Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Greenbrier Getaway!

Some of you all may recall HOW I presented the gift of the Greenbrier to my hubby.  If not, click here. It was a ton of fun coming up with clues and putting the entire gift together. The date finally arrived! We were blessed with having the Shaffers care for our three crazies.  Gretchen insisted and after I got over the hump of feeling like my responsibilities would burden them, I was thrilled because I knew the kids would have SOOOOO much fun, waaaay more fun than if they had to stay at their own home.

Our getaway was from Friday (early) to Saturday (late).  On Friday, I physically got out of my bed at 1:50 a.m. to fold clothes, finish packing, and secure the kids/house the way I desired.  I NEVER went back to sleep that day.  Crazy and hard to believe but it is the total truth. I'd rather have little to no sleep and know that my house, children, and dog were left in good standings.  

We met Aaron and Lisa at Starbucks at 10:00 a.m. and off we went, to the Greenbrier. Who can beat a comfy ride, beautiful views, and great conversation with friends?  We arrived to the Greenbrier about 11:40 a.m.  We tried to check in, but our rooms were not quite ready yet.  We decided to eat lunch.  We ate lunch on the grounds of the Greenbrier.  We chose to eat at Draper's.  The restaurant was very bright and colorful.  Lisa and I were worried the guys would refuse to eat at such a feminine looking restaurant.  I ordered the "Hot Ham and Brie on Pretzel Bread."  O.M.Geee, it was insanely delicious.  I ate every single crumb! Lisa ordered the "Casino Club".  It was so delicious, to her, that she mentioned it several times throughout the weekend.  LOL! 
After our delicious lunch, the guys learned how to play "3 card poker", at the Greenbrier's Casino, while Lisa and I watched. Then, we "struck" up some fun at one of The Greenbrier's most popular indoor recreational activities...BOWLING. I think Aaron felt he needed a rematch from when Lisa beat him, on Valentine's Day.  I think the order of winnings for this bowling game was Darren, Aaron, Lisa, and ME! Boo, I stunk!
Next up, Lisa and I had scheduled massages in at their world renowned mineral spa.  I received the Swedish massage and Lisa received the prenatal massage. Our appointment was at 3:30 pm.  It was so relaxing and nice to just lay still for 55 minutes while someone gave you the royal treatment.  During Lisa and I's pampering, Darren and Aaron also enjoyed the SPA, but their enjoyment came from the Sauna.  

We had dinner reservations at 6:30 pm.  We chose to eat at Prime 44 West, which honors NBA legend and West Virginia native Jerry West and is the ultimate classic steakhouse. The restaurant features an exquisite atmosphere of dark and natural woods that is both upscale and inviting. I'd have to say that this restaurant is one of the most delicious restaurants I have ever eaten at.  It for sure tops our local, high end restaurant, called Frankie Rowland's.  

Sadly, we didn't take any pictures.  We were dressed up so nice, as the Greenbrier doesn't even allow you to enter most any restaurant without a coat and cocktail attire. After our dinner, the waitress brought Darren a Banana Fosters dessert, "on the house".
We were SOOOOO full, so we headed down to JJ's Lounge to watch the N.C. State - Louisville Game.  Aaron and Lisa are huge N.C. State fans.  We sat with a really loud attorney and his daughter. Haha. I was getting a little antsy because I was sitting still and I was fearful that I would fall asleep, being I was up for 19 hours at this point.  Thanks to the really obnoxious attorney, I was fully entertained and kept awake by his loud voice.  
The night ended after the guys played a few rounds of Roulette at the Casino.  The Casino was crowded and at this point and I had been up 22 hours, so I was very ready to head back to the room and enjoy some quality time with the hubby and get a good night's sleep.
Saturday morning, we ate breakfast at Draper's again.  LOL!  It was just so delicious and I think other than a little cafe, breakfast choices were far and few between.  They did have a very nice buffet breakfast, but the dress code required a coat and slacks and the guys had on jeans, so that was out.  

After breakfast, ALL of us enjoyed a full hour of 3 card poker.  I broke completely even. Darren won about $40.00.  Aaron won a little, but Lisa hit it big.  She started out with $100 and walk away with $500.  Way to go Lisa.  By this point, it was time to check out of our room.  We could have enjoyed the grounds of the Greenbrier, but we chose to leave.  We were going to stop by a delicious cupcake bakery, but it just so happened that the bakery was closed for vacation the weekend we went.  Grrrrrrr. I really wanted to try their maple pancake, bacon cupcake.  Oh well! Next time.  We stopped for another meal (lunch) on the way home, in Daleville.
On the last day, the guys were goofing off and taking a few "snooty" photos.
The overall experience, at the Greenbrier, was simply wonderful. I am NOT a traditional or victorian type person, at ALL, so I was worried about whether or not I would appreciate the intricate beauty, BUT I DID.  It was so elegant.  At check in, the guests are greeted with Champagne and treated very respectfully.  Our room was so spacious, clean, and had just recently been renovated, so it was very new.  Our shower had 3 spickets.  It was so nice feeling water, showering you, from every angle.  The entire resort was smoke-free, even the Casino.  I LOVE THAT! There are many clothing shops, a toy store, a chocolate shop, a gym, an indoor pool, a Spa, a bowling alley and soooooooo much more.  We didn't even explore HALF of the Greenbrier.  We all agreed we would go back again, for sure, but we also agreed that we would probably make it an every three years type trip. My ONLY complaint is the cost.  This is NOT a trip that many people would be willing to take without feeling like they had to dip into their savings account.  LOL!

Enjoy a small tour of our room! I was walking rather fast, so you really cannot gain an appreciation for the room's entire beauty (sorry).  Although the decor is NOT the way I would ever consider decorating my home, I LOVED it for a weekend getaway!
Above: ONE of the beautiful chandeliers that the Greenbrier has hanging.
Below: Really cool carpet!
Oh one last thing... Darren was blessed with a sweet note and a box of gourmet chocolate, from their chocolate shop, because we were there celebrating his birthday! The chocolate there is a really big to do.  Their Chef, Jean-Francois Suteau created some amazing Easter scenes, throughout the resort, using chocolate.  See below.  
Golden, chocolate eggs!
Over 150 pounds of chocolate was invested into this Easter, chocolate scene.
The Greenbrier is known to have many famous celebrities stay there.  The famous visitors were photographed, framed, and hung on a wall at the GB.  I took just few pictures of celebrities that I know and recognize: Shaquille O'Neal, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Garner, and Ben Affleck.  
I keep looking over these photos, almost daily, and reminisce.  Aaron and Lisa are a ton of fun to go on a getaway with.  I cannot wait for us to do it again soon!