Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Meditation Trail, The Greenbrier

We took in the beautiful surroundings of The Greenbrier property as we meandered along Howard's Creek. Listening to soothing meditations and relaxing among the natural wonders of the Allegheny Mountains in the peak of Autumn!  
The beautiful 2.5 mile hike was coated in Yellow, Orange and Red Leaves.
 One of the many meditation spots throughout the trail.
We kept having Horse Carriages join us on the trail.
The trail is surrounded with the most beautiful Flora and Fauna! We saw a lot of White oak trees, American Sycamore, Norway Spruce and White Pines.
When the hike was over, I headed to Afternoon Tea while Jonathan jumped on a business call.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Learning the Art of Falconry... The Sport of Kings!

Learning the Art of Falconry... The Sport of Kings
Over the weekend I decided to learn the art of Falconry. The art of flying trained birds of prey after wild quarry is alive and well in the United States. I arrived at the Falconry & Raptor Education Foundation for a very interesting lesson all about the history behind this sport of kings, which has been performed for over 4,000 years. I was also able to interact with the trained hawks, falcons, eagles and owls. I gained a new appreciation for the bird's inherent abilities and the nature of predation during my visit and had an amazing time doing it.
This is Cody, a West Virginia Licensed Falconer since 2001. Cody owns a farm in the area and has been around animals a lot. When he had the chance to become a falconer he jumped at the change. 
These three gals are Harris Hawks. Harris Hawks are medium/large birds of prey from the Southwestern United States. Since about 1980, Harris's Hawks have been increasingly used in falconry and are now the most popular hawks in the West (outside of Asia) for that purpose, as they are one of the easiest to train and the most social. While most raptors are solitary, only coming together for breeding and migration, Harris's Hawks will hunt in cooperative groups of two to six.
This is one of the Falcons they use at the Academy. Unfortunately, I didn't get to interact with her, she was resting..
We took out one of the Harris Hawks for the day, this is Jack, he is a badass!!  
Jack followed us from tree to tree, waiting and anticipating the flushing of game.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Greenbrier, America's Resort

 The Greenbrier has been defining luxury since 1778 and is one of my favorite places to visit, it's absolutely magical!! It's classic architecture, exquisite interior design, carefully sculpted landscape, impeccable service and outstanding amenities have hosted distinguished guests from around the world since 1778. The Greenbrier was decorated by "a true artist of the design world [who] became a celebrity in the modern sense of the word, virtually creating the image of the decorator in the popular mind."..Dorothy Draper. 
Floral on floral on floral! Floral prints EVERYWHERE! So many pieces here influenced so much of what's popular with the “Hollywood Regency” style today! 
After we got settled into our room we headed down to grab some lunch at my absolute favorite place, Drapers CafĂ©.  
We ordered the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich (Chevre Cheese, Spinach, Smoked Bacon, Shaved Red Onions, Black Pepper Mayo)

And the Dorothy's Chicken Salad (Roasted Almonds, Seasonal Fruit, House Made Popovers)
After lunch we got comfortable in front of the enormous fireplace that is always blazing at the Greenbrier.
Ordered a Irish coffee, some chocolates and relaxed by the fire. 
Such amazing architectural detail and lighting as well as color combinations throughout the resort. 
According to history, the Greenbrier is the original creator of the Mint Julep (and you thought it was a Kentucky Derby thing....don't worry, so did I). Here is the original Mint Julep Recipe:
Mint Julep Recipe
        Muddle 12-15 fresh mint leaves with 1 ounce of simple syrup.
Fill cup with crushed ice - very important for balance.
Add 2 ounces of Maker's Mark Bourbon.
Stir once or twice.
Add a sprig of mint dusted with powdered sugar. 
We wondered around the Casino for a bit after dinner at Prime 44 and had our photo taken by the Greenbrier Photographer.  
 There something so wonderful about the South.  The bright happy colors of dressing and decorating are so uplifting and things just feel more proper here. It really is a magical place. Now time for bed...