Tag: resorts

Heading home

We were up early again today, Memorial Day 2008, but we lazed around a bit before heading down to breakfast. After breakfast, we took another walk around the perimeter of the resort. Then we found a shady place to sit on the porch, and climbed into some rocking chairs to relax for a little while. We were both sore from the horseback riding yesterday and the rocking chairs were hard so they weren’t completely comfortable. We decided instead to head to the gym.

I didn’t want to do a full strength workout; the gym wasn’t really equipped for the kind of workout I would have done. So I did an abbreviated core workout. We were at the gym for about 45 minutes or so. It felt good.

We packed, had our luggage brought downstairs, checked out and then waited about 15 minutes for the valet to bring the car (everyone, it seemed, was leaving at the same time we were). And then, at about 11:40 AM, we got on the road and took a leisurely drive back to Washington, D.C. We stopped at a Burger King for lunch. We cut across route 211 on the way back, avoiding a lot of the trucks on I-81. 211 was empty and it went through gorgeous farmland and forested mountains; in fact, we drove right past Skyline Drive.

We were back at Kelly’s around 4:30 PM and I headed home close to 6 PM. It was tough separating after such a wonderful, exciting weekend, but we’ll be seeing each other again on Wednesday.

Easy like a Sunday morning

We were up early on Sunday, before 7 AM. It was bright, sunny and warm out, a prelude to a perfect weather day. We had an early breakfast in the dining room. What a spread they have! All kinds of breakfast foods, buffet style, including a number of southern specialties like biscuits and gravy, and grits. We ate and then decided to take a walk into the town of Hot Springs.

The town was desolate. It was a single strip, with businesses on either side, all of which were closed today. In style, it reminded me a lot of Katakolon, Greece, when I was there this summer. Except that there were no people in Hot Springs. Or open shops. Or body of water nearby for that matter. It took five minutes to walk through town and then we walked back and decided to walk up around the perimeter of the resort. It made for a pleasant morning walk.

At 10 AM, we had massages scheduled. Most of the soreness from my renewed strength training efforts had subsided. We arrived at the spa at about 9:50. We were each led in the separate wings, Kelly into the women’s wing and I into the men’s wing. I changed into a robe and waited about 5 minutes before I was called in for my massage. It was the 6th massage of my life. It was not as good as the last two I had on the cruise ship, but it was still very relaxing and I enjoyed it. After the massage, I sat in the serenity lounge and a few minutes later, Kelly came in, her massage finished. We sat there for a while, and then I went to the showers. After my shower, I went into the steam room. It was very relaxing.

We had a quick lunch by the pool, and then went for a 2-hour hike on the “South Trail”. The hike took us past the horse stables, and through some very pretty wilderness. It was not a tough hike, but it was strenuous enough so that we could skip the gym today. When we got back from the hike, we went back to the pool and had a few drinks. Then we waited in front of the resort for a shuttle to take us back to the horse stables. We’d signed up for horseback riding. We got to the stables and were assigned a horse. Kelly rode “Micky” and I rode “Sport”. There were about 9 people in our group. I’d never ridden a horse before, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. My horse followed Kelly’s horse and Kelly’s horse was the smart one, staying in the middle of the trail and not really drifting off the way some of the horses did. I must admit I was a bit nervous, but it was still fun. The ride took about an hour and when I finally got off the horse, I was saddle sore!

Back to the hotel to change into our swim suits and then we headed to the pool. We found some lounge chair and sat basking in the sun. I ordered a couple of strawberry maragaritas while we lay there. And when I got hot, I jumped into the pool to cool off. We spent almost 2 hours there before heading back to the room to get ready for the cookout.

The cookout was great. We were seated at 7 PM at a table with a family with twins girls and another couple. Kelly “outed” the couple. She asked how long they had been together and the girl said, “Oh, we’re not together”. But given the way she said it, and given other subtle hints, Kelly and I were sure that they were having some kind of affair. The food was great. All kinds of delicious comestibles. I had shrimp and hot dogs and hamburgers and ribs. I chocolate cake and delicious rum balls. Both Kelly and I were stuffed and had to forcibly remove ourselves from the table, lest we do further damage.

We discovered that the fireworks would take place out over the driving range, so while people gathered in the cookout area to watch the fireworks, Kelly and I went back up to our room, which overlooked the driving range. We ended up with a perfect, birds-eye view of the fireworks display, which lasted about 10 minutes, the perfect end to a perfect day.


Not to bury the lead: Kelly and I are now engaged! I asked her to marry me today and she said yes. Now, let me go back and tell the story.

I didn’t sleep much last night. Having gone to bed at 8 PM, I slept until 9 PM and then, it seemed, I was up every 15 minutes until we both finally got up at 7 AM this morning. It was one of the longest nights of my life. Part of the reason was that I was really sore, my muscles were aching and twitching, and that was because I started up on strength training again. I couldn’t find a comfortable position and kept tossing and turning all night. Part of it was that I was anxious about today’s event. Originally, it was my plan to propose to Kelly after the formal dinner tonight, but I quickly decided I wouldn’t be able to wait that long.

We had gone ring-shopping several weeks ago. I wanted to make sure I knew what she would like, so we looked at several places, until I got a good idea of what type of ring she liked. I then went out by myself a few weeks ago and got a ring, had it sized and it had been burning a hole in my soul ever since. It was very hard to wait for this weekend, let alone dinner tonight.

We hit the road at about 8:15 AM. The weather was perfect and the drive out to The Homestead was a nice one. It took us about 3-1/2 hours to get there. Some of the scenery going through the mountains and forests was really spectacular. We arrived at the Homestead just after noon. What a place! It’s in the middle of nowhere, in Hot Spring, Virginia, but there it is ! We checked in, had lunch–in which I tried fried green tomatoes for the first time–and then finally went up to our room. Our room was on the top floor of the tower. It was a large room with a views to the south and east. We changed clothes and I suggested we walk around the grounds.

We walked around, and found a trail, the Deerlick trail, which headed up into the hills. We followed the trail up to a spot that overlooked the resort, at the edge of a green on the golf course. I suggested we take some pictures there, and we did. Looking at the green, I then suggested that I mount the camera on the green and get a timed pictured of both of us, with the resort in the background. I mounted the camera but instead of putting it on the timer, I put on the video. I told Kelly it was on a minute timer. We posed and after about 20 seconds or so, I said, “Oh, I almost forgot…” I pulled out the ring, got down on one knee, and said, “Will you marry me?”

She said yes.

The ring fit perfectly and she loved it. When we looked at the video, it captured the moment, but after I proposed, the camera fell backward (as though fainting from the romance of the moment) so that all you can see is sky (although you can still hear us).

I was elated for the rest of the day. We called our families to share the news. I’d already told my family what I was planning, and I’d called Kelly’s parents earlier in the week to tell them and to get their permission. (This, some people have said, is rather old-fashioned of me.) Meanwhile, we toured more of the resort until it was time to get ready for the formal dinner.

Dressed in suit and tie (and Kelly in her elegant black dress), we headed to dinner at 7 PM and were seated at once. Dinner was excellent. We shared a small bottle of red wine. For an appetizer, I had BBQ shrimp and Kelly had Ahi tuna. For the main course, I had rack of lamb, which was very good. Kelly had a pasta dish. In between they brought us a sorbet, which was good because the shrimp was spicy and the sorbet took the edge off. For dessert, we both had the chocolate mousse. We lingered over our meal and didn’t finish until almost 9 PM.

After dinner, we wandered out to one of the greens where they were showing a movie outdoors. It was Night in the Museum and we watched it in mild amusement before deciding to call it a night.

It was a wonderful day, however, and I feel incredibly lucky.