Ah, the Asheville journey continues!
After our adventurous first full day in Asheville, we decided to ease up on Friday and head to the Biltmore Estate. AKA the largest privately owned estate in the country. With a crazy big house, magnificent gardens, a farm, a winery and more sitting on 800 acres of land nestled in the middle of the mountains…it is AKA my dream home. House Hunters, Biltmore edition.
We couldn’t take any photos inside (we snuck some anyways…rebels!) but we were too enamored with the view from the outside, anyways. Well, except for the kitchen pantry stocked with hundreds of blue mason jars. If Matt wasn’t there to grab my arm, I might have gotten taken out of there by security.
The tour is self-guided, which is really nice, but there is so much to look at, study, read, etc. that I could have stayed there for three more hours. Of course, Matt is aware of my need to see and read everything in museums – hence why in the middle of the tour, he disappeared, only to re-emerge outside the house with two tall beers and a basket of soft pretzels from the nearby courtyard cafe. Gotta love that kid.
After walking around the estate and gardens, we headed to Antler Village and Winery, a little area on the estate that is basically an adult Disney world. Not kidding – as soon as we walked into the Village, we were offered a free wine tasting of one of the Biltmore wines. Why, don’t mind if I do! (Little did I know what was in store once we went IN the winery…)
Thankfully, we grabbed a snack at Cedric’s Tavern before we went into the winery. Matt’s brother and sister-in-law had visited the Biltmore a few years ago and besides raving about the wine (and buying some for us to taste when we visit!) they cautioned us to eat before stepping up to the tasting plate!
So after we were good and full, we hurried to the tasting bar and grabbed a wine list and mini pencils. There was no sign as to how many wines you can taste, so I asked the man behind the counter. His response, “You can try one, you can try them all. But you’re here and it’s free*, so you might as well just try them all.”
(*free = included in the $50 admission to the Biltmore. You bet I was trying them all!!)
Well, Lord knows I’m a cheap drunk. After the first five tastings my face was bright red and by the tenth I was laughing and talking so loud that Matt had to tell me to calm down a bit. By the end of our tasting session, I think it is safe to say that we tried all 19 wines. Which led us to, what seemed at the time, a really great financial decision.
WE BOUGHT A CASE! Well, we bought a case after 20 minutes of me, tipsy as heck, trying to narrow down the 19 wines we tried to 12. Bless your heart, lady helping us in the wine room. Oh, and the lady filling up the pretzel and dip samples. I know you saw me take
five two handfuls and you didn’t judge or kick us out. Bless you.
With our case in tow, we headed back to town (like our rental house, the Biltmore was also only two minutes away from downtown!) to catch the legendary Friday Night Drum Circle. Basically, every Friday in Pritchard Park, everyone and anyone can come and quite literally, beat to the sound of their own drum. I guess one person starts the beat, and then others join in, add different rhythms, beats, etc. until it is the ultimate jam session and kids dance playground. We stayed for a good while, but we were told that the drum circle starts every Friday around 6 p.m. and could go well on past midnight, depending on how many people participate and how funkadelic everyone is feeling.
Since I was feeling quite funkadelic mahself, we knew we needed to find food, ASAP. We had walked by this place called Salsa’s the day before and saw that it had great vegetarian Caribbean food. So it was an easy winner. After we INHALED a plate of tortilla chips and homemade fire-roasted tomato and chipotle peanut salsa (SO GOOD) we both ordered entrees that featured butternut squash as the star of the show: For Matt, a grilled sweet potato quesadilla with veggies, queso and chile sauce and for me, a butternut squash enchilada dish with so many flavors and layers that I basically just face planted into. Thankfully, I managed to get one bad-lighting photo before the face plant.
Speaking of face plants…you’re probably about ready to do so on your keyboard, no? Sorry, there is just so much to say/share! For the sake of you, me and my five-year-old MacBook Pro, let’s call it a wrap on this one. Part three, coming soon!