Southern Rain

Today's theme is rain.

It was pouring when we left our hotel this morning, and continued off and (mostly) on all day, finally letting up about 20 minutes before we reached tonight's hotel in Knoxville.

Our first stop was Biltmore Estate. Even in the gloom it's an amazing building. (That tiny speck, with the orange umbrella, is me.)
No picture taking was allowed inside, so all I have are lunch pics at the Stable Cafe - built inside the former stables (you guessed that, right?) Bison burgers and warm pimento cheese dip. Yummmmmmmm.
The house was all dressed up for Christmas, so I'm glad we had a chance to see it (although I almost balked at the $149 entry fee for the 2 of us. Just a tad outrageous.)
Christmas trees were in every room, most decorated just as the Vanderbilt family would have done in the early 1900’s.
Driving off the estate took over 30 minutes.
The acreage may have downsized over the years (from 125,000 acres to "only" 8000 acres today)

but it's still an amazingly large, beautiful property.
Next, we headed north and west,

driving over the mountains that divide N. Carolina and Tennessee.
Amazing scenery!
We stopped at one overlook just to admire the fall colors.
Even in the gray gloom (and light rain) it was gorgeous. I miss this so much - no fall colors in warm, sunny California.
Our final stop was the one I've been looking forward to the most - a trip waaaay down memory lane.
Up until the time we moved to Georgia when I was about 10, my family spent every big holiday at Great-Granny's house in Elizabethton, TN.
She cooked enormous meals for the entire extended family, on a coal-powered cast-iron stove, then refused to sit down and eat, instead going around the table putting just a little more on everyone's plate.
I remember drinking Fresca and eating moon pies in her side yard,

and to this day blue hydrangeas make me think of her.
It's been over 50 years since I've been to Elizabethton, but I still remembered exactly how to get to her house - turn right at The Monument

then right again on Fourth St. Great-granny's house is on the left,
the Doe River is straight-ahead,

and my favorite covered bridge is just a bit up river, on the right.

Such powerful memories.


Anonymous said...

Great pictures. Thanks for sharing. Glad you got to visit and take a trip down memory lane. Sparked my own memories when I saw your pics. Have fun on your trip.

Vickie said...

I am soooo jealous! I bet you were tickled to see the family home still standing. We plan to see the Biltmore Estate next spring...$ 149 ouch!!!!!!