Peaceful Hour

The Redwoodian Hotel has five main inspirations (it might be six).

It looks like itself in the book, with all of its interior trees, story-laden stained glass, grand terrace, and nine-sided fireplace, but I'd call it a fictional cousin to the famous lodges of the American west.

Here's the Ahwahnee in winter. I was thinking a lot about the follow-up book to "Wilfair" when I stayed here a couple of years ago. My daydreaming occurred specifically during the hour I idled in front of the fireplace. (It is not nine-sided but quite handsome.)

There was no fire in the fireplace when we first arrived, as it was early fall and still warm in Yosemite Valley. The friendly lobby porter walked by and saw me staring at the fireplace, wistfully. I asked if it would be okay to have a fire and he kindly obliged, much to the delight of other guests in the vicinity.

A fresh fire has a way of cheering up a lobby immensely, is my observation. It gathers people close.

Let me add, though, as a hotel girl by birth, I hesitate before making slightly frivolous requests to busy hotel staff. But I very much wanted to sit before the fire and engage in a deep round of story-think. It also eased my mind that my husband and I would not be the sole enjoyers of the fire. (I realize "enjoyers" isn't a real word but I rather like it.)

I sat there for a good hour watching the glow and taking in the details: hearth, bellows, embers, flames. Fluttery laughter from the dining room. The way a cushion wheezed when someone sat on the far end of the couch. The bright bing! sound of the elevator arriving and the wind skimming the building outside.

Brain folders opened, labelled, and filed.

Now I think I'll sit and look at this photo for another minute. It's a very peaceful image for me. I hope you think so, too.

cr: DNC Parks & Resorts


Erika said...

This sounds lovely. I'd love to sit in front of a fireplace and think... I'm gonna wrack my brain to find a fireplace.

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