Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Taking the Waters

That’s what they used to call it back in the day. Urban socialites would pack up and head for the wilderness to soak in the healative mineral waters to be found there.

The Wife and I (along with another couple) packed up and went to the Greenbrier Resort for the weekend. It was a welcome get-away, if even for such a short time.

Where was the Kid, you ask? Need you be concerned? Decidedly not, for my Mother-in-law arrived on Thursday last in order to prepare for a whole weekend of nothing but granddaughter, 24x7. Rarely have I seen either of them quite as happy as they were when we left on Saturday morning.

The drive to West Virginia was a trip back in time for me, as our route there took us past the ivied walls of my alma mater, which I have not visited in nigh-on 15 years. In fact, it was 20 years ago this coming August when I was let loose onto the unsuspecting campus. Hazy memories, those. Befogged by the mists of time along with the effects of the social lubricants that were free-flowing at most of our collegiate events. We were a merry band of fools. So young and so unafraid.

Anywhoo, I quite enjoyed the resort. It is not exactly the “high season”, so it was not particularly crowded. The resort itself was part Dirty Dancing, part Great Gatsby, and part The Shining. With a dash of Titanic. The food was impeccable, and apparently lacking anything else to do, the staff was more attentive than anywhere I’ve ever been.

Dinner was preceded by cocktails at the bar. It being winter, I opted for a drink on the darker side of my usual gin and tonic. A Mint Julep did quite nicely. Dinner was accompanied by a delightfully dry champagne (it being one of our companions’ birthday) as well as a playful red from Australia’s Barossa Valley. Dinner was followed by yet more time at the bar. This time, 12 year old single malt was what the doctor ordered. At least that’s what they would have ordered, had there been one with us. A few frames at the in-house bowling alley followed, along with yet more cocktails. It was a late night, and I am no longer so young a man as to do this sort of thing with any great frequency without physiological penalty.

Day 2 was spa day.

***WARNING – For those of you who prefer to think of military members as Ramboesque types who prefer to cauterize their wounds with gunpowder, stop reading now. It may shatter your illusions.***

An 18 minute soak in the 103 degree sulfur waters followed by another 5 in the steam room was needed in order to sweat out the toxins from the night before. A Scotch Shower was next, along with a strange sort of fire-hose spray-down that I’m sure the Geneva Conventions specifically prohibit. The massage made up for that. Lastly, I treated my near-perfect feet to a pedicure in order to bring them even closer (if that was possible) to a state of flawlessness rarely achieved by those who walk among mere mortals.

The last item on our itinerary was a tour of the famed “Bunker”, secretly built under the resort during the Cold War in order to house Congress in the event the Soviets dropping the “Big One”. Fascinating stuff, but I felt my age when the guide felt the need to explain to us what the “Cold War” was.

We then loaded up the car and pointed northeast, headed for home. The Kid was happy to see us when we arrived. That made me glad beyond words.


Cindy said...

At least your kid was happy to see you when you returned. When Todd and I left Nat with her Nana for a weekend in Las Vegas, we came back to big smiles from Nat. Then we took her home. She asked Todd if she could have ice cream. He said "No." Then she asked me. I said "No." Then she screamed and cried and said that she wanted to go back to Nana's house. I think our kid preferred us in Vegas.

Lilli said...

I was going to do ice cream, but I am so afraid of warping The Kid that I refrained. Maybe next time.