Last year I took some really amazing trips. I went to Los Angeles for the DVD release of Frozen, I went on my very first cruise for Brandcation, I got to go drive BMWs on a wet track in San Antonio - and that was just in the first quarter of the year! But I ended 2014 with one final amazing trip to Pembroke Virginia where I stayed at the Mountain Lake Lodge, a 2,600 acre nature preserve in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains... and where Dirty Dancing was filmed.
I flew in to Roanoke Virginia where I was picked up by one of my best bloggy buddies Mickey from AHelicopterMom.com. We headed off in to the mountains - literally - with the GPS even looking lost. However the moment the trees cleared - we immediately recognized Kellerman's.
When we pulled up to the registration desk... it began snowing. SNOWING. That is like the third time in my life that I have even seen snow. But I immediately fell in love with the place -"OMG that is where Baby talked with her Dad!" and "OMG that is where Johnny jumps off and punches Robby!" "OMG THAT IS THE CABIN WHERE BABY AND HER FAMILY STAYED!!"
Yes, I was that completely obnoxious tourist.
We checked in to the beautiful cozy lodge - literally feeling like we had stepped back in time. The place was absolutely gorgeous. Even though it was snowing outside, it was warm and welcoming inside. We checked in and asked where the elevator was... which was met with a laugh. There is no elevator. I wish I had a picture of Mickey standing there trying to comprehend that with her enormous suitcase, miscellaneous bags, and over stuffed pillow. However we managed to get up the stairs and to our room to get settled in before heading downstairs for dinner at the Harvest Restaurant where everything is served family buffet style... and unlike most hotel buffets - ab.so.lute.ly. amazing.
Interestingly enough in the last few years the lake has actually dried up, leaving a literal mud puddle. However, that enormous mud puddle is still breathtaking, and home to all kinds of wildlife, which Mickey and I saw as we walked around the grounds - freezing to death while recounting just about every single word and scene from the movie. History shows that the lake as risen and declined many times over the years, and geologists and engineers monitor the lake daily, and believe it will some day refill to the former glory it had back in 1987 when it made the perfect backdrop to one of the best films of all time. I can only hope that it is in my lifetime, and I can go back and take my family there.
Now, the Mixed Conference was incredible too - but the location is what will forever stand out in my mind as one of the best trips ever. If you are looking to go on vacation - or to have a great meeting location - Mountain Lake Lodge should be on the top of your list. The history, the culture, and the accommodations will be hard to beat anywhere else.