Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm back (sort of)

Just arrived late last night in Florida with mom after a four day drive. We made a detour to see the massive country house built by George Vanderbilt outside of Ashville North Carolina. For those who may have the opportunity to visit, it's definitely worth a look. Plan on at least half a day to see the house and grounds. Biltmore (the name of the house) was one of the more tastefully designed of the various Gilded Age monuments to obscene wealth that dot the East Coast. The Vanderbilts in particular seem to have had a thing for building giant mansions that were clearly intended to ape the country houses of European aristocrats. Most of them just ended up as rather tacky ways of telling the world that they were spectacularly rich. (See Newport Rhode Island's Marble House for an example.) George appears to have been the exception in the family. Biltmore is elegantly decorated in an eclectic style that announces wealth while not causing you to think of the price tag for each of the furnishings, at least not right away. And the house is situated right on the edge of the Smoky Mountains in some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen. The views are breathtaking.

Alas that was our only real stop on a long road trip. This is the first time I have been able to even glance online and my email box is overflowing. If you sent me anything please give me a day or two to get back to you. Also we don't have internet hooked up at the house yet, so I'm using a public connection for the next couple days.

1 comment:

Anam Cara said...

I have always loved Biltmore. It's a place where people can actually LIVE. I