Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Our Biltmore Estate tour and Downton Abbey exhibit, with stitchy souvieners

(Picture taken by my daughter.)
My daughter and I are on vacation.  We are in NC visiting my best friend ~ who is also an avid stitcher.  :0)  So I'm getting some awesome stitchy time.  But our first day here, we went on an excursion to the Biltmore Estate.  I have wanted to tour Biltmore for more years than I can count.  And my daughter was super excited because the mansion was also playing host to an exhibit of costumes from Downton Abbey.  It was so much fun to get to see all the costumes that we recognized from the show.  I think I was most tickled to see the purple dress worn by the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
The house and gardens were gorgeous, the food was wonderful (and more reasonably priced than I was expecting,) and the shops were delightful.  There was a confectionary shop, a Christmas shop, a toy store, a store that sold beautiful home goods, jewelry, kitchen wares and linens, a bookstore, and garden store.  There were also more restaurant choices than I expected.  There were a couple of sit down places that required reservations and also a few more simple places you could go to without any reservation needed....and an ice cream shoppe.  :0)  My daughter and I chose to go to the patisserie where you had a choice of many pastries as well as several different types of sandwiches and sides.  We had a lot of fun. 
My daughter is the photographer of the family and she loved taking pictures in the garden. 

It was a bit rainy in the afternoon, but we had come prepared with umbrellas so all was well.
After scouring every shop on the property, I found the elusive Biltmore Estate cross stitch kit!  I *knew* it would be there somewhere and you better believe I planned on getting it.  :0)  I did get a bit confused when it wasn't to be found in the shop that sold the lace and linens.  That seemed like the logical place to me and I was trying to prepare myself to be disappointed and have to leave without it.  But!!  In the last shop we went to at the end of the day, I found it! was the garden shop, lol!  Why they thought that's where it needed to go, I'll never know. 
But I did find it and I was sooooo happy!  I have purposely stopped my retail buying for stitching this year.  I keep it for special times like when I'm traveling or at retreats. At home, any spending has just been nice second hand finds.  So this was a treat to spend on my stitching, since I'm traveling and it's one of my "allowed" spending times I have given myself.  :0)
So here is the kit, designed by Posy Lough. 
After I got back to my friend's house that night, I went ahead and sorted the threads and bobbinated all of them.  All I will need to do now is stitch my zigzag around the fabric edges and this one will be ready to start.
And lastly, I got the cutest Downton Abbey inspired pin cushion.  There was a lot of Downton Abbey items for sale, since they are hosting the exhibit right now.  I may or may not have ticked off another lady by grabbing this and high tailing it to the register with it, right when she grabbed for it at the same time, lol. 
 So overall we had a delightful day and I'm so glad we went.  The fact that is was also a Downton "experience" as well, made it all the better.  And the cherry on top was getting a couple of stitchy related items.  It was definitely a very good day.  If you ever have the chance to go to Biltmore, definitely do it!  Such a beautiful place and worth the effort to get there.