I recently spent a rejuvenating few days at an expansive resort in the Virginia mountains. David and I stayed in a house with his sister, her husband, and their two personable pugs. Primland Resort covers thousands of acres and is unlike any hotel I’ve ever seen. The resort’s amenities are spread over its thousand acres, so having a car is an absolute requirement. The drive from our cabin to the restaurants at the main lodge took us up and down narrow, winding roads. We saw turkeys and deer, and many insects splattered on our windshields. The air outside our cabin was perfectly quiet. True quiet. The kind of quiet I didn’t realize I missed until I had it again.
The drive to Primland took about 5 easy hours from DC. Most of the trip is spent on just two highways. Once you leave DC, the mountains appear quickly and the views are so beautiful. Cows and cows galore. It’s amazing that such a short distance from the nation’s capital lies what feels like an entirely different country. Our five hours whizzed by because we had good snacks and the Hunger Games on audiotape. We stopped to pose in front of breathtaking mountain vistas. Our cell phones lost all hopes of reception.
Over at Primland, we enjoyed a mixture of cabin quirkiness, resort luxury, and outdoor adventure, all of which was relaxing. We ate one dinner outside overlooking fire pits, the golf course, and a hill-top wedding (which included a carriage drawn by white horses). Some of us lounged in the spa while others played golf. We sat on our peaceful cabin deck grilling smores and charting the crystal clear night stars.
We had some off-road adventure too. We drove ATVs up and down the mountains, through trees and rivers, over gravel and lots and lots of dirt. We took in the views from the highest points, and at least I squeezed myself to the seat so hard that my inner thighs were sore for days. The ATVs also transformed us into literal dirtballs. If I licked my lips, I ate dirt. A poor butterfly hit me smack in the middle of my forehead. Our clothes held on to as much dust as they could and one pat would send it flying. Dirt crystals seeped from the corners of my eyes for days. Oh, it was so much fun (really)!
And even though we were in the middle of nowhere, we ate a truly magnificent meal in the hotel’s main restaurant. Sous vide lobster, the most tender, perfectly cooked lamb, a steak to die for, scallops that tasted like soft pretzels, the cheesiest tortellini and the sweetest cherry tomatoes, and oh, a chocolate dessert to end the meal in true bliss. The meal reminded me of dining at the Oval Room in DC, except for its looser dress code and only three full tables. I feel lucky to live in a city I love but that can be utterly escaped in one easy drive. Happy star gazing.