Returning To The Homestead; Beyond The Status Updates

Back in Birmingham after three days shooting at the Homestead. It was an amazing place, even if I did nearly freeze on the slopes shooting. (Yes, after my snowmobile revelation I was reminded that I don't do well with high altitude -- even just Virginia altitudes -- and cold temperatures.)

But it was really beautiful.

I learned a few things during the shoot. Like you actually have to shake hand warmers to get them to activate. (The brand we had were called "Little Hotties," which made me laugh.) Also, learned that sometimes hand warmers, after and hour of shaking, don't really activate.

And, when this fails, the best remedy is back at the lodge:

The lodge is always my favorite part of skiing.

Especially enjoyed seeing all the little kids coming in from their morning on the slopes, including one little boy Nate's age who went down the mountain fearlessly, safely tucked between his instructor's legs. A lot braver than I.

After we finished shooting, I was exhausted, but fit in some re-charging first enjoying The Homestead's legendary high tea that they hold each day from 3-4 p.m Just like I have everyday at my desk. Right.

Actually, I might start doing high tea at my desk inspired by this. Except that mine will be in a George Michael cup and there won't be tiny delicious cucumber sandwiches (handful of almonds?)

I loved walking through the hotel, which is filled with so much history. Twenty-two presidents have stayed there, along with countless dignitaries and celebrities. Many came to bathe in the waters of the natural hot springs which the hotel was built around. Said to have healing properties, the springs still feed the hotel's spa and indoor pool, both of which I visited.

Floating in the pool, ornately decorated from bygone days, I felt like a character from "The Great Gatsby."

***

It was a good thing I had a chance to rest a bit, because the next two days would not be filled with floating in pretty pools. On the trip back to Birmingham, I got really sick, so sick I didn't know if I'd be able to get on the second leg of the flight from Charlotte to Birmingham. Dad and Nate picked me up, and Nate surprised me with pretty flowers, which lifted my spirits.

But I've spent much of the rest of the time home in bed, drinking Gatorade and trying to get the energy up to get ready for the week ahead. Nate is still struggling with sickness too (which has been on and off for six weeks, a variety of ailments not aided by the germs at daycare).

Why am I writing all this? Because as I move onto some next steps in my life it's important for me to share more of my story. Although I get to do some amazing stuff, it's starting to feel disingenuous to only write about the good parts.

It can be difficult to decide how much to reveal, but I'm making a purposeful effort to peel back the layers beneath the status update. That honesty is a central theme that I'm exploring in my personal writing. It's tougher than the snappy glossy parts, but also necessary.

So, with that, onto getting ready for the rest of the week: disinfecting the house, stuffing Valentine's Day bags for Nate's class, paying bills, clearing out our bedroom to make way for ceiling repair. Not so glamorous.

But this is my homestead.