The next day we left the camp for the next state, North Carolina, our 37th. The state line was up in the Smoky Mountains through windy roads and spectacular views. Stef thought there wouldn’t be an actual sign due to its location, however, there was and it was a perfect place to take a rest…

September 2014 - 19 - 03

We were staying in Asheville in ANOTHER Motel 6. They are everywhere in the States and cheap and cheerful so it suits us down to the ground. That night, we headed into town and ate a very busy restaurant called Tupelo Honey Café. We had to wait 40 minutes to get a table. As we waited, we walked around the town a little. Over the road there was a small park where a few hippies were playing on the bongos. It was only about 9pm but there was loads of people there dancing to the beat. No lie, there must have been about 40 people. It was very weird.

The food at the restaurant was so tasty. Stef even went for a spicy Bloody Mary. I ate meatloaf with mac and cheese and Stef had a pork chop with fig. For starters we had deep fried okra, which is like a mini courgette. It’s also a local cuisine. It was just a single serving but was enough for not only two, but to take half home in a doggy bag!

The next day we headed to the Biltmore Estate. It’s the biggest private house in the whole of America. When Stef told me it was $55 (£35) for one person to walk around it, I thought she was joking. My wallet started to cry when it found out she was telling the truth! To be honest, I don’t mind how much a place is as long as I can get some great photos out of it.

We parked up and jumped on their shuttle to the main house. The land was massive and had loads of things you could do such as horse riding, Land Rover exploring and visit their own winery.
The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
As we got to the main door of the house, there it was. A sign that said no photos are to be taken inside. Damn it. So, I did what anyone else would do. I swung my big boy camera onto my back and got out my trusty GoPro. It is so small and compact; you can discretely take photos anywhere. It was too dark to get any great shots, but you can get the idea of the interior.

The house was indeed massive and you walked around the various rooms looking at all the fixtures and fittings. It wasn’t my cup off tea. It was too old looking for me. Sure I like retro, but this stuff looked medieval. My favourite room had to be the bowling alley. It wasn’t an automatic one, the slaves, I mean servants had to re-pin it after every shot.

After the house, we walked around the conservatory and gardens for a bit admiring the different plants and flowers.

We just had to visit the winery. Obviously. Anyone who knows my wife knows that she has a drinking problem (anyone would if they had to put up with my husband! -Stef). Mainly, if she has a couple, she falls over…

Included in the ticket was a wine tasting session. I only had a few as I was driving but we settled on a tasty red, which they produce on location. As we were walking around their “off-licence”, we tasted a really lovely warm spiced apple drink. I couldn’t help but whack a few back. It was too nice. It was so tasty that we bought some. With that and the wine, we headed to the checkouts to pay. On the way back, I had to go via the warm apple drink. I filled up a little cup and poured it all in my mouth.

They’d only gone and bloody refilled it. But this time it hadn’t had time to cool down and was RED HOT. Instantly I felt the pain. I had no choice but to gulp it down. As I swallowed the molten lava, I could feel it burning my mouth and throat.

My tongue was ruined, I couldn’t talk properly and I couldn’t taste anything for the rest of the day.