I first encountered the Grove Park Inn when I went to an educational conference there about a decade ago. I was impressed with its rugged beauty, natural setting and historical significance.
So when my visiting friend and I finished visiting Biltmore Estates in Aseville, I had to take him there. Thanksgiving Day was coming to a close and it was around supper time when we arrived. The first challenge was to find a place to park. It seemed as if the entire southeast USA had descended on the place.
I let my friend off at the circle in front of the lobby so he could guage what the possibility of eating our Thanksgiving repast would be. Then I went across to the parking lot and started circling like a plane waiting for its turn to land. I finally gave up and went on some roundabout route through the grounds. Eventually, though. I returned and found a perfect place. I decided after all that trouble that we were visiting the hotel, food or no.
I’m glad we stayed. Dinner was out of the question with the crowd, but we got something to drink and went out to the rear veranda. It was the close of a beautfiul late autumn day. We watched the sun gouing down over the Blue Ridge Mountains and talked.
When it got a bit chilly, my buddy and I went inside. An NFL football game was on the wide screen, people were sitting and milling about, and several people were sitting in front of the large, stone fireplace. I found one of the rocking chairs and sat there enjoying the holiday atmosphere. I then gave it up to my friend and went to take a look atf the Grove Park’s gallery of notables who have stayed there. There are many, but I focused on some of my favorites, among them F. Scott Fitgerald, B.J. Palmer (the founder of “straight” chiropractic”), and General John J. Pershing.
I enjoyed being with my friend at the Grove Park. He was surpised and glad we visited. I had investigated staying there before we arrived, but to me it was rather pricey. He thought the rooms were reasonable though. He would know since he has travelled and lived in several countries.
I’ll save the overnight stay for some romantic getaway with my wife someday. I want to come back again. I got a taste of the place a decade ago, and just a drink this time. But next time I am going for the whole feast.