Posted in Life

Adventures with Maria

Last week, my friend Maria and I visited Biltmore Esates. She’s getting married this summer, and we wanted to go on a trip before that. We like visiting old fancy houses, so this was a good choice.

We had a little apartment for the few days we were there. It was only minutes away from everything we wanted to do, but it was still in a very quiet neighborhood. In the mornings we opened windows and could hear more birds than traffic. The apartment was part of an old, renovated building, and it was an excellent combination of quirky and nice. We enjoyed it.

We spent most of a day exploring Biltmore. The house is enormous (200-some rooms – not that we saw all of them), and we toured it in the morning. We saw tons of pretty things and fancy rooms and impressive architecture. Here are just a few small details:

The view through a door. It looks snowy outside, but it was actually just very misty.
I loved these stairs for reaching high shelves in the library.
A cubby underneath a staircase!
I did not get a picture of it myself, but this painting, The Waltz by Anders Zorn, hangs in the second floor living hall. I loved it.
This was my lunch, winter risotto. The color was a bit unexpected, but it was absolutely delicious.

After the house, we went to lunch at one of the restaurants in the village that’s part of the estate. The place was nice, the food was excellent, and we didn’t wait long at all. We were very satisfied with our choice of restaurant.

After lunch, we explored the gardens for a while. The timing was perfect; it rained in the morning and while we ate, but it stopped when we were ready to wander around outside.

We saw only a minuscule portion of the grounds, but what we saw was beautiful. Not many things had bloomed yet, but the gardens were still artistically designed and meticulously cared for. One garden contained an abundance of tulips. In another we found a pond full of fish, who seemed very interested in the possibility that we had brought them food (we had not). We discovered lots of intriguing paths to explore.

To wrap up our day, we went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was nice to sit down, and we accidentally found a swanky movie theater with unexpectedly comfortable seats.

The trip to and from the place were very enjoyable as well. We had lots of time to talk and listen to music and just enjoy each others’ company.

It was a very special trip. I’m so glad we were able to go.

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