But every now and then, we do something spontaneous and super fun. Like taking a trip to The Biltmore Estate for the weekend.
And what a fun time we had! According to my parents, I've been before when I was small, but seeing as how I have no recollection of that, I count this as my first trip. Hubs had really never been, so it was fun for both of us.
This quaint little home in the mountains was the former home of George and Edith Vanderbilt and is just like taking a step back in time.
The tours are self guided and thus self paced, with attendants along the way to answer any questions about the estate's history, current operations, or just to help you find the nearest bathroom. And frankly, I would have been perfectly impressed to walk around the house (is house the right word?), no - mansion, myself. But, our tour included an awesome audio guide that walked you through each room of the house providing stories about the home's history, the Vanderbilt family, and the workers that made this house operate in its day.
Aside from the sheer size, detail, and absolute beauty of this home, one thing that really impressed me about it was the fact that the estate is still a working estate. Still owned by family members, the estate places a big emphasis on sustainability both for the environment's sake and for cutting down on their own operational costs. One thing we learned from the attendants was about the many solar panels throughout the estate and other agriculture that helps sustain operations.
I was also shocked to find out that for just about $50 more, you can upgrade your ticket to an annual pass, which grants you access to the house year round. And if we didn't live so far away, I would be putting that on my wish list. Now that we've been in the winter, I know that I would love to go back for Christmas and in the spring when the gardens are in full bloom.
And lest I forget to mention, not only did I get to go on this fun tour with the hubs, but we were also able to meet some great friends from college, too.
Basically, super fun weekend. Sometimes doing something off the calendar isn't so bad. :)
Have you taken any spontaneous trips recently? What's been your favorite last minute trip?