Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Barter Theatre, The Spa, and the Day in Heaven................

We were at breakfast by 8:30 in the dining room, where I had Blue Ridge French toast with real maple syrup, fresh fruit, and two slices of Virginia smoked bacon. Randy had eggs, toast, and bacon and then I ate his fresh fruit.

Part of my gift, as if I needed anything more, was a spa treatment, and at 11:00 I was dropped off by Randy at the spa for a facial and a pedicure.  Nothing like this have I ever done in my long life. The facial was done while I lay on a soft bed in a dimly lit room with billowing draperies attached to the ceiling, soft music and Connie, who had magic fingers and all kinds of slippery oils and mists and a soft voice. I slept through part of the facial.

Then Connie took me to the pedicure room, where I got a back massage from a vibrating chair while my feet were submerged and peddied and my toenails were painted, my ankles were massaged, and I again fell asleep.  I am not used to this pampering, but I gotta tell you:  I COULD GET USED TO THIS IN A BIG HURRY.

We spent some time lounging by the hot tub in the bright sunlight (I don't think we're in Ohio anymore, Toto....) then took a short dip in that saltwater pool, read some magazines, and Randy took a little sun nap.

Randy took the car out to investigate Abingdon while I was being primped, and has made dinner reservations.  He had previously arranged for us to see a play tonight at The Barter Theatre.

We had dinner about a mile up the street at The Tavern, a very small building that was built in kidding. It is the oldest building in Abingdon that is still in use.  It's very small as you walk inside, and the ceiling is a bit low, also.  We asked for outside seating in light of the expected Rapture at just our dinner hour, and had a lovely table in the back with boxwood bushes all up the middle of the yard. 

Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson had eaten there, as did a king of France, back in the day.  The roof is totally covered with bright green moss, and the entire place was like going back in time.  I had chicken saltimbocca, which was TWO chicken breasts with some cheese, pesto, ham, and sauce. There was also a pasta salad AND a side salad.  Randy had a ten ounce prime rib with a baked potato.  They rolled us out to the car when we were done, and we have yet to be able to bend fully over.

Randy hired the horse-drawn buggy to ride us around Abingdon after dinner.  The driver, a young woman from town, knew all kinds of interesting things about Abingdon, some gossip, and some amazing tales about our hotel, as well.  I fell asleep in the back of the buggy, but did manage to hear most of the information.  It was my very first horse-drawn carriage ride, ever.  Randy has certainly made this a memorable birthday!

The play was really a good time. It is called  "Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes," and it is all about the life story of Hank Williams (senior) told by Jason Petty, who wrote the commentary and sings all twenty-two songs during this two-act performance.  Jason won the Obie Award for his performance in "Hank Williams: Lost Highway," which was an off-Broadway show in 2003.  Jason Petty was pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

Now, let me put you into my theatre seat for a minute.  My Bucket List had The Barter Theatre on it, not a play about country-western music.  Since I can only hum about two bars of ANY country-western music song, (although I can clap fairly well to some of it, ) I am not what you would call a "fan," by any means.  But tonight, sitting in a box seat in the balcony of The Barter Theatre, I temporarily became  a country-western music fan.  We enjoyed the entire performance, clapped when everyone else did (sort of how I did it at football games,) tapped our toes on the floor, wished we'd worn plaid shirts and suspenders, stood for the standing ovation which was well-earned, and generally got into this foreign genre of entertainment, if only for one night.  (We did, after all, come to see the theatre in action. And we did.)

We have sat on the front porch with our glass of port, talked with a lovely couple from Amherst, Virginia, where we just had lunch in April while we researched Randy's roots.  I am preparing for a soak in the hot tub before retiring.  I have had trouble staying awake most of the afternoon, and every muscle in my body aches. I know it is because I am so relaxed that the tension has temporarily abated, leaving me achy.

I do not know what time check-out time is, but I will be the woman hanging on by her fingernails to the front door as the valets deliver our car to the front drive.  It probably won't be a pretty scene, so I won't relate that.

Thank you, Randy, for a wonderful birthday gift !  An experience..................(and you know how I do love a good experience!)