Vacation, American Style

One of the most memorable slogans from early 20th century advertising was the “See America First” campaign. It was an effort by the Great Northern Railway to cajole the well-healed into forgoing the Grand Tour of Europe for the discrete charms of America’s National Parks.


With two kids in school, my vacation plans are more the See-America-Only variety. Slender means translate into more local travel plans.

So, after dropping Frannie off at school, I made a delightful detour to Virginia’s Mountain Lake Lodge. The more astute, female and middle aged among our readership will recognize the lodge as the shooting location for the execrable 1987 film Dirty Dancing.

Located about 30 minutes away from Blacksburg, Mountain Lake Lodge is nestled high in the Virginia Appalachians, at an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet above sea level.


I stayed in one of the cabins a brief stroll from the main lodge, which dates to 1937, constructed by Galveston’s Moody family. The lodge had hiking in abundance (being only five miles from the venerable Appalachian Trail), tasty meals and enticing microbrews. Given the high elevation and a reinforcing cool front, the nights were cool and the days were mild–at the end of August no less!

Of course, an American vacation calls for American made vestments:

Enjoying a post-dinner beer in the lodge. Wearing a custom shirt from Hamilton Shirts, a pocket square from Kent Wang and a pair of socks from Dapper Classics–all American made.
A morning hike in a made in Maine wool shirt from Ramblers Way Farm.
Reclining in the afternoon sun, wearing outstanding made in America clothes from ColumbiaKnit (Breton shirt), Leather Man Ltd. (belt), Jack Donnelly (khakis) and Wassookeag Moccasins.

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