am young, only fifteen. I have only recently figured out that
memories have significance. That they are meaningful. I will tell you
I have not traveled very far.
have not crossed many state borders. But, the trips I have been on
have been fun. I would say the most recent and eventful trip was when
I went to the Biltmore. The Biltmore is a beautiful mansion and was
built by George Washington Vanderbilt II and was completed in 1895.
My mom had been wanting to go to The
Biltmore for months, maybe even
years, I wouldnít be surprised. She was delighted when it was
finally time to pack our bags and go. I want to say we left early in
the morning- thatís my favorite time to travel- but, we didnít.
It always gives me severe anxiety when we leave late, and by late I
mean ten in the morning, but I would never tell my parents that.
packed everything I thought I was gonna need, which consisted of
around four dresses, fancy shoes, a hairbrush, and a toothbrush.
Later this would embarrass me because my family was probably the only
family dressed for the occasion.
drive there was one of those rare occasions when I didnít sleep
the whole time. Normally if a car ride lasts longer than fifteen
minutes Iím out like a light. This particular trip though, I
finished reading an entire book- If youíre wondering the book
was: Angus, Thongs, and a Full Frontal Snogging-
and drew a
phenomenal picture of a tree.
fact that I didnít sleep mightíve also had to do with me
downing an entire Monster Energy Drink before we left, but, who
was an amusing drive, as usual I got yelled at by my parents for
god-knows-what and I gained multiple kinds of candy throughout our
stops at the gas station. My dad also has a very interesting taste in
music, which always plays the full however many hours it takes to get
somewhere. Normally, because my mother is a decent kind of person who
lets the driver choose. My sister on the other hand was very
insistent on us listening to Firework by Katy Perry.
we arrived in Asheville, I was absolutely blown away by every single
thing my eyes could absorb. The signs were all wooden- even for the
McDonalds-, It was very eclectic as my mom would say. I would call it
artsy, but words are words. The point being: It was fantastic, even
before we made it through the gate.
we did make it through the gate I was again blown away. No, I hadnít
seen the Biltmore yet, but I got to see how well everything was kept.
The grass was so green, and looked so soft I wanted to make a blanket
out of it. There were cottages for the staff, probably where the
actual servants for bak in the late 1800ís early 1900ís
lived. Isnít that absolutely fantastic?
mother immediately wanted to see the house itself, so we did. The
driveway in itself was grand due to being a whopping three miles
long. Intentionally added by the original creator to bring you
intense anticipation. Which, according to my mothers reaction, one
hundred percent hit the nail on the head.
never have you seen something so beautiful in your life other than
this house; and to think, itís just a house?! A house? Itís
actually unbelievable. Not only seeing it on the outside, but
actually being able to see the inside of this beautiful creation, my
goodness, what a privilege. The inside of the house will have to wait
till later though.
driving back down the three mile driveway again, we decided to go
take a look at our hotel room. Sadly, it was just like any other
hotel room, nothing fancy. They gifted us a book, and within this
book was the history of The Biltmore. We still have it, itís
very fun to look through. I brushed my teeth and decided to put on
some real clothes.
drove throughout Asheville in search of a parking spot, and after a
long quest, we found one. Right under a tree; I distinctly remember
the person pulling in behind us taking over five minutes to parallel
park. My dad was cracking up the whole time.
we finally decided to get out of the car, we went into a lot of
clothing stores, my request. Sadly, we did not buy any clothes while
on this trip. As a blonde through and through you could imagine my
disappointment. I hope my parents didnít notice.
sister, as I think all little sisters do, decided to be hungry. So,
we decided to go hunting. In the process, we found a Mexican
restaurant, if nothing else, you can always count on Mexican to make
my family happy. I ordered a ginormous plate of deluxe nachos: Chips,
beef, sour cream, refried beans, queso, etc.. Absolutely delicious. I
think my mom got something in her food and didnít want to send
it back, so my dad was kind of in a mood. But, all is fair in love
headed back to the hotel room after that, by then it was really very
dark, so we all fell asleep. I took a shower and did some of my
school work and didnít wake up till six-thirty the next
mom had invested in a fancy breakfast we were going to- this is where
the whole embarrassment about being overdressed came from- I wore a
long blue dress and curled my hair, I put on fancy boots and off we
went. My dad had put on a button up which knew he meant business; it
always looks silly when my dad wears a button up, with all his
mom didnít wake up for a while, so we got breakfast. I think my
dad ordered something strange, like a lavender coffee or something.
I, on the other hand, got hot cocoa with peppermint on top. Again, I
like food or drinks, or both.
mom finally did decide to rise from her sleeping quarters, it took
her forever to get ready. I was forced to watch Nick Jr. with my
little sister. Not that I mind kids shows, because normally I can get
away from them, but this time I had nothing better to do.
we did it, everybody was ready to go. But oh, of course, joy! The
line was forever, and we didnít get seated for a hot-minute. My
mom was not happy at all, by the time we sat down and got our food it
had already gotten her worked up. Then, she saw the menu. Now,
normally I wouldnít mind, but the fact that there were five
items to choose from to eat and two drink options- water or coffee-
seems kind of ridiculous for a restaurant. I got pancakes though, so
I wasnít too upset. It was mostly my mom, probably because she
had to pay for it.
breakfast we stayed busy, so we went back into town to shop. We went
to Asheville again and went to every antique store known to man. It
was a lot of fun. Then, the time came.
like on the first day we drove up that three mile driveway, I had
changed my clothes because I thought I was dressed too fancy, I had
forgotten in a single day how magnificent the structure was. Itís
an actual fairy-tale castle, I swear. I was at a loss for words. It
didnít even look real.
and seventy-five thousand square feet. It was actually insane.
Walking up those steps, I couldnít even breathe. The outside
was phenomenal, but words canít even describe the inside.
Flowers on the chandelier, Gold ceilings, everything looked so rich,
so well taken care of. I wish we couldíve stayed forever. It
was just a work of art. Genuinely everything was just so insanely
and fifty rooms, only some, guests not allowed to enter. I got to see
everything. I walked so many stairs that day I thought I was going to
collapse. The rooms of the rich make me jealous to my core.
swimming pool was huge, that was my favorite part; seventy-thousand
gallons! I couldnít even imagine, my brain was at an overload.
I was transferred to a different time, and I enjoyed every second of
was quite the shame we had to leave. But all good things must come to
I am a fifteen year old sophomore who attends an
American high school: Pinecrest in Southern Pines, North Carolina. I
have dedicated the last couple of months to earn money to go to any
college I want, which is why I've decided to enter your contest.
of the message
won't know where to send it.)
Preservation Foundation, Inc., A Nonprofit Book Publisher