Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Piece of History...

The other day, I happened to be in Manitou Springs for a playdate with a great group of ladies that I met at the park recently. It was a very fine day, a great time was had by all, and as I was leaving with the girls I spied my water bottle sitting on the seat, empty, and thought "I need me some spring water."

If you haven't been to Manitou, get your butt up there and try the spring water. Seriously, not just one spring either. Start at the far end (Memorial Park) and work your way all the way up to Soda Springs and out onto Ruxton Ave, trying each spring you come across. There's a bunch of them and each tastes just a bit different, due to their different mineral contents. It's a fun time, and you may find a favorite. Mine is "Twin Spring" on Ruxton Ave. It's basically the furthest one west, and it's got a great taste to it. I love it solo, but it makes a killer Manitou Lemonade, too. (Manitou Lemonade = Country Time made with spring water)

Twin Spring also has the added benefit of being a stones throw from my favorite B&B, the 1892 Victoria's Keep. When I was heading out to my favorite spring, I decided to swing by my favorite B&B and drive by it nostalgically. When I was driving by I was surprised to see a yard sale in the front yard. Immediately, I knew I had to stop by and get something.

Sure, it's pretty, but the breakfast is even better...
This B&B is not only an amazing place in a fabulous location with the best breakfast ever, but it happens to be something of a cornerstone to the Lauren and Nick love story. After we had been dating a couple of months, we had a spontaneous overnight there in the Royal Chambers. Talking rapturously about old Victorian houses, we discovered a mutual desire to buy and fix up an old house. I vividly remember talking about how great it would be to fix up an old Victorian and thinking "Could I do that with him?" It was the first time I thought of Nick as maybe being someone I would have around for a long time.

We came back to the same B&B, the exact same room, Valentine's weekend of the next year and it was there, sitting on a trunk at the end of the four-poster bed, that he proposed. He arranged for a beautiful bouquet of lilies waiting in the room when we arrived. When we were married in June, we returned for our honeymoon. We left the wedding and went straight to the B&B without changing because, by this time, the manager, Sheena, knew us and we thought she'd want to see the fancy duds. We were right. Before Mera was born we came back again, and Sheena was thrilled to see my growing belly. At breakfast she would bring us into the kitchen and joke that we were around so much that we weren't guests anymore.

Unfortunately, we haven't been able to go back since Mera was born... just too busy with the kids. Even more unfortunately, that yard sale was being held because the Victoria's Keep is closing it's doors.

After picking TJ up from school, we made a run by the yard sale to see if I could snag something for Nick as a surprise memento. I didn't realize they were shutting down, I just thought a bit of memorabilia might be a fun gift. But when we walked inside and almost all the furniture was on sale the realization hit me and I am not ashamed to say I very nearly cried.

Still, there's a bright lining on this yucky cloud. First, there's the fact that this business was not taken out by crummy economic conditions. The owners are moving into the summer rental business and converting the main house back into a single family home because they want to be able to travel and not have the responsibility of a B&B. But the real cool thing about it is that we were able to score a beautiful four-poster bed, the identical twin of the one that was in the Royal Chambers, for just $75. We set it up today and, for a sentimental sap like me, there's something truly magical about sleeping every night in a bed from the place that we fell in love, got engaged, and celebrated our marital vows.
Our new bed... minus all the romantic frillies and the nice bedding...

Today we brought home a piece of our own history, and I'm so glad we got that chance. I would have been very sad if I had simply found out months later that the B&B was shut down. This way, we get a piece of that magic for our whole lives. Plus it's a gorgeous bed for a stupid cheap price.

1 comment:

  1. That is a wonderful way to keep the magic and memories alive. Not a coincidence at all that you were led by the place this week.

    I'd like to try some of that Manitou Lemonade, too.