Sometimes when you live somewhere like Asheville -- ok, there is nowhere like Asheville! -- you forget to do the things right here that make our area so special. Living in Asheville is one perpetual vacation, with only the interruption of having to make a living.
Since we probably won't be taking a vacation this year (sigh), we are trying to embrace and rediscover our own rich neighborhood. Last week we explored Dupont Forest, and this week we decided to just drive across the river and spend the afternoon at Biltmore Estate.
It has been a few years since we visited Biltmore, the mammoth estate and tourist attraction literally in our backyard. I worked there for a year or so in the mid-nineties, and while schlepping wine wasn't my idea of a vocation, I was impressed with the Cecils (who own the place) and the way the estate is managed and run. And, it is breath-takingly beautiful. George did know how to pick real estate.
We were last there on a day trip about five years ago with out-of-town friends who hadn't visited it before. It was this time of year, when the tulips are spectacular, and they were again in full glory today.
We decided to invest in the season Explore Biltmore Pass, so that we have unlimited access to visit and to use the bike trails for a year. We didn't take the bikes today, and it has been a couple of years since we have been on them, so I thought the trails at the Estate would be an easy way to get back in the saddle. We'll see how that goes.
Today, spring was in all her glory at Biltmore: beautiful weather, tulips wide open, azaleas beginning to bloom, and baby animals! I hadn't been there since they opened the Antler Hill Village and expanded the animal exhibits around the barn area. FUN!
There is so much to do in and around Asheville, which is one of the things that makes it such a great place to live. We have nature's playground all around us in these beautiful mountains, and we have George Vanderbilt's playground in our backyard. Wow.