(For part one of this story click here.)
Valentine’s Day morning Jerry and I lingered in our beautiful vintage room at the Broadmoor. I couldn’t resist a long, hot bath in the large, tiled tub, complete with lavender mint bath salts from the Broadmoor’s spa collection. We chose a lazy morning over breakfast, so by the time we left our room we were starving.
We ate in the Tavern, next to La Jardin, which is a 1900s style garden room attached to the main serving area. (Since it was Valentine’s Day we needed reservations to actually sit in this beautiful room, so we settled for being close enough to gaze inside. Not that the expensive wooden decor of the Tavern left anything to be desired.) La Jardin, with its 16 ft long chandelier, reminded me of the garden room dining area on the RMS Titanic, which I researched carefully to include in one of my scenes in our book, Titanic, Legacy of Betrayal. Of course this gracious space is on solid ground, not on the ocean floor. And Jerry and I loved it. Oh the opulence of the early 1900s!
I chose a very wonderful french onion soup to start my lunch. It’s the best I’ve ever had.
And I savored every bite!
Afterwards we headed to the Espresso shop for that morning coffee I’d not yet enjoyed. It was now our after lunch treat, and we each ordered something sweet. Jerry opted for a chocolate filled croissant, but I chose entirely based on beauty. And the fact that you can NEVER go wrong with raspberries and chocolate. (Just another example of why the thoughts in my post last Thursday about maintenance and keeping weight in check after a time of feasting were necessary reminders for me!)
What we did next was not romantic at all. We set up office in the very elegant lobby and worked on FAFSA, due that day if we were to get our son on the list to be considered for college scholarships. Oh well, real life sometimes invades.
While we labored away we were given a wonderful surprise. I spotted my friend Brandy Cole-Vallance. She stood next to a gigantic fresh flower arrangement with a huge sign advertising her new book. Brandy’s gorgeous cover alone would have made me want to read the book, but when she shared her premise I was totally hooked! (Don’t miss the painted ceiling in the picture below. If I’m keeping facts straight, it was painted by the same artist who did the ceiling of Grand Central Station in New York City. When he was told his work was perfect, He purposely included an imperfection, telling on-lookers that the only perfect one was God.)
What’s especially spectacular about bumping into Brandy is she had only received her book contract the night before, in front of a ton of people at the Writing for the Soul Conference. Everything was still new and like a dream for this debut author, and I loved the somewhat glazed sheen of joy in her eyes. Authors often spend years honing their craft and networking before breaking into the business. Many never actually experience this moment; few get their contract in front of an audience. I had a taste of this in 2011 when my first fiction contract for Postmark: Christmas was given to me in front of 500 people at an ACFW conference. It’s truly a stunning experience.
Getting to hug Brandy and cheer her on was a divine appointment–a sheer gift. As state coordinator for ACFW, I feel invested in every one of our wonderful authors. Their victories bring me great joy. Plus Brandy and I share an amazing agent, Rachelle Gardner of Books and Such Literary, so we connect in two different, but precious, communities. Congratulations, Brandy!
All too soon Jerry and my lovely dream-of-a-stay came to an end. I waited inside the double doors as Jerry retrieved our car, standing just away from the blustery gusts of a very cold late afternoon. Two porters stood opening and closing the doors as each traveler came and went. Each was greeted with a genuine smile, and I found myself wondering if doing a job which required such consistent, cheerful kindness actually made a person feel happier. I finally got up the nerve to ask the smiling man during a break in the action. He said the Broadmoor was careful in its hires, getting good people who represented it well, but that being cheerful did help a person feel cheerful.
As I did the night before when I visited with our valet, I wondered at the stories this man could tell, at the people he’d met.
I think a novel series set at the Broadmoor is brewing. What do you think? Would you read it? I know I wouldn’t mind going back for more research! ;o)
I was a bit wistful as Jerry pulled into the circular drive and our dreamy experience ended. Thankfully the Creator topped it off with a gorgeous white moon to see us home.
The next morning Jerry made the boys and me our traditional Saturday morning whole wheat pancakes. Maybe the Broadmoor ambiance continued to flow through my veins because I decided my breakfast needed to be pretty. Which goes to show it doesn’t take a fancy resort to embrace moments of celebration. Like the smiling doorman, I want to find and spread joy in my ordinary days. It seems a worthy goal.
Share it: Sometimes dreams do come true
Tagged: beauty, books and such literary agency, Brandy Cole Vallance, celebrating, celebration, Christian Writers Guild, connecting with God, embracing abundance, food, friendship, God's faithfulness, joy, Paula Moldenhauer, Postmark Christmas, rachelle gardner, simple pleasures, weight loss
Sounds like it was a wonderful experience in many different ways! The idea of the stories that the valet could tell made me wonder. Think of all of the service employees in places of such grande elegance and the tales that they could tell. Would be wonderful to be a fly on the wall of that hotel.
I think it would make a fantastic book series . . .
Oh, it seems like you had a wonderful Valentine’s celebration! You pancakes at home looked lovely, too. (I think it’s important to make things pretty everyday! :)) I tend to experience the contagion of cheerfulness on a daily basis, so I’m sure that the valet’s job not only makes him more cheerful, but aids in the overall spreading of cheer at the Broadmoor. I’m certain that the valet could have some wonderful stories to tell and a book set at the Broadmoor would be quite interesting. 🙂 Have a lovely day!
I agree. The contagion of cheerfulness makes the cheerful person more cheerful and sets the tone throughout the whole environment. My daughter worked at Chik-Fil-A as a teen. She and I were talking about this, and she said that after really bad days at school she would pour herself into smiling, serving, being cheerful at work and that most days it changed her mood as well as making others happy.
I just love the cheerfulness and good customer service at Chik-Fil-A; almost as much as I love their #5 12 piece nugget meal with waffle fries and a lemonade–with a small vat of Polynesian sauce on the side! Your daughter is very correct. I’m sure she made the day of many a customer! 🙂 !
:O) She worked there several years, and she was very happy serving others. She loved the high standards of customer service.
And I know. Their food is yummy!
Sounds like you made the most of your stay
It was a gift! The only disappointment is it was really, really cold, and they were doing some construction around the little “lake” in the back. I wanted to walk around it with Jerry, but it just wasn’t the time. May he’ll go back with me when they are done with the loud, nasty machines and the flowers are blooming. ;o) Sometimes people go down and hang out just for the day–a meal or two, etc.