spent an enjoyable day checking out the Estate. We began with a tour of the house (since Avery had never been), we let David (a seasoned Biltmore-ite) be our guide - it's amazing the things kids pick out to focus on - (see above re: bathrooms and secret doors). If only he had been at the head of the pack in the salon with Napoleon's chess set (that's Napoleon Bonaparte, Lance ... NOT Napoleon Dynamite!) Don't worry we won't let him forget that slip for quite some time.
After touring the house we headed down to the lagoon for a big picnic lunch...complete with blue dragonflies and geese with their babies. We let the kids burn off some energy in one of the big fields, then headed up to River Bend Farm for some of their super-yum ice cream. There was live music, buttermilk being made and even a nest of baby barn swallows to see. After being rejuvenated with ice cream, we set out across the street to the barn to see the animals...baby chicks, lambs and goats a-plenty greeted us and let us pet them. There is even a blind chicken that you can pick up and hold!
After the barn - it was the mom's turn to play in the kitchen garden... how cool is "love-in-a-mist"? or artichoke plants? they even have a kiwi plant (vine? tree? - it was a little of both)...they even had a touchable plant area for the kiddos. All in all a very cool day.
I'm thinking on my weekend I just might find a shady spot by the river and spend an afternoon reading...but then we also talked about a photographic "safari" of sorts...lots more to see and do...
For more awesome photos of the Estate grounds check out our buddies Steven & Abner's blog, just click on the link down the list on the right...