Remember when I went on that road trip from Atlanta to NYC with my friend Rob and I was all “OMG it’s going to be amazing,” and you guys were secretly thinking, “OMG that dude is going to kick her out of the car before they hit North Carolina”?
Yeah, that one.
Well thankfully I got to stay in the car (and the front seat even!) and the road trip was…well, in a word…EPIC. And please note I truly reserve the word epic for special occasions like this road trip, Beyonce’s VMA performance, guacamole, and that picture of The Rock from the ‘90s.
When the trip began, I soon realized I was in my own personal heaven on wheels–phones, iPad, WiFi, control of the tunes, snacks, cold beverages, and zero chance I would be asked to drive the beloved 6-speed Porsche (pronounced POR-SHA for you Pontiac people).
To complete the dream even more, we stopped at Chick-fil-a because DUH ROAD TRIP (also fitting for Rob’s last meal in Georgia) and spared no expense.
Pardon me while I wipe the drool off my mouse pad. (JK, do people still use mouse pads?)
After about three hours of driving and my summer 2k14 playlist, we arrived at Hotel Domestique nestled in the lush mountain country of Travelers Rest, South Carolina. I cannot fully express the immediate love I felt for this place, but I would compare it to how Honey Boo Boo’s mom probably felt the first time she walked into a Golden Corral: I was home. It’s reminiscent of a Tuscan villa with 13 uniquely appointed rooms (equipped with fireplaces and badass bathrooms stocked with HERMES products), stunning grounds, gourmet restaurant boasting locally sourced foods, luxurious saltwater pool with the mountains as a backdrop, and the friendliest, most accommodating staff.
After a quick tour and Instagram post, I announced to anyone who would listen that I was moving in. The staff was like, “What?”, and I was like, “YUP, now where’s the wine?” And AS IT TURNS OUT, there is a pantry on the same floor as the guest rooms stocked with red and white wine, cold beverages (San Pellegrino for the win), and snacks…ALL COMPLIMENTARY ALL THE TIME ALL CAPS.
Of course I was like….
I poured myself a generous glass of Sauv Blanc, went for a dip in the pool, did my #IceBucketChallenge because that was cool back then, and we dined at the restaurant with this shitty view…
And as I rolled back to the room because I had eaten approximately 84 pounds of food including two desserts (#YOLO), we spotted this guy, who made it official: Everything is better at Hotel Domestique. Even…the wildlife.
The following day, we woke up early and I put on my padded spandex shorts not because I was about to re-enact the “Anaconda” video for t
he unsuspecting staff my new roommates, but because it was time to ROAD BIKE. So here’s the scoop on Hotel Domestique—it’s owned by world famous cyclist George Hincapie, hence why the rolling hills surrounding the resort are perfection for the sport. I didn’t bring my brand-new road bike (because I didn’t want to ride it home from New York), so I rented one there that turned out to be the most badass bike of all time with electronic shifting and fancy, expensive, foreign-to-me, high-tech everything. Since I had not yet taken my new bike out for a ride and was completely new to the sport, Rob made a solid comparison for what was about to happen: “This is like losing your virginity to a supermodel.”
So now I knew how my high school boyfriend felt. ZING! (Totally kidding.)
Listen, I’m going to be honest with you guys. I fell off the bike in the damn parking lot (THE. PARKING. LOT.) because I was clipped in and got distracted. As in, I was bleeding from the hand and the knee BEFORE WE EVEN STARTED OUR RIDE. Tour de France, here I come. But once we got going, I did fine, except one incident where a massive hill snuck up on me and I couldn’t get into the right gear in time nor clip out in time. DOWN I WENT AGAIN. As I lay sprawled on the pavement gushing blood from the SAME knee I skinned in the parking lot, new cycling shoes scuffed, and a lump rising in my throat, Rob stopped his bike, looked back at me, and said ever so compassionately, “Well, that’ll never happen again.” And then he took a picture.
He was right. It never happened again. And I appreciate his reaction, because for the record: When a girl falls and hurts herself, she turns into a child. Rush over and baby her and she will (probably) cry. Tell her to get up and dust herself off and she (probably) will.
One close call with a ferocious dog (hey assholes, why don’t you fix that hole in your fence?), 693749274 hills, and 25 miles later, we made it back to the hotel sweaty, bloody, and starving (or maybe that was just me). After a quick dip in the pool and me trying to lock myself in the wine closet so they couldn’t make me leave, we were on our way, the only thing keeping my post-Hotel-Domestique-depression at bay the anticipation of lunch in Asheville.