In 1766, a 300 acre tract of land-including natural mineral springs- was granted to Captain Thomas Bulitt. Captain Bulitt spent time overseeing the clearing of the land, and 2 years later, an 18 room hotel was open for business. The place was called “The Homestead” in honor of the Homesteaders who built the structure and bathhouses.
Over the next 250 years, the place saw a number of changes including a fire that burned the main building to the ground and construction of a tower, east and west wing and the entire complex in the early 1920’s..
At least 22 US President’s have spent time there, dining in the Great Dining Hall, soaking in the pool fed by the hot springs, enjoying the ski slope, or whatever it is that Presidents do for entertianment..
So why am I putting you thru this history lesson? This week found four countrified Horst ladies attempting to play our way through high society living.. And what an experience it was..
The Homestead is huge, and beautiful. As the lady at the front desk was introducing us to our bellhop, she said “Which one of you is Miss Horst?” And we laughed and said “Thats all of us..” And Julia said “For 2 more weeks..” So that was the excuse for the occasion.. One last trip before Julia switches loyalties..
Before long, we were settled in our room in the tower, and attempting to figure out how to best use our time.. We packed in lunch, a self guided tour of the pools and ice rink (Kinda interesting that they were side by side, out of door..) and a trip to the ski slope where we spent an hour snow tubing..
That’s a no risk sport, right? There’s deep walls of snow on both sides of the track, assuring that everything stays in order on a downhill ride.. Huge bumper pads at the end were in place to stop you, and if that didn’t work, a huge pile of snow.. The first trip down, I watched Julia in one lane, Emily in the other. Em stopped, no problem. But Julia and her tube, missed the bright blue stopper, shot up on top of the snow pile, took a sharp right turn and she disappeared down the mountian. Deborah and I could hardly believe our eyes.. Somehow she managed to bail off, and was shortly visible again scrambling back up the mountianside. Pretty much immediately, they put a staff member down at the bottom of the hill. But he didn’t amount to alot. He kept getting his feet knocked out from underneath him by snowtubers.. Poor guy.. I guess the job description was, if they miss the blue stop, and the snow pile- be willing to take one for the team, or resort or whatever.. And I think my job is rough sometimes.. 🙂
We were warned that dinner was a high class affair.. Wow.. So I think I’ve got a bit of manners and etiquette.. But do you circle the table from the right? And when the host seats you, you stand on which side of the chair? Emily Post- I need your etiquette book!! The meal was fantastic. It was such a treat.. There were fresh flowers- white roses and tulips, and blue hydrangeas on the table for us.. Wow.. We all laughed when a piece of chicken got away from one of my sisters, and the waiter-very discreetly cleaned the table cloth with something magical he whipped out of his pocket..
Another waiter came over and asked if we were sisters. “We sure are.” “Really?! I was right?” “Yes,sir, We are sisters..” Hmm, what’s so surprising about that- I thought we all look alike.. But then a little while later, he returned to our table.. “Will you please pray for me? My name is Owen.. Please pray for me..” So I’m left to wonder.. Does “Sisters” mean blood family? or part of a Convent? Either way, I made sure to mention Owen to the Father.. 🙂
Breakfast was another very enjoyable experience. So much good food.. My taste buds did a constant happy dance.. A little less pressure with this meal, but still very nice.. A buffet with a huge selection.. I loved the Southern cuisine.. Grits and Gravy.. Song of the South.. 🙂 And their pastries.. Wow..
And then another leisurely swim-before we gathered everything together, summoned our bellhop, spent a little bit of time shopping in the “in house” mall, and headed out the the drive..
What a capital experience.. Truly a magical memory.. Family is such a blessing.. I love you, girls.. And to our parents and Sherman who covered so we could take off- Thank you.. And to the one who introduced us to the Homestead, and treated us so generously.. Thank you seems very inadequate..
So today, again.. I feel so blessed..
Still enjoying the challenges of a winter wonderland.. 🙂