Kelly’s perspective ~
So, there we were, see…extremely full from dinner, exhausted from driving all over the state and still had one little eleven mile trip to go. Julie’s friends were so incredibly nice to us; they really were like ambassadors to the Alva area. They actually let us follow them down the road from Bulington to Alva and on to the Vintage Inn Bed & Breakfast. They then showed us where to park, helped us find our way inside, and then gave us a personal tour! Brenda was evidently a Realtor and had shown the house several times in the past. She and Mike led us through the grand entry, showed us the dining room and kitchen, and then up the beautiful staircase we went to the second floor level of rooms…and then on up to the third floor level! I’ve included two photos from their link above, but there are more if you’d like to check out their site; their bedrooms are each unique, cozy and now are furnished with large flat-screen television sets. They also have wireless internet access, which helped us that evening because I had a post to edit!
What I appreciated about our personal tour provided by Brenda and Mike was the chance to hear voices of the community speak with pride about the Inn. Every time we turned a corner, another story emerged. Thank you, Brenda, for setting such a lovely context within which Julie and I could venture forth!
We stayed in the Cappuccino room and I think if it hadn’t been for the need to edit a post, I would have fallen asleep before I could even change into my PJs! We said “hello” to a mother and daughter from Kansas City who were staying next door to us, and then hit the sack.
Before we knew it, Julie’s internal alarm clock went off and she was up; I followed shortly. As I came downstairs, I heard Julie talking to both Lori and Sherri and was glad because I would have a bit more time to ask a few questions that had come to mind during our evening tour of the place.
I mentioned in my notes about the restaurant a keen sense of hospitality and connectedness with the customer base. The Inn is no different – and, in some ways, I would say stronger because a bit more time is spent with those who spend the night. We sat at the beautiful dining table, eating our french toast and bacon from the Christmas colored plates sitting on complementary tinged chargers with candle light to accent the quiet morning conversation. Lori prayed for us and for the meal before we began, and then they both spent some time talking about the various visitors that had stayed there.
There had been wedding parties, families there for funerals, one family who had spent a great many trips to stay there who had a son in an area prison. They shared that they felt honored to be able to provide a rich and relaxing setting for someone with a great deal of wealth, or something with hardly any resources at all. They were especially touched at how gracious the young former prisoner was who got to spend his first night as a free man in the Inn with his family. They said he was humble, overwhelmed, and continued to thank them for the experience.
I got the sense, perhaps because my head was more clear that morning, that both the restaurant and the Vintage Inn are the realizations of personal “mission-work.” I also got the sense that their hospitality magic was working on Julie because she spent a few minutes with her laptop showing them HER home SHE had built, and the land around the place. Sherri and Lori had another friend to add to their fold, I thought, as I watched Julie go through her internet home tour. But then, when all was said and done, I thought, “Nope – they have two more friends.”
Through some sort of conversation between Julie and either Lori or Sherri, we were now preparing to head south and east down the road to see Wagon Creek Creamery. We would have just enough time to stop in, try to understand the place a bit and get to downtown Oklahoma City by 11:30 for a luncheon at the Oklahoma Museum of Art. “Okay,” I thought in my head, “Let’s do this!” We hugged, thanked, thanked again, and set out on our way. Next stop? Helena, Oklahoma – population 443.
One more thing…I recommend this Bed & Breakfast with NO concerns whatsoever. I’ve stayed in B&Bs, I’ve stayed in good ones, and in some really, really NOT good ones…and this is by far in the top 5% of those I’ve enjoyed. Make your reservation early, I want you to be able to enjoy your stay and get the room you want.
By the end of our dinner, I was starting to realize it was WAY past my bedtime, but my mind was racing. I looked around at my surroundings and wondered how I got to this place on this day. My connection with Kelly in itself was a handful. We had had a great day. Celebrating the end of this day at the Vintage House just seemed the perfect end to the day, but then my friends Brenda and Mike made time to join us. Mike and I share a hometown history. We have known each other since he was five and I was six. Brenda and I know each other from college. We have so many separate histories together, but here we all sat as if no time had passed at all.
Mike told Kelly the last time he saw me was in 1992. That could be a lifetime ago, and yet we talked as easily as if I’d seen him every day for the last eighteen years. They offered to lead us to our next destination a few miles away and we accepted. I remember approaching the car and looking back at the restaurant as if to cement the memories we made there. I commented that I was getting a second wind. Trust me. That never happens.
We followed them to the Vintage Inn Bed and Breakfast. Mike, who I kept calling the Mayor of Alva, stopped at the car to help me carry my bag. With Brenda guiding us, we took a tour of the Inn. Brenda knew her way around the place and was telling us little bits and pieces about the rooms as we inspected each one. Before long they were both on their way home, and Kelly and I were settling in for the night. I dozed off almost immediately and woke up at my normal 4:00AM knowing that my bed at home was not this comfortable, and I made a note to do something about it.
It’s always so weird being the first one awake in a strange place, but it’s worth it to get to take a shower first! I was ready in a flash and ventured downstairs. Sherri emerged from the kitchen announcing coffee was ready so I joined her in the kitchen while she started breakfast. We talked about so many things that led to so many other things. Eventually, she asked about my log cabin and I remembered I’d made a funny video tour of my house when a friend came to visit, so we watched that together. By this time Lori had brought a loaf of fresh bread from the restaurant that I then realized was going to be turned into French toast. Yum! Kelly came down ready for the day and before you knew it the four of us were sitting around a beautiful dining room table; we had created a kind of sisterhood.
We were sitting there. Kelly was asking questions. I was taking pictures. There was early morning darkness and candlelight. I was thinking about Mike and Brenda and their life in this small town. I was watching Kelly, Sherri, and Lori sitting here in this golden moment, and I couldn’t help but think of an old Girl Scout song that I’ve never forgotten:
Make new friends but keep the old,
One is silver and the other gold.
A circle’s round, it has no end,
That’s how long I want to be your friend.
And we were off to our next destination…
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