Day 2: Susie’s Trip Biltmore

Today was our trip to The Biltmore Estate. I cannot really describe this as it is a vast estate open to the public. The house and everything are massive and over-the-top. Biltmore, built in the 1890s, is still the largest house in the USA. This is the Vanderbilt family estate and is still owned by the descendants. I did get in trouble. I walked up to the staircase and was informed that I could not do that as the tour direction must be followed. We stuck to the tour after that. We road in a 120-year-old manual elevator to the second floor and saw many of the family rooms. We had to stop as only stairs, a lot of them, allowed access to the third floor and the basement. On the second floor, we watched a video of the parts of the house that Susie and others could not reach. A bit odd, but it worked for us. The third floor was for servants, and the basement had the kitchens, laundry, and a few different things like a bowling alley and a swimming pool.

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(I forgot my phone in the car, so there are few pictures–I bought a book)

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I then walked with Barb and family, and soon others joined us in the walled garden. Susie, Leta her mother, and Joyce Susie’s aunt decided to rest on a bench while we checked out the gardens. I love old roses and was surprised to see so many new ones and awed by roses from the 1700s in the garden and 1800s. Emma, my niece, and I walked through all of it. I am happy to see so many old roses.

The indoor gardens had a model train running around it. Orchids in full flower were placed everywhere. We also so some bog plants like pitcher plants and other carnivorous plants. I like the garden more than the old house. It was alive and yet classical. I also wanted a shovel to take a few old roses back to the Portland area. I have ten different roses growing at my house. I found one, Mr. Lincoln, at Biltmore. Emma was surprised by how tall it was, five or six feet for some bushes.

As always, time runs out, and there is still much to see. Our tickets had us enter the house at 1:45 and still at closing, we had things to see. Amoung stuff we did not see was The B-52s, who had a show there tonight. We heard the sound tests, and we were wondering why it sounded familiar and then saw that it was the B052s were on tonight. It also may explain the tiny outfits some gals were wearing to the Biltmore. It just did not seem the right crowd for 1890s mansion tours–ah, tour and show package.

We instead rushed back to Brooks-Howell as we had agreed for dinner there. We got there late and had dinner served not on plates but boxes as we were late. It was good, and we saw everyone. The grandparents had taken the kids to a farm-like setting while we did mansion. Everyone survived that.

The kids went off to swim in the pool after eating (did we not do that when I was young) and I met Barb–Susie’s sister, Gordon–Barb’s spouse, and Emma–Bard and Gordan’s daughter–for a few boardgames. We played Escape From R’lyeh. It is an easy to learn Lovecraft styled card game. Later Clint and Hope (both night owls, in-laws like me, and gamers) came over and played two more games. We then talked about board games for a bit.

So a busy day and really fun. Tomorrow is Joyce’s party for turning 90. We are all so happy to be here and celebrate and visit and play spooky Lovecraft styled games.

Before all this started, we got up and got organized. I had in our room the waffles.

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I sent a text out that we had the waffles (see above). Soon others came to partake of our bounty. Toasters are only allowed in a shared space with a dire warning about always watching the toaster. We managed to get Susie breakfast and others who wanted waffles too. The youngest enjoyed microwaved waffles–that was new to me.

That is all and it is late. Good night.

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