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Enjoying the View

Kelly A. Shue

Created date

February 23rd, 2015
resident making a cocktail
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“There’s nothing in the world like being with the person you love in a community where you are valued by everyone,” says Sally Bailey. “And that’s exactly what we found at Ashby Ponds.”

Sally and her husband Henry were among the first to move to Willow Crossing, Ponds’ newest residence building, this past August. In the few short months since their move, the couple has met numerous new friends and joined a variety of clubs and activities.

Sally even made a name for herself by naming Ashby Ponds’ new bar and lounge and creating its first signature cocktail. 

“That’s just me,” says Sally. “I jump in with both feet. I am having a wonderful time just being myself.”

On the move

Prior to moving to Ashby Ponds, Sally and Henry lived at the Regency at Dominion Valley, a 55-plus community in Haymarket, Va. 

“On our first visit to Ashby Ponds, we met with Bragetta Femal, our sales associate, who treated us like family,” says Sally. “Each time we visited, we felt valued. The numerous pre-move get-togethers and seminars provided us with important information and gave us the opportunity to meet new friends. Now that we are moved in, the staff continues to make us feel valued, and we meet new friends every day.”

Moving to Ashby Ponds also means that the Baileys are closer to their three grandsons, who live in nearby Reston and Lowes Island, Va. 

“It is so wonderful having them close by,” says Sally. “All of the boys enjoy coming over for sleepovers. And Willow Crossing is so bright, airy, and beautiful that one of my grandsons said that coming here was like walking into a fancy hotel.”

It’s all in the name

The natural inclination to jump in with both feet, coupled with a strong appreciation for her new surroundings, led Sally to take part in a community-wide contest to name Ashby Ponds’ new bar and lounge at Willow Crossing.

“I chose the name—the View,” she says. “It seemed like a logical choice as the bar is right outside the Windows Restaurant, and windows provide views,” says Sally. “And it doesn’t hurt that the lounge provides beautiful views of the Ashby Ponds campus.”

Yet even though her suggestion seemed logical, Sally was surprised to learn she won the naming contest. As her reward, she was given the honor of creating a specialty drink. She quickly discovered that coming up with a signature drink was trickier than she thought. 

“I first contemplated a drink with my name in it but quickly dismissed the idea as dorky,” she says. “I knew that I wanted the drink to be something people would enjoy, that was not labor-intensive nor expensive to make. As a former elementary school principal, I tend to be practical.”

After much thought, Sally decided on a champagne-based cocktail inspired by the Kir Royale. The popular French aperitif is named after Felix Kir, mayor of Dijon, who popularized the drink in the post-World War II era by offering it at receptions to visiting delegations.

“The original Kir Royale is made with French white wine and crème de cassis, a black currant liqueur,” says Sally. “For my cocktail, I decided on a combination of champagne and crème de cassis, topped with a raspberry. Once that was decided, I needed to come up with a name. I knew the drink needed a fancy name because it’s a fancy drink. I thought ‘Royal View’ was the perfect choice.”

Time to party

To celebrate both the opening and the naming of the View, Ashby Ponds held a party where Sally served as a guest bartender, introducing her neighbors to the “Royal View.”

“It was so much fun,” she says. “Getting behind the bar, making the cocktails, and mingling with people is so me. I really like to ham it up, and I did.”

More than 100 community members came together for the celebration where they enjoyed an arrangement of hors d’oeuvres and sampled the “Royal View.” 

Since the event, Sally admits she continues to enjoy her 15 minutes of fame. 

“Many times as I walk through the community, I’ve been recognized by people as the lady who named the View,” she says. “I’m enjoying the recognition, and it’s a great way to meet new people.”

Enjoying the perks

In addition to putting her stamp on Ashby Ponds’ new additions, Sally, along with Henry, continues to explore the many new opportunities that campus life allows. 

Henry takes full advantage of the fitness center by working out at least five times a week, and many times Sally joins him. 

In January, the couple began volunteering their time at Maple Grove, Ashby Ponds’ continuing care neighborhood.

“I’m also having a great time getting our new home all spiffy looking,” says Sally. “I love to organize, so we’ve added custom closets, window tinting, and other details to make our home special.

“Henry and I are truly lucky that we’ve made this move together,” she adds. “I feel strongly that your home is where you live with the person you love. Ashby Ponds and Willow Crossing is most definitely our home.”

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