This spring, I took a day trip to Asheville, NC. The purpose of this trip was to see the Dressing Downton installation at Biltmore House.
And while seeing the costumes was fabulous, and reading about the construction (or reconstruction, in the case of vintage pieces) was interesting, the weather was crappy. Hence the gloomy photos.
If you have never been to Asheville and you live within driving distance, I highly recommend it! I've been numerous times, both with my family (where we spent the night at Grove Park Inn, which is AMAZING!) and with school groups (where you get to ride on a odorous bus with 6th graders who are packed in like sardines), and over the years it has become quite the resort town! The Biltmore Village that borders the estate used to be kind of run-down and pitiful, but there are now some gorgeous shops and great restaurants. (There went my opportunity to be an entrepreneur, I guess!)
No photos were allowed inside the mansion, and they had several docents in each room to be sure that cameras weren't out. Maybe if I had a way to surreptitiously get some pics with my phone, I could have...but there were a thousand people in line and I wouldn't have been able to get a good shot. You'll have to trust me when I say that the costumes were fabulous. There were also multiple scene shots and story boards to describe the episode in which each of the costumes was worn, and the historical context of the episode. It was incredibly well put-together. As a teacher of both English and History, I approved!
While I was in Asheville, I puttered around in a few antique/junk shops. My very favorite (and in my top 10 of all time) is the Antique Tobacco Barn. It is chock full of goodies in all price ranges. You can find some really unique stuff there. I always end up buying something that I didn't even know I needed 'til I saw it!
I hope to get back to Asheville this summer or fall on a PRETTY day, so I can walk around and check out a few more places. If I do, I'll let you know!