Tuesday began our adventure at Biltmore Estates. It's the largest home in the country. It was an incredibly interesting, and the boys weren't too terribly bored. Sam hung out in the backpack, and Jack was content was to walk. We moved at a little faster pace than most, but we had a preschooler wanting to lead. Interestingly, his favorite part was the Halloween Room in the basement. Apparently named for the wall scenes painted by Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil's guests at a 1920s Halloween party. On the way down the hallway towards the Halloween Room Jack heard a ghost saying, "Ooooo!" I suspect it was another patron touring the home. He also enjoyed finding the bats, owls and other animals painted on the walls. He says it was scary, but also says it was his favorite. Maybe we have a future horror flick fan on our hands?
If you have the chance to visit the Biltmore House, I'd recommend doing so. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and I wouldn't mind going back (sans toddlers in tow) to do any of the guided tours that take you into un-restored areas. You can certainly take more time touring the house and the gardens are enormous, but the heat and the walking was too much for our crew. We drove a couple miles over to the estate's Antler Hill Village to have lunch. Both boys fell asleep during the five minute drive. So, we drove around a little more. There's plenty to explore when you're driving around 8,000 acres.
After lunch in the village, we walked over to the barn and stables. The boys loved exploring the old tractor and stables. The petting zoo was a hit as well. But, the biggest hit was our stop at the Creamery in Antler Hill Village.