The Biltmore Estate

The Biltmore Estate

On our vacation this summer, we visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.  The architecture and gardens were breathtaking!   The rose gardens smelled heavenly.  Here is just a taste.                                                             Can you tell I love flowers? A little bit of history about the Biltmore, George W. Vanderbuilt  had this magnificent home built in 1895 for his sweetheart Edith.  They had one daughter, Cornelia, who in 1924, married the Honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil.  The Biltmore still remains in the family, they along with 1800 employees run this national treasure for everyone to enjoy. Inside the house (no photos allowed) you find beautiful rooms that would have been just like the Vanderbuilts and Cecil’s lived.  They entertained alot and had rooms like “The Entrance Hall”, ” The Winter Garden”, and “The Billiard Room”  where they enjoyed refreshments and played games with their guests.  They had tapestrys hanging in a Tapestry Gallery that dated back to the 1530’s. In the basement, they had a bowling alley, a gymnasium and a swimming pool!  Apparently keeping fit was very important to them.  Let’s not forget that the indoor swimming pool held 70,000 gallons of heated water and was lit up by underwater lighting! You will have to go visit the Biltmore yourself to see all these amazing...

Travel Notes – part 1

So on our travels last week we headed down from Ohio to Jackson, Mississippi.  On the way we stopped in Nashville, Tennessee to visit the Belle Meade Plantation.  This is a beautiful plantation built in the early 1800’s  and was well known for it’s racing horse history.  John Harding, who founded and built this plantation built his business on breeding and training race horses which was quite evident throughout the house from all the portraits of horses on the walls.  For those of you who are movie buffs, Seabiscuit can trace his roots back to this plantation.       Notice how nice they kept their “garage” !             Then we went on down to see the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee.  While there we were greeted by Elvis Presley! 🙂  Other attractions are the Monorail that takes you over to Mud Island, going to Beale Street Landing to ride the largest paddlewheel steamboat, American Queen, or just crossing the Hernando De SOTO bridge that takes you over to Arkansas.  The lower picture is of the Memphis/Arkansas bridge that also has a railroad crossing.                     After Memphis, we headed down to Jackson, Mississippi to the Belhaven University.  A beautiful southern style campus that is geared to the creative arts student....
How to Eat Gluten-Free When Traveling

How to Eat Gluten-Free When Traveling

Our family took a long car-trip this past week and it prompted me to write about this very subject.  It starts with a bag of healthy, gluten-free snacks and an ice chest of some items that are hard to find like my gluten-free bread and bagels, coconut milk creamers, yogurt if you want organic and any fruit and veges you want to bring along.  At most hotels you can get a hot breakfast of eggs, meat and fruit.  Then I bring our Udi’s Gluten Free Bagels to toast and put butter and cream cheese or peanut butter on, which is provided.  I also bring along my coconut milk creamer and coconut oil for my coffee. For lunches we find a Panera Bread or Chipotle, for salads, or I bring nitrate and nitrite-free lunch meat and cheese along for rollups.  We always pack alot of Ziploc baggies of peeled and cut carrots along to munch on and apples. For dinners, most restaurants have gluten-free items to order, or you can ask them to prepare your meal without the bread or rolls.  And ALWAYS stay away from the fried food.  Some of our favorite restaurants on our trip are Cracker Barrel, O’Charley’s (a favorite down south), and the steak houses. Our first couple of days were spent in Ohio visiting family, here are some photos of the time spent there at a lake.  We went zip-lining, canoeing, swimming, and played lots of card games  and volleyball....