Over the past several years, my parents have invited us to join them at The Greenbrier for the big New Years party. Last year, I had to work, so we passed on making the trip. After a crazy busy 2014, we put some thought into how we could make the trip work this year and decided to take them up on the offer yet again.
There have been a lot of changes since the last time that we were there. Some good, some bad. The biggest thing being the required three night minimum stay if your reservation included New Years Eve night. In the past, we had just stayed two nights. This year we would have to figure out how to entertain our one year old for almost four days. We also had to figure out how to keep our workouts and food intake in check. It is very easy to lose control on a long vacation.
Well, my daughter adapted fine. The hotel has a beautiful indoor pool with an average temperature hovering in the high seventies/low eighties. Not ideal for swimming laps, but perfect for a dip with kids. Every morning, we spent at least an hour in the pool. Hours in the pool equals wearing out a baby. We were also indirectly doing exercise that was different than our routine.
However the hotel may be perceived, the staff was extremely accommodating to our situation (i.e. having a busy body one year old). We decided to attempt to take our daughter to an early family dinner in the main dining room the first night that we were there. I have had many people tell me that you either adjust your child to your lifestyle or your child makes you adjust your lifestyle to them. We are attempting to adjust her to our lifestyle (which is why we took her to dinner). Her behavior completely surprised me. She was all smiles at cocktail hour.
She even sat in her big girl high chair and ate dinner with everyone. This is highly unusual for her. Note, there was a napkin under all of the berries. We did not make a complete mess of the table. The key was asking them to seat us at a table that lined the edge of the dining room that parallels the hallway. This drowned out any loud noise that she might make, gave her a clear view of plenty of activity and also gave us a quick getaway in the event that she needed to take a walk.
Another change from years past is the dress code.
- The hotel would prefer business casual in almost all areas of the resort. That means no jeans or workout gear.
- If you are going to breakfast/tea/dinner in the main dining room this is a must.
- Dinner in the main dining room requires nice evening attire for women and a tie and sport coat for men. The same applies for the casino.
We observed the dress code in all instances (as uncomfortable as it made us at times). We are creatures that wear sweatpants on the weekends. Going to breakfast in business casual attire was a task. Due to our later dinner reservations the rest of our stay, we did take advantage of tea time in the afternoon. They now open the main dining hall for guests to sit (free of charge) and enjoy hot beverages and treats.
As hard as I tried not to, I always ate everything on my plate. It is that good. They don’t skimp here. Even with temperatures being below freezing, we wandered out of the hotel for a few short walks. Trust me, in walking the grounds of the resort (and the inside) you can log some miles.
The hotel even offers babysitters on site. We reluctantly agreed to leave my daughter with a sitter in our room while we enjoyed a fancy New Year’s dinner and a party in the casino. It worked out perfect (as worried as I was). I squeezed into the same formal maternity dress that I wore to a friend’s wedding just twelve weeks earlier. What a change!
Special shout out to Destination Maternity at Southpark for hooking me up with some amazing maternity evening wear for this pregnancy. Designers include – BCBG, JS Boutique Collection, Hazel and Design Story. I have to say the biggest change in my wardrobe this pregnancy as compared to last is my ability to own my bump. I was almost ashamed of showing it off during my last pregnancy. This time, I am finding clothes that better accentuate my temporary curves.
When it was all said and done, we really made some great memories at an amazing place to end 2014. As difficult as it is to travel with a child, we learned how to make it easier next time. We utilized our resources and we thanked the amazing staff at the Greenbrier for accommodating our needs. Really looking forward to going back. This time maybe in the summer?