Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Salon: Keeping Up with the Vanderbilts

My husband arranged to take me away for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary. His location of choice was the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC both because it wasn't too far away and because he knew I was interested in seeing the famed house. While I enjoyed the house tour, imagine my glee when we walked into the library and discovered that I am a mere thousand or so books behind the Vanderbilts. And I assure you that my house doesn't come close to the grandeur of the Biltmore. But I have almost as many books stashed in every corner of my house. Heh. :-) I was also most disappointed that the velvet ropes ensured we unwashed masses couldn't read the spines of the books, most of which looked unread to my always discerning eye.

After our tour of the house and grounds, we went back to our hotel, cheerfully grabbed our books, headed out to some likely looking chairs, and settled in to read. Imagine my surprise when a friend and neighbor found us there. She was walking past on her way back to her room and thought my profile looked familiar. The fact that said profile was completely engrossed in a book clinched the deal for her. D. thinks it is hilariously funny that we can be a couple of hours away from home and what makes a friend certain that it is me is the ubiquitous book. She even managed to take a couple of pictures of us reading that we never noticed being taken. How's that for immersed in a book?

I did manage to read a few more books this week than I thought I'd get through thanks to our mini vacation. But per usual, I took far more reading material than I needed. My husband pretended outrage that I would take four books for what was supposed to be a romantic long weekend but he knows me well enough to know that was positively restrained for me (I only finished two but started the third). After all, I took 10 books on my actual honeymoon so it's not like anything has changed about me in 15 years (well, nothing that can't be directly laid at the feet of gravity, age, and children!).


  1. I'm dying to visit this library. It looks amazing!

  2. Oh, I would LOVE to visit there! We have the Vanderbilt mansion close-by here in the Hudson Valley (in Hyde Park) which was the "summer cottage" of one of the Vanderbilts.... mind you, the "summer cottage" has like 13 bedrooms, marble foyers, a grand staircase, etc! It's beautiful!

  3. What a lovely way to spend an anniversary! I was able to visit the Biltmore last summer when I took some classes at UNC Asheville. The estate is nothing short of amazing.

  4. That picture leaves me with my mouth open. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

    And only a thousand down? Aw, Kristen, you can catch up in a year...maybe even six months.


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