Summer Vacation: Day 1 and 2 of a 4 Day Break
Autumn is arriving today and I realized that I never got around posting my semi-written "trip report." Since I've written about my various vacations to Skytop previously (and yes, I've got another trip planned for the fall, which unfortunately will be past peak foliage season), I'm going to try to keep this short and concise. (You know that's not going to happen, but I will give it a try.)
We usually try to visit for my son's birthday because that's where he wants to be, but this year he had a summer job (hurrah!) and it didn't wrap up until the 20th of August. Hence our trip started on Saturday, August 21st.
We started our journey a little later than I wanted to. Drive out was good, until we got the Delaware water Gap. Traffic came to a standstill as two of the toll lanes were down. Then when we got off of Route 80 and onto 447 (which is not a major highway) we got stuck behind a Winnebago pulling a power boat. We were stuck plodding along all the way on 447 until it finally went straight on 191 and not on right to continue on with 447. I have no idea how long that stretch of road was, but it felt like a LONG time.
When we arrived, as always we were greeted by bellman, Robert, who I decided to call Michael. I thought that was his name; what can I say I'm an idiot! He stored our bags as our room was not yet ready. Room not ready: time to relax on the South Porch and/or go for a walk. I did both, soaking up the beautiful grounds with my son, visiting the Butterfly House (without going inside; there are tours) and just walking and feeling...good.
My son treated himself to lunch at the Market, which was once known as the tea room. As I had gotten notification that our room was ready I went down to give him the key and was lucky enough to visit with Zoe who manages both the Market and the Corner Roast (one of my favorite coffee spots).
The rest of the afternoon was spent just relaxing in the room or on the porch (one of my favorite things to do), visiting the pool (if you are my son) and walking around and exploring. Yes, I have been here more times than I can count, but I cannot resist wandering as there is always something new to see.
Although there is no longer a dress code (a shame in my opinion), we do dress for dinner every night. It's a thing for us. Due to Covid-19 (no, it STILL hasn't gone away), the dining experience in the Windsor Dining Room is not quite as elegant as it once was. There are no tablecloths, the water glasses and napkins are not as fancy as they once were (looked something you could find in Ikea). I know that the plan is to do some renovations here over the winter and I hope that they are able to bring back some of the unique elegance that it once had.
Our dinner, as always was quite good, even though there were large family parties and birthdays throughout our stay. (Think I heard "Happy Birthday" sung more times during our last trip than ever before.). I enjoyed the rack of lamb (although the parmesan pine nut crust was a bit over powering). I was treated to a vegan dessert that night (not always possible during our stay) and a decaf cappuccino. Because of all the large parties, dinner did take longer than I would have liked (nearly two hours). But the best thing about the meal was that we had a lot of laughs. Truly it was also the best part of the trip; joking around and laughing a lot which is what we need.
Both my son and I went for walks after dinner. I ended up down at the Lakeview Inn and had hoped to grab a seat on the balcony by the fire pit. (A very cool new addition) I did find a spot and tried to read, but there was a rather loud family group also there, which made me feel a bit out of place. Then I thought I felt a few raindrops, so back to the lodge it was. I called it a night not long after.
Sunday dawned dark and gloomy. Hurricane Henri was
blanketing the entire east coast and coming inland with massive amounts of rain
in places that you wouldn't think would be affected by a hurricane (like the
Poconos). Once I was up, I went back to the South Porch to try listen in
on a church service that I can attend virtually before heading into breakfast
with the guys. Sadly, I was barely able to hear (even with the volume
turned up on my earbuds) because of noisy people. (This was all too
common of an occurrence...people need to be a little bit more cognizant of the
fact that others are around you and may not want to hear every detail of your
Despite the rain, I decided to go for a walk and so did my son. Of course only one of us was smart enough to bring an umbrella. (Hint: It wasn't my son.) Because of the weather I took to the "highway" (if that's what you can call 390, which is two lanes total.) This gave me a chance to check out some tiny roads that I had never been one before as well as check out Skytop Meadows (townhomes that look really nice...hmmm...maybe someday I will retire?).
After a walk (where I stayed dry and my son did not), the two of us decided to go to the pool (indoor obviously). The pool was okay not too terribly crowded and I managed to find chairs for us. My son went swimming. I joined him for a little bit but then felt that they were too many little kids. So I tried out the hot tub, but didn’t think it was really that hot. All in all probably spent an hour or so there before the session ended. (There are half hour to hour breaks where the area is closed for cleaning and much deserved staff breaks).
My son came back to the room and decided he wanted lunch. This time he wanted to check out the Tap Room. Let him go on his own while I did a few things before I decided I wanted to check out the gift shop. There were a few interesting things (including a zippered jacket) that were tempting, but not tempting enough. Then I checked in with my son who was looking very suave eating a turkey club by himself in the surprisingly not too crowded Tap Room.
After relaxing in the room for a while, I decided to grab the umbrella and walk again. Again, instead of hiking a trail, I stuck to the main road, this time walking down New Dutch Hill Road for about a mile and a half before turning around and going up Leavitt's Branch Road (where I bet the homes have beautiful views) and to the Lakeview Inn. (Fully disclosure I was in need of the rest room.) Then I took part of the path (paved) toward Leavitt's Falls (but not down to the falls as it would be wet and treacherous) and just enjoyed the view (rain or not)
I made it back to the Lodge by 3, which is when they have tea and cookies in the Pine Room. It was no surprise that I found my son there. I managed to convince him to go with me up the observation deck. It was really cool because there were some very low clouds which made an interesting sight.
My son decided to go back to the pool and I spent more time reading and relaxing in the room before we all (hubby included) showered and dressed for dinner. I want to take some pictures of us as a family and we found a very nice gentleman at the Concierge Desk by the name of Michael who took a couple of pictures. They turned out nicely which means I'm going need to "use" him again. We all got to talking (because this is what happens at Skytop) Turns out he has lived up here for many years but he and his wife commuted daily to NYC where they both worked. He "retired" and he ended up working here starting 8 months ago. He is old school and things that employers should be wearing jackets and ties. Can't say that I disagree with him but I don't think it's going to happen. .
For dinner tonight we were in the back part of the Windsor Dining Room. Again there were lots of tables of large groups. One was a birthday party of at least 12 people another group which came just as we really getting ready to leave of at least 20 people. We were the only "small" group.
that when we left there was absolutely no one in the front part of the dining
room; everyone was in the far back where we were.
My fingers were crossed that the rain would wrap up by tomorrow morning, but...what can you do when a tropical storm is just sitting over you?