The Old Homestead

Day 3: What started out as an ideal location for a stopover on our way to Savannah, became a wonderful destination! What a great way to be oriented into Southern charm and hospitality!

The Homestead’s charm is akin to that of the grandeur of the Grand Hotel in Mackinaw, one of an era long past. The lobby greets you with its tall, Corinthian columns ushering you to the elevator that brings you to your room.                                                                  

We were able to get an upgrade, and the receptionist kept telling us, “you’re going to love your room!”. And we did. It’s a corner room with lots of tall windows, 14 foot ceilings, day couch, marble floored bathroom and all the amenities one could think of. It was complete with a large balcony, one of the only rooms with a balcony! It was in the historical tower building as well.                              

Backing up to Day 2: For our one day here, in spite of the fact there is horseback riding, which would have been lovely in our younger days, skeet shooting, archery, biking, hiking, golf and more, we took advantage of the hot spring fed pools – inside and out.

The inside pool was absolutely beautiful! It was an old, stately pool which reminded me of the one Donna Reed fell into in Its a Wonderful Life, BUT, the normally 100 degree pool was cold, because they had to turn off the warm spring input to make a repair the day before! But, because the sun was shining despite the 54 degrees outside, I talked Jim into trying the outdoor pool! THAT was lovely….and the hot tub especially with its waterfalls.

One thing we didn’t know was that they had dancing in the main dining room every evening, but you needed a dress jacket, which we didn’t have… the pianist in the main lobby was very sweet and played Mack the Knife so we could do a fox trot – we were the only ones in that huge lobby, so Jim was fine with that!

The breakfast buffet was to die for, in the lovely Main Dining room, with amazing crystal chandeliers, rotunda ceiling, more tall columns, linen and crystal AND delicious applewood smoked bacon, sausage, grits, biscuits and sausage gravy and their famous home made doughnuts, akin to our cider mill donuts in Detroit.                   

We are singing to old gospel hymns while driving out of Homestead. What beautiful melodies to match the changing tree colors and hills on either side of us. Near The Cross – till I reach the golden strand, just beyond the river. Near the cross….be my glory ever. I’m amazed how strong the alto part comes to me – which I learned at my moms side growing up in church.

Unbelievably beautiful and scary, narrow hairpin roads to get us out of here! So that’s what the lady at the gas station meant when she said, don’t let them tahk y’all through the back roads to get back to the hah-way! We were commenting on the people who originally came to these healing waters : they came those back roads in carriages having arthritis and other sore joint issues, and each bump must have been miserable. No wonder people stayed there for weeks at a time.

Btw, in the Lobby Bar, there are 22 portraits of the Presidents who have stayed at the Homestead. Our server had a cute story: Candice is a mother of a one year old and really needs to get “out” more! A bunch of men came into the bar, she treated them like any other customer….one of them asked her, Do you know who you just served? She said, No. They said, He’s running for President. She said, President of what? They said, Do you follow politics at all? No, I have a baby at home and all I know is Sponge Bob! You just served Mitt Romney! She still didn’t know who that was! We got a good laugh at her expense. (she reminded me a lot of our daughter,Amy!)

Hopefully, the rest of this travel day will be uneventful as we wend our way to Savannah, GA.

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