The first time I visited the Swannanoa mansion, it was the middle of the night. A car-full of friends had wanted to watch the stars from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and we took a quick detour to see this crazy, run-down, potentially haunted palace. The stories we were told while driving up the narrow, winding driveway were creepy enough to keep me locked inside the car, but I was still hopeful that one of these days I’d make it back for one of their tours.
I spent a few hours on the property this spring, with some other photographers, setting up a styled shoot. The house is much less-scary in the daylight! Here are a few stories about the property. Does anyone want to visit with me on the 27th?
I didn’t get to spend Thanksgiving with my family this year, and I miss them. This year has been a big one for missing my family.
Which is why I’m going to spend a moment fondly remembering times when I didn’t have an opportunity to miss them, namely because we were vacationing together and had zero personal space.
See this room below? The world’s tiniest hotel room? With maybe a full-sized bed? Would you believe that my mother, father, and I slept in this room together?
It’s true. We did. No, we didn’t all fit in that bed – somehow a cot was rolled into the room and I slept on it against the far wall. It was absurd, and the hotel manager yelled at us about it the next day – even though we’d called months in advance and informed them that there would be three of us. This was only one night. We had much more spacious accommodations the rest of the week.
Check it out. I had a WHOLE BED to myself! We also had a small desk, which we converted to a kitchenette of sorts. Don’t tell the bears!
Our final few nights, up in the meadows, we slept in this tent. I sort of wish we’d been forced to sleep in one bed, because it was COLD up there! The tent had a wood-burning stove, but we were all too lazy to keep tending it during the night, so mornings were ROUGH. I think we would bully each other from our sleeping bags each morning, in hopes that someone would break down and restart the fire.
I’m so excited for next year’s trip!
You are pretty.
Even though your weather was a bit absurd (sunny, then stormy, then hot and humid, then stormy again, then clear and cool), even though I got a major blister from walking around in the rain, and even though I stepped on a piece of glass and bled way more than necessary. I really enjoyed walking around Beacon Hill, and that sushi we ate near Fenway Park was delicious.
I’ll see you again sometime.
There is nothing more decadent than floating down a river for three hours with nothing to do except laugh, talk, and sing with your friends.
I highly recommend bringing doritos. And a cooler shaped like an aluminum can.