4th of July 2014 Dirty Dancing Getaway - Mountain Lake Lodge Pembroke,Va

Hey guys!  Hope you all had a great Independence Day celebration!  We actually went away for the weekend to a lodge located in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia.  The Mountain Lake Lodge is most famously known from the movie Dirty Dancing.  In the movie the hotel's name was Kellerman's, and it was supposedly located in the Catskills in New York.  This beautiful establishment in reality sits atop the Salt Pond Mountain in Pembroke, Va.

The Mountain Lake Lodge is an absolutely adorable resort that has so much to do.  There are 22 miles of biking and hiking trails and an aerial zip line/tree top adventure course.  There are volleyball and badminton nets, golf cart rentals, ping pong and pool tables, swimming pool, etc.  Definitely a kid friendly, family oriented, nature-loving type of resort, the Mountain Lake Lodge is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  I love to visit places that have so much to offer, where you can stay right there at the hotel and never have to leave for entertainment.  For the 4th of July the hotel had a campfire with s'mores and live music in the gazebo, followed by a firework show over the lake.  It was everything I was looking for to celebrate the holiday!

I was 6 or 7 when Dirty Dancing was released, and I was absolutely OBSESSED with that movie.  I would watch it numerous times a day and would even pause the movie in the dance scenes so I could learn all the dance moves, lol.  I never knew where it was filmed, but I knew I always wanted to go.  It was only recently that I actually started researching everything to see where filming locations were and so forth.  The movie was actually filmed in two separate locations - here in Pembroke, Va and also in Lake Lure, NC.  I read everything I could online about which scenes were filmed where, and thought it would be so fun to kind of recreate some of it on my trip to the hotel.  Nothing is exact or perfect, but I had an absolute blast kind of playing the part of Baby (Frances Houseman) in the exact location that the movie was filmed.  The movie is very near and dear to my heart, and being able to go there and see everything meant so much to me.  So anyways, below you will see my kind of  'Then and Now' pics.  For each scene I attempted to put a picture from the movie and then a picture I took present day.  I actually watched the movie on Netflix a couple of weeks before we went, and would pause the movie and take screen shots of it with my phone.  So, sorry for the low quality, but hopefully you will get a good idea of how things have both changed and stayed remarkably the same.  Hope you enjoy!

That was the summer of 1963 - when everybody called me Baby, and it didn't occur to me to mind. That was before President Kennedy was shot, before the Beatles came, when I couldn't wait to join the Peace Corps, and I thought I'd never find a guy as great as my dad. That was the summer we went to Kellerman's. 

Then:  Kellerman's resort
Now:  Since the movie's filming the front lawn of the hotel has changed quite a bit.  There are now a swimming pool, hot tub, a couple of different cabins, etc.

Then:  Opening credits in the first scene of the Houseman family arriving at the hotel.
Now:  Me arriving at the hotel!  The large trees and bushes change the looks somewhat now, but everything looks remarkably the same. 

Then:  As they pull up to the hotel in the beginning of the movie, there is an aerial shot of the front lawn of the hotel with guests doing the bunny hop and playing volleyball.  The cabin in the main back with the white lattice underneath is the Virginia Cabin.  This is where the Houseman family stayed in the movie.
Now:  Volleyball net is still in the front lawn, just positioned a little differently.  Virginia Cabin is still there, although it has been slightly remodeled since filming (you will see more of that later).  New cabin in lawn with swimming pool, hot tub, etc.  Also, you will notice that the lake is almost completely dry now.  This is due to weather/environmental issues, and depending on the season and weather it varies on how full it gets now.  I think that is terribly sad, as it would be breathtaking if it were still full.  But, there is really nothing they can do about it.

Then:  Dining room that is seen all throughout the movie.
Now:  Dining room present day.  Very little has changed, all I could really notice was the doors no longer have curtains.

Then:  Baby coming out of the Virginia Cabin on the first night of their stay in the movie.  This was the night she peeps in the dining room and sees Johnny for the first time, and when she famously 'carries a watermelon.'
Now:  Virginia Cabin present day.  The front steps have been removed and there is now a wheelchair accessible ramp on the left side of the cabin.  Other than that everything looks pretty much the same.

Then:  Baby walking across the front lawn in her striped dress and blue cardigan.
Now:  Me walking across the front lawn in my striped dress and blue cardigan.  You will notice a new cabin, new steps, slight changes in lawn.

Then:  Baby peeping in the dining room to see Max lecturing the waitstaff, this is when Baby sees Johnny for the first time as well.
Now:  Me peeping in the dining room.  The doors behind me are closed whereas they are open behind Baby.

Then:  Gazebo on the lake.  This is where Baby and her family take dancing lessons in the beginning of the movie, and where Baby and her father have the emotional talk towards the end of the movie.
Now:  Gazebo on what used to be the lake and is now grass, lol.  Still beautiful and still scenic, but I would have loved to have seen it when it was surrounded by water.  There was actually a wedding taking place here in the gazebo when we arrived at the hotel.

Oh, come on, ladies. God wouldn't have given you maracas if He didn't want you to shaaaaaake 'em!

Then:  Baby and her family taking dance lessons in the beginning of the movie.
Now:  Me playing the lovely Penny!

Then:  Baby (in her red and white striped shirt and denim shorts) pouring water on Robbie.  "Stay away from me, stay away from my sister, or I'll have you fired."
Now:  Me (in my red and white striped shirt and denim shorts) pretending to throw water on this very helpful and accommodating staff member, Bradlee!  I have to say, one of the BEST things about the Mountain Lake Lodge is the people who work there.  All I had to do was let the hostess, Amy, know that I wanted to take a picture for my blog, and she totally took care of everything for me.  They are excellent there and such good sports.  Thank you so much, Amy and Bradlee!

Then:  Scene where Johnny and Baby had been rehearsing and started to argue, they leave in the rain and Johnny notices he locked his keys up in the car.  He takes the pole from the yard and breaks the window and then you see the car speeding out of the hotel under the stone archway.
Now:  The archway is actually right outside of where you check-in for your stay at the hotel.  Johnny and Baby actually drove through it backwards.

Then:  Baby standing on the porch of the Virginia Cabin after Johnny left town.
Now:  Me standing in the same exact spot on the porch of the Virginia Cabin.  Slight changes in the lawn, but the cabin and porch are just about the same.

I put together some Frances Houseman inspired outfits to enjoy during my stay, and I think they resembled hers really well!  Very simple and feminine, Baby's outfits are really easy and girly with kind of classic lines and silhouettes.  The first outfit of Baby's that I have always loved is her white peasant top with blue flower detailing, and her signature white ankle pants with white canvas sneakers.  

Although not exact, I found this white and blue peasant top from Macy's and I thought it looked really similar.  My white ankle pants are from Old Navy, and my white canvas sneakers are from Wal-Mart.

I carried a watermelon. I carried a watermelon?

The next outfit is the one Baby is seen wearing in several scenes in the beginning of the movie.  Her dress is a simple A-line with pastel horizontal stripes up top and vertical stripes on the bottom.  Over it she wears a bulky baby blue cardigan.  I found this striped dress from Modcloth, and though it is not exact, it was the closest thing I could find to Baby's.  It is more neutral hued - light khaki with blue striping.  The stripes up top are also horizontal and the stripes on the bottom are also vertical.  My chunky baby blue cardigan is from Forever 21, and I just paired mine with the white canvas sneakers.

And the 3rd and final look I recreated was Baby's red and white striped shirt with rolled denim shorts and white canvas seneakers.  Baby's top had 3/4 sleeves and a boatneck collar, mine was this simple, short sleeve, V-neck top from Wal-Mart.  My shorts are from American Eagle and my canvas sneakers are, again, from Wal-Mart.

As far as makeup goes, I aimed for a more updated version of the 60's inspired blue-eyeshadow look that you see Baby rocking when they dance at the Sheldrake Hotel.  Yes, I am wearing blue eyeshadow, lol.  As long as you do it lightly and smoke it out a little, blue can be a very easy eyeshadow to wear.  You can't even really tell this is blue.  I also paired the blue eyeshadow with a really sweet pink blush and lipstick.  
Complete list of products I used to achieve this look include:  Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, MAC Prep+Prime in Radiant Rose, MAC Emphasize, Anastasia Brow Wiz, Nars Eyeshadows in Heart of Glass and Brumes,  Physician's Formula Eyeliner, Rimmel Mascara, Nars Laguna Bronzer, Nars Albatross Highlighter, MAC Angel Lipstick, MAC Ciao Manhattan Lipglass, Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.

As far as accessories go, Baby didn't really wear jewelry other than her watch. Myself, I rarely ever change my earrings.  Like, ever. I wear 2 pairs of diamond studs that screw on, and it's on rare occasion I change them for anything else.   Other than those I wore my watch and a delicate necklace. I'm not much in to big costumey jewelry, all you ever see me in are small, delicate pieces. For Baby's look I chose my vintage Tiffany & Co ribbon necklace.  It's simple and understated, but girly and feminine. A perfect touch to compliment my Frances Houseman inspired looks. 

I thought I would include a picture where you could get a good view of how the necklace looks. Upon closer inspection I seen the bow is actually flipped over and is backwards in this photo. Oh well, you get the idea, lol. 

And, lastly, I thought I would include some random shots of some of the stuff at the lodge, as well as some of the fun stuff we did!

On the property there is this small cabin dedicated to the Dirty Dancing movie.  Lots of photos of the cast, as well as a poster noting all of the property locations that were used in filming.  A small tv plays the movie 24/7 as well.

The guest registry where the cast signed in.  You'll see Patrick Swayze's signature below Cynthia Rhodes (who played Penny).

Small, simple rooms and small dorm-like bathrooms.  I've stayed in 5 star hotels all over the world, but this simple space didn't bother me at all. It's clean and everything you need, and we didn't spend much time in the room anyways. 

The beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. 

Roasting marshmallows on the front lawn.


Room 232 in the main lodge was Patrick Swayze's room while filming.  We actually stayed in room 219, which was just down the hall.

I'm not much of a chess person, but David certainly loved it!  We made some great friends who were more than willing to test his playing abilities (thank God).

Me?  I'm scared of everything. I'm scared of what I saw, I'm scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I'm scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life, the way I feel when I'm with you...

4th of July celebration - a great band played some live music in the gazebo while the hotel hosted a large BBQ, followed by a beautiful firework show once it got dark.

Nobody puts Baby in the corner...

Enjoying his ribs!

Sorry for the interruption, folks, but I always do the last dance of the season. This year somebody told me not to. So I’m gonna do my kind of dancin’ with a great partner, who’s not only a terrific dancer, but somebody… who’s taught me… that there are people willing to stand up for other people no matter what it costs them. Somebody who’s taught me about the kind of person I wanna be. Miss Frances Houseman...

Such a great way to celebrate one of my favorite holidays!  (Scarf is a DIY I hand painted.)
Below are a couple of shots of some of the fireworks.  Note:  it is nearly impossible to capture a decent pic of fireworks with your iPhone.  Just sayin'.

This one lit up the whole sky like a billion stars when it burst.  So beautiful.

Star-shaped fireworks for the 4th.  (:

Alright guys, that just about does it!  I was so excited to share some of this great experience with you!  Mountain Lake Lodge is just lovely, and I highly recommend visiting there if you get the chance.  What can I say...now I've...had...the time of my life.  Ha!  Thanks again to the wonderful staff for being so accommodating and for helping us have such a great holiday weekend.  If you guys have any questions just let me know!

Johnny:  I'll never be sorry
Baby:  Neither will I
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