This post was written about June 30th, 2016. If you’re just now tuning in to this series check out Smoky Mountains: Day One then Smoky Mountains: Day Two.
Locations: Bryson City, NC -> Asheville, NC -> Bryson City, NC
Today was filled with laughter, a little tears on my part, and lots of walking. It was fueled by doughnuts, soup, and fried chicken because we’re in North Carolina and southern comfort food is a must. Let me dive right in and give you the details since you may be slightly confused.
My wake up time was a little leisure like this morning. I woke up around 8 and read a devotional through the app called ‘First 5‘. This app helps me start my first five minutes of the day diving into God’s word. The devotionals are simple and short, perfect for the morning. After getting ready I fueled myself with half an english muffin with half a kiwi. No, I am not someone who eats really small breakfasts but I was saving my hunger for something even more delicious.
Hitting the road our first stop was Holes in Asheville, NC. I found out about it through a Bon Appetit article. Holes is a doughnuts place where doughnuts are made to order. I got a Toasted Almond with Sesame Seeds and Cinnamon. I’m pretty sure that it was the best doughnut I’ve ever had. The sweetness mixed with saltines and the warmness made it heavenly. My Mom and Dad got the Rosemary Bourbon which I tried a bite of and it was divine. Outside they had a cute little truck with their logo on it which was obvious that I had to take a picture in front of it.
Let’s talk about houses. They can be small, medium, large, or extra-large. The Biltmore house was extra, extra, extra large. The Biltmore is the largest home in America and is still privately owned by fourth and fifth generations of the Vanderbilt family. Construction started in 1889 and was finally finished in 1895. There are 3 stories and basement as well. The vastness of it all is crazy.
When first arriving on the estate we choose to tour the gardens before it got blazing hot outside. The gardens were beautiful and huge (the Biltmore has 8,000 acres of land. That is one “HOLY COW”!) There are also over 2,000,000 types of plants throughout the estate. Some of my favorites were the different types of roses and succulents. I especially loved a plant they had that looked like little balls of white fluff.
We then ventured out to Bass Pond and also to see the Bass Pond waterfall. Being spoiled with spectacular waterfalls last year it was hard to awe us. It was quite and serene and cool which is my happy place.
Lunch sadly, was a letdown. At least what I got was. I tried the soup of the day at The Stable Cafe on the grounds. The Stable Cafe was a stable that was transformed into an eating place. Back to that soup, it was potato mixed with some indian spices. I’m not usually picky about my food but this wasn’t my favorite. However, my Mom got Turkey and Gouda Mac and Cheese and it was the best thing EVER. My Dad and Brother got the Bangers & Black Eyed Peas which was A++ as well.
Walking into the Biltmore house put me in awe. The hugeness and how much detail that was put into is crazy. There are over 200 rooms in the house and 33 bathrooms, which was rare during that time because usually bathrooms were located outside. There was a room for having afternoon tea, and music. A dining hall where 7 to 10 course meals were served. A library with two stories and I would say thousands of books. Rooms dedicated to different architects that contributed to the house. The basement where there was a pool, bowling alley, gym, a pastry kitchen, rotisserie kitchen, kitchen, and servants quarters. I’m still in awe of how HUGE and how pretty the interior was.
Funny story, after touring the inside of the house we took a shuttlebus to the Winery and Village that was about 5 miles away. We got some sparkling grape juice and some regular concord grape juice then we waited for the shuttle back. As soon as the shuttle arrived my dad asked if the shuttle went back to the Biltmore. The driver proceeded to say no, and that you needed to be a guest at the Village Inn to take the shuttle. So we then walked 5 miles back to our car. JUST KIDDING!!! The driver didn’t leave us poor souls stranded, he drove us to the parking lot AND we got to hear about how around Christmas time the employees and their families are invited to a party inside the house. All children under 11 get a present and meals and caroling is also included. We laughed off our slight mishap and headed for dinner.
Homegrown was for dinner. It featured local foods and some really good Fried Chicken a top of a biscuit with cheddar cheese and sausage gravy + a side of roasted beets. It was heavenly! I was also proud of this find because I read about it on the Bon Appetit article titled: “Best Places to Eat in Asheville, NC.”
Sunset watching happened again when we got back “home”. I’m blessed by how good God is.
Stay tuned for more on my Smoky Mountain series! Much love, Brianna.