6-6-10 Sunday (Missing Rooms)

We started off the day with Jim showering and then having breakfast with Grandma at her hotel. I stayed behind to get ready and avoid a high cost (points) breakfast. I had pretty much planned that out from the very start and therefore brought english muffins and cream cheese. The same drill is planned for tomorrow.

Rant Cloud Animated - Fast We had a 10:15 house tour appointment for this morning. After parking and then busing it to the house, Jim stopped off at one of the customer service counters. Here we rented the audio tour for $10 per person. No passholder freebee, no discount. We asked about the free “Friends and Family Tour” for passholders. The free spots were full but we could pay $17 a person. It’s a good thing Grandma was there because I was ready to make a scene. Instead, Mr. Customer Service got a good stern old fashioned eye rolling from me.

Can you figure out how much it is to visit an old house full of antiques? Let me tell you.

$60 one day pass to tour the house, gardens and Antler Hill if you’re not too worn out.
$10 for the audio tour
$17 For any extra tours
$12 Average lunch price
$99 TOTAL which doesn’t include snacks, drinks, wine or the like.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – ridiculously over priced. That’s just my opinion. The good news is Grandma really enjoyed it. Friends Mark & Craig have said they found it worth it and to take a behind the scenes tour. Jim and I will do that the next time we’re back. With the annual passes we plan to take advantage of the perks.

Some of the house was closed off since the last time we were there which was just last month. Jim noticed the change in the guide booklet and missing rooms and then asked an employee about it. It was confirmed but he didn’t ask why. I will say the audio tour had a lot more information than the booklet. If you go, get an audio tour and deal with the $10 fee. Biltmore does not permit photos inside. I did sneak a couple with my camera-phone.

Above: Jim and Grandma start the tour.

Above: We’re waiting for Grandma to look at some displays we’ve already seen.

Above: Grandma checks out some displays.

We were permitted to snag some photos while on a balcony:

With what felt like miles on our shoes, we headed into Biltmore Village again. We used a restaurant.com certificate and ate at The Corner Kitchen. I ate BBQ shrimp with a side salad and collard greens. Jim and Grandma had burgers. Grandma remarked it was the best burger she’s had in a long time. Jim’s was raw the first time and had to be sent back. When a new burger returned it was a little over cooked.

Above: Interesting seating. We were pretty much in the kitchen. The restaurant was an old house.

Ah, much better. Lunch and a place to rest our weary feet. I know, let’s go walk some more in Antler Hill Village. We did. We walked around some farm equipment displays.
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 2010-06-06 020 Above: We already know Grandma is cute.

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Eventually we got to the winery and did some wine tastin’ (hiccup).
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While a little tipsy (Jim and I) we bought some wine. We’re savin’ it for the big DC adventure at the end of the month.  Chenin Blanc and Malvasia.

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We walked around some more to let the wine wear off. Once “sober”, we departed Biltmore, and freshened up for dinner. Back to downtown Asheville with another restaurant.com certificate in hand to a place called Ophelia’s World Café for dinner.

2010-06-06 036 Above: I had mine with chicken. This was an amazing combination of flavors.

Jim and Grandma had meatloaf. They said it was good. I had half a piece of bread with sundried tomato butter on it that was also amazing.

Above: Meatloaf

Above: Quesadilla.

Above: What’s left of the bread and butter.

We went for ice cream at Kilwin’s. Oh, and we were there the night before. I had 2 chocolate covered graham crackers that were out of this world. My points will say I had 4 only because I think they are twice as big as a Keebler-type chocolate covered graham. Kilwin’s is heavenly. Really. BUT as typical, I researched my web-links and found that this is a franchised place! They even have one back in Fort Myers! I just told Jim and he feels ripped off. We thought it was a unique Asheville place. Oh well. They have delicious chocolate and I’m sure we’ll be back.

I had points left over!


DIH - Book We arrive in a new city/state and set up camp in a slum section of KOA. While snacking, we managed to sightsee by accident. Interested? See last year’s entry here.


  1. Seriously- your food adventures make me drool. NOM!

    You guys just have so much fun!! Your pics inspire me to get out and do fun stuff, too. I'm going to find something to do this weekend where we can get a little silly with the pics, too. Or maybe I'll skip the fun and pics and just go for the wine. Yep- that'll work. Ha!

  2. well, overpriced as it may be, I still someday would love to visit the Biltmore. It looks so nice.

  3. CB, the guest room is free in July. :-) Asheville is 2 hours away.


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