For another summer, Matt’s job prevented us from wandering too far from home. At the beginning of the summer we weren’t even sure we could sneak away for a few days but thankfully we were able to do just that.
We knew we couldn’t go too far, despite Matt trying to convince me that yes, he really could make it to Utah and back in 4 days. After a few days of searching, I came across Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia on google maps. I thought it immediately looked familiar but had no idea why. I knew we had never been there. Let’s see if you know why it looks familiar.
When I found out it was the location where Dirty Dancing was filmed I knew we had to go! Actually I think the only thing that could excite me more is if I could visit the Lehi Roller Mill where Ren McCormick and all his friends held prom after the town council voted them down. (That might actually make me cry).
Mountain Lake Lodge is actually a resort. You have the main lodge with regular rooms and a couple restaurants, then you have the Chesnut Lodge (where we stayed) and lots of really cool cabins, including the Lake Cabin where Baby Houseman and her family stayed in Dirty Dancing.
We ate breakfast on the porch each morning where I would tell Jake to “just put your pickle on everybody’s plate college boy and leave the hard stuff to me”. And he would say “What?” (Clearly I haven’t been as successful a parent as I thought I had been….we have work to do)
Mountain Lake used to be on the shores of Mountain Lake. I know…who would have thought? But there is no longer a lake. It sprung a leak years ago and drained. The main theory is that the lake is on a fault line and something shifted, draining the water out from the bottom. So the site of the famous lift scene is now dry lake bottom. But the cinder blocks Patrick Swayze stood on to film the scene are still there. I told Matt he would be a hero if he would stand on those blocks and lift me over his head. All the women of the resort would be jealous. Then he started asking how much women would pay him to lift them for photo ops and we decided it would take a lot of lifts to pay for the spine fusion surgery he would need when we got home. So we had to compromise.
There are also numerous trails around the resort for pedestrians, bikes and golf carts. As soon as we checked in and Jake discovered you could rent a golf cart, that was pretty much his focus. However they didn’t have any available until Saturday.
Our friend Tiffani now lives in Virginia only about an hour away. She came to visit with us a couple evenings.
I bought a package with our stay that included credit with their recreational activities. A short walk or golf cart ride away from the main part of the resort took you to Adventure Outfitters. They offered zip lining, Zorbs, archery tag and this:
I should probably back up a bit. First we rode the golf cart over to the adventure area to check things out. We decided on the inflatable slide of death, signed papers to waive our rights to compensation in the likely event of being maimed or killed and rode back to the lodge to change into our swimsuits and get our affairs in order. Now when I say swimsuits and I don’t get along I’m not kidding. I’m rather busty and most swimsuits make me look like you put a rubber band around a marshmallow. I kept envisioning picking up a public indecency charge at the bottom of the slide if I tried to go down that thing in the two piece tankini I had been wearing so I dug out “Old Faithful”–a trusty one piece I have had since I was 19. (Thank god it stretches…a lot). So there I was, back at the 60 foot tall inflatable slide in an antique swimsuit. Matt, Jake and I climb right on up and as we reach the top, it’s swaying back and forth. I make the mistake of looking down and was like nope. Matt and Jake go right on down leaving me up top with the attendant, a teenage kid who proudly tells me he’s only been working there 4 days. His job was to spray your back down with a garden hose apparently piped in from the melting ice caps so your back wouldn’t stick as you went down. We got to talk for a while since it took me probably 15-20 minutes to work up the nerve to take the plunge. He started out being pretty nice until he yelled down to Matt “Want me to just hose her down?” And I’m sure you guessed what answer Matt yelled back up to him. I thought he was joking when he turned the hose on me. And he thought I was possessed after he did because he got really scared. Finally I worked up my nerve and took the plunge. Old Faithful held up…..although she ended up in a few places she probably didn’t want to be.
Jake’s second run. No….there is no video of me.