Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Homestead-Hot Springs, VA

The Homestead was built in 1766 and unfortunately burned to the ground in 1901.  However, it was quickly rebuilt and restored to its former glory.  Imagine what that hotel has seen in 246 years!   How the travel industry has changed since it was first built-think about it!  Trains, planes and automobiles.

We had a beautiful suite that overlooked the resort grounds and the mountains.  If I had been born just about 10 days later I think those leaves would have been GORGEOUS.  Showing off the best of fall's colors.

It has seen its fair share of celebs, socialites, and I just love walking through this beast of a hotel and reading of its history and seeing fun old "artifacts in the hotel"  Although we were up there for just Friday and Saturday nights, we packed a lot in.  In addition to exploring the hotel (seriously-you never know what you are going to find there) we went skeet shooting and horseback riding. 

The skeet shooting was my favorite part.  The hunting lodge was gorgeous.  Set up a little higher in the mountain-the views were amazingly beautiful.  You could seriously have some beautiful events up there.  I could just see a cool rehearsal dinner-as they had a covered pavilion overlooking the mountains.  How fun!

And yes, Mom and Dad-I did go a little "redneck" as you'd call it on the trip.  This country club girl had a lot of fun too!

The stables at The Homestead were beautiful too.  The weather was calling for some nasty storms, but we braved it anyways.  My horse did not really like me on her back at all.  She kept turning and looking at me and then she'd run-trying to shake me off her back.  Halfway through our ride, it began to POUR.  And I mean P.O.U.R. down rain.  Cold, freaking, mountain rain.  We were SOAKED.   Ever been caught in a rainstorm in your jeans?  Yeah, they weighed 20 pounds by the time I got off my horse.  Who by the way ran like a freaking maniac toward the stable when she caught sight of it.  I might have screamed my head off yelled.

We of course enjoyed ourselves at the bars at The Homestead.  My latest drink of choice is a mojito.  I'd prefer a mango one, but I'll take a good ole regular one any day of the week. 

And if turning 33 didn't make me feel old enough, we played CHECKERS, yes that's right CHECKERS one night in the hotel.  Ha!!!  Anyone want to vacation with us??  We did play some fun games too-darts and billiards!

Would I recommend The Homestead to anyone?  Hmmm...that's a tough question.  The hotel is beautiful, historic and full of amazing activities.   However, this hospitality girl was sincerely turned off by the lack of caring by the employees.   I would be FIRED on the spot if I walked past one of my guests and didn't acknowledge them.  However, I would never do that.  I'm in this industry b/c I do truly care about people and their deserve to enjoy their travel.  In addition this self proclaimed "foodie" was turned off by their food. Way over priced and absolutely bland food.  So to answer my question-no I wouldn't recommend it.  Any hotel can have amazing activities, grounds, rooms, and physical buildings, however, it is the personalized, gracious service that makes or breaks a resort/hotel.  The Homestead used to have it but they need to go back to their roots and re-energize what the hospitality industry is all about.

Did I have an amazing birthday-ABSOLUTELY!!  I loved spending time in my favorite state with my favorite person.  He makes me feel loved everyday.  Thank you Hammond!
(OH-and a special THANK YOU to my work friends who made me feel loved throughout the week...especially with cupcakes!)

Here's to wishing myself a good 33rd year of life!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy birthday to me!

I have a pretty incredible husband.  ( I may have mentioned that a few times on this blog)  He's incredibly thoughtful and at times as though it may seem that he doesn't listen, he most certainly is.  He hears little things I say and saves them for later.  Surprising me I guess.  (I've learned if I really want something from him-don't ask him for it.  He'll surprise me with it on his own time) 

Anyhoo...for my 33rd bday he took me up to The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA.  We drove 1/2 way and stayed at a surprisingly nice Fairfield Suites.  I've got to say it was really nice (and this is coming from a total hotel snob-yes I will admit to that).  The next morning we got up early and drove to my favorite place-BLACKSBURG, VA.  (GO HOKIES!) 

We toured around campus:

We stopped off at my favorite lunch spot "Macados"

Then we hit the campus store across the street. I had to get my shirts, a 2013 calendar and some car magnets for this year's football games.  (However, HOKIES-WTF happened against Pittsburgh??!!)  There were some odd items in such as this hat in the store:

What I love about my birthday, is Chad will do just about anything for me.  Including pretending to like the Hokie Bird!  You'd almost think he was a HOKIE.  Almost...

But this is the TRUE HOKIE in the family!

After that fun shopping trip, we headed up to The Homestead.  I've got to admit, I was a little teary eyed leaving VT.  Which is ironic-while in college I'd be teary eyed leaving home to go to school.  Now I'm teary eyed leaving school to go home or to continue on to vacation.  Guess you never realize how good you have it until it is gone.   (That's not to say I don't have it good now-b/c I do-but college was an experience everyone should have!  It just goes by so quick!)

My next post will be on The Homestead!  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Yes, I'm still alive

Yes, it has been since July since I blogged.  That's really hard to believe that I went from middle of the summer to middle of September without posting anything.  Do you ever just get tired of "one more thing to do?"  That's sort of how I felt.  Like having to do one more thing (blog) was just too much.  My entire summer was basically consumed by the PGA and work.  BORING.  Seriously...That's sad.  The 2012 PGA Championship was a lot of fun and I'm glad I had the opportunity to partake, but gosh it made my entire summer just fly by.


My dad and his friend came down to volunteer.  It was so much fun having them on the island.  My dad kept me "sane" during the craziness.  :) They partied on Tiger Wood's yacht.  Ha ha...That is the "Privacy" though in the back.  Pretty cool huh?

I like to call these next shots "Tiger Mania" as the 18th green (where I spent a lot of my week) would have a handful of people however, once they heard Tiger was approaching 18 it was like a total 180!

Again, I was on the 18th green and spent most of my time checking on this pretty awesome suite.   Upstairs was open and downstairs was stocked with food, beverage, a bathroom and the best thing AIR CONDITIONING!!