Sunday, August 14, 2016

Back to the Biltmore

The boys and I decided to head back to the Biltmore with the teachers this year.  We didn't go until late in the afternoon so we didn't get the time to explore the gardens, but we were pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of new things to see.  There was a big display of gorgeous wedding and formal dresses used in many popular movies that were set up throughout the house.  You could picture Jane Austen's beloved characters dancing around in the formal rooms of this beautiful old mansion.  We were also surprised that they were allowing non-flash photography of the house this time so we did snag some pictures of these elegant scenes.

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Oh the joys of taking pictures of brothers.  Loving quickly turns to play fighting and wrestling. 

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Eddie and the big group of teachers he taught all week. 

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A huge wedding cake completed the decorations this time. 

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Brody posed with a gorgeous wedding dress and with Mommy and the cake. 

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Keira Knightley's and Ralph Fiennes' attire from The Duchess.  

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You may already know that I love Jane Austen and have read about all of our novels.  Sense and Sensibility wasn't my favorite, but it had its moments and definitely was one of her more risque novels of the time.   I need to see this movie adaptation though. 

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An elegant dining room and sunny parlor. 

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More wedding and formal dresses from various movies adorned the various sitting rooms.  I loved the additional wedding decor with flowers adorning the elegant mantles and candelabra everywhere. 

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That dress from Frankenstein was quite stunning. 

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The huge library is definitely my favorite room in the house.  I would have taken more pictures than my husband took of this room.  I could see myself spending all day lounging in here reading. 

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I love that green dress although I haven't seen that movie. 

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Of course, these dresses from my favorite movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice were favorites.  I just love Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. 

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There is a newer painting displayed that shows the current house's owners.  The Cecil family is the direct descendants of the daughter of George Vanderbilt who married a Cecil.  Of course, none live in the house since it is now a business venture, but many have homes on other parts of the estate that aren't accessible to the public.  

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The big red bed was in George Vanderbilt's bedroom.  The lovely wedding dress was in the dressing room of Mrs. Vanderbilt. 

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Emma by Jane Austen is probably my favorite of her books. While Emma may be viewed by many as just a spoiled little rich girl, Jane did a good job of giving this character a sweet personality that really does care about others less fortunate than herself.  She has been a little spoiled by her sweet and doting old father after her mother died when she was a young child.  Mr. Knightley is also my favorite gentlemen hero of her books. 

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Lucky Daddy and the boys got to ride the elevator with the stroller.  I didn't mind using the stairs because my claustrophobic tendencies do not really like small elevators. 

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Evan and Daddy explored the basement while I took Brody and Mattox outside to get ice cream and wait.  The basement is a little unusual and has a room called The Halloween Room which I still don't get.  It has weird paintings on the walls and was actually decorated for a New Year's Eve party I believe.  

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There is a private bowling alley and an indoor swimming pool and exercise room.  The pool no longer holds water as I can imagine the tiles would deteriorate after years of holding chlorinated water.  

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The basement also contains all of the household staff's quarters and pantries for the food. 

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I could just see Mrs. Patmore from Downtown Abbey cooking away in this kitchen. 

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And of course, Mr. Bates, Mrs. Hughes, Mr. Carson, Thomas, Daisy and other staff hanging out in the servants' dining room. 

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The servants had nice quarters as well.  Eddie and I imagine that since this was just a vacation home for the Vanderbilt's, the servants of the house had free reign around the whole estate most of the year.  Sounds like a pretty good life to me. 

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Evan and Brody love relaxing on the balcony and enjoying the beautiful view. 

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And of course, our tour would not be complete without an ice cream treat at the end.  Can you tell Brody enjoyed his? 

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