10345
Montreat
Biltmore Estate’s Victorian Splendor and an Appalachian Mountain Christmas
From Victorian carols to Appalachian music, from “gilded age” decorations to mountain traditions and hospitality, celebrate two legacies of Christmas in historic North Carolina.
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Program No. 10345RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
769
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Montreat, NC
D
Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Afternoon: Arrival at the Assembly Inn, check in between 4 - 5:30 pm. Pull up to the covered area to unload your luggage, then park your vehicle close to the Inn in any marked parking spot. Enjoy a nice walk around Lake Susan or relax in the lobby and meet your fellow participants.

Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Evening: Our opening program/orientation will be at 7 p.m. We'll spend some time learning a little about Montreat, going over the schedule and activities for the week, and beginning to get to know each other. We know you'll be tired after your travels, so we'll end the evening around 8 p.m. but refreshments, games, TV and fellowship await those who desire in the lobby.

DAY
2
Morning and Afternoon Lectures, Evening Presentation
Montreat, NC
B,L,D
Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Breakfast: Breakfast served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Morning: Morning Lecture on "The Men Who Built the Biltmore" with Righton McCallum mid morning, we'll have a refreshment break in the lobby, We'll return to class for a lecture on the Vanderbilt Family History and a video from "biography" about the Vanderbilts (with Righton McCallum)

Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Afternoon: The afternoon class begins our exploration of An Appalachian Mountain Christmas with Marilyn McMinn McCredie. After class, there will be free time or optional guided walk around Montreat

Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Evening: 7:00 "Fun in the Mountains" with Glenn & Evelyn Bannerman Games/cards and tv available in the lobby of the Inn for fellowship.

DAY
3
Lectures, All Souls Cathedral, Biltmore by Candlelight
Montreat, NC
B,L,D
Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Breakfast: Breakfast served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Morning: The morning course will explore (though videos and discussion) the different seasons at the Biltmore (the preparation for Christmas and the Gardens and Flowers). Mid-morning, we'll have a refreshment break to enjoy fellowship and discuss what we've learned so far... Then, we'll return to the classroom to discuss aspects of the Gilded Age

Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Afternoon: Right after lunch, we will return to the classroom for "what not to miss" with Righton. After an hour in class, we'll board the bus for a visit to the All Souls Cathedral, located in Asheville near the Estate (built by George Vanderbilt as a worship center for his family and the community). There will be time to explore the Biltmore Village area and to see the train depot and the architecture from the period. From there, we'll go onto the Biltmore Estate grounds for our visit to the Winery (wine tasting at end of tour)

Dinner: at 5:45, we have reservations for dinner at Deerpark Restaurant, on the Biltmore Estate. This charming, rustic restaurant was originally an historic barn designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Now transformed into a courtyard restaurant with walls of windows, Deerpark Restaurant serves a generous array of Southern family-style dishes and Appalachian specialties.

Evening: Following dinner, we'll enter the Biltmore House for our Candlelight tour. Biltmore House is beautiful in all seasons of the year, but the Candlelight experience is nothing short of magical. You'll see the house as the first guests of the Vanderbilts did when they first opened the home. Musicians and entertainers are on all different levels of the house. You'll go through at your own pace, and there are docents available for questions. we will board the bus at 9:45 p.m. for departure back to Montreat

DAY
4
Biltmore Estate, Basilica of St. Lawrence, Evening Lecture
Montreat, NC
B,L,D
Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Breakfast: Breakfast served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Morning: The bus departs Montreat to return to the Biltmore Estate for continued tour. You may re-enter the house to experience its beauty in the daytime, and walk through the gardens and conservatory (we will enjoy box lunches at the conservatory) and then visit "Antler Village," the farm and garden area.

Lunch: Box lunches at the conservatory (come in time to enjoy your lunch and be ready to depart conservatory by 1:00 p.m.)

Afternoon: We depart from the Biltmore Estate around 1:45 p.m. and stop by St. Basilica of St. Lawrence. After that, we return to Montreat for the rest of the afternoon for free time. There will be a special event in Montreat this afternoon.... a Christmas Tea at the Presbyterian Heritage Center (3 - 5:30 p.m.). Come join us for some Christmas goodies! At 4 p.m., there will be a special event (time capsule opening). Note: You may choose to drive on your own or carpool so that you can remain at the Estate for as long as you desire.

Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Evening: 7:00 "An Appalachian Mountain Christmas," with Marilyn McMinn McCredie.

DAY
5
Music & Literature, Vance Birthplace, Stories of Christmas
Montreat, NC
B,L,D
Assembly Inn, Montreat Conference Center

Breakfast: Breakfast served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Morning: The morning course/lecture explores, "Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green.. " (music and literature -- Vanderbilt family and those who worked at the estate) We'll have a refreshment break mid morning and then return for more music and literature with Bobbie Pell.

Lunch: Lunch is served from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll have an opportunity to visit Vance Birthplace in Weaverville, NC. This pioneer farmstead, tucked in the Reems Creek Valley, features the birthplace of Zebulon Baird Vance. The five-room log house--reconstructed around original chimneys--and its outbuildings are furnished to evoke the period from 1795- 1840. Vance's political career as Civil War officer, North Carolina governor, and U.S. senator is traced at the homestead. Also included is the history of Vance's famous mountain family. Learn more by visiting their website: http://www.nchistoricsites.org/vance/

Dinner: Dinner will be served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Evening: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m., "Stories of Christmas" Donna Marie Todd

DAY
6
Music & Literature, Wrap-up, Program Concludes
Montreat, NC
B,L

Breakfast: Breakfast served from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. in the Assembly Inn Dining Room

Morning: The morning course continues to explore aspects of the literature and music, both of the Vanderbilts and their society as well as the folks who worked at the estate (ballads, oral tradition). We will then look back over the week and discuss what we've learned about the Vanderbilts, the Victorian era, and the Gilded Age. Our closing program will be at 10:30 where we'll talk about the week and say our goodbyes. Box lunches are available for everyone to enjoy (either in the lobby or during your travels). Special Note: If you desire to stay, Montreat's very own "Candlelight Christmas at the Assembly Inn" program will be this evening. Tickets are $30 and include a wonderful holiday dinner as well as a concert by Joshua Messick playing the hammered dulcimer. Visit our website for more information, or contact John Hopkins at (828) 419-9804

Lunch: Box lunches for everyone to enjoy (either in the lobby on during your travels).