Well, we're back! It was a short vacation, but very enjoyable.
We left Friday morning as soon as my mom and dad picked up Emily. The were taking her to the NC Zoo in Asheboro. We headed west and after about 4-1/2 hours, arrived at our destination - the Fairfield Mountains Resort in Lake Lure, NC. We checked into our somewhat dated 2 bedroom villa. It was nice, but definately built in the late 70s! It had at least been somewhat remodeled since then. The master bath had a gigantic jacuzzi tub.
From our balcony, we had a gorgeous view of nearby Bald Mountain, the golf course fairways, and Lake Lure was visible in the distance.
After having lunch at the little bar-n-grill at the golf course, we headed down the windy road around Lake Lure over to Chimney Rock for a quick visit. We then checked out the menus at a couple nearby "fine dining" establishments, including the 1927 Lake Lure Inn, and the Point of View Restaurant. Both looked good, but we decided on the Lake View Restaurant back at the resort. But it wasn't dinner yet, so we headed to the little village of Chimney Rock for about an hour of shopping in the various stores. Adrienne and Lin picked up these cool magnetic bracelet / necklace things.
Dinner at the Lake View was awesome. We had a table at a window overlooking the lake. The food and service were fabulous. I had baked stuffed shrimp. Adrienne and Lin had the Halibut special, while Bill got a seafood platter.
We got up Saturday morning, had breakfast at Legend's (the bar-n-grill at the golf course), then headed up the road to Asheville for our visit to the Biltmore Estate. None of us had ever been there. We parked and got to the house around 10:45 am, just in time for our "rooftop tour", which Adrienne had scheduled for us. It was a guided tour consisting of about 20 patrons and a guide. We saw several parts of the house on the way up to the roof that aren't part of the normal 62 room tour, and I got a few cool photographs from the various balconies and rooftops that we went on. The rooftop tour took about an hour, and then we had lunch near the Stables.
Around 1 o'clock, we did our audio tour of the house, which was really cool. The main tour - that you get with your daily admission - is 62 rooms. I think we paid an additional $8 for the audio tour, but it was definately worthwhile. The Biltmore Estate is really an amazing house. Fully electrified when it opened in 1895, every room had lightbulbs, and it even had its own telephone system. Heck, even some of the closets had lights that came on automatically when you opened the doors! Yes, even back in 1895.
The most amazing things to me were the two lane bowling alley and the indoor pool - complete with underwater lights. In an age when few people had electric lights in their house, George Washington Vanderbilt had a 70,000 allon indoor pool with underwater lights.
After we completed our audio tour, it was a visit to the winery for a wine tasting. I don't like wine, but I had a glass of exceptionally tasty grape juice. I don't believe it was Welch's.
Around 4:30 we headed back to the parking lot and our feet were killing us, so we headed home.
Dinner Saturday night was at Larkin's on the Lake, another fine dining establishment. We had stuffed mushrooms for an appetizer. Adrienne and Lin both had the crabcakes for dinner, while I had the prime rib, and Bill got a rack of baby back ribs. Again, we had a beautiful view of the lake while we ate.
Sunday we headed home, and I'm freaking exhausted! Yet here I am blogging.
Here's the link to the photo album online: http://picasaweb.google.com/rick.root/Spring2007TripToLakeLure