Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Home Stretch

It's been a while since I last showed you the progress at The Guest House. I'm excited to say that we're "in the home stretch" now! The contractor and the electrician have finished up and the plumber should get the bathroom fixtures in tomorrow.

I've been busy with all the cleanup. One of the biggest jobs has been to clean the windows. There were twelve to clean, and now I have only one left. Whew! This afternoon I scrubbed a little on the sidelights around the front door, just to see what the old glass would look like when you can actually see through it. Not bad!

The stairs are beautiful

and the old telephone has found a home at last.

Our first post-renovation guests arrive September 10, so my goal is to have the downstairs all clean and ready for this couple, who will be celebrating their anniversary. 

The parlor, which is now a bedroom, has a new queen-size bed

and a dresser, among some other small pieces.

Grandfather's room, which is now the living room, has furniture as well:

And wonder of wonders, the dining room is now a dining room! The bed has been moved upstairs, and the dining table is in place, although it is covered with all the odds and ends of cleaning right now. But the corner cupboard is ready, dishes and all.

There's still a lot to be done, but the end is near. It won't be long until folks can once again enjoy this wonderful old house - all of it! Won't that be grand? Can't wait for you to come!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Going Caving

I attend a yoga group on Monday mornings. Today, some of us went on a field trip to The Salt Cave and Spa. What an adventure!

This unique spa is located about five miles north of White Sulphur Springs, WV, home of the famous Greenbrier Hotel and more recently, the Greenbrier Classic PGA tournament. The owners are from Romania and they created this man-made cave and spa by the side of the road in rural West Virginia...go figure!

During my father's final few years, I frequently passed this place as I traveled back and forth from my Highland County, Virginia home to where I grew up, in Union, West Virginia. I watched its construction with great curiosity, having no idea what it would finally become. A home? Underground storage? A survival bunker? But no, it's a spa! The lobby is an experience in itself.

They offer massage, yoga, aromatherapy, reflexology, and a host of other services, but we went to experience the salt cave. Apparently, there are many benefits to breathing the air in this environment. The cave is beautiful, but it's also made of tons of Himalayan pink salt.

To enter the salt cave, walk by these soothing lights and turn right at the green tree. There you'll find a bench to sit on while you remove your shoes and put on clean white socks. Then you open this door and enter the cave.

Besides the dim lighting, the first thing you notice is the floor. It's covered with salt "gravels" that are supposed to massage your feet as well as contribute to the salty environment. It's like walking in sand, only more difficult because the gravels are pretty rough (maybe my feet are too tender?) and they're deep. Noticing the floor is only momentary, though, because this is what you see:

Now, these photos taken inside the cave are a little bit deceiving. The lighting is wonderful and soothing, and wraps around you like a soft blanket. But it is not this orange. It's more like a soft pink. I don't know why the photos come out like this, but I noticed the photos on the spa website look just like mine, so I don't think it is due to my photography skills, or lack thereof.

We were encouraged to get comfortable in the lounge chairs, relax, breath, and be quiet. After the initial chatter died away, it was easy to slip into a drowsy place and just soak in the peacefulness.

 The temperature is a comfortable 70 degrees, quiet music fills the air, and when you look up, there's a ceiling full of possibilities to ponder.

All too soon, our 45-minute session was over. Some reported a slight salty taste in their mouths. Others, like me, quickly noticed it was easier to breathe in the cave. Sinuses and lungs felt free and open, making deep, full breathing effortless.

As we emerged into the light of day, all agreed our salt cave experience was well worth the long drive. Thanks, ladies, for a delightful adventure!