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