Since my family and I are usually Thanksgiving orphans (i.e. the extended family would rather stay put, eat wild rice stuffing and shovel snow than travel to a milder climate and taste my newly developed southern cooking), we decided to venture out on a road trip this year. Less than four hours away from us, nestled in the Smoky Mountains, is the gracious southern town of Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is home to the country's largest single family dwelling, The Biltmore Estate, and the renowned spa and resort, The Grove Park Inn.
Besides the fact that The Grove Park Inn actually looks like a massive gingerbread house itself, with its rounded red roof and cobblestone exterior, this century old Inn is home to the National Gingerbread Competition. Each year, The Inn receives hundreds of entries from across the country and displays them throughout their property.
If you don't think it's a big deal, take a look at this panel of judges.
Curator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art? Executive Editor for Southern Living Magazine? Impressive.
You'll be inspired by the creativity....
I loved this Gingerbread Van!
And the detail. Is this Charlie Brown scene not the cutest thing?
Oh, yeah, did I mention these were from the kids' division?
Have a few spare hours? How about this brick and cobblestone model?
Or some 100% edible toys?
Wallpaper, checked tiles, miniature food, carousel horses.....
And finally, the Grand Prize Winner: The Little Old Lady Who Lived In a Shoe.
It's displayed in a glass-enclosed case with mirrors and a rotating pedestal.
On December 23rd, it's scheduled to be featured on Good Morning America.
But you can say you saw it here first.
I have a feeling the kids are going to want to make gingerbread houses this year.
Thank goodness for the beautiful pre-fab houses at Costco! I'll be heading there shortly.
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