A fifty dollar ticket into the Biltmore gives you a self guided tour of the large house and access to the adjacent gardens, a lake and a shopping area with wine tasting, food and live music. We were there on a rainy, hot and humid Tuesday. It was crowded, very crowded. Wall to wall people from all around the world.
The house was an impressive time capsule… rooms with Haunted Mansion-like wood finishings, velvet tapestries and ornate wallpaper, fancy hand carved furniture, hallways packed with portraits, a large spiral staircase and the kitchen/pantry/laundry wing was fascinating. There’s an indoor pool in the basement with zero windows that everyone swears is haunted. A cinderblock basement room was festively hand-painted by a younger Vanderbilt for a New Year’s party. The art was taken from a Russian circus troupe’s flyer and it looked like a mash up of the Tim Burton signature spiral background, Dr. Seuss’ spikey bear-like creatures, matryoshka doll drawings mixed with some light opiate use. And to round out the 80+ rooms, there are many specific rooms for changing, smoking and sitting. Apparently, people used to change their clothing several times a day. You aren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but if it was allowed, we’d all be trapped in a sea of selfie sticks and tripods.
There was a lightning storm passing overhead as we toured the house. The moment the booming stopped, we rushed over and had the gardens to ourselves before the masses descended behind us. We were so lucky to have a bit of quiet time with the flowers.
You know how your family would plan vacations months in advance? You’d research and read reviews, get a feel for your destination, plan out each day accordingly and budget your time at each place, right?
My Mom said she was coming out from Los Angeles fairly last minute and we decided to go to Asheville for a few days and the rest of the week was up in the air!
So, we rented an adorable duplex cottage house in Asheville from a lovely couple. Upon our arrival, we were told that we had just missed a mother bear and her 3 cubs, steps from the front door of the rental cottage. Bummer. Instead, we saw turkeys (and baby turkeys!), lots of lightning bugs and a few deer. Here’s the view from our back deck…
We went into town one day and did some window shopping, but missed the Pinball Museum being open! (dang it!)
With little warning, my Mom declared that she wanted to see waterfalls. We both only brought sandals… go us…
At the pace we were moving, I can honestly say that I can’t really remember where those waterfalls were… it was exhausting.
Blogs are becoming abandoned ghost towns on the internet… so, I chose to put most of my new art, adventures etc on our Facebook page and Pinterest boards.
But then, something funny happened… Facebook is hiding posts, requesting payment to show said posts to followers and overall… regulating everything I do there. And Pinterest is turning into a similar world of promoted pins and things you can buy. It’s getting overcrowded and claustrophobic over there, metaphorically speaking.
So, I’m going to come back to my little blog a bit more…
Here are some art journal posts from 2014…
Art Journal #113 – Basset Hound bridesmaid without glitter
Art Journal #113 with glitter
Art Journal #114 – Christmas door with skates
Art Journal #115 – Christmas tree room
Art Journal #116 – Christmas door wreath with cute dog face
Art Journal #117 – Old barn Christmas door
Art Journal #118 – Christmas Carmel CA beach cottage