I have been in holiday mode ever since Art on the Farm, and doing very little felting or anything creative except to finish up some commissions right before Christmas. We had a great family Christmas, it seemed less stressful and as if there was just more TIME this year, which I really enjoyed. Our kids have had a pretty long break, and our son went to Florida with a friend's family so our daughter and I decided to go on a girl's trip to Asheville, North Carolina and the famous Biltmore Estate, which is decorated for Christmas.
We did two of the "special tours" including a Candlelight Evening Tour which was breathtaking, as many of the mansion's fireplaces were lit, there was live music, and there were hundreds of poinsettas and dozens of beautifully-adorned trees. (Photos aren't allowed inside, so you'll have to go and see it for yourself!) It is fascinating to hear about the lifestyles of both the ultra-wealthy first residents as well as those that were in their employ (which we learned more about on the Butler's Tour).
Despite the winter season, we enjoyed walking around the grounds and gardens, and it was wonderful to explore the Conservatory and it's many blooming plants.
We managed to find some time to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, wish we'd had more time for that, it's so gorgeous and relaxing, as there are NO commercial signs or development anywhere along the entire drive!
We stayed at two great B and B's on our trip, and enjoyed lots of time shopping and browsing Asheville's many art galleries.
One of the galleries even had paintings featuring Peru (our daughter's birthplace), so that was pretty neat!
I have to say that being exposed to so much amazing artwork has me feeling very inspired and I'm itching to get back in my studio next week and to do some completely new things with my felting!
We capped the trip off with a hike on the way back home on the Appalachian Trail (with which I hold a lot of fascination, having read several books about people that have hiked the entire 2,100 miles). It was a lovely way to finish out what was a wonderful mom/daughter journey!