Archive for March, 2013

A Grand Day Out

March 13, 2013

Biltmore Diana and her dog (2) (513x800)

Now, I could tell you that this is our REAL house.  I could say that our doublewide trailer is just a decoy to hide our incredible wealth and that I never mentioned this house because, well…*sniff*…it simply doesn’t do to flaunt one’s riches.  But then you’d probably think, “Hmm…looks like Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl has been watching a little too much Downton Abbey, haha.”   And, haha…you’d be right.

Besides, if this were OUR house, why would all these people be here?

Biltmore from the hill (3) (800x617)

The truth is, a very kind friend (thank you, kind friend!) gave me two tickets to Biltmore, and Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man and I had a grand day out at a very grand house surrounded by an even grander expanse of rolling hills and mountains.

We were a little worried when we approached the house, and the first thing we saw was this fellow:

biltmore statue (2) (600x800)

We couldn’t help but be wary of someone with a cross in one hand and a big, scary sword in the other.  Talk about mixed messages!  But we felt much better when we saw his sweet companion:

Biltmore Joan of Arc perhaps (2) (600x800)

And better yet when we saw this friendly lady waving, “Hey!”  It’s so nice to be welcomed!

Biltmore friendly statue (2) (599x800)

We politely averted our eyes and pretended not to notice that…ahem…her dress had slipped.  Bless her heart!

And look!  Her companion even unfurled a lovely bough of flowers for us!  Aww…you shouldn’t have!

Biltmore statue with flower bough (2) (800x593)

biltmore looking ominous blog

As you might expect, we didn’t spend much time in the Big House.  In fact, we were rather relieved to walk away from it and the foreboding clouds gathering over it.  Even in all its extravagant glory, it paled in comparison to the glory outside:

Biltmore trail (2) (800x633)

Like this path, where we could see both our beloved mountains and the beautiful French Broad River that flows near our own Doublewide Ranch.

And the stately, ancient trees that were everywhere, including this cypress and the knees gathered, like a quiet and worshipful congregation, at its base.

Biltmore cypress knees (2) (800x599)

And this climbing ivy, that looked almost as though it were painted on the tree:

Biltmore ivy climbing (2) (600x800)

The bamboo was a bit of a surprise, but lovely in its own way:

Biltmore bamboo (2) (800x649)

But I think perhaps one of my favorite things were these little hemlock cones that hung like little bells in the tree.  These were in a secret garden that we found when we sought to get away from the crowds.  My favorite places have always been those that have  little green sanctuaries like this.  Places where you can quiet your mind long enough to remember where the real riches are.

Biltmore evergreen cones (2) (800x599)