Saturday, September 22, 2012


It was hard to imagine what it would be like to live in this French Renaissance Chateau, a structure of 250-room Biltmore House, the extensive garden and everything surrounding the 8,000 acre estate, and it was a home of just one family, George W. Vanderbilt.  We were not allowed to take photos or any recording device, inside the "house".  It is currently more like a museum and most of the rooms are small compared to the modern standards (no walk-in closets or whirlpool/giant bathtub).  We spent the whole day there (Thursday, July 5th) and only saw a portion of this manificent estate.  The self-guided with audio tour included four floors and the basement took 2+ hours.  Admission for the house and garden is $55-60 per adult.  Add $15-25 per person for behind the scenes and rooftop tour.  It just occurs to me why a poor person like me spend my hard-earned money to see a rich man's house.  Perhaps for historical purpose or so that I could boast about it.  No, I do not hate rich people.  If I had a choice of being born into a wealthy family, I would definitely take that option.  I respect individuals who build their business, willing to take risks and create the wealth for their family.  I definitely don't want the government to take from those who have more and give to me simply because I have less.   Just because I am poor does not give me the right to take from someone else.  Redistribution of wealth did not work in Viet Nam or any other Communist controlled government.  I agree that in America, not everything is fair and equal when it comes to wealth and social class, but what is the definition of fairness and who gets to decide?  If my neighbor says that I have more than he does, should I be willing to give him what he needs?  (I think I am pushing a hot button here - this might be the only way for me to get  a few comments from the readers - haa haa.)          

During the Gilded Age, Asheville was called Paris of the South.  The modern Asheville still has all the art and culture with stunning downtown architecture such as the Art Deco S and W Building and my favorite, the Basilica of St. Lawrence.  (The next day, Friday July 6th, we attended the morning Mass there.)  There are plenty of things to do in downtown Asheville, spending time in antiques shops and art galleries while waiting for your table at one of the many fine dining options or you could enjoy people watching while sitting on the benches in Pack Square.  (QQ, you might like a shop called Asheville Recycles selling footstools made out of wooden Dr. Pepper crates or patio chairs constructed out of rebar and flat metal). 
From our home to yours - only in our wildest dreams - haa haa

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