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Visit to Asheville, NC and then river rafting July 2-5, 2020*. 

(*the year of our Covid).

On the way to Asheville, the Broadway hit show Hamilton became available on Disney Plus for streaming, and as Merle was watching it on her phone and singing along, she was one happy camper.
NC 7 2 Merle watching Hamilton.jpg
We were able to get to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC on time despite the directions on the phone sending us to a private residence, then to the employee entrance, but we eventually made it.
NC 7 3 Biltmore in distance.jpg
NC 7 3 Biltmore tall.jpg
This mansion, which was built in 1889, included a banquet room with a ceiling seven stories high. 
We imagined servants working feverishly during a formal dinner trying to keep the guests happy, but they had one strict rule at the table:
When, century from then, cell phones would be invented, none were allowed during dinner.
NC 7 3 Banquet room.jpg
This was the view from their salon, of course without our heads in the way.
NC 7 3 Biltmore view from salon brighter
NC 7 3 Bilt who are those peeps in the m
What mansion would be complete without an indoor bowling alley?  
However, in those days, a human had to pick up and re-set the pins, and roll the ball back to the players.
NC 7 3 Bilt bowling alley.jpg
And of course they had an indoor swimming pool.
Apparently it was BWOW (bring your own water).
NC 7 3 Bilt indoor pool.jpg
After the mansion, though not seeing about 32 of the 35 bedrooms, we went for a tour of the grounds.
Here, Merle literally leads me down the garden path.
NC 7 3 Bilt Merle leading me down garden
This area was referred to as the Walled Garden.  They had some amazingly large types of certain flowers, and Merle was hoping to find one wilted such flower to get the seeds, but they were all in tip top shape, AND, there were a ton of gardeners (aka secret service agents for plants) littering the place.
NC 7 3 Garden and conservatory.jpg
Even I can see the obvious....
NC 7 3 landscape renov.jpg
After a socially distant bite for lunch, we checked out their Downton Abbey exhibit.  Although that fictional location is in England, the Biltmore Estate still had somewhat of an Upstairs Downstairs feel to it also.
NC 7 3 Downton exhibit.jpg
Next day, Pam and Grant Cloys came up from Greenville, SC to have lunch with us, though we had to remove the masks to get the food in.
NC 7 4 Pam and Grant.jpg
Merle wanted to see a waterfall, so Grant suggested we take a ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was a long and winding road up and up and up.  We eventually got to the top, and we had some beautiful views, though not surprisingly, no more cell signal.
NC 7 4 Pisgah Mtns overlook.jpg
NC 7 4 LG Falls top.jpg
We were able to eventually make it to Looking Glass Falls, which was cool.
For full disclosure, however, half the state was there cooling off in the mist, and a generous estimate would be that maybe 20% of the peeps were wearing a mask.  However, there was one dog wearing a bandana.
NC 7 4 LG Falls bottom.jpg
Next day (Sunday), we went to McCaysville, GA for whitewater rafting with a group called Rolling Thunder.
We wound up getting there about 11a and weren't done until about 330p, so full credit to an earlier Burger King breakfast sandwich as an effective appetite suppressant!!
NC 7 5 Rafting.jpg
We made it home but then I learned that cousin Joy's parents live in apologies for not calling!  
Back to business tomorrow.
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