This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Friday, November 04, 2011

My Birthday at Biltmore!

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

On Sunday my husband piled us in the car and none of them would tell me where we were going. He'd already given me a beautiful birthday cake on Friday with the image of my two book covers. He said it would be a reminder of what I'd accomplished by the time I turned the BIG 4-0! My mind raced with possibilities. Where could we be going? 

As we headed south, the possibilities began to form. Then we headed west, and I knew we were going to the mountains. It's no secret that I love going to the mountains on my birthday at the end of October so I can see all the beautiful autumn colors. 

When I started seeing the signs for the Biltmore House, I knew we were going to see the gorgeous castle built by Mr. Vanderbilt in 1895 in Asheville, NC. We toured the basement part of the house and then my husband said we had to leave, we had an appointment. Huh? We hadn't finished touring the house. We still had the 2nd and 3rd floors. 

We took the car to another part of the estate and when we pulled up to the stables, my heart started beating so fast. I knew what was coming. My daughter and I rode horses around the Biltmore Estate for an hour. It was beautiful weather, the horses were well-behaved, the trees all kinds of colors and a castle in the background. We rode by the river, and so close to a ledge on a winding trail that I worried we would fall if my horse mis-stepped a couple of feet to the right. It was an exhilarating feeling for a good story!

Then we went back to the house and walked around the house, took photos of the back, the balcony and the view. We also toured the gardens and took more photos. Then we visited the Biltmore Village and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Once I showed them my ID--that it was really my birthday, they gave me $10 off my meal and a free dessert that I could share with everyone at the table. It was delicious!

I thought I would share a few photos with you. Have you ever been to the Biltmore House? The inside of it covers 4 acres. It's the largest single dwelling home in America. It was definitely state of the art in it's time. It was a 40th birthday to remember!


What a wonderful birthday surprise!
Every blessing to you and yours in the coming year.

Thank you, Linda! Thanks for stopping by from across the great Atlantic.

Happy Birthday! What a great surprise!

I've been there before...the place is a fairy tale and the grounds...heaven.

What a lovely day!

Your hubby is an amazing man, Jennifer! You must be flying high right now!

Congrats on your birthday and all your accomplishments.

That is so sweet! It looks and sounds like you had a fabulous birthday!!

Jennifer, this looks like such a wonderful birthday! I would love to go there, never have. It is on my "Bucket List" to do! Have a blessed year ahead! And we are just finishing up our Jennifer Hudson Taylor week, too, at Overcoming Through Time. I am going to put a link from CQ to this post, too!

Cheryl and Emma, Thank you! Yes, Dwayne is very good to me and it was a day to remember.

Carrie, I appreciate all that you have done to promote Highland Sanctuary and Highland Blessings. As for visiting the Biltmore, you won't be sorry. Christmas is probably the best time of year so you can see all the beautiful decorations and possibly participate in one of the evening Christmas dinners.

wow - what a wonderful birthday surprise. I'd say your husband is a keeper:)
Deborah Malone