First let me say…
Happy Veterans Day and Thank You to all those who fight so I don’t have to!
Now, back to the mini moon. We ordered room service for breakfast. It was expected to be delivered between 8:30 and 9:00 and someone had to be up to greet the guy, so I got up early to take my shower first. I stepped into the main room and let the Huz into the bathroom at 8:40 ish. As soon as the bathroom door clicked, there came a knock on the front door. How convenient. We ate, dressed, and headed to the shuttle at 9:30am. We took the long and winding roads through amazing scenery until we were dropped at the Biltmore House. Huzzy had purchased us a behind the scenes Butler Tour. We would be guided along the servants quarters and view newly opened rooms not seen on the standard house tour.
It was fascinating. We stood in the recently opened but not yet restored bedroom of the head housekeeper, staring at the actual, legitimate wall paper that covered her room. We saw the butlers box (forget what it’s really called) which is a station just outside the banquet room which had an arrow for every room. Each arrow was connected electronically to a tiny button in the room so that all a guest had to do was push a button for the butler and the staff would rush to the rescue. The butler’s “kitchen” was lined floor to ceiling on two levels with monogrammed china and crystal. Two dumb-waiters, a rising platform for dishware, mouth tubes, rows of electrical outlets, and a replication of the dinner log were all there for us to see. The amount of forethought and preparation that went into making this house run like a well oiled machine is breathtaking. Nothing was left to chance. Every possible question was thought of an answered. The servant’s passages alone showed just how remarkable a man George Vanderbilt was.
We then proceeded to the first round of our audio tour. We got our headphones and began our journey around the first floor of the house. Again, the views through the many windows and the sheer magnitude of the structure were enough to give anyone pause. The library, music room, winter garden, and banquet hall were astonishing. No camera or pathetic ramblings could do the house justice. It was wonderful.
After completing the first floor, we left our headphones and the house and headed to Antler Hill Village for lunch. We made it out just in time to get to the barn for our pre-booked hour trail ride! That’s right, Mr. Romance strikes again by booking us an hour trail ride through the wooded areas on Biltmore Estate. The Huz was mounted onto Tony and I rode Gizmo. Gizmo tried bullying me for a few minutes, but we got along well in the end. He was even so courteous as to step to the side of the trail when mother nature called. What a dear. We were taken on a wide trail that gave us an astonishing view of the back of the Biltmore House. We could see all levels of the house from there, the sub-basement, basement, all the way to the top. We continued through tight wooded paths, wide open fields, and even peeked out to have our picture taken on the roadside. My “sit bones” still hurt, but dang was it fun!
Afterward, we went to the winery for a complimentary tasting. Spent a wicked sum on prezzies for the fam, and carted everything back to the room to rest up before our dinner reservations in the Dining Room.