Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Biltmore House

After waking up, we enjoyed a quick breakfast and headed over to the Biltmore Estate.
First we went to the house.  There are such beautiful views and the home itself is so amazing.
Even the approach to the home is scenic
We didn't actually go in this time.  This is the first time that I've visited the home and not gone in, but there was so much else to do and we've toured it quite a few times, that we decided to forego the tour.
We toured the gardens though.  They were amazingly immaculate!

Back to the parking lot.  Even that was gorgeous.  
The estate is so big that it was a 2 1/2 mile drive to get to the winery.

After touring the gardens we went to the winery which now has the new Antler Hill Village, aka my new favorite area of the Biltmore Estates.
We had a wonderful time there.  The winery, as always, is beautiful on its own.  But now there is a whole little village of shops, restaurants, a sports center where you can rent equipment and bicycles to ride around the estate, and even a little creamery for an ice cream treat.
We went over to the barn area where we ate lunch at the charming little Smokehouse.  This was an area where they posted there menu of Carolina BBQ on a chalk board and a lady behind a half door took your order.  It was so cute!  Charming enough that we passed up some rather nice restaurants for it.
The biggest plus was enjoying our BBQ outdoors while the kids played in the courtyard. 
The kids are playing farm games while we eat our lunch
Emma stops to smell the flowers outside of the Smokehouse
Games for the children were set up in baskets and at benches all along the perimeter of the farm.

Drew and Emma found these little horses to gallop around on.

Emma playing on the chalkboard

There were simple yet beautiful fall arrangements everywhere you turned.

Farmer Drew about to take the tractor out

Farmer Emma had her turn too
"That Pumpkin is this big," says Drew
All of the scarecrows.... wait, something's not right here...
Biltmore would never have just your ordinary scarecrows.  I loved the romantic, victorian styled scarecrow
The family takes a moment to pose on "The Biltmore School Bus"  This really was a recreation of the school bus they used.
This was the view as you approached Antler Hill Village

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