Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Michelle Visits a Virginia Spa in Equestrian Country: That’s a Horse of Different Color.

I see the WaPo let the cat out of the bag, which was picked up by  WeaselZippers and now everybody’s buzzing about Lady M and the Wee Wons private weekend at the luxurious Salamander spa.

I don’t know why people begrudge Lady M a little R&R; after all, she did just complete a tour of duty overseas. Doesn’t everyone deserve a good cleanse and refreshing massage after such a grueling trip:


Plus, shortly after her return she attended Easter church services; who wouldn’t be exhausted?

bo easter2

And, as MO herself explained to Michael Strahan at the Spring-Sphere Roll:

“You know, if we’re not going to church we really try to use Sunday as family downtime where we can kind of breathe and catch up and maybe take a little nap every now and then if we’re not working,” she said. “We could be loungin’ and nappin’.”

And hey - where better to breathe, catch up, lounge around and maybe catch a nap than a luxury spa spread out over 340 verdant acres in bucolic Middleburg, a small town in Virginia's under-the-radar wine and equestrian country?


Screenshot Studio capture #1925

And while we all know that the equestrian lifestyle is the exclusive purview of privileged, rich, white, one-percenters -


we did get to shutdown an entire winery for a private wine tasting: that was fun.

boxwood tasting roomMichelle-Obama-Boxwood-Winery

I thought you might enjoy seeing some of the amenities offered by the Salamander Spa Resort. I highlighted the ones that Lady M took advantage of.

Conference & Event Spaces
  • Luxurious 5,000-square-foot-divisible Middleburg Ballroom
  • 1,800-square-foot-divisible Bluemont Ballroom
  • 1,000-square-foot Hospitality Suite with outdoor terrace
  • Executive Boardrooms and breakout rooms
  • 2,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom Foyer area opening to a large outdoor terrace with spectacular countryside views
  • Unique function spaces including the Stallion Barn, Equestrian Barn, Grand Lawn, outdoor terraces, poolside settings, Culinary Gardens, Library and Billiards Room
  • 2,000-square-foot Presidential Suite with large entertainment balcony
  • Dining Room exclusively for group luncheons
Amenities, Activities and Programs
  • Equestrian Center with 22 stalls, riding arena with ThorTurf footing, scenic trails, and traditional as well as unique equestrian programming.
  • Miles of walking and biking trails
  • Nature-based activities including bird watching and a sustainable garden
  • Exclusive golf privileges at nearby Creighton Farms featuring a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course
  • Bocce, croquet, putting green and other lawn games
  • Tennis courts with outdoor pool complex
  • Sundlun Library has a wide collection of current and historic books available, as well as board games and quiet areas
  • Tours of 50 Virginia wineries within 60 minutes of the resort
  • Over 400 annual equestrian-related activities, including steeplechases, polo events, and some of the country’s most celebrated horse shows
  • Shopping and dining in the historic village of Middleburg
  • Historic area tours including Journey Through Hallowed Ground
  • Cultural tours and activities in Washington, D.C.
Dining Experiences
  • Todd Gray, owner and Executive Chef of the acclaimed Equinox Restaurant in Washington, D.C., serves as Culinary Director
  • Equestrian-inspired Harrimans Grill features Virginia Piedmont-influenced cuisine and inspiring panoramic views
  • Gold Cup Wine Bar and Billiards Room, serves an extensive wine list and menu of locally-inspired small plates throughout the day
  • State-of-the-art Cooking Studio featuring guest chefs and culinary classes
  • Private dining room for up to 20
  • Market Salamander provides gourmet picnic baskets for dining on the Resort grounds, in the nearby vineyards and at local equestrian events
  • 24-hour In-Room Dining
Salamander Spa
  • 14 deluxe treatment rooms with either private outdoor treatment terraces or fireplaces
  • Exclusive Couple’s Suite with private terrace, whirlpool, steam shower and pedestal tub [I better not comment on this one]
  • Deluxe locker rooms with grand whirlpools, steam room, heated stone lounge chairs and experiential water features
  • Secluded spa courtyard with infinity edge pool, fire pit, whirlpool and private cabanas
  • Salon featuring hair, make-up, manicure and pedicure stations
  • Advanced fitness center including indoor pool, cardio and weight room and movement studios, sauna and outdoor terraces [Normally, of course, we would have spent a lot of time here, butt we were doing a cleanse instead]

You’ll be pleased to know that the rich, white, one percenters who have contributed to her husband’s campaign, were thrilled at the opportunity to see Lady M in person:

“She was walking through the lobby and everyone stood up and started clapping,’ explained Edgerton. “She looked right at me and said, ‘Hi, everybody, I hope you’re having fun,’ and I raised my arms in the air and said with a big smile ‘I am!’” Edgerton admitted, perhaps unnecessarily, to being a big fan of the first lady, who wasn’t spotted again until Sunday when a tipster saw her having lunch on a private terrace with a group of around 20.

“I think it’s really nice she came to town and was so under the radar,” said Punkin Lee, president of the Middleburg Business Association. Lee said she hadn’t heard about Obama’s weekend visit until it was over. “But that’s why people come here,” she added

“Punkin Lee” – is that not a rich white girl name!?!

That reminds me, the Kennedy’s were also quite taken with the area, eventually buying a place of their own in Middleburg to keep their horses.


Remind me again – why is it we demonize rich, white one percenters who own horses?

jackie kennedy horse

Oh, right: they’re greedy, heartless Republicans.

ann romney

And that’s a horse of different color.

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Cross-Posted on Patriot Action Network