The Biltmore

Evee Ashba

© Copyright 2023 by Evee Ashba

Photo by Cody Dueitt on Unsplash
Photo by Cody Dueitt on Unsplash

I 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. I 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.

I 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.

The 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.

The fact that I didnít sleep mightíve also had to do with me downing an entire Monster Energy Drink before we left, but, who knows?

It 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.

When 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.

When 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?

My 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.

Now, 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.

After 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.

We 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.

When 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.

My 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 and war.
We 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 morning.

My 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 tattoos.

My 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.

When 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.

Finally 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.

After 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.

Just 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.

One-hundred 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 gorgeous.

Two-hundred 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.

The 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 it.

It was quite the shame we had to leave. But all good things must come to an end.

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.

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