Happy Wednesday! It seems like forever since I’ve posted, but I’ve had a pretty hectic couple of days. I do have some great news though! My brother is officially back on U.S. soil! Thank you Lord for bringing my brother safely home and Thank you, T.C., for your service!
I guess I should finish up my amazing birthday weekend at the Biltmore before I post anything else! We headed to the big and beautiful Biltmore mansion after having lunch at Cedric’s Tavern. Driving around the 125,000 acre grounds was breathtaking. The landscape was designed by the same man who designed New York’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted. George Vanderbilt, owner of the home, was born in New York so it makes since to hire a New York native. On the drive, you get to see lakes, rivers, and mountains. I can see why they chose to put the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. George Vanderbilt visited Asheville in 1888 and fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains. He thought it would be the perfect place to plant his country home, and a year later he started the construction.
Located in the stable area of the Biltmore, there are little shops for souvenirs, bathrooms, food, and more! The Biltmore has a permanent Christmas shop too. I can’t wait to go there for Christmas next year.
The stable has the old original brick floors.
We stopped at the Bake Shop to have coffee before heading into the Biltmore for the tour.
I was so close to buying one of these little macaroons because they are my favorite! I decided to save my appetite for wine and dinner.
I stuck with an espresso drink.
The Bake shop was adorable and smelled amazing when you walked in. Bath & Body need to get a candle out with a Coffee & Pastry scent.
I had their soy vanilla latte with four shots of espresso.
Beer photo bomb.
Dom ordered a pretzel in the courtyard. There is so much to eat and all kinds of cuisine on the Biltmore Estate.
I loved the lion statues. Do you notice Lion statues on the property of expensive homes? A lot of cultures put Guardian lions in their front yards to represent the strength and pride of the home. Some believe they scare away evil. I think they look pretty fancy.
I tried to find photos of the home hundreds of years ago with the Lions in them but failed. I couldn’t find many “up close” photos of the home.
One of my favorite features of the Biltmore’s landscape is the Wisteria Vines. They look like an imagination from a fairytale.
The garden’s were filled with statues overlooking the mountain scenery.
I can’t wait to see the Italian Garden in bloom this year!
The view from the Biltmore’s front porch.
The Biltmore’s backyard over looks a gorgeous pond.
There are so many events held here at the Biltmore, especially weddings. I can see why! Look at that view.
The indoor tour was so fun and full of history. You get to walk around with a little personal tour guide control. You hit the numbers that fit the room you’re in and a story of the room will be told. If you do visit the Biltmore, you must do an indoor tour. It’s breathtaking and kind of funny.
There were so many rooms and some where so pointless! We got to go through the old gym, the basement, the swimming pool, the servants corridor, dining rooms, smoking rooms, bedrooms, etc. The interior was extravagant. The fireplaces were tripled! If you can, google “interior of biltmore” to see what I’m talking about!
I can see why they call them the “Blue Ridge Mountains.”
The Italian Garden is gorgeous. Wisteria vines surround the walkway.
Are you fan on Downton Abbey? They were having an exhibit with their costumes at the Biltmore while I was there. I’m not a fan of the show, but my mom is and she was extremely jealous when I told her. I still need to watch that show.
After leaving the house, we headed back out to the gardens for one last walk around before WINE TASTING!
This spring, I am going to horseback riding at the Biltmore!
And this summer I am going to go water rafting! There is an endless amount of things to do there.
There were lanterns lit in the upstairs tower of the Biltmore.
Front of the Biltmore
Nature all around the Estate
We left the Biltmore and headed to the Biltmore’s little village. I saw this cute couple and their dog sitting by the pond. The Biltmore grounds are very pet friendly. I wished I lived closer because I would go running there everyday.
I’m like a little kid when it comes to petting zoo’s. I darted for the furry ones!
This little girl reminded me of myself when I was a little girl. I had a coat just like that!
This donkey and I had a stare down for a good five minutes. After I left, he had a HEE HAW episode. Ever heard a donkey make it’s signature noise?…it’s hilarious.
The two horses were gorgeous! They reminded me of my play toys as a kid.
We went into the barn to pet the chickens and the goats!
I don’t know why, but goats are hilarious. They kind of act like Mr. Grumples.
There were two pregnant goats.
The little village where Cedric’s Tavern is has an ice cream shop, restaurants, and their outdoor activity office.
BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY…THE WINERY!
The winery was built in 1971. You go through a long tunnel to get to the winery.
The line was pretty long, but wine is always worth the wait.
Finally! The WINE TASTING! First, you start with the sweet wines and then the red wines. I had several favorites. You know how hard this post is to right without grabbing a glass of wine? Ugh.
My favorite of the white wines was the Century White which was balanced with floral aromas and hints of honey citrus.
My favorite of the rose wine’s was the Zinfandel Blanc De Noir which was crisp with a tropical fruit aroma and berry flavors. I’m saving that bottle for my mom.
My favorite red and overall favorite wine was the house red. It was sweet and fruity. It was made with blackberry and vanilla. It wasn’t overly sweet but sweet enough! I bought two bottles of that.
After trying 18 out of 24 wine’s, it’s safe to say…I’m officially a wine connoisseur.
Everything was starting to get blurry.
I also bought Tempranillo. It was a dry red wine with fig aromas.
I’m good on wine for a while.
We made reservations for dinner at a French restaurant for eight and so we had some time to kill, and what better way to do so than with a glass of wine? I loved the house red and so I ordered some from the winery’s bar!
I have part three: french restaurant coming up next! Someone tries DUCK for the first time in their life…
Beautiful pictures! I may have to go pour myself a glass of wine lol but thanks for the warning on your Facebook post. I love the mountain pictures – you should listen to the Fleet Foxes song called “Blue Ridge Mountains.” Seeing your pictures, I get why the mountains inspired them to write that song!
Taralynn McNitt says
No judgements here! If I didn’t have to workout in an hour, I’d be pouring one too! I’ll go listen to that song! 🙂
Jessie @ Just Jessie says
Beautiful photos! Looks like so much fun 🙂
Taralynn McNitt says
Love your blog!
Taralynn McNitt says
Linda @ TheFitty says
I always knew men had a sweet spot for goats, hardee har har. 😛
You had a wonderful birthday, Tara! Happy birthday. You’re one year younger at heart and one year wiser and one year more beautiful.
How nice of Nick’s family to take you out for your birthday!
Taralynn McNitt says
They’re the best!
Wow, this place looks amazing! And the mountains are so beautiful…I guess you enjoy living in Charlotte a lot 🙂
PS. I like taking photos too and yours are very good 🙂 What camara do you have?
That looks like the most beautiful place! Looks like you celebrated your birthday in great company! 🙂
Beautiful photos, as usual! The Biltmore really is gorgeous at Christmas…and yes, we bought way too many bottles of wine at their winery, too 😉
Taralynn McNitt says
I can’t wait to go back!
Thanks for sharing! I would loove to visit there sometime 🙂
Thank you for sharing your gorgeous photos! The Biltmore looks amazing. I’m glad you got a chance to check it out for your birthday. It looks like you had a great time 🙂
Your photography skills are impressive! I loved this post, can’t wait to visit Biltmore one day. Glad you had a great birthday weekend! 🙂
Happy belated! Looked lovely. How do you handle all that espresso?? lol just thinking about 4 shots makes me jittery
Hands down this is one of my favorite places to visit. The first time I went there they were filming a movie! It was so cool to watch the director yell “action” and watch them do the scence over and over again. We all had to be very quiet. The “scence” took place on the circular drive on the outside.
I have quite a few pics of the gardens in bloom. I went there last fall after I got married in October of 2014. The flowers were still bright.
Per my posting on your instagram account you MUST do the horseback riding on the grounds when you come back. We got to see a view of the mansion that is not visible to the public except on the horseback riding tour.
Lastly since I know you love ghost stories there are many out there on Biltmore. Did you smell the cigar smoke from the smoking room? I did. Also there are plenty of ghost stories told by people who took the special behind the scene tours.
That part about the donkey made me laugh! Great post
Glad you made it to Asheville; it’s such a beautiful place! I lived there for 5 years while teaching and going to grad school, and miss it’s charm and eccentricities.
Next time you visit, here are a few recommendations:
-Wicked Weed- a great brewery/restaurant on Biltmore Ave
-French Broad Chocolate Lounge- …enough said!
-Highland Brewery- located right out of town, but a great place to visit, they have tours and a distillery on site, plus a great outdoor music venue
-Hiking Mt. Pisgah or John Rock- both fairly close to Asheville with beautiful views!
Happy travels and glad you had an awesome birthday!
I’m so jealous of your life! How did you get involved with social media marketing? I’d love to do that full time!
Samantha Waters says
Tara, Thanks for sharing all of those photos! It makes me REALLY want to go and experience it all VERY SOON! Start saving…
That looks so fun!
Your pictures are so beautiful and I love your posts. I feel like I’m apart of your family.
Taralynn McNitt says
Thank you so much Sonya!!