|Janet was birding, John and I were searching for Mike and Sheri.
You could spend days here before exploring all of what the arboretum has to offer. And make sure you check out the Collections Gallery, exhibiting folk art for sale by local craftspeople. Then we headed to the house we rented in the mountains for the next few days. Up a steep and narrow dirt road we discovered Highwoods.
|Our house called Highwoods.
A great bargain, we found this house on VROB - Vacation Rental By Owner. All four of us had our own bedrooms, the living room was a great place to hangout in at night . . .
but the outside deck with bbq was the highlight.
|View from our deck.
One of our outings was to neighboring Mount Pisgah, which is part of the Blue Ridge Mountains. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, the Pisgah Inn offers casual rooms clinging to the side of the mountain, each one with great views such as this!
|The highest peak in far right is Cold Mountain.
You can see why they call them the Smoky Mountains. Mount Pisgah is great for cyclists, bikers, hikers or travelers in cars. We also visited downtown Asheville.
|Lexington Ave...I felt like I was back in NYC!
My two favorite things rolled into one!
The Grove Arcade was built by E. W. Grove in 1929. (He also built the Grove Park Inn.) The size of an entire block, it's filled with interesting shops and restaurants.
|John, Mike and Sheri test driving rockers in the Grove.
George Vanderbilt erected quite a country home: 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces!
|Koi and Lily Pond
|The conservatory, which houses a large variety of exotic plants.
There are vineyards and wine tasting rooms and even a petting zoo! Here are 3-week-old Angora goats. So sweet and soft.
|Mike and I at the Biltmore.
|View of Biltmore grounds from back of house.
It was really quite delicious. We ordered a Muffuletta sandwich served on a focaccia type bread that was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside. It was stuffed with marinated olive salad, mortadella, salami, mozzarella, ham and provolone. Oh, and a little something green to make it healthy.
|Stable Cafe Sampler
|Janet and Mike birdwatching at the arboretum.
And what would a visit to North Carolina be without a farewell breakfast at Waffle House?
Waffles and grits, anyone?