Biltmore House a 175,00 Square Foot Home

Imagine living in a house with 65 fireplaces.

One of the largest mansions in California, Hearst Castle at 70,000 square feet, is a pittance of the size of the Biltmore House in Ashville, NC.

Biltmore frontVince and I are grateful to our fun Diamond Resorts hostess, Chastity, for the opportunity to see this magnificent home which is still owned by the descendants of George Vanderbilt.

Neither of us had seen snow for a while, so getting up in Gatlinburg, TN to heavy flurries excited us until the cold wind hit.

Gatlinburg

It didn’t bother any of the stylishly dressed mannequins inside the Biltmore Estate. Scattered among the antiques which are original to the home, each room on the main floors is “hosted” by models wearing clothing from the movie, “Titanic.”

Biltmore

As part of our special Diamond Resorts Events package, we also got to go behind the scenes at the Estate. All of us on the tour opted to stay off the roof, which was the tour our hosts had planned for us. Our guide, Ruth Ann, gave us a choice and showed us behind the scenes in the guest bedrooms, storage rooms and staff quarters instead.

BiltmoreIf you are wondering, the cylindrical item on the table is a vacuum cleaner.

In the George Vanderbilt’s era, the women’s guest rooms did not have access to a sink in the bathroom. Would you like to know why?

Of course, you would.

Women didn’t turn on their own water. It was work, so female guests had attendants do it for them. Mr. Vanderbilt wanted his female guests to be pampered and have the water brought to their rooms. Male guests had sinks in their bathrooms.

The guest bathrooms did have toilets and large tubs. Some women of that era did not think it was good manners to have a toilet inside the house. Those guests received a chamber pot instead.  We saw where all they stored all the old pots. 🙂

Since the family still owns this home, all the furniture has stayed with the house, and believe it or not, there’s not enough room to display it all. So some of it is kept in the fourth-floor bedrooms. One of the rooms was also used to film  the movie “Private Eyes” starring Don Knotts and Tim Conway.

BiltmoreWe spent time at the grand staircase talking about the chandelier, which is 50 feet tall and weighs 1,700 pounds. One bolt keeps it from tumbling down on your head.  If you zoom in on this picture you can see that the bolt is not on exactly straight on center.

Biltmore

The reason for that is because the Biltmore is on a fault line. In case of an earthquake or another disaster, the chandelier is able to move around on that attachment.

BiltmoreEventually, it will scrape off all the paint up there, so if it looks like you have dandruff when you walk underneath the chandelier, it is probably just flecks of paint. By the way, all the lights are still replaced the same way they did them in 1895. Brave workers use a whatchamacallit to drop the lights in place. They don’t screw into a socket.

Biltmore

Check out the library on the main floor, with 23,000 volumes all handpicked by Mr. Vanderbilt. Private eye, Don Knotts, discovered a few of the books missing when he got to tour the home. Sure enough, the family found those missing books at auctions and repurchased them.

Biltmore

This is Marsha Ingrao reporting as accurately as my brain remembers the fascinating trivia I learned at the Biltmore Estate. I hope that you enjoyed your brief tour.

For more walks check out:

 

Work Experience from the student’s point of view

This is a post by one of Leanne’s students who did some of the same things Carol and I did with Leanne. We did some night photography. Instead of a tripod, I used what anyone can use – a bridge, or fence post – whatever isn’t moving! You’ll see my pictures later. Meanwhile, enjoy Leanne’s and Alainne’s photos.

Alainne wrote about her experiences with Leanne.

Work Experience from the student’s point of view

This last week has been interesting for me as I have had a work experience student, Alainne. She has been great and very willing to learn.

The first photographs we took were around the Eltham Library. We took some photos of the building and photos of the trains as well. The train driver actually stopped the train to tell us that we were supposedly trespassing and weren’t allowed to take photos. Despite that, I still managed to get a good shot of the train.

On Wednesday we ventured into the city early in the morning to go to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden show. I learned how to use the macro setting on my camera to take close up photos of the beautiful flowers that were on display. I got to see the effects of changing the ISO, aperture and shutter speed on the camera which helped me to understand what Leanne had taught me about them the previous day. I now know that to have a good photo you must have a perfect balance of all three settings on the camera.

We took long exposure photos of Flinders Street Station and photos of steel wool being lit and twirled in circles inside alley ways. It was so much fun and interesting to talk to that many photographers. It was good listening to them as they shared and compared tips and techniques. I used a tripod for the first time that Leanne was kind enough to lend me.

Read the rest of the post by clicking the link below.

Source: Work Experience from the student’s point of view

It’s been a funny time

Leanne Cole, Carol, Chris Wilson (follow Chris on Instagram) and I spent an afternoon and evening at the Docklands on the Yarra River in Melbourne, Australia. Both Leanne and Chris are professional photographers, so Carol and I had a wonderful time picking up tips and snagging some of these same shots with our cameras.

Photos

The photos were taken in the city last week. We started late in the afternoon and we went until it was dark. We spent our time along the river, which is always a great place for photos, especially at night.

All images were taken with the Nikon 28-300mm lens.

Source: It’s been a funny time

Walkabout Around the City

Carol and I traveled from Brisbane, Australia to Melbourne then to the gold mines of Ballarat for about ten days. While we were there, we met our blogging friend, Leanne Cole, a fantastic photographer and artist. We had several excursions together, which I will “get sorted” when I get back to the United States. I’ll create my series of posts then. Meanwhile, I’m working on my Australian dictionary!

While I’m away you have been enjoying The Eternal Traveller’s posts about Australia on the odd numbered days. Leanne has given me permission to publicize her posts on my blog as well. So you can find those on the even days.

Please click over to her blog to catch all the photos.

Walkabout Around the City

by Leanne Cole on March 28, 2016


Usually I do this post with a catch up and let you know what I’m up to, but to be honest, time is running out this weekend. I’m off tomorrow on a small camping trip. I know, hard to believe, but yes I’m camping. Nothing too much just overnight. I will tell you more when I get back.

Source: Walkabout Around the City

Did You Know Some National Parks Open Every Day Except Christmas?

Montezuma Castle National Monument for One

#NaBloPoMo Cee’s Which Way Challenge, #Sedona trip#1,

Maybe it’s because the National Parks are 100 years old this year. Happy birthday, NPS.

Montezuma Castle National Monument, a thirty-minute drive in light traffic, south from Sedona, AZ surprised many tourists looking which way to go on Thanksgiving besides the dinner table.

Trail at the foot of Montezuma Castle National Monument off US Interstate 17
Trail at the foot of Montezuma Castle National Monument off US Interstate 17 in Verde Valley, AZ

Looking at the dry red rocks and desert landscape along the path at the foot of Montezuma Castle, it was hard to imagine anyone farming the area.

Darlene stops to read each informative sign along the path.
My friend Darlene stops to read each informative sign along the path.

Yet productive Hohokam and Sinagua native settlers grew corn, beans, squash and cotton from about 1125 AD to 1425 when they disappeared.

The hole in the side of the limestone cliff  was one of many openings or alcoves into which the Southern Sinagua carved  pueblos into the cliff about 10 feet. Each of these open rooms housed a small family.

Darlene and I walked the short trail admiring these open houses and chatting with visitors we met on the path with us.

Visitors from China and Porterville, CA shared the path with us on Thanksgiving morning.
Visitors from China and Porterville, CA shared the path with us on Thanksgiving morning.

These early tribes used willow trees for implements and supports in their pueblos. In spite of being built in crumbling limestone cliffs, these homes held up for 800 years.

Will ours?

For more Which Way entries, find your way to Cee Neuner’s blog. This is an easy one to enter. There’s no weekly theme. Keep a lookout for any path or road, sign, bridge, stairs. See her site for details

cees-which-way-1

Do you ever pick up and head out with old friends or family, and not know where you might end up? For the next few posts, I’ll share how my friends and I spent the week in Sedona, AZ.

Share this article if you know someone who wants to spend an hour exploring an 800-year-old settlement near Sedona, AZ.

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