S: Christmas at Old Salem and Biltmore Estate, December 1-3, 2010
FC: Christmas at Old Salem and Biltmore Estate Winston-Salem and Asheville, North Carolina December 1-3, 2010
1: I T I N E R A R Y Wednesday, December 1 Arrived at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, NC. Ate lunch at Salem Tavern. Toured the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Explored the authentic, historic village of Old Salem in "holiday" style. Stayed at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. Ate dinner at Ryan's Restaurant. Enjoyed the Tanglewood Festival of Lights, a bus tour of the Southeast's largest holiday light show (or so it's said). Thursday, December 2 After continental breakfast in hotel lobby, traveled to Grove Park Inn for the National Gingerbread House Competition Display and holiday lunch buffet. Visited the Biltmore Estate Winery before arriving at The Inn on Biltmore Estate. After dinner at the Deer Park Restaurant on Biltmore Estate, participated in self-guided Biltmore House Christmas Candlelight Tour. Friday, December 3 Departed Asheville, NC, to return home. Ate lunch at Cracker Barrel in Durham. Cover Photo - Christmas tree in Banquet Hall of Biltmore House.
2: Old Salem is a National Historic Landmark district of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The town's preserved and reconstructed buildings, staffed by living-history interpreters, showcase the culture of the Moravian settlement in North Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries.
3: Our group ate lunch at Salem Tavern, where George Washington spent two nights, May 31 and June 1, 1791, while passing through North Carolina. Salem Tavern offers an authentic dining experience, with costumed servers preparing traditional Moravian meals, including the local favorite, chicken pie. | We participated in a guided tour of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. The MESDA is the only museum dedicated to exhibiting and researching the regional decorative arts of the early South.
4: Approximately 70% of the buildings in the historic district are original, making this a truly unique living history museum. The features include skilled interpreters such as tinsmiths, blacksmiths, cobblers, gunsmiths, bakers, and carpenters, actually practicing their trades while interacting with visitors.
5: Souvenirs from Old Salem included a canister of yummy Moravian maple cookies and this basket which I created from a kit.
6: Dinner at Ryan's Restaurant on Wednesday night. The slice of pecan pie for dessert was so big that even I couldn't finish it! | After dinner, we enjoyed the Christmas display at the Tanglewood Festival of Lights.
7: On Thursday, arrived at Grove Park Inn for the National Gingerbread House Competition.
8: SCENES FROM GROVE PARK INN
9: At right, souvenirs purchased from Grove Park Inn.
10: Grand Prize winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition, 2010. Yeah, yeah, yeah--it's not a house.
11: Of course I ate a gingerbread cookie! | Buffet Lunch at Grove Park Inn | My lunch pals, (l to r), are Marlene Trois, Peggy Case, and Peggy Hartman.
12: Entrance to the Biltmore House.
13: The Banquet Hall--in all its grandeur--was my favorite room. | After dinner at the Deer Park Restaurant on Biltmore Estate, we arrived at the Biltmore House for the candlelight Christmas tour.
14: The Inn on Biltmore Estate
15: Asheville is nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains as shown by this photo from The Inn on Biltmore Estate.
16: The Inn Lobby
18: On December 8, I traveled to Richmond for lunch at The Jefferson Hotel. Why the alligator statues? Alligators happen to live in the marble pools and became a hotel attraction. Richmonders and hotel guests enthusiastically donated pet alligators to the hotel. The last alligator remained at the hotel until its death in 1948.
19: Lunch was followed by a performance of WHITE CHRISTMAS at the Empire Theatre.