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Published: November 16th 2009
Here's some color for you. While most trees had lost their leaves, there are a few species that are still turning. I had to lay down under this bush and feel some of the power of red. Unlike a bull, I didn't get mad even though I'm a Taurus.
My favorite summer home.
For those of you who haven't been to the Biltmore - it is a rather quaint country home built by George Vanderbilt. The 250-room estate originally sat on 86,000 acres near Ashville, NC and is modeled after the French Chateau of the Loire Valley. They wouldn't let us take pictures inside and the place is really a museum since this leg of the Vanderbilt family could barely sustain the place. George squandered most of the money building the Biltmore and following intellectual pursuits instead of a good business. He died fairly young and his wife had to sell 78,000 acres to the National Forest to keep it from going under.
George did have some pretty cool ideas and built a farm to sustain the place. He had a successful dairy, but still spent much more money on the estate. The self-guided tour leads you through the many rooms with beautiful tapestries and artworks from around the world. The part I liked most was the basement tour that showed the bowling alley, swimming pool, workout room, pantry, kitchen, flower room, butcher shop and on and on. They were all kept as if you
Leaning Back on BRP
Our intro to Asheville was through the Blue Ridge Parkway. The BRP goes from Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains NP through the highest mountain of the Appalachia - the Blue Ridge Mountains. BRP is a FDR project and is designed for tourism along the many beautiful stretches of the rolling mountains. We went to a 75ht Anniversary Blue Grass concert last night that was awesome
were there in 1895 so it was pretty interesting.
The only downside was the price - $60 to get in, $10 for a audio tour, $17 for a guided tour, $5 to ride your bike, $17 to get on the roof, $10 to go at night, $12 to see the behind the scense tour. These are per-person prices and you'd have to be a Vanderbilt to afford all of this. To be fair, you can get discounts on the $60 entrance fee, but the tour of the house should be a little more if you ask me. With a million visitors a year to the place, they ought to be able to give you a little more.
You could make your over 2 days, so that was nice. We went wine tasting the first night and signed up for the red wine and chocolate tasting the second day - both complimentary. The bicycling was great and we managed to get lost and get an exclusive ride along the backside of the mansion. Check out the video of Grace to see how massive it is.
We finally got to see some fall colors at their peak. While most
Fly Away Birdie
Lot's of art in Asheville. This was some type of shawl in the old Woolworth store that has many artists displayed.
leaves had fallen, there were a few species that showed their true red colors late. Check out some of the pix for details.
Hippies in the Hills
We thought we were going to find hillbillies in the Appalachia, but you're more likely to run into a dread-locker wearing flannel in Asheville. There are plenty of head shops in Asheville and we got too see some good drumming in one of the central squares. This got Grace and me to talking about what is a hippie.
Grace said she could be friends with the hippies if they keep up on their personal hygiene.. She likes their creative spirit, fun loving nature and green energy, but she's not into their cleanliness - or lack of it. She doesn't understand why some of them smell so much and wishes they would bathe more often. They lack respect for others and are out of balance. She pondered that it is because they are over-confident. They don't care about what others think and if God wanted some bacteria to grow in their unshaven armpits and knotty hair, then so be it.
I had a slightly different take on this
UNC Market Smells
Grace is testing some organic apples. The golden delicious are heavenly and only $1/lb. This market had lots of nice stalls and we especially liked a trout farms products.
since I've been a member of the dread-lock crowd before - back when I had enough hair to do that. This happened when I was traveling in Europe and I let my hair grow long. I would sleep in parks or farms in Greece and didn't have access to a shower, so my hair naturally knotted up. The part that knotted up was actually damaged in some way and was the first part of my hair that eventually fell out in the back of my head. Anyway - I digress.
To me, the free spirit movement was a sign of my freedom. I could do what I wanted and bathing wasn't my top priority or easy when I was homeless - too cheap to even pay for a hostel. Dreads were cool when I was 24 in 1990. I didn't have to wear a suit and it was a bitch to comb my hair. I just ran my fingers through it and let it grow and tangle. The hair went with the clothes and it was easier to meet people with it. People treat you different when you wear different things.
To prove my point, I wore knee
This is banjo country, so Grace got to pickin on a can and a string. This is at the market at Univeristy of North Carolina - Asheville.
length purple socks yesterday. People started staring more and Grace thought it was very funny and had me pose many ways. She has pictures of this on her camera which I don't load onto my blog. Some people did talk to me quite a bit too. They were interested in who I was. I'll have to say that I like the attention. Not the staring, but the more provocative converstations that I get with kindred or at least interested spirits.
If you don't believe me that people treat you different when you dress differently, ask a business man or buy a crazy shawl like the one pictured and wear it around. The funniest example of this that I've seen was Phillip in Hawaii. Phillip and his girlfriend ran a B&B on the southern tip of the big island of Hawaii near the Green beach. We showed up and Phillip was a normal, fit 6'3" man with boobs. We spent a couple of breakfasts with them and had a great time and the topic of his breasts never came up. After doing yoga with them and getting to know them, the subject was never breached until right before we left.
The farm had a couple of hoola hoops and Grace couldn't resist getting her groove on. The Biltmore has a farm to be sustainable and had some great exhibitions.
Grace was doing some last minute thing and I had a moment to ask him - What's up with the tits?
He said that he just wore the bra and falsies to see the reaction of people. He'd done it for years and does it to throw people off.
I don't plan on cross-dressing anytime soon, but it is fun to mix it up some. I've done it before with my ice cream cone pants and it is pretty easy to stick out in the crowd at 6'6" already. I try and have fun with my attire and it's fun being unusal. As my high school year book said in 1984 - Why be normal?
Hope you enjoy your day,
PS. In the next post, we'll tell you about our latest accident in the poor RV.
Tot: 1.176s; Tpl: 0.014s; cc: 5; qc: 43; dbt: 0.0114s; 1; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb