Greenbrier Trip

The Mr. and I had a lovely late summer getaway. We stopped in Pennsylvania at the picturesque Jacqueline House of Wilmington. Everything — from the lovely innkeeper, to the amazing breakfast, to the crazy neighbouring cows, to the perfect porch swing, to the resident Havanese pup — was lovely. I wish we’d been able to stay longer!

Then we were off to The Greenbrier in West Virginia. If you ever have a chance to go, you must move heaven and earth to get there. It’s spectacular! Not only is it Dorothy Draper / Carleton Varney gorgeous, but there is rich history around ever corner. It had a fully functioning bunker until 1992 to house congress in the event of a nuclear attack. And it’s still a safe haven. After floods destroyed a number of homes in Greenbrier county last summer and killed 26 people in the state, current owner Jim Justice closed the hotel so he could give displaced townspeople a place to live.

Everyone we met was a long term employee – like, as in 50 years of employment long for some. And they had stories! Which is my favourite thing of all.

Everywhere you looked was something beautiful. No detail was overlooked.

I did a little trap shooting.

Apparently, having only one good eye makes you a better marksman. Who knew?

While we were at Greenbrier, we had a little wedding redo. Our original wedding was a comedy of errors with everything from minister cancellation, to ceremony mixups, to a minister who was late since he was pulled over in a Drinking and Driving check. So we had one botched ceremony, a New Year’s Eve reception that – while pretty and fireworky – was not weddingy at all. And since neither occasion lent itself to a big white dress, I was missing out on the whole say yes to the dress thing, as well as actual wedding photos (due to a major mess up and not hiring a photographer for the impromptu ceremony, we have no photos of the actual wedding at all!)

Plus, I really kicked myself for not purchasing the dress I had fallen in love with – a Carolina Herrera lace and silk sheath with a very showy hem.

So we decided to have a redo, because renewal and restoration is my very favourite thing. And, wouldn’t you know it, when I called Kleinfeld’s about the Herrera, they’d just added it to their sample sale. In. My. Size. I only needed to take up the straps, which cost me $28 at the seamstress. Plus, they had a pair of Oscar de la Renta shoes on at deep discount. Perfection!

So we remarried on the balcony off the North Parlour of the The Greenbrier, with Carolina and Oscar as our witnesses.

I loved the wedding readings that we chose.

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.  – Colossians 3.12-15

Love is a roof. Love bears all things like a roof bears the wind and the rain, like a roof that bears the burden of lashing storms, brutal heat. Like a bucket poured right out that could make a roof over your head to absorb storms, that gives itself as a container to carry the burdens of others. Real love is a roof. Real love makes you into a shelter, real love makes you into a safe place. Real love makes you safe.  – Ann Voskamp

Of course, I had to have something by Ann Voskamp!

Greenbrier made the vow renewal perfect. The Director of Wedding Events arranged everything so we could just enjoy it. If you are thinking of a vow renewal, get yourself there at once. Both the hotel and West Virginia are charmers.

They have a place there called biscuit world, for the love of Pete!

When we we leaving, the bellman led us into a secret corner of the hotel where we could write our names in a drawer that married couples have been writing in for nearly a century. It really was the perfect final touch.


  1. I have actually never been to the Greenbrier…have wanted to go, just not quite yet. You wear the dress very well. So pretty. I am headed back to Boston next week for a little get away and a doctors appointment with Miss Em. Long story but hopefully a happy ending.


  2. You look beautiful and your dress is just perfect. So nice that it came together for you in just the right way. I love that you moved forward and recreated an important ceremony to better reflect what you imagined.


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