The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity for the entire family... appointments and activities with the kids, tons of extra work for Paul and many trips for him to and from the Rolex 3-Day Event, alpaca shows and an auction and shearing and breeding and crias and their subsequent challenges, a sick horse, knee-high grass, etc. So, when Paul told me on Friday that we were invited to a dinner party this weekend that would require getting really dressed up and stuff, I thought, "no way", and I knew he'd feel the same.
I could hear something mischievous in his voice, though, and he went on to explain that we had been personally invited by the owner, Tom Post, of THE CASTLE POST to a black-tie dinner party on Sunday evening. We laughed giddily as we considered the invitation and quickly realized that we had better seize this opportunity as we might not have the chance again!
Most anyone that's been to the Lexington area has seen the famous Castle on Versailles Rd. near Keeneland Racetrack. It sits back from the road, and nearly every time we drive by, there is someone pulled over photographing the place at the front gate. The story told on tours is that the original builder was constructing it for his wife in the late 60's after they travelled to Europe and she fell in love with the castles there... they divorced before construction was completed and the building sat half-finished and deteriorating for several decades. It sold in the 90's, and the rest of the story is told well here.Mirian was so cute in helping me get ready for our big evening- she helped me pick out a new little black dress and some sexy new glittery heals, painted my toenails, and helped me put on my makeup. Paul debated on whether to rent a tux, but ended up instead buying a new dark suit- after all, every guy should have a new suit at least every 20 years, right? Paul began to get really nervous yesterday that we may have had the night somehow confused. He had talked to a few people who went to a huge charity party at the Castle on Saturday night, and as we entered the walled area and went through the gates, it didn't look like much was happening and there were few cars. Gulp, were we all dressed up with nowhere to go?
We went together to the massive front door and were immediately greeted by name and invited back to the bar at the end of the long, elegant hall. The first person I was introduced to was the wife of our U.S. Senator! She was feeling uncomfortable because the dress code for the evening hadn't been communicated to her, and all I could think was that I'd have normally been the one to be under-dressed (though she looked just fine). Anyway, she AND the Senator were as nice and down-to-earth as could be, as were the other 12 guests whom we had the chance to chit-chat with as we toured the castle.
Tom Post himself, the owner, proudly showed us around, explaining his vision of creating a palace atmosphere and telling us the history of some of the stunning antiques that appointed the luxury suites. He explained that the facility's use is free for fundraising events, and that the previous night's Jr. League fundraiser had earned over $50,ooo for charity. Guests that stay in the 16 guest rooms have the use of the tennis and basketball courts and pool on the lovely grounds within the castle walls.
Mr. Post had a great vision for the unique property when he bought it and people would be astounded to see how gorgeous the interior looks (many views are portrayed on the web page). Lush and tasteful upholstery, stunning woodwork, crystal chandeliers at every turn, it was breathtaking.
We sat down for dinner with place cards at each seat, and it occurred to me that this was the occasion for which my parents tried to train me in good etiquette when I was younger! The wine and meal was superb, and included many varied courses starting with caviar and ending with creme brulee made with tapioca. Conversation was comfortable, and included getting to know the guests and hearing about their jobs and kids and dogs and all of the usual. Paul sat next to the Senator, and I did hear him make a tactful comment about his disagreement with the Senator's Cap and Trade vote! I got a little nervous that he might pursue their opposing politics further, but the conversation got back to raising teenagers and their obsession with texting, etc.
Afterwards, we all sat in the Music Room and then Mr. Post was anxious to take us to the roof via the elevator. It was raining, but we all walked around anyway, and somehow Paul and I and the Senator ended up standing around talking in one of the turrets for about 5 minutes and it felt like we were all old friends. The entire experience was so surreal and fun, a fairy tale evening that we will never forget.
When Paul first proposed to me, he told me he'd "take me places I'd never been before." I have remembered that many times as we have experienced life's highs and it's lows, as well as the daily routine. Starting our marriage in a ramshackle cabin for 3 years, building up our farm and family, growing in our love and faith, it's all been a great adventure... and last night my best friend, my husband, took me to The Castle for dinner.
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