No.1: Get into character at Wildwood Inn
The sky was dark and rainy and the earth was cold and wet.
We paid no attention.
We packed swim suits, champagne, and safari jackets and headed north. It was the last day of 2009 and we were going on an adventure. Our year dedicated to the seeking and finding of romance and adventure in the Bluegrass was about to begin and it was time to complete our first mini-mission.
There is a place in northern Kentucky not far from the border of Ohio, called the Wildwood Inn. The Wildwood Inn, first opened in 1932, is known for their family and romantic theme suites. Staying in a kitchy themed motel room with a hunk like my husband has always been a fantasy of mine. Heart-shaped beds, 2-story champagne bathtubs, leopard print decor- all married couples should experience this at some point, right? I still want to. While the Wildwood does offer these experiences and more, our three year old was part of our crew this trip, so we opted for a more family-friendly adventure instead… Less velvet, lace and candle light, more Cheese-Its and swimming in the Tropical Dome.
Shi-Awela is the name of Wildwood Inn’s twelve-hut Safari Village. I call it, “Little Africa in the Bluegrass”. And since our first mini-mission was titled Getting into Character at the Wildwood Inn, it meant dressing for the part of a family on Safari.
I packed all the Safari attire I could find. My intention was to dress Lucca like a lion cub, but he refused like he was sixteen. At least my husband and I would get into the spirit. My a well-stocked J Peterman wardrobe came in handy. Mr. Cecil’s collection of black-powder rifle’s would have been a nice touch for the photo-shoot, but not one the other residents would have appreciated. (No one likes to catch a glimpse of a Javier Bardem (a la No Country For Old Men) look-alike outside their hotel room with a rifle- it spoils an otherwise relaxing vacation).
It was 20 degrees with a bit of wind chill coming off the Lagoon. Despite our brilliant efforts at “getting into character” (see video below for proof) this was still January in Kentucky, not Kenya after all.
So, did we experience romance and/or adventure?
We had good intentions to party in our hut after our little one went to bed, but the two of us slept through the 11:30 pm alarm, and so we missed watching the ball drop in Times Square and all the other midnight fan-fare we planned on enjoying. Wild and passionate this weekend was not, but it was romantic in its own sweet way…
The three of us bonded, and being the new family that we are, this is precious to me. From these weekend memories we are building the foundation of our family history together.
And there is another thing: Seeing my husband swim in the crowded pool with my son in his arms, made me grateful for the Mr.Cecil in our lives. Two years ago when I was a single mom adventuring life and parenting without a partner, I always got in the pool when my son wanted to swim- even when I had no interest in wading in lukewarm water. This weekend it was nice to watch from the sidelines, sitting on a giant plastic seashell, dry and warm, while the daddy participated in the splashing action. I fell in love with my husband a little more watching him bond with Lucca in that pool.
But was the mission adventurous? Do you even have to ask? We slept in a thatch-roof hut with a flat-screen t.v and a bath-tub to fit a whole family. The answer is yes.
Here is what we learned from Bluegrass Romance Mini-Mission No.1:
All it takes is an hour drive outside of town and you can be transported to a different continent. But in order to have the most fun, you got to do more than just check-in at the front desk. You got to get into it. The ambience and decor of a theme motel suite, like the Safari Huts at the Wildwood Inn, is a great set-up to have a good time and make silly family portraits, but the level of the joy-o-meter depends on you.
No place, not even the most novel ones, can offer you a guarantee on your fun. If you are like us, you might experience a moment of doubt when the door to the motel room shuts behind you and you are left to wonder, “What do you do in a Safari hut with a three year old?”
Fun, like happiness and confidence, comes from a deep place inside you. It’s the place inside of you that welcomes a spirit of adventure versus a spirit of expectation. When the judgment turns off, the creativity can turn on.
Getting into character at the Wildwood Inn meant unleashing some good ole fashion goofiness and trying on the excitement of a real life Safari. Adventure was in the dressing up and goofying around; romance was in a mother’s moments watching a father and son bond.
Travel Information for Wildwood Inn
Visit the Wildwood Inn page on Bluegrass Romance.
DISCOUNT CODE for WILDWOOD INN: Use the promo code BGR1 to get 10% off your stay.
See Flickr photos from our Wildwood Inn Mini-Mission.
Bluegrass Romance tip of the week: The next time you head out of town or plan a family get-away, why not pick a theme and get dressed up for it? Become wholehearted characters of your own family adventure.
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