“You Looked Like You Could Use a Seat.”

It’s been a big day of all things Biltmore. Carter really wanted to see the Downton Abbey exhibit and asked me if it could be one of her Christmas presents. I have never seen Biltmore decorated for Christmas and thought it was a good plan for me so here we are.

Going to see Biltmore is a big enough job. As I have only gone when the gardens are in bloom that has been my favorite part. But that was years ago, long before all the hotel and auxiliary villages were built. We drove in this morning through the familiar grand gate house, winding our way through the Fredirick Law Olmsted designed park with perfect little streams flowing alongside the road.

After three miles we got to parking area C where all of humanity was parking. We walked to the transportation center to wait for the first of many buses and or trolleys we would ride today. As our trolley made the corner into the main drive to the big house Carter exclaimed,”It’s not as big as I thought it was.” This from a child who is used to touring the grand castles of Europe.

The place was packed. They did a good job to let us in at exactly the appointed times, but that still meant that inside the house at points things were quite crowded. I did think everything looked so wonderful with the Christmas decorations up. Each and every room had multiple Christmas trees.

As usual, Carter and I both liked the downstairs with the kitchens and the servant areas the best. After the house we took another bus to see the Downton exhibit a the Deerpark area. Then another bus back to the main house where we were having lunch at the stables. After lunch we had one last stop to make at Antler Village to see the Downton Costumes. The line for the busses was so long, like 300 people long.

Carter and I decided to skip the transport and walk to our car in parking lot C. We had made the trip three times on the bus and thought it wasn’t that far. We walked past A and B1,2,& 3 lots. C a would be next. We rounded a big bend and then as we looked through the woods at the winding road we both realized that C was a long, long way off.

Carter took the lead on the trek on the single lane road. As we headed down a big hill a car from Ohio stopped at the bottom of the hill, pulled over and waited for us. A nice young Pakistani couple leaned out the window and asked if we needed a ride. Carter thought No, but I said yes. The young woman said, “You looked like you needed a seat.” She was right.

They cleared out their back seat and we got in. It was a good two miles to our car. Thank goodness for their kindness. We got our own car and drove to the last exhibit, our favorite, of costumes. We had really gotten our moneys worth as we were at Biltmore until after five. I am most glad I don’t have to take another bus anywhere.

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