|View from the garden area|
George Vanderbilt made his millions in railways . . . he inherited millions and doubled the size of the family fortune in a very short time. He lived in the Gilded Age and his contemporaries were the Flaglers, the Astors and all the movers and shakers of the day.
The stable area has now been turned into quite fine dining and I must say those horses had very posh surroundings. I had the most delicious carrot and ginger soup along with fried green tomatoes. Lynn had brie with ham, apples and caramel sauce. The Estate has always been self sustaining and that policy continues to this day. Everything served is grown on the Estate, which is now only 8,000 acres . . I haven't figured out how many sections that is yet.
A lot of it is wooded, but it is still a working farm and hay bales were laying in the fields waiting to be picked up. The windy trek up the mountain to the gates is 3 miles and very beautiful. We were probably a week or two late to see the prime of the autumn colours, but there was still enough foliage left to get a general idea.
|Peeking through the lattice work|
Frost has taken its toll and the mums and flowers were definitely past their prime . . .. I hear it is spectacular in the spring when the tulips are all blooming. That would be a feast for the eyes.
Being a self-sustaining Estate, they have their own greenhouses, or Conservatory as they call it. We were very lucky and happened to see everything in readiness for Christmas . . .the grand unfolding to be Saturday, which in my mind would be a good day NOT to be there. During the Christmas Season they also offer Candlelight tours which would be lovely.
|In the distance you can see the Blue Ridge Mountains|
One could spend a very long time taking it all in . . . there was so much attention to detail and considering that it was finished in 1895, in a league of its own, and well ahead of its time, having 43 bathrooms at a time when most grand homes didn't have even one.
That is the Reader's Digest version of how we spent our day today.