The plans for this years vacation to the mountains would have had us driving from north of Atlanta to Asheville via Cherokee today. We had planned a tour of the Cherokee Village today with lots of stops to photograph the mountains (like these from last year).
On last years trip we stopped for the night in Chattanooga, Tennessee before driving into the mountains heading for the home of the Eastern Cherokee. The heat caused us to postpone the our tour of the Village after we did a long wander through the museum. We planned this year to make up for that missed opportunity.
Our plans for the night were to stay in Asheville and spend tomorrow at the Biltmore Estate. This is one stop my wife has always wanted to make, she just did not want to drag all of our young ones through the mansion (even though our youngest is 17 this year, it’s not an attraction that appeals to the MySpace crowd). I do not know what it is about huge gilded houses that attract women so…maybe it’s knowing they don’t have to dust and clean the bathrooms.
Wondering about the wonders of this remarkable home?
Q: Where did the name “Biltmore” come from?
A: Vanderbilt created the estate name by combining two words, “Bildt,” for the region in Holland where the Vanderbilt family originated, and “more,” an old English word meaning upland rolling hills.
Q: When was Biltmore constructed?
A: Ground was broken in 1889, and construction continued through 1895. George Vanderbilt opened Biltmore House to family and friends for the first time on Christmas Eve in 1895.
Q: What did it cost to build the house?
A: As research continues, we hope to be able to find more receipts and documents which will give us at least an estimate.
With a second night in Asheville we planned to be well rested before heading north up the Parkway on Wednesday.
I’ll continue this Virtual Vacation on Wednesday…