We had a lovely if somewhat long drive today. We stocked the car with all the goodies from the club level of the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland, and headed for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is a surprisingly beautiful city, nestled among many forested hills. They really need a new PR company, as we loved it. We had lunch at a French bistro Dani found online, Paris 66. They had good crepes, although I ordered one with too much saffron.
The we headed south, and through the hills (mountains?) into West Virginia. Our drive through the Monongahela National Forest was very scenic. We mostly avoided the rain, but did drive up into the clouds as we crossed the Allegheny Mountains. Crossing into Virginia on a two lane country road we still passed the usual barrage of warning signs telling you what the ever-hospitable state will do to punish you for a variety of infractions. We’ve been letting the Tom Tom app on the iPad guide us, but for a while the clouds blocked the GPS, and Dani had to resort to navigating by paper AAA maps. Eventually the Tom Tom remembered what it was doing, steered us onto a single-lane road through some farms and around a half dozen deer, a grouse, a baby raccoon, one ground hog, a squirrel, and two other cars, and by 7:30pm we arrive at The Homestead resort.
The Homestead is a beautiful estate, sort of a clone of The Greenbrier, with the same plusses and minuses. The room we have is really two complete rooms, a bedroom and sitting room, with three huge walk in closets. But it is also really old. The building is huge, and has any imaginable amenity: archery, hiking, fishing, equestrian, golf, paint ball (!), a bowling alley and movie theater. The dining room is large and has the biggest dance floor I’ve seen in thirty years. But the food and service seem to be the products of someone who has never actually been at a fine restaurant, but only read the descriptions. (Waldorf Salad = a cup filled with mayonnaise, with a few nuts and bits of apple in it.) This, in fact, seems to be symptomatic of Virginia resorts, as it is not only the case at the Greenbrier, but also The Williamsburg Inn.
Fortunately, it’s a deal, at $229, including breakfast and an activity credit of $100.
Tomorrow we may try archery to use up our credit, and then will head to Asheville in time to visit Asheville’s premier attraction, the mall where they’re opening the last Harry Potter film at 12:04 am.