Grandson David hit the road running. The day after he arrived here for the Christmas break, he worked two days in a row. It became three when Burger King asked him to work an extra day. He still had one more task before the semester ended, so I took a photo of him as he finished up and sent that paper. I tell you, if I contorted myself in knots like that, the undertaker wouldn’t be able to get me in a coffin.
We were determined to tour the Biltmore mansion as soon as possible for two reasons. We wanted to see the gorgeous Christmas decorations, and David needed to see it. Almost everyone who has visited here could have opted to go, but David somehow slipped through the crack. I loved being there with him because of his enthusiasm. His first comments of “Ooooooooh! Dang! Wow!” were repeated numerous times throughout the house. The first thing you see as you get through the front door is the area with the glass ceiling.
How I wanted to catch the moment David saw the Christmas tree in the great hall! He threw his head back to see the top, as his eyes lit up, and a wide grin spread over his face. Awe and wonderment were written all over him. That was a tree!!! Even though ours at home was the largest John has ever had, it seemed like a shrub compared to the Biltmore tree.
On the great dining table were gingerbread houses modeled after real buildings. I didn’t pay attention to the first ones, but the church at the far end is the one the Vanderbilt family built in the village.
We took our time going through the mansion as David drank it all in. He wanted to go through the greenhouse and garden shop, but we had an unfortunate thing happen that caused us to head home. The front bumper of the minivan caught on two spikes that were sticking up inches above the concrete curb. We jumped out to assess the damage, finding one big piece bent backwards and one side ripped from the body of the car. The situation was so tense that I forgot to take a picture of it! Now you know how bad it was! John pulled forward again to take the pressure off the bent piece, and David was able to fold it back under the car and secure it with duct tape. I got the right piece of the bumper back in place, but the connections had been torn. The fellows applied more tape, and we crept home, listening all the way for anything falling off the car. The damage is too much for the local shop to repair, and the two nearest Honda dealers are in Tennessee and South Carolina. John is thinking a collision shop is the place to start. The next time we go to Biltmore, we’ll have to make sure there is plenty of time for David to see the parts of the estate that he missed.