Asheville NC Vacation The Ultimate Vacation Destination
  • May
    1

    Western North Carolina’s  Spring flowering season has just begun in the lower elevations of Asheville and Hendersonville, and with plenty of winter moisture, a spectacular spring it will be!  We toured the Biltmore Estate Azalea Gardens on Thursday, April 29, 2010, and their trees and shrubs were beautiful beyond words.  The foresight of George W. Vanderbilt, who built the Biltmore Estate, Frederick Law Olmsted (the father of American landscape architecture), and Richard Morris Hunt (the architect of the Biltmore House) shows every time we walk the grounds of Americas largest single family home.  The planning, the layouts, the plant placement, the walls, the gardens, the fields, and the water features all were combined to create a magical wonderland.  The family of George Vanderbilt continued the traditions since the house first opened Christmas Eve, 1895, and are still creating more and more joy for themselves and for us.

    Spectacular Azalea Colors at Biltmore Estate's Azalea Garden - photo by Robert Bowles of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Spectacular Azalea Colors at Biltmore Estate's Azalea Garden - photo by Robert Bowles of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

     

     

    Ginny adores wandering the acres of pathways of the Biltmore Estate's Azalea Gardens.  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Ginny adores wandering the acres of pathways of the Biltmore Estate's Azalea Gardens. www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    While hiking the Mountain-to-Sea Trail earlier in the week, Stephanie and I noticed some beautiful orange flowering trees, and wondered what they were.  Imagine my delight upon arriving at our Mountain Laurel Lodge to see the exact same flowering tree in our own backyard!  I believe they are Flame Azalea (rhododendron calendulaceum) or Florida Azalea (Rhododendron austrinum).   There are several other shrubs and bushes that have already shown their spring flowers, and we’ve yet to identify them with certainty, although we are pretty certain the following are also in the Rhododendron and Azalea species. Perhaps someone reading this may have an answer.

    While hiking the Mountain-to-Sea Trail earlier in the week, Stephanie and I noticed some beautiful orange flowering trees, and wondered what they were. Imagine my delight upon arriving at our Mountain Laurel Lodge to see the exact same flowering tree in our own backyard! I believe they are Flame Azalea (rhododendron calendulaceum) or Florida Azalea (Rhododendron austrinum). There are several other shrubs and bushes that have already shown their spring flowers, and we’ve yet to identify them with certainty, although we are pretty certain the following are also in the Rhododendron and Azalea species. Perhaps someone reading this may have an answer.

    Our latest vacation rental home acquisition, the Mountain Laurel Lodge, has as its back yard a mountain side rising up to a peak, almost entirely covered in Mountain Laurels, Rhododendrons, Dogwoods, and other trees and shrubs unidentified or perhaps unseen by us so far.  We can’t wait for the surprises in store for us, especially when the huge number of Mountain Laurels and Rhododendrons open up for their private spring decoration show.  There is still time to rent the home for your vacation to witness the show for yourself!  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Our latest vacation rental home acquisition, the Mountain Laurel Lodge, has as its back yard a mountain side rising up to a peak, almost entirely covered in Mountain Laurels, Rhododendrons, Dogwoods, and other trees and shrubs unidentified or perhaps unseen by us so far. We can’t wait for the surprises in store for us, especially when the huge number of Mountain Laurels and Rhododendrons open up for their private spring decoration show. There is still time to rent the home for your vacation to witness the show for yourself! www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com

    Photos and text by Robert A Bowles,  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com, 828-274-9777.  While visiting the Biltmore Estate, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Smoky Mountains, please call us to reserve one of our luxurious vacation rental cottages, chalets and lodges.  You deserve to be spoiled!

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  • May
    27

    White Squirrel is plays in the tree at the Story Book Cottage romantic vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC.

    White Squirrel is plays in the tree at the Story Book Cottage romantic vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC.

    White squirrels roam an area in North Carolina near Asheville in the towns of Hendersonville and Brevard.  The area starts around Cashiers and continues through Brevard to Hendersonville, and beyond, about a 60 mile stretch.  Locals say the squirrels came to Brevard from Hawaii, via Florida.  In 1949 an overturned carnival truck in Florida eventually resulted in the beginnings of the white squirrel population here in Henderson and Transylvania Counties.  Read details at http://www.whitesquirrelinstitute.whitesquirrelfestival.com/ and http://whitesquirrels.com/cart/

     

    Our now famous white squirrels actually belong to the Eastern Gray Squirrel family.  They are not albino, their coats are naturally white and their eye color is dark like gray squirrels.   Most have a dark patch on the head that leads down their backs in a thin dark line. 

     

    Although most white squirrels have some gray markings, this white squirrel is entirely white!  Photo was taken at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home sitting on the lawn of the volleyball play area.

    Although most white squirrels have some gray markings, this white squirrel is entirely white! Photo was taken at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home sitting on the lawn of the volleyball play area.

    It is quite entertaining to watch them.  They play, eat and climb with their gray squirrel families, yet their every movement is magnified so much that no matter how many of their gray cousins are with them, all you see is the white one(s).  They are a delight to watch, you must come see!  My explanations and descriptions cannot match the actually visual treat in store for you. 

     

    A frequent visitor at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC, this white squirrel has found the children's fort/swing/slide playground a fun place to hang out!

    A frequent visitor at the Rose Cottage vacation rental home in Hendersonville NC, this white squirrel has found the children's fort/swing/slide playground a fun place to hang out!

     

     

    Our guests at the White Stone Lake Manor in Hendersonville NC are delighted when they spot our resident white squirrel that visits our private lake.

    Our guests at the White Stone Lake Manor in Hendersonville NC are delighted when they spot our resident white squirrel that visits our private lake.

    Photos and article by Robert Bowles  www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  Come see the white squirrels while you stay at one of our cottage, chalet, cabin & home vacation rentals.  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email us at www.Joyah@aol.com for your reservations. 

     

     

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  • May
    25

    Ginny feels she just stepped into an Italian Restaurant with the open kitchen on the left where she can see the fresh food being prepared.

    Ginny feels she just stepped into an Italian Restaurant with the open kitchen on the left where she can see the fresh food being prepared.

    Even though you are in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, as soon as you enter the doors of the Bistro Restaurant on the Biltmore Estate, you’ll feel that you’ve been transported to a beautiful Tuscany café. At the center of the restaurant is a large open kitchen where you can see the delicious meals being grilled, sautéed and prepared with the utmost care with the freshest foods (vegetables, herbs, greens and beef) from the estates own fields and farms. 

    Lunches are a treat with delectable wood-fired pizzas, appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees.  Dinners are to be savored with the extraordinary meals prepared with care.  We’ve always experienced great service the many times we’ve eaten here.  Be sure to have a reservation for dinners so they will have your name at the entry gate to be allowed on the estate after hours. 

    As with all restaurants on the Biltmore Estate, you will need an estate admission ticket.  If you have yet to purchase your ticket, just give us a call at Asheville Vacation Homes to purchase your discounted ticket good for two consecutive days!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or see our website at www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com .

    Phone:  828-225-6230 for reservations

    Hours for Lunch:  Noon – 5 PM

    Hours for Dinner:  5 PM – 8:30 PM

    Website for Menu:  www.biltmore.com/visit/dining/bistro/

     

    Reviewed by Stephanie Joy Johnson of www.AshevilleVacationHomes.com  You are invited to experience the luxury of our Asheville and Hendersonville Vacation Rental Homes where we promise you will be outrageously spoiled!  Call us at 828-274-9777 or email at Joyah@aol.com 

    Ginny can hardly wait to be seated because she knows how delicious the food is here!

    Ginny can hardly wait to be seated because she knows how delicious the food is here!

    Ginny is just outside the Bistro Restaurant that is just across from the Winery where she just completed the awesome tour!

    Ginny is just outside the Bistro Restaurant that is just across from the Winery where she just completed the awesome tour!

     

     

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