That ENORMOUS hotel is the The Greenbrier Inn, located at White Sulphur Springs in beautiful West Virginia. I'll tell you more about it...and it's famous Cold War bunker...here soon! But first: The Rest of Our Trip!
The WV School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV, runs a state-of-the-art medical simulation lab. Ever since Danny started his job of developing the Sim Lab at our local Medical College (pretty much from scratch), he has heard glowing reports of WVSOMs lab. So he made an appointment to visit and tour their lab.
Business trip!!! Expense account!! And just down the street from the Greenbrier, a visit to which has been on my bucket list since forever! Clear the calendars, I'm a-tagging along on this one!!
Note: One advantage to rationing clothing. It makes it VERY easy to pack.
One of the doctors at the school recommended the General Lewis Inn (more way cool pictures at link) in Lewisburg, as well as recommending the French Goat restaurant just down the street from the Inn. As much as I'd love to stay at the Greenbrier, even I had to admit the prices were a bit in the stratosphere. Not exactly expense account material. So we stayed here:
The far section behind the tree dates to 1834. The rest was built in 1928.I am so glad the doctor recommended this Inn. If you are ever in the White Sulphur Springs area and want an absolutely fantastic Historic Inn to stay at, that won't break the bank, The General Lewis is the place to be.
Our room was the upstairs left, the one with the window open.
Once we were all checked in and Danny had gone on his tour of WVSOMs Sim Lab (and I had hit the local antique stores...and made a FANTASTIC find, which I will be sharing here!!), we decided to walk to dinner...and promptly got lost.
An example of Lewisburg's fire hydrant art. Lewisburg reminds me of the best parts of Asheville, NC, without the pretension.
Google Maps had us walking in circles (okay, it was really 10% Google Maps and 90% operator error. I'm not a homing pigeon. Don't judge me.) We stopped to take a picture of a cool log cabin that looked like it was still being lived in and ask directions.
Log cabin being photobombed by Stephen, temporarily known as David, because I'm old and deaf. I'm blaming his Virginia Beach accent. That's my story, I'm sticking to it.
Turned out Stephen is the chef at the French Goat and as luck would have it, could give us very good directions to the restaurant...which was just beside the log cabin. (Okay, so I'm deaf and blind. It happens.)
Stephen introducing us to Marcel, the very polite French Goat. Marcel's girlfriend, Margot, hangs out on a wall in the bar.
After an absolutely amazing meal (I mean amazing: I'll be dreaming about (and trying to imitate) the meal I ate there for a long time!) we wandered back to the General Lewis.
Danny being all handsome in our room.
The canopy bed. Sweet dreams were had by all.
The next day: The Greenbrier Inn!!!!
I took SCADS of pictures. The decor is larger than life.
The concierge took our picture. Danny being handsome, me being me.
The Greenbrier reminded me of Disneyland, writ large. I felt all Japanese, snapping pictures of everything I could see. I'll spare you most of them, (visit the Greenbrier website for much better pictures than mine) but I have to share this one:
Greenbrier employees building the Children's Present Tree. They were actively arranging presents while we watched; there were at least double the amount of presents shown here still stacked in one of the conference rooms, waiting to be moved into place. Those black bins were heaped FULL of wrapped presents, sorted by age and boy/girl/either. I asked if they got hazard pay for paper cuts.
Every year, Jim Justice, the owner of the Greenbrier, insists that at least $1 million in toys are wrapped and distributed to needy children in the area. He wants to make sure that every child has a specially chosen present to open on Christmas Day. Wow. Just...Wow.
Now, The Bunker Tour!
(I have no pictures of the bunker tour: they confiscate all electronic equipment before the tour. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.)
Our tour guide walked us through the hotel, explained how the government hid the bunker's construction and existence in plain sight, how the story was leaked, and how the space is used now. It was interesting, I'm glad we went, but in many ways it felt tourist-trappy, if that's a word. Most of what he said is at the above link.
THIS was much more interesting to me:
$10 at a Lewisburg antique shop. The date is Monday, August 7, 1944. The articles are amazing!!
In the interest of length-of-this-post, I'll post pictures of the entire paper Wednesday. I believe you can click on them to enbiggen to read.
That's all for today. See you Wednesday!!