Ever just take a drive and not know where you are going... with four days to spare? Of course not! Who does that?! Well, I do. I mean, my friend wanted to work for me... I end up with four days off... what's a guy to do? Well, I had been to New York recently, and I didn't want to get stuck in any snow, so I went south. Charlotte, NC was my first stop. It was largely uneventful, so with the good advice of a friend, I went to Asheville to see the Biltmore Estate. I thought I was just going to check out some house; you know - half hour, 45 minutes... tops. You need several hours to fully enjoy this, the largest home in the United States. It is the Vanderbilt home/"getaway" on acres and acres of land in the hills of western North Carolina. Built on turn-of-the-century railroad profits, this huge place is meticulously detailed and a wondrous creation. You have to see it for yourself because they do not allow photography inside.
Asheville is a nice place. The people are friendly. You can find some good food; I enjoyed The Corner Kitchen. There is a Thomas Kinkade gallery nearby. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring that extra $1000 I have laying around to buy a painting. It was great to look though. It was a bit chilly, but the warmth of the people and the pleasantness of the scenery made for a memorable time away from DC.