Friday, April 22, 2011

Not Just Gray Concrete Anymore

Koi fish pond & fountain
Not your typical concrete: I was privileged to join a group of ladies to Hocking Hills, OH last weekend for a Weekend Retweat. No, I didn't stutter...we "tweet" about our retreat through various social media outlets.  Our stay was at The Glass House, one of the 4 Seasons Hideways in the beautiful Hocking Hills. This house was built in 2010 and was a 2010 award winner for Best of the Best Green Home Design by the Builders Industry Association. It is beautiful and energy efficient, but of course what caught my eye was their use of concrete countertops throughout the house. In the photo above, you'll see concrete seating around a Koi fish pond and fountain right in the middle of the house. This same concrete countertop was used throughout the house in the kitchen, bathrooms and in the laundry room.  I loved the polished finish that exposed the aggregate in the concrete. The concrete vessel sinks were great to see as well. 

While we were there, we visited many of God's wonders including Old Man's Cave, Cedar Falls and Ash Cave. Due to all of the rain we have had this spring, the falls were amazing. I heard people exclaim that they had never seen so much water coming over the falls! Again, the use of concrete caught my eye (I am trained well!) I was expecting dirt or mulch trails at a state park, but at Old Man's Cave, the trails were very well made with both natural and man made elements that gave the look and feel of having been there for years. Beware of those who are not in shape because if you want to see Old Man's Cave, you will need to traverse many steps. But it is well worth the effort! 

Ash Cave is ADA accessible with their concrete walkways back to the cave and waterfall. When making the walkways, they used colored concrete to match the natural dirt color of the area, and they did not use typical straight forms to form up the sides of the sidewalk. The result was a more natural flow blending in to the beauty of the area. 

I would encourage anyone looking for a getaway to go to Hocking Hills in southern Ohio.  You can have the ultra modern conveniences offered by 4 Seasons Hideaways, stay in one of the many cabins, or camp at a local campground. You can walk through the parks or zip line from above with Hocking Hills Canopy Tours.  I can't wait to take my family back to Hocking Hills.