Yesterday, my pal Wedding Alex and I headed … north? West? We headed in some direction to the mountains, as the Vanderbilts, personal friends of ours, bilt a mansion in the 1800s, and do you see what I did there?
Wedding Alex was the driver, as she is the grownup. Hey, I’m the one who had the free tickets, thanks to being a world-famous blogger.
We got on the open road with the first light of day (9:30-ish), and off we went. Free! Unencumbered! We had the world by the tail! We…we…
had to pee. We stopped off at a room of rest.
It turns out this restroom was even better than the one I go to to have gay man trysts. It had THE BEST vending machines, and I realize one doesn’t necessarily HAVE to go to the vending machines at a rest stop, but if you don’t you aren’t my type and our homosexual tryst is off.
First of all, it took ATM cards, the vending machine did, and my info is probably being stolen across the land. This land is your land, this card is your card.
Also, when you selected your item, this mechanical arm reached across and got your item, let’s say a Mrs. Freshley’s cupcake just to throw a random scenario out there, then it gently placed the item in the outbox or whatever it’s called, and then it mechanically gave you a reacharound.
“This is going to be my favorite part of this trip,” I announced, because mechanical arm!
Anyway, we finally got to Asheville, like the Edie Brickell/Steve Martin song.
If you’re ever headed to the Biltmore, and you arrive in Asheville, you needn’t worry that you won’t be able to find, you know, the Biltmore. Once I was in the cemetery where they buried Jim Morrison, in Paris. All these other famous people were similarly buried there, but all sorts of tombstones had spraypainted on them “Jim” with an arrow leading you to Jim. Asheville was much the same, leading you to the mansion, except on fancier, less-dead signs.
Once you get to the property, it’s
from the front to the actual house. Then, after you’ve driven
it’s an 8-minute walk to the actual house.
Two miles. That’s longer than from my house here to work.
I took a video of us exclaiming over how ridiculous it was to have to drive two miles just to get down your driveway, and we said all sorts of pithy unforgettable things about it, and then you know what? I turned on the video feature of my phone once we were done. See, normally what you’d want to do is turn it on, you know, first.
Anyway, we eventually got there, and felt quite butch making that 8-minute trek through the woods, although W Alex became convinced we’d be kidnapped. You hear of a lot of kidnappings at the entry to the Biltmore, so I get it.
Also too, every time we saw a guard or a traffic guy or a janitor, we’d say, “That guy wanted us.”
It’d be funny if it weren’t so true.
You’re going to be stunned to hear that the Biltmore has a lotta rooms, and a lotta fireplaces, and I can’t begin to imagine what they spend on those Duraflame logs each month.
But what I liked best, beyond the billiard room and the bowling alley and the pool and the gym
was the everyday stuff. Because you know how I am about the everyday. I’m obsessed with it. So, for me, the bathrooms were riveting. The kitchens (they had, like, 10 of them). The maids’ rooms. That’s the stuff I could identify with. Okay, I can’t identify with kitchens. You know what I mean, though. I mean, I can’t say, How does this drawing room differ from mine. But a bathroom? I can identify.
Afterward, we had lunch in the stables, as you do. Even the leftovers be fance.
Then, because we hadn’t spent enough money there, (we’d spent none) (well, lunch. Okay. LUNCH.) (I had bison pot roast. The waiter really buffaloed me into ordering it.) we popped into all the shops, where I am sorry to tell you I bought dark chocolate lavender truffles. I wanted to buy some dark chocolate-covered cashews, but the moment I would have brought them into the car, W Alex would have fallen over dead with her nut allergy and then I’d have had to navigate home and I’m really not good with directions.
In all, ’twas an excellent day looking at rich people’s houses, although I guess technically I looked at rich people’s HOUSE, and it’s hard to believe that was one house.
Now I gotta go the 17 steps from my house to my car, and then drive…well, zero miles to get out of my driveway, seeing as I don’t have one. I DO have a personal alley out back, and can the Vanderbilts say that? Hmmm? Can they?