Behind the Scenes: French Lick Resort - 04/17/13

Hello all! After a nice break, I was so excited to kick-off our 2013 Road Trippin' Season. 
I had never been to Indiana before, except a day trip to Holiday World last summer, 
so I wasn't sure what to expect. I researched French Lick, and I was intrigued by 
the history of the area. Prior to my research, I had never heard of Pluto Water 
(Kelly Sutton told me about the unique smell the water has) 
I did notice the smell right when I arrived, but my nose quickly adjusted 
and it wasn't strong at all.
*Something to keep in mind.. French Lick is only about 3 hours from Nashville, but it is in the Eastern Time Zone, so you will lose an hour when you arrive 
We made sure to leave extra early so we wouldn't be running behind.
After driving through quiet neighborhoods, I was utterly fascinated by the sight of French Lick Resort. Its a truly mesmerizing place that seems to just pop up out of nowhere.  
We spent two very full days shooting our segments, and we got to experience both hotels at the resort West Baden Springs and French Lick Springs.
West Baden Springs is one of the most gorgeous hotels Ive ever seen, and its even on the National Historic Registry. When I walked in, I was taken aback by the dome in the lobby.. 
Its so massive that I literally felt like I walked into a storybook. My photographer Kyle and I agreed that the video just doesn't do this massive structure justice. After we got done with our first day of shooting, I sat on my balcony and took in the light show that they have at night. It was so beautiful.
One of the coolest things we got to see there was the Angel Room. It's secret, not available to the public and located high above the dome in the steel drum at the very 
top of West Baden. We walked up a steep staircase on the roof to get there, and then down a tiny ladder to get inside where there are mysterious paintings of floor to ceiling
length Angels. They have the most intriguing expressions on their faces, and what makes the Angels a real mystery is no one is quite sure how they got there. 
Marketing Manager Steve Rondinaro explained to me that one of the theories is that Circus painters created them. We also saw graffiti on the Angels, some dating back 
to the early 1900s! In an effort to preserve the alluring paintings, no one has ever tried to remove the graffiti so the paint doesn't get smudged. However, they have digitally enhanced the Angels, and its nice to see the brightened versions as well. 
Check out the Secret section on our Road Trippin' video box for an up close look at what we got to experience.
Not only is West Baden one of the most serene places Ive ever been, the Spa there is extremely tranquil. They also offer a Sprudel Bath, which is a 25 minute 
soak in the Pluto Springs water. I found out people believe the minerals in the water are very healing. Although I opted for a pedicure (always a nice treat)- next time I go back, I definitely want to try that bath! I'm so curious about it.
A trail ride at the Stables turned out to be my favorite activity, and we couldn't have picked a more gorgeous spring day! My horse, Chief, was patient with my rusty riding skills, and I soon felt right at home again. If you plan to vacation at French Lick with your family, the Stables are a place you want to go. They also have pony rides for the little ones and goats you can feed. I cant even begin to explain how adorable the goats are- seriously they were hungry little monsters and were so gentle with the kids who were feeding them really cool to watch!
Speaking of a family vacation, the French Lick Springs Hotel had so much going on for the kids from bike rides to a bowling alley- enough activities to occupy them for days including a big pool and hot tub.
They also feature a casino you can access right from the hotel. Its open 24/7 so you can sneak away at your convenience for a little adult gaming. As a non-smoker, I found the non-smoking area a huge plus.
Oh, I learned a little lesson about golfing too! I got a lesson from Devon Trueblood when I went to check out the Pete Dye course, and I was wearing flip flops. My twitter friends quickly informed me after I posted a picture that flip flops are a golfing no no noted for next time!! I will invest in the proper shoe wear. It was my first time on the green- aside from mini golf during family vacation on the Cape, so I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. Once I improve my swing, this is a place I want to tackle!
Alright. Saving the best for last. My favorite part of every Road Trip.. THE FOOD! Oh, my goodness- it was fantastic!!!! I over indulged, but hey, that's what vacation is for, right?!
I tried Sinclairs for dinner our first night, and all I can say is wow! We sat at table one, the private dining room that has a view of the kitchen. It was a beautiful and intimate setting, and the food was out of this world. I had Crab Louis as an appetizer, mushroom risotto that I scarfed down way too quickly, and a blackened fish for my entree. I didn't save room for dessert- but that did not stop me from eating it anyway. Table side bananas foster it was so awesome to get an up close view of the process, and I kid you not, it was one of the most delicious desserts 
I have ever tasted. The chocolate dome I tried, which is one of their signatures is extremely delish as well. Two words: Food Coma. Thank goodness that meal was at the end of our day or I don't think I would have made it to do anything else but relax. Another fantastic dining experience we had was after my golf lesson at Hagens Club House Restaurant. Chef David Lee showed me how he prepares their famous ribs. The rub is secret and he would not divulge the ingredients, and I don't blame him. They were fabulous! I nearly ate an entire rack myself. I couldn't stop laughing because we kept doing takes of me eating ribs for our food segment, and I got BBQ sauce everywhere. It was such a fun moment on our trip. Also, another neat thing I learned at Hagens, there is an arrow carved on the bar and rumor has it Al Capone put it there to claim his side of the bar. French Lick has such a rich history and they do a great job of preserving it and keeping all the memories alive.One last restaurant to rave about. 1875: The Steak House. I consider myself a bit of a raw oyster connoisseur, and they served a very delicious and fresh selection. Also, the Lobster Mac and Cheese was ridiculously rich and tasty. I filled up on so many appetizers that I chose a petite filet for my entree smothered 
in blue cheese crumbles. Goodness! No room for dessert that night I needed a serious nap after all that! Oh, and let me just say the service was amazing at all the restaurants we tried. They have a really great staff- an important amenity at a resort. French Lick Resort was the perfect spot to kick off our 2013 season. I felt like a Princess there and had a great time. 
There was so much to see and do that we worked super long days I hope you enjoy all the video segments we put together for you!

If you have any Road Trippin suggestions or advice- Id love to hear from you!
My twitter is @ErinSteerClear

 

Get This

Last Update on September 22, 2014 07:21 GMT

NUDE PHOTOGRAPHER

ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) -- Trevor Christensen is a nude portrait photographer. But his models aren't posing in the nude. It's the photographer who is naked. Christensen gets the surprise reaction of his subjects when they see he isn't wearing anything. The nude portraits started as a side project for the Utah photojournalist. He tells the Spectrum newspaper offers to pose are pouring in since his project has gone viral. He adds most of his would-be subjects are women.

POSTAL POT

HIGHLAND, N.Y. (AP) -- It wasn't just parcel post -- but parcel pot as well. Authorities in Ulster County, New York, report busting two men who picked up a 10-pound package of marijuana at the local post office. Police say they were called about a suspicious package. A drug-sniffing dog from the county sheriff's department indicated there was contraband inside. Deputies waited until the parcel was picked by two men and they were both arrested.

FREEWAY BIRTH

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- What scares Marine Corps veteran Bolivar Vilchez? He says he was terrified as he helped his wife deliver their newborn daughter on the side of a Southern California freeway. The Orange County Register reports Sandra Vilchez went into labor on the way to visit her mother. Bolivar pulled over and phoned for help. But the baby wouldn't wait. By the time firefighters arrived, so had the couple's fourth child.

HONORARY DIPLOMA

BURKE, Va. (AP) -- Jane Pickett finally has her high school diploma, 75 years after her graduation. The 93-year-old Virginia woman has received an honorary diploma from the Rye Country Day School in Rye, New York. Her family had contacted the school. Pickett completed her high school education in 1939, but she didn't walk across the stage with the rest of her class. She got married on the same day as graduation and never received her diploma. WRC-TV reports the high school also sent a sash and other gifts for Pickett.

 
Advertise with us!