I’m so excited to be joining my best travel friends (and one of my best friends since elementary school, Tiffany!) for a few days on the lake at the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation!
As much as I’ve loved jetting across the world lately, it’s nice to go on a driving-distance adventure. The property is extremely convenient – 45 minutes from Athens, an hour and a half from Atlanta, and 3 hours from Columbus – and perfect during any time of year. I visited last year right around Thanksgiving (where they host an Iron Chef Brunch Challenge) and the Lodge is ideal for a cozy winter getaway (think lights everywhere, a giant Christmas tree, ice skating rink, and their famous s’mores!). I’m so excited to see it during the summer since it’s situated directly on Lake Oconee – perfect for the lake-lovers. It’s like a grown up summer camp. With that being said, it’s ideal even for families, couples getaways, babymoons, and group travel. I wrote a good bit about the ideal Reynolds client (anyone!) in my blog post from last year, so be sure to check that out, too.
This particular getaway is a Lake “Retweet” – social-media savvy travel agents and their guests have been invited to Tweet, Blog, Facebook and Instagram the weekend’s events. With that being said, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@lindsey_epperly) and Instagram (@lindseyepperly) because I’ve been posting up a storm, along with my Twitter-loving companions, Laura Allen (@lauraallentvl), Jonathan Epstein (@EpsteinTravels), Cassie McMillion (@theartofthegetaway), Jamo Ladd (@Jamoladd), and, of course, the Ritz Carlton Reynolds (@RC_Reynolds) .
I’m so thankful for our gracious hosts at the Ritz, I don’t think the property could have picked better reps than Valerie, who as Southern and charming as a tall glass of sweet tea, and Hannah, who is just the sweetest and I’m so excited for her little bundle of joy on the way.
As far as the activities I’ve seen so far: I arrived around 3 yesterday and wasn’t feeling super well, so I immediately took a nap (this is a great pastime here since the beds are so comfy). When I woke up, it was time for the Presidential House to open – this is the largest of the amazing cottages that guests can rent and we are very fortunate to have it as a lounge for the Retweeters this weekend. Jamo and I were the first ones to tear into the spread of homemade potato chips, peanut brittle, and amazing chocolate that our hosts had arranged for us. Jamo was also the first to enjoy the open bar.
After reuniting with some of my favorite travel agent friends (most of which I’ve already traveled with this year – either to Africa or Anguilla), we took a quick ride on the Spirit of Oconee, the property’s two-story pontoon boat. Tiffany and I shopped for our future lakefront summer homes amongst the immaculate mansions.
As if we hadn’t already eaten enough (this has been a theme of the trip – AMAZING food), it was time for our dinner in the forest, yet another spread of incredible Southern cooking, complete with some of the best mac-n-cheese I’ve ever had. For dessert, the chefs roasted marshmallows and prepared every kind of s’mores imaginable – Reeses s’mores, s’mores in between chocolate chip cookies and brownies, strawberry s’mores – it was absolutely incredible for a chocolate lover like myself. The Lodge is known for its s’mores experience – it’s one of the things that returning guests look forward to the most. I’m already looking forward to it again for tonight…
Fat and happy from the delicious meal, we set up lawn chairs around the live music and ended the night with an incredible fireworks display. The Lodge does this every weekend, but it was such a treat for all of us to experience – the same can be said of this entire trip, and it’s only just begun.