Lake Lure, North Carolina Vacation Outline Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10
September 5, 2013
9/5/2013 – Day 7 6:45 am Half the team is showered, dressed and ready.  The other half of the team is working on it.  We are trying to get a fairly early start and explore the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. 7:20 am Still on the resort property.  We are in the car, ready and raring to go.  Something (bear, raccoon…) got into all the garbage cans near our unit.  There is garbage scattered all over up and down the street.  The resort has trash cans built into the ground.  They dug holes and then put metal liners with lids in the holes for garbage cans.  I see no locking mechanism.  No lock or latch.  It is no wonder the animals find and feed on the garbage.  Seems like they should replace them with something that deters the bears and raccoons.  I say this since the first animal we saw after arriving on the property was a very healthy looking black bear right under our deck. 7:45 am As we were driving around the bottom of Lake Lure we (Barbara) decided we should stop for some pictures of the nice Lake Lure sign. Decent light and very little traffic.   9:10 am We drove thru Lake Lure into Bat Cave where we picked up route 9 which has stretches of 55 mph and straight and sections of 15 mph that are very curvy.  We have just finished our typical vacation breakfast at McDonalds in Black Mountain.  We are very close to I-40 which we are about to jump onto and find the Biltmore Estate. 9:45 am We made it to The Biltmore Estate in Asheville.  We pulled onto the property about 15 minutes earlier and found the ticket office.  We now have our tickets ($59 each) and are about to head for the parking area and the main house. 10:30 am We had to park and take a bus to the main house.  We took some photos of the exterior of the place and did a little walking around before heading for the gardens. 10:40 am We have found the formal gardens next to the main house.  Barbara is in seventh heaven.  Beautiful gardens.  I can’t fathom having the kind of money it would take to have a property where you could have a private garden like the one we are walking through. 12 pm Left the conservatory and gift shop.  I bought a few souvenirs.  We are walking back through the gardens heading for the main house. 12:55 pm We are exploring the Biltmore Mansion.  No photography is allowed inside the house so I have no pictures to post.  I did take some photos from a large porch overlooking the property. It is a 250-room house.  Has a built-in pool and bowling alley in the basement.  It is billed as “America’s largest home”.  The mansion and property are still privately owned and managed by descendants of George Vanderbilt.  It was built in 1895. 4:40 pm We did the full tour of the house.  On the tour you visit about 90 of the 250 rooms.  The tour took us about 1½ hours. We had lunch at the Stable Café.  It is in the building that housed the original stables for the house.  In fact the horse stalls are still in place and some of the tables are in the stall.  It was refurbished very nicely and is now a very interesting place for a meal. After lunch we walked and explored the shops.  There are about 5 or 6 stores (book, toys, xmas, souvenir…) and at least peeked in each. We are back in the car and about to try and follow the map to the winery. 6:45 pm We found the winery and parked the car.  We explored a museum about the Vanderbilts including a large family tree.  Talked about life on the property at the time and. We did find the winery.  Barbara did the tasting.  I was driving and didn’t want the wine in me or on my breath.  We bought three bottles of Biltmore wine. We are in the car and heading for the property exit.  On exit from the property we noticed that the buildings we are passing look like the same era as the one on the Biltmore estate.  We wondered if some of this village area was once part of the estate and at some point was sold off. 7:45 pm We stopped at an old shanty that we have been driving past all week.  The building is dilapidated and looks as if it might fall down.  It looks like it could have some interesting history to it.  I am not impressed the evening light so I am not taking any photos but Barbara is.  I hope they come out better than I see them. 8:10 pm Home.  Car is unpacked from the day’s travels.  We are in for the night.  We had a late lunch and no dinner.  Not much in the unit either.  hmmm  We do have ice cream and cookies…
“Leave only footprints, take only memories” (...and maybe some pictures)
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