4-24-11 Sunday (Feasting In The Garden)

So far, it’s the best Easter weekend ever.  Let’s see if we can make today live up to yesterday.  We ate breakfast in the hotel lobby as typical.  We loaded up the car and checked out of the hotel.  Jim had mapped out a few RV parks in the area for our “inspection”.  There’s nothing wrong with where we’ve stayed a couple of times previously but there might be something better out there.  Maybe a more spectacular view?  In the end, they all seemed to have their pros/cons.  We’ll decided later for our June trip.

The long line of cars funneling onto the Biltmore estate was surely a bad sign.  Parking in an overflow type lot that we had never been to previously also alarmed us.  We figured no big deal since we didn’t plan to tour the house… just see the gardens.

The gardens were gorgeous.  This time the focus was on tulips (a prior visit was roses).  So nice.  We also walked to areas of the garden we hadn’t previously done such as Bass Pond.  It was a long walk but a beautiful day and we could certainly use the exercise.  We had to cool off in the breezy shaded areas from time to time.  Ahhhh, a breeze.  I have awesome pictures to share:

2011-04-24 001Above: A shot of the house.  I was trying to be photographically cool.

2011-04-24 002Above: Jim

2011-04-24 003Above: Gateway to the gardens.

2011-04-24 004Above: Under the grape vines.

2011-04-24 005Above: The house!

2011-04-24 006

Above/Below: The gorgeous tulips.

2011-04-24 007


2011-04-24 008

Above: These had a strange name but had “Chinese Lantern” in parentheses.

2011-04-24 009Above: Nice orchids.

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2011-04-24 011Above: A view of the gardens from a trail to Bass Pond.

2011-04-24 012Above: Azaleas all over the place. (Azalea Garden)

2011-04-24 013Above: A cute stream.

2011-04-24 014

Above/Below: Bass Pond.

2011-04-24 015

We decided to stroll through the house.  Maybe they opened different rooms?  Maybe they were decorated for Easter?  The crowds weren’t bad especially since we walked through it like we owned the place.  This will probably be the last time we’ll be at the Biltmore estate since our annual passes expire shortly.  There were lots of flower arrangements throughout the rooms.  They were very nice.  We whizzed through it all pretty fast which was good since we were hungry.

It was getting late and we hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  We went back to the car and drove to another section of the estate called “Antler Hill” where they have the winery, shops and restaurants.  We parked, walked an eternity to a restaurant, looked at the menu and wasn’t interested in anything.  The price was high but doable.  Jim suggested several chain restaurants as alternatives.  I himmed and ha’d and thought, it’s late, we just walked here, etc, etc.  Then he added Olive Garden to the choices.  Since we toured various gardens, wasn’t it fitting to squeeze one more “garden” in?  I love Olive Garden.  You can hate, I don’t care.  I love their Pork Milanese with tortellini in a cream sauce.  Breadsticks with Alfredo sauce.  Endless salad.  Mmmmmm, I’m hungry again.  We ate so much I’m ashamed to admit.  I know, there we were in Asheville with so many unique dining choices and we chose that.  I know, I know, but normally we do unique stuff there.    It was a holiday, leave me alone…

It was 3pm already!  We wished we could take a nap.  We were full and tired.  Sun weary.  Just plain ole beat down.  We hit the road.  A 2 hour drive home.  We got home, unpacked, I did laundry and some blogging.    We didn’t even eat dinner.  Jim had cereal, I had popcorn.

What a fantastic weekend!


  1. So glad you guys had a great weekend!! Sounds like so much fun and the pictures are great! btw - I like Olive Garden too, so no judgment here :)

  2. That blue sky!

    Garret, I hate to compliment you honey, because I know it will go straight to your bald head (I know... isn't that the pot calling the All-Clad black?), but your photography really is phenomenal. So lovely and really well done. I wish I had your talent.

    But I do have one little observation...

    QUIT EATING SO DAMN MUCH! At least without me.

    ♥ U

  3. @Deanna: We'd love to go to Olive Garden with you but we'd be ashamed if you watched us eat. Oy.

    @Boozy: Thanks, new photos do come out better thanks to my new camera. Enough about that, lets go eat!

  4. We tried to visit Biltmore during our one visit to Asheville, but it was raining, so we skipped it--Miss Chef didn't want to visit the house, just the gardens. We enjoyed Brevard and Hendersonville more than Asheville, though.

  5. The gardens are awesome. They house is OK but really all of it is over the top Disney expensive.

  6. You are so photographically cool!!

    Tulips are my favorite flower.

    Love those chinese lantern things and the azaleas... makes me want to plant some at home!!


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