Virginia Mountains - Vistas, History, & Wineries

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Yes sir, the 'eats' have been quite outstanding! I've had 3 salads at the resort so far and all seemed to be fresh picked that day - so, was reading up on the 'herb garden' pictured in a previous post (and duplicated below) - found the description in the quote on the Homestead's website and a listing of the many items grown and used by the resort's chefs. Looking forward to another salad which I probably would never have said as a youngster - :) Dave

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  2. giradman

    giradman
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    Falconry at the Homestead

    Yet another of the many activities at the Homestead Resort - yesterday afternoon we were 'rained out', so returned this morning w/ several other couples and three kids to learn about Falconry and to watch a bird of prey 'in action' - brief description below first quote. Linda was our 'falconer' - she has 12+ years experience and trained for 2+ years under another experienced falconer (see second quote) - check the link for many more details about the state and federal laws regulating the training and keeping of raptors.

    Once Linda retrieved a bird from the building - a Harris Hawk - she released the raptor which was on the lookout for 'prey' w/ its keen vision (see last quote) - the hawk would return to her gloved hand by seeing a small piece of chicken. Each of us in the group was able to hold the bird on a gloved hand/wrist - combo pic of Susan and I, but not as cute as the two small boys (3 & 5 years of age). We really enjoyed this activity of a 4000 year old 'sport', usually of royalty in the past - the Homestead offers several more advanced levels of falconry which we would certainly consider on a return visit. Dave :)

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  3. giradman

    giradman
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    Serenity Garden - An Afternoon of Relaxation

    After our falconry activity and a 'salad' lunch at Jefferson's Restaurant (again just superb greens and possibly picked that morning?), we spent the afternoon relaxing in the Serenity Garden briefly described in the quote below from the resort website - pics from the web. The Octagon Pool was relaxing w/ the actual comfortably hot spring water - then to the hot tub - and finally a couple of times in the pool - rested under an umbrella lounge chair and did a little reading - drinks and light lunches can be purchased. There are also some indoor amenities, including various types of saunas, aroma chair, and lockers w/ full bathroom facilities. This was Susan's second time, so I had to try the historic spring water pool at least once. The spa also offers a WIDE variety of massages and other treatments (expensive!). Dave :)

    P.S. Of course, adults only! (18 y/o is the minimum age)

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  4. giradman

    giradman
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    Food - Last Two Dinners

    Just including our evening meals for those who may be viewing this thread and may decide to visit - your main eating options are numerous at the Homestead Resort, a 'limited' (looking at the menu) Italian restaurant at the famous Cascades Golf Course, and the handful of places in the Village.

    Our first two dinners are described previously - on the third night we picked Sam Snead's Tavern (renamed Snead's 1912 Steak w/ management change) in the Village (pics below of the outside and our table - cozy woody cabin look filled w/ Sam Snead memorabilia) - we shared a dozen Beausoleil oysters (see below) - took a chance 'in the mountains' but tasted just fine! Susan had the Ribeye steak medium rare and was in heaven (we've been eating bison filets and elk tenderloin at home, so the extra fat/marbling made her pleased); I had the trout caught 30 mins right up the road and one of the best I've eaten in the mountains.

    For the golfers viewing this thread, Sam Snead was a local born near Hot Springs (see short Wiki bio) - he did at one time own the restaurant and then his son was the proprietor; now under different management. As many may know, Snead was a professional golfer (and a caddy at the Homestead golf course as a youngster) - he holds many records, but most famously is at the top for most wins, i.e. 82 on the PGA tour (see chart) - Tiger Woods may tie and surpass that number soon, if his health and desire stay well?

    On our last night (and anniversary day), we were planning to eat at the elegant Dining Room in the resort but Susan was not happy w/ the menu, so we returned to the Les Cochons d'Or in the Village, a few doors down from Sam's place - again we had the Choptank Sweets oysters from Chesapeake Bay - Susan had an excellent veal loin and I their special for the night, pan seared fluke (i.e. flounder) - then shared the lavender vanilla panna cotta w/ pistachio cake, macerated strawberries, & meringue - we were both happy with our change of restaurants for the evening. Dave :)

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    #124 giradman, Jul 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  5. suenc

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    One of my favorite places, historic and Southern. Some of the furnishings are still a bit worn, but Dave reminded me that they may be genuine antiques.
     
  6. suenc

    suenc
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    I was surprised that there were so many kids in residence. Children in pools can be a little “distracting,” so I was happy to find this adult oasis. I wish I had taken a photo of Dave lounging in the pool, the picture of relaxation!
     
    #126 suenc, Jul 14, 2019
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  7. suenc

    suenc
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    I usually avoid steakhouses—too much fat, and often mediocre quality meat. However, my ribeye at Sam Snead’s was the best I’ve had in recent memory. Cochon d’Or dishes were creatively prepared. And yes, after I deanded a Dining Room reservation, I was unimpressed with the menu, and canceled my reservation in favor of a second dinner at Cochon d’Or.
     
  8. suenc

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    Afternoon tea is hardly genteel, since there are long lines to pick up the offerings, cafeteria-style. However, I love any kind of afternoon tea (as long as it doesn’t spoil my dinner).
     
  9. suenc

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    I wouldn’t mind trying more falconry in the future. I had never even thought of such an activity before. By the way, we may look chubby in the photos, but our shirts were puffed up with areezes from the hawk’s flaping wings. lol
     
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  10. giradman

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    Well, Susan has chimed in w/ a bunch of posts and seemed to have enjoyed the experience - we just might have to go back in the near future? :) Dave
     

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