Shortly after my retirement my husband and I made a trip to North Carolina to visit our children who live there. On the way we decided to stop and explore the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina.
Built by George Vanderbilt, grandson of famed industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt, in Asheville, North Carolina in 1887 it is unbelievable how big it is. The home contains over four acres of floor space and includes 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces.
On the grounds is a conservatory which is full of beautiful orchids. We were told there are over 600 different orchids. I could not of course get pictures of all 600 but I did my best to capture some of the most beautiful ones.
While there we decided to spend one night at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. We knew it would be expensive, but thought after all these years of working, we deserved one night of luxury. The view from our room was wonderful.
The lobby and lounge areas made us feel so pampered.
In our bedroom we found custom bathrobes and slippers. They offered complimentary night turn-down service, but we passed on that.
When it was time for supper my husband suggested we go into town to find a restaurant, but I wanted to enjoy a meal in their dining room – it looked so special.
Wanting to keep me happy, he agreed. After we sat down and saw the menus, I realized this was probably not a good idea. But, too embarrassed to get up and leave, and still wanting to enjoy one night of luxury, we stayed. The food was excellent and we really enjoyed the meal. When we had finished the waiter asked if we would like a cup of coffee. My husband passed, but I asked for a cup. Thinking after spending such a large amount on the meal, the coffee would be complimentary, I sipped my cup that was served in very delicate china and enjoyed every drop.
I was very upset when we got our bill (which I knew would be much too high for our budget) to discover they had charged us $4.00 for this tiny cup of coffee.
The next morning we enjoyed some coffee in the library (which was free and served in paper cups) and read the newspapers savoring one more moment of luxury.
I felt a little guilty for spending that much money for one night – but looking back now I’m glad we did it. What price do you put on good memories!