I slept in this morning in order to give the fog a chance to move on. The skies did not look promising when I left my room around 10:30 so I decided to go see the Biltmore Estate. Living in Atlanta all those years, I had always wanted to go see the Biltmore but the boss never seemed too interested. I’m the boss now so off I went and was soon standing in line at the ticket office. I about had a heart attack when I saw that a day pass was $60!!!! Sixty bucks to tour someone’s home… Geez… seemed steep. I was fortunate enough to procure a coupon from a kind lady in the next line so it only cost me $44 in the end.
My motorcycle got me special parking up front and I walked through the gates for my first look at what is without question the most spectacular home I have ever seen. Check out my blogroll for more info. Going into that house was like stepping back in time and the whole tour was simply fascinating. I highly recommend everyone seeing this magnificent estate. I could not take photos inside the building which was a shame but I will never forget what it felt like to walk around that house. I probably only saw 40 percent of the whole thing because they don’t let you go everywhere but I can only imagine what it must have been like to have lived in that era in that house. Simply amazing.
Oh Alicia, I almost forgot… THE LIBRARY!!! It was awesome. It occupied a large room on the right side of the house. The room was two stories high and wall to wall books. There were floor to ceiling windows to let ample light in and the whole room was dark wood paneling. There was a cool spiral staircase going to the second level just in case you didn’t want to use a ladder 🙂 There were huge high backed leather reading chairs and chaise lounge chairs for laying down and reading. The library contains 10,000 of George Vanderbilt’s original books. There are 23,000 books in the entire house… might take you a while to read all those huh Lou 🙂
My next stop was the winery located on the estate. Back in 1997, while I was living in Atlanta, I shared a divine bottle of the Biltmore Pinot Noir with a beautiful young woman. That was the first time I had heard of the Biltmore estate and I wanted to see if the wine was still as good as I remembered. Sadly, no but maybe I should have gotten a beautiful woman to drink with and I may have a different answer 🙂
As I left the estate, the weather looked quite good so I headed back up into the mountains and the first hour on the Blue Ridge Parkway was quite good. Unfortunately, the fog was still around and after another 45 mins in the fog and 16 miles of construction traffic, I gave up on seeing any more of the parkway. The fog was so thick that I felt like I was in an episode of Lost and the smoke thing was chasing me. Actually, that wouldn’t have been too bad because then I would have at least been around Elizabeth Mitchell… oh yeah baby! She is definitely on my top 5 list along with Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston and Vanessa Marcil. I know I’m getting old because Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan and Jody Foster recently got the boot.
Anyway, whatever secrets the mountains hold about life, love, booze and rock n’ roll… well they will have to tell them to someone else 🙂
Tomorrow I try a marathon ride from Asheville, NC to Fort Smith, Arkansas… 800 miles and 13 hours. Ambitious but I feel like I am “behind schedule” due to the weather window for Alaska. We will see what happens.