I'm not generally in the habit of plugging a business on my blog, and, considering most of my readers are not local this may not make one bit of difference, but I'm gonna do it anyway.
When my boss, the CEO of the company, approached me nearly a year ago and asked me to look into finding a "getaway" location for employees and our families for a weekend, my first thought was holy crap, no way...I'm not an event planner... Especially when he presented his somewhat extensive list of requirements (not in the least bit unreasonable, just difficult to find in one place). I searched and searched, made phone call after phone call. Finally I bumped into Shenandoah Crossing, in Gordonsville, VA. I paid them a visit for a few hours in July, and was certain that this was the one.
Fast forward nearly one year and 100 grey hairs later, and the event was just this past weekend. There were about 200 attendees, including nearly 50 children.
And it was perfect.
I can't speak highly enough of the resort - the location (on a lake in the Shenandoah Valley), the activities (horseback riding, outdoor heated pools, indoor pool, mini-golf, volleyball, hiking, fishing, boating, etc.), the accomodations (awwwwesome...2-bedroom cabins in the woods, complete with central air and heat, WiFi, full kitchen, tile bathroom with a large jet tub, super-comfy beds, flat-screen TVs, etc.), and, most importantly, the staff. They were amazing. From my contact-person that I'd been badgering with a barage of questions every. single. day. to the catering staff at our meals, to the guy who set up and lit our bonfire, got our kegs tapped, iced our wine and even provided us with cups and plastic wine glasses, they were all cheerful, friendly, and so, so helpful.
Needless to say, it all got pulled off without a hitch. Or with a hitch, if you include the fun and informative wagon ride, pulled by two horses, all of us huddled under blankets against the cold rain, which only enhanced the experience rather than put a damper on it.
And it looks like we'll be doing this again!
What's up with that?
I must say, though, I'm relieved to know that her public speaking career as a self-advocate hasn't ended before it's even begun.
The horses that pulled the wagon.
Jake the Turkey, preening for everyone, loving the attention, and even letting people pet him! Samantha thought he was fabulous, unlike some of the other children...
The resident peacock.
Bucolic bliss from the deck of our cabin. The lake is just beyond the lush foliage. (Sorry, I love the word lush, felt the need to use it here... Love foliage, too...)
Getting fitted for a helmet for her pony ride.
My big girl!!! Last time we tried to get her on a pony, about a year and a half ago, she wanted nothing to do with it. She especially wanted nothing to do with the helmet. I guess it's all part of growing up.
Toasting s'mores at the bonfire. Samantha was there just at the beginning, where we helped her to toast one marshmallow before heading back to the cabin to go to bed. She was not a fan. Hated the sticky mess that got in her hair, on her face and all over her fingers. Good thing about marshmallows, though, as I happily discovered, they dissolve almost instantly in water. Cleaning it out of her hair was a breeze, and it was not necessary to wash her hair.
I'm definitely looking forward to planning the next one, and I highly recommend that any of you in this area to go check it out!