Photo Girl Travels

Taking the Road Less Traveled

Biltmore Estate Decked Out

Leave a comment

20131117-113845.jpg
People who know me know I LOVE the holidays. It starts with Halloween and my giddiness extends through Christmas. Yes, my house is the one decorated for Halloween in September and Christmas in November. Unlike many if you I gasp in delight when the Christmas decorations are decked out in the stores in September. So when I was looking into a trip location in November I was thrilled to find out one of my favorite places would be decorated for the holidays: The Biltmore Estate. The photos below are ones from my visit. The first one is of the tree in the dining room. Here’s a close up.

20131117-113940.jpg
The tree is a 40 foot fresh cut tree a and the smell is incredible. They said that they decorate so early that on December 3rd they will take this one down and put a fresh on up overnight. They would decorate the tree hanging the presents on the branches so the estate keeps the same tradition which you see in the above photo. It you’re lucky they will be playing Silent Night on the organ and the music will float throughout the house. Here are some more photos.

20131117-114523.jpg
Above are the trees across the room from the 40 foot tree by a massive fireplace. You have to stop and imagine what the room was like with the fires a blaze and the lighted and decorated trees glowing on Christmas Eve….

20131117-114800.jpg
The library.

20131117-114855.jpg

20131117-115104.jpg
Many of the rooms have period dress which is very interesting to see. The women must have been no taller than 5 feet tall. The dresses are tiny!

20131117-115353.jpg

20131117-115434.jpg
After your tour, head over to the area with the shops and order a hot chocolate and stroll through the gardens and shops. Me, by my favorite lion.

20131117-115735.jpg
The first day photo with my lion.

20131117-115845.jpg
Actually during the first photo I got photo bombed by the cutest kid 😉

20131117-120055.jpg
Second day… Yes I am obsessed with this handsome guy.

20131117-120134.jpg
And the last day the put a bow on him!❤️❤️❤️

20131117-120259.jpg
If you are able to tour the Biltmore Estate over the next two months I hope you do!!! You will not regret it. Also, now they are doing evening candle light tours who’s must be incredible. We will your the grounds in my next blog and also take a walk out to bass pond throughout the wooded forest. Sending everyone early holiday cheer!

Some links for more information:  http://www.biltmore.com/ and http://www.biltmore.com/visit

 

#BACON Anyone? My Breakfast at the #Biltmore

2 Comments

20131107-142810.jpg
While staying at the Biltmore Inn, I am on what they call the bed and breakfast package. I have to confess I usually don’t eat breakfast and consider the large amounts of cream that I pour into my coffee to be enough. But the Biltmore Inn has one of the best so I splurge and load up for the day. The photos below are a combination taken over the last two days.

20131107-143132.jpg

20131107-143143.jpg
I personally LoVe the buffet which offers a lox area with everything you could ever want to load onto a slice if salmon.

20131107-143326.jpg
Fresh fruit.

20131107-143400.jpg
You can also have them make a custom omelet (I always order everything with extra spinach). And the bacon is some of the best I have ever had.

20131107-143523.jpg
And my lox plate.

20131107-143600.jpg
Finally, the topper is that the have cheese grits which melt in you mouth!

20131108-072036.jpg
Here’s the omelette bar where they will cook it to order. And some photos of the restaurant where can either sit by the window and watch the sunrise, or maybe you’d prefer to sit by a crackling fire, perfect for a fall morning.

20131108-072415.jpg

20131108-072424.jpg
This is where I’m sitting right now, I’ll finish and then one last walk to the Estate. So sad this is my last day.

20131108-072531.jpg
Sorry, the omelette bar didn’t upload and I’m attempting all of this on my phone and can’t figure out how to insert an image above 😉

20131108-072828.jpg
And finally a photo of the most amazing bacon ever! (Not including Vermont bacon.) off to the Estate!

20131108-074440.jpg

#Biltmore Inn – Absolute Heaven

Leave a comment

20131107-101340.jpg
After a 6 hour drive from the Monticello area in Virginia I arrived at one of my favorite places- The Biltmore Inn and Estate. I swear, any stress you may have is left at the door. The place is enchanting! I was here for the first time two years ago in the spring so I hope you’ll take a look at those posts (note Biltmore tab over on the right) since these include how to get there, my secret walk, etc, I’ll use these posts as a way of sharing my stay during the fall season. One huge difference is that everything is decorated for the holidays which I LOVE! But first, before I take you to the Estate I’ll share some photos of the Inn. The one above is the view from my room. You can see the pathway that takes you past the vineyards to the winery and Antler Village. Now, let’s take a look inside.

20131107-102005.jpg

20131107-102021.jpg

20131107-102031.jpg
I love this room (above photos) just off the lobby. You can sit by the fire and enjoy a drink. In the morning they offer complimentary coffee (I love when hotels do that) below are some photos of my room.

20131107-102229.jpg

20131107-102238.jpg
The next photos show the veranda where I sit every evening.

20131107-102322.jpg

20131107-102331.jpg
The long beautiful hallway where I walk each morning to exit the hotel for my walks.

20131107-102436.jpg
In the next blogs I’ll take you outside so you can see the grounds, have you join me for breakfast and an evening glass of wine. I’ll show you the farm and Antler village. We’ll wine taste and of course visit the Estate. Please click on the follow button for email updates on my posts.

Biltmore Estate, My Secret Walk – Final Approach!

Leave a comment

photogirltravels_biltmore walk5

The dirt path dipped and turned. Ahead I could see a tree-lined pond dotted with the V-shape of a duck coasting over the glassy water. I was about halfway there and was torn between wanting to get to my destination and wanting this walk to last longer. It was quiet except for an occasional squawk from one of the ducks. About an hour later I headed up a hill, through an old gate and saw what I was looking for. Off in the distance I could see the Estate, almost a castle. I had arrived. In front of me was the Biltmore Estate.

Over the last few blogs I’ve taken you on an incredible walk from the Biltmore Historic Inn over to the Biltmore Estate. Today, we’re on the final approach.  The following photos will take you through the rest of the walk…

After you leave the pond you’ll follow the trail up to the first of three gates.

BiltmoreEstate_photogirltravels.com_walk40

Then you find yourself in a large open field.

photogirltravels_biltmore walk35Keep following the path and you come to the second of three gates.  You can see it had been raining – I slugged through the mud to get to the other side.

photogirltravels_biltmore walk5After you pass through this gate you will get your first glimpse of the Estate. In the photo below you can see it off in the left corner.

BiltmoreEstate_photogirltravels.com_walk37

Just keep walking!

BiltmoreEstate_photogirltravels.com_walk38At the end, you’ll pass through one more gate and you’re at the Estate. The photo below was taken once I was inside, looking back.

photogirltravels_biltmore walk9

From here you can walk through the formal gardens, over to the Estate and take the tour. (Make sure you shut the gate behind you.) On a quick note, you can do this walk from the Estate to the Inn too. If you are there a few days and want to mix it up, try it both ways.  Also, if you’re traveling along it’s very safe so don’t hold back!

Would you like to purchase a print? Please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Biltmore Estate – My Secret Walk Part 4

1 Comment

photogirltravels_biltmore walk23

America’s foremost landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted created America’s first managed forests that surround the Biltmore Estate. Good old “Freddie” was quite the Renaissance man. When he was not designing landscapes, he was an American journalist, social critic, and public administrator. He is also well known for designing Central Park in New York City. From what I understand, the land that surrounded the Biltmore Estate was barren. Rolling hills but very few trees. All that changed when thousands of trees were brought onsite and planted, under the direction of Olmsted. Over the years the trees and foliage have settled in, creating the beauty and elegance surrounding the Estate. If you visit in the spring, it will be even more enchanting. It’s hard to stand anywhere without getting a cherry blossom in your photo.

You’ll see this scenery from the balcony of the Estate and from the bus window as it takes you up to the Estate. But the best way to see this view is on the Photo Girl Secret Walk. In my last blog highlighting this walk, we were following the path along the river which bends and curves, protected by huge trees that extend their branches out over the water’s edge. After a bit you’ll see a large pond with plump ducks resting on the water’s edge. Most could do with a little cardio via a strenuous paddle around the pond, but instead they seemed to be content, dozing the day away. (I even ran at a few of them and couldn’t get them to move.)

photogirltravels_biltmore walk26

Once you pass the pond, the trail becomes a narrow path that takes you through ancient gates held up by sturdy vines loaded with flowers. Then everything opens up and you can see the Estate in front of you! I’ll include these images in my next blog. Yet again, work beacons.

To the right is the official Photo Girl FOLLOW button. Click to Follow and you’ll receive my next blog by email!

Would you like to purchase a print? Please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Biltmore Estate My Secret Walk Part 3

2 Comments

photogirltravels_biltmore walk15

If you’re just joining me on this walk, I’ll take a moment and step back. We are currently visiting one of my favorite places: The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The estate sits on 8000 acres of the most beautiful countryside in America. Most people take the bus from the Historic Inn over to the Estate (which I what I did the first time). Don’t get me wrong. The bus is great. I actually met a lot of very nice people huddled into our seats, which I later saw that day. It’s as if you’re in a small town when you stay at the Historic Inn. You meet people on the bus and then there they are at the creamery in Antler Village. Then you’ll see them wine tasting later that evening…Yet I digress, back to the walk. After asking around, I discovered that I could walk over to the Estate. There were no clear directions but the overall consensus was that it was possible. And that was all that it took. I was a woman ready to set out on an adventure.

Not quite sure how to proceed, I turned my back on the bus and headed out the back door of the hotel – toward the vineyards. Passing Antler Village (and the winery) I found myself in a huge open field. It had rained the night before so I dodged puddles and breathed in the clean spring air. Tiny flowers shyly popped their heads up and seemed to be looking around. I imagine they must be thinking “we survived!” pleased to come into the land of the living. After I followed the path through the large field I found myself walking by a river, tree branches bending gracefully along the water’s edge. It was a bit overcast on the day I shot this photo but still beautiful. I was in heaven. Every turn seemed to bring a new discovery… To the right you’ll see the official Photo Girl FOLLOW button. If you click on it, you’ll receive an email link to my next discovery as we get closer to one of the most impressive castles in America.

Would you like to purchase a print? Please click on “Contact”. My photography is printed on aluminum. Utilizing an advanced process which infuses dyes directly into the metal, the colors and saturation are really amazing. In addition, your print will be displayed using mount blocks which float the image ½ inch off the wall.

©2013 Shelley D Spray – No content on this site (including all photography) may be reused in any fashion without written permission from the author.

Biltmore Estate…Solitude

1 Comment

photogirltravels_biltmore walk_Lake 1

By the lake, such beauty, grace and solitude…