A Fairytale Weekend: My Girls Trip to The Greenbrier (Part Three)

From Part 1:

I think that as a culture, women have forgotten how special we are. We have forgotten that we DESERVE to be treated like a diamond, so we’ve been settling for men who treat us like a cubic zirconia from a gumball machine. We’re such givers of time, of respect, of energy, of love, of service…that we have forgotten how to allow ourselves to receive these things. We’ve been settling for scraps when we are worthy of a Prime 44 feast. We’ve been responding to the honk of a horn when we should have been holding out for the man who takes the time to walk to our door to pick us up, carrying in his arms a dozen red roses. Basically, we’ve been settling for the Motel 6 when this whole time…we deserved The Greenbrier.

Here’s the thing. The Greenbrier. It’s remote. Not easy to get next to. It’s not en entirely convenient location. We risked ice storms and mountains and curvy, treacherous roads to get there. It may not be in the average person’s vacation budget. BUT…it makes no apologies for where it is or who it is, and why? Because it knows its worth. It knows that it has a sparkle all its own that is worth traversing a dozen dark nights to get to. It doesn’t bend or compromise or change locations to fit every fleeting request. It stands tall in its grandeur and lets people come to IT. And they do…because it is 100% worth every mile and risk and penny spent to get to. WHAT IF we carried the same view about ourselves? What if we stopped watering ourselves down to fit the preferences of people who don’t really deserve us, anyway? What if we stood rooted in our confidence and our uniqueness and our worth and gave access to our lives only to the people who were willing to step up to our standards of excellence and greatness?

The whole concept simply blew me away. What a revelation.

The next day, in one of the highlights of the weekend for me, the ladies and I had a real “princess moment” as we took a carriage ride around the grounds of The Greenbrier. Here we were able to see the lush countryside, the rolling golf courses, and the cozy villas and cabins that guests from all over the country call home every summer. Though it was chilly outside, we snuggled under  warm fleece blankets and sighed with contentment. It felt very “Carrie Bradshaw,” except not one of us needed a “Mr. Big” to make our fairytale complete. The moment was perfect, just as it was.

For dinner that night, we were treated to a feast by famed Chef Richard Rosendale, a culinary genius and Executive Chef at The Greenbrier. I don’t know any other words to describe the experience except to say we were in Food Heaven. Chef Rosendale himself came out to chat with us, and as we had grown to expect from The Greenbrier staff, was just as warm and friendly and approachable as every other person we had encountered. After dinner, we knew we were in trouble when our sweet-natured waitress said “Don’t blame me for the desserts!” with a chuckle. A few minutes later, server after server dropped off a cornucopia of mouth-watering creations, including the famed bread pudding, chocolate soufflé, and crème brulee. It was very much like the shopping scene from Pretty Woman, except with desserts instead of clothes.

Later that night, guests gathered in the casino for a champagne toast, complete with ballroom dancers who waltzed languidly around the floor like something from a Disney movie. I looked around, half expecting to see Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast. The beautiful dancing, celebratory spirit, and clinking champagne glasses were a perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

It rained the day we left. Ever notice how it always seems to rain the day you leave a vacation? It’s almost like the rain comes in and washes away the memories of one group of people to pave the way for new people to make new memories. And though rain on the day I leave a place I’ve loved being at, for however long or short a time, usually feels sad for me, this rain didn’t feel sad. It rather felt instead like an opportunity to dance with the same magical abandon that The Greenbrier dancers had the night before, in a celebration of all that had been and all that was yet to be.

Because I like to look for the lesson in everything that happens to me, big or small, I look at those four days in White Sulpher Springs, West Virginia as a healing balm for my somewhat bruised and banged up heart. And that’s what that weekend at The Greenbrier felt like to me – an oasis of peace and tranquility after a week of confusion and heartbreak. A chance to be reminded of what I deserved when someone who was not very gentle with my heart had caused me to forget. An opportunity to get away from the usual chaos and grind of everyday life and allow myself to believe again, if only for a weekend, in the power of fairytales.

Because sometimes a girl just needs to ride off into the sunset…with her friends.

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