The Red Chair’s Visit to Vine Cottage Inn
Hot Springs, Virginia
October 26-29, 2013
The exchange of “Red” took place at Douthat State Park when Jo Ann Carter Gideons of the Red Lantern Inn handed “Red” over to Jonah and me. We promised to take very good care of “Red” while we were his host. “Red” loved the beauty of Douthat and the drive over Warm Spring Mountain especially Ingalls Overlook. We stopped at the County of Bath welcome center so “Red” could get some information about what to do while in Bath. “Red” spotted some of the hay bale displays from the Harvest Moon Festival earlier in October. He just had to have his picture taken with them. “Red” was a little tired after his long trip so we took him by to see Dr. and Mrs. Don Myers long time doctor in Bath, now retired, for a quick check up. Dr. Myers gave him a clean bill of health and wished him the best on his journey. We gave “Red” a little history of Vine Cottage Inn. He was surprised to find that Vine Cottage Inn was built in 1900 as a private residence and began to take guest in 1905, enlarged in the late 20’s and became a full service country inn. Bedtime was early as “Red” prepared for a new day.
To ensure that “Red” remained safe during his visit we introduced him to Sheriff Robert Plecker. Sheriff Plecker was quick to make us feel at ease, he said that under his watch “Red” would be safe from kidnapping threat and no one would paint him green while he was in Bath County.
Sunday morning after having coffee in front of the fireplace “Red” joined our other guest for breakfast at the family table. “Red” was a gracious host to all of the folk. They were from New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Texas and were all interested in his travels. After breakfast he was able to watch a short video “A Road Trip to History” about Bath County which gave him some insight to what he should expect during his visit. A trip to Garth Newel for a Chamber Music Concert was in the plans for the afternoon. On the way we make some stops at Seven Oaks Gallery and Warm Springs Galley to enjoy the great items they have on display. At the concert “Red” was received with open arms and invited to join the musicians on stage. A glass of wine in front of the fireplace before dinner and then off to bed to rest for another busy day tomorrow.
Monday morning after breakfast we were off to visit downtown Hot Springs. Laura’s Boutique knew that “Red” was in town and had a big welcome sign out for him. Everyone wanted pictures and being the “ham” that he is no one was turned down. A visit to one of the local banks went well but no loan was offered so on to Sam Snead’s Tavern. The Tavern was not open for lunch so a picture of “Red” in front of the Tavern will have to do. As we toured downtown we were able to visit with some of the local shop owners and take some more pictures. “Red” thought that the Village of Hot Springs was what a small town is all about, warm and friendly people.
A round of golf on the Old Course at The Omni Homestead Resort was in order for the afternoon. As “Red” strolled onto the first tee he found that this tee is the oldest tee in continues use in the US. He could not play the entire round because there were so many things to do. He was going over to the 99 year old courthouse to be welcomed to the county by Maggie Anderson, Director of Tourism and Celine Finel her assistant. After visiting with Maggie it was time for a trip to Jefferson Pools. These are the pools that Thomas Jefferson rode from Charlottesville by horse back to “take the waters” when he was in his 70’s. The water is a constant 98 degrees year round. As we moved about the county there were interesting shops and views to take in. Three day is just not enough time to see and enjoy all of the beauty the County of Bath has to offer. Bed time!
Tuesday morning before breakfast he took a quick hike on the “South Trail” and ran into two of his distant cousins. Two red Adirondack chairs setting on a ridge enjoying an early morning view of the valley below. “Red” returned to Vine Cottage Inn and had breakfast consisting of Jo’s famous French Toast with New Orleans style Praline Sauce, peppered bacon, eggs with spinach and peppers, fruit, scone, juice and coffee. “Red” said he was set for the journey to Rockwood Manor in Dublin, VA.
Jonah and I have enjoyed hosting “The Red Chair” and being a part of such a large effort by so many dictated Innkeepers.