Road Trip 2010 was a blast – we hit twenty-five states altogether! Paul woke me up at the crack of dawn for our journey back to the Cape (he knew it would take me a full day to say goodbye to everyone in Colorado, otherwise). ***HUGE thanks to our friends for putting us up (and putting up with us) … can’t wait to return the favor ’cause we miss you already!***
As I near the end of our Road Trip 2010 posts (only Missouri and Ohio to go) I realize how alive I feel while on the road and/or writing about the road. Some connections get me to thinking about stuff I don’t otherwise contemplate. Take fate, for instance. We were just passing through Abilene, Kansas and decided to grab a cuppa at Kirby House. What a beautiful place, by the way (I’m a sucker for old Victorians – this one was built in 1885).
I got to chatting with a woman named Bette seated next to us at the coffee bar (she had a lovely charm bracelet on), and come to find out she is fond of Evergreen, Colorado as well. In fact, she co-wrote Colorado Cravings, Recipes and Romance with Gail Riley, the owner of The Highland Haven Creekside Inn…which just happens to be one of the best places to stay in the universe, let alone Colorado. I bought Colorado Cravings from Evergreen Crafters when it first came out. It has already been sent to the site of our next sit – that is how much I love this book.
Later that same day Bette and I saw each other AGAIN at a Cracker Barrel down the road-a-ways. I couldn’t believe it at the time; looking back I do. We had another nice chat while Paul took a business call outside. Bette, it was a true pleasure to meet you. You said some things I needed to hear. Please, let’s keep in touch! By the way, everyone, Bette’s full name is Bette Milleson James. She is a writer of poetry and prose. And she highly recommends the Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe found in Colorado Cravings.
We stopped in Topeka for the night because “time was getting on” according to Paul. He randomly called up The Woodward and spoke to the proprietress, Elizabeth Taylor. I am thrilled to say she had a room for us – who would have thought that one of our favorite places to stay ever would be in Topeka, Kansas? Don’t you just love pleasant surprises?
This proprietress is amazing. Elizabeth doesn’t just run an Inn; she has basically bought all of the properties on the block and renovated them, slowly and surely transforming the area from ramshackle and crime infested to one of the prettiest neighborhoods in America. She sat and chatted with us over peach tea and chocolate cake that evening, telling us stories about her home and business for almost twenty years now. Oh. And she has Polish Pottery available for sale. I love Polish Pottery.
A wedding was to take place in the chapel that weekend. Yes, the Woodward Inn has a chapel. Actually, it is a library, but it felt like a chapel (with books) to me…it gave me goose bumps. In a good way.
“The open 2 1/2 story library in this home is designed after the King Henry VIII Library at Hampton Hall in London with imported timbers and stones from England” (see the website link above for more). If you are a bibliophile, you owe it to yourself to research the history of The Woodward. You may just find yourself on a pilgrimage.
It really bothers me when I am unable to capture the beauty of a place with my little camera. I will be upgrading soon – promise. I suppose a photography class wouldn’t hurt, either. Anyway. There is something magical to me about The Woodward. Love at first site. Do you know what I mean?
If so, please tell us about a place that has captivated you. My favorite part of blogging is hearing from you, my reader…I mean readers!