It’s Time For A Roadtrip!!

Hi guys, Sophia here!  I’m super excited to show everyone some pictures from a recent trip I went on with Flo and Mr. Flo.  Partially because it’s always nice to get away, but also because where we were going to related to something I’ve been studying in school.

We left on Thursday morning and drove most of the day to get where we were going.  It was cold in the morning when we left though, so I had to bundle up a bit!

After being on the road for about 6 hours, we finally arrived at our hotel. It was really nice to finally get out of the car and stretch our legs!

We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant nearby (yum!) and then settled in to get rested up for what we were doing the next day.

Flo and I split this candy bar for our dessert!

I was all ready to sleep…

But Mr. Flo was flipping through the channels and discovered this:
 

Willy Wonka!  This is one of Flo’s favorite movies, so of course we had to watch it.  It really is a fun movie.  I tease Rebecca that she looks a bit like Veruca Salt, but Rebecca isn’t a spoiled brat, thank heavens!

The next morning we got up early, ate breakfast, and we were off for our destination.  Any ideas of where we were going to???

Sorry Flo, but I love to do photo bombs!!

If you guessed we were going to the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, you got it right!  But we weren’t there for a spa treatment, or a fancy dinner.  We were there for a very interesting tour.  In case you didn’t know about it, back in the 1960’s, an addition was built on to the Greenbrier that was top secret!!  It was built to be a bunker to house and protect the members of Congress and Senate in the event that Washington DC was to be hit by a nuclear attack.

The building project was named “Project Greek Island” by the US government and was a well kept secret until 1992, when a journalist named Ted Gup wrote a piece about it for The Washington Post.  He had interviewed a lot of people who lived in the area as well as some whose companies worked on the project and deduced (quite accurately) what the project was intended for.  Immediately following the publishing of the article, the bunker was decommissioned by the government and the space was then rented out.  We were unable to take any photos while in the bunker because it’s current tenant uses it to store confidential files.  Here is one of what it would have looked like while it was still set up (Photo courtesy of NPR and The Greenbrier)

It was a very interesting tour and I learned a lot about the project and how it related to United States history and the Cold War.  We are studying that in my school history class, so it was really fun to see how this all tied in to what we are learning.

After we were done with the tour, we checked out the grounds around the Greenbrier.  It’s a very nice resort with a 5 star hotel, several golf courses and tons of different activities.  The hotel has a very interesting history behind it even without the bunker.  Originally built because of the supposed healing properties of the spring water on the grounds, it has been used for various things, including a military hospital during World War II.

Here I am checking out the gardens at the back of the hotel.  Workers were busy trimming the bushes and cleaning out flower beds when we were there.  It all looks very well maintained and manicured.

The chapel on the grounds.

A view of one of the golf courses.

One of many cottages found on the grounds.  Some of these date way back to the early days of the resort.

Perhaps the most important building on the grounds.  Under this dome is the original spring that brought people from near and far to experience the healing properties of the water!

I think it would be really fun to stay at the Greenbrier, but it is very expensive!  They have a big golf tournament here every year in the summer, Flo said she would like to go see it someday.  Last year they had to cancel it because the area was flooded after heavy rains and it was impossible for everything to be repaired in time.

In case you would like to read more about the Cold War bunker at the Greenbrier, I’ve added some links!

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/26/134379296/the-secret-bunker-congress-never-used

http://www.civildefensemuseum.com/greenbriar/index.html

http://www.travelchannel.com/videos/a-secret-under-the-greenbrier-0186110

http://vandaleer.com/the-bunker-at-the-greenbrier/

http://blog.cleveland.com/pdextra/2009/03/ted_gups_disclosure_of_the_gre.html

And this is a link to the article written by Ted Gup that revealed the big secret, hidden for years in the West Virginia mountains!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/local/daily/july/25/brier1.htm

I hope you’ve enjoyed my post!  I had a great time putting it all together!

–Sophia

_______________________________________________

Just a sidenote–as much as we enjoyed our tour, I have to admit that we were all a bit disappointed at all the more we got to see.  The problem is that the government removed everything that wasn’t bolted down and sold it off after the bunker was decommissioned, so you basically get a tour of a lot of empty space!  There were two small rooms with some former furnishings, but that was about it.   Our tour guide was excellent at explaining what the areas we could access were used for, but a lot of the former bunker has been rented out and is inaccessible to the tours.  That said, I think it was still interesting, but the $36 per person price seemed a bit steep! –Flo

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14 thoughts on “It’s Time For A Roadtrip!!

  1. That’s interesting. The Greenbrier looks like a beautiful place!! Maybe the $36 price tag helps defray the costs of helping to build a new secret bunker, after the reporter let the cat out of the bag 😉

    • LOL! Actually, the government never owned any of the space, they only leased it from The Greenbrier, all part of the way to keep it secret. I think it’s more a case of the Greenbrier trying to recoup all the lost lease money!

  2. Nothing like a road trip! I never knew about the bunker there. If there is a new building going up a Mar a Lago we’ll know what that is all about.
    I agree that Sam looks a bit like Veruca!

  3. Wow that’s very interesting, secret cold war bunker, who knew? I love stuff like this, and the resort looks lovely. Thanks for sharing.

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