To celebrate my thirty-third birthday, David and I visited the Biltmore Estate, the largest private residence in the United States that George Washington Vanderbilt II formally opened up to his family and friends when he was 33 years old. I probably will never aspire to a life of owning thousands of acres of the North Carolina countryside and rooms filled with Whistler paintings, but Biltmore isn’t so bad for a 33 year-old in 1895.
The house was opulent and grand, of course, but the grounds and views were far more lovely. I would be far more likely to wish for grounds like those of Biltmore than a house like Biltmore.
We also had Afternoon Tea at the Inn at the Biltmore, complete with finger sandwiches and delicate pastries. I can allow a measured display of slight pretension on a thirty-third birthday. But only one day! I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I aspire to the life of a dilettante trust fund baby.