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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

35th Wedding Anniversay Part 1 - Inn at Pearl Street

I know, I know, you're all wondering, where's the Grand Canyon? Where's the Meteor Crater? Where's Billy the Kid? (hint: he's dead) Why all this about their 35th Anniversary? Well, the answer is that nothing quite this grand and wonderful has happened to Jan and me since, well, when we got married! We had two action-packed weekends of gifts and surprises and love, and it will take a few posts to tell about all of it.

But we'll start with the Austin Inn at Pearl Street. This was the place our daughter Amy and her new husband Chad spent their first married night together after their wedding and reception. Jan and I hired a horse and carriage to take them on a tour of Austin, and bring them to the Inn for the weekend before they left on their honeymoon. Little did we know at the time, that they'd be giving us the same gift for our anniversary! We couldn't have been more excited.

Our stay was on our anniversary, a Sunday night, and there were very few other visitors, so we had the place to ourselves to relax, look around, and admire the hundreds of antiques and treasures that are placed all around the house. With high open ceilings, and beautiful antiques and paintings, it took a while just to view all the rooms. Our room for the night was the Library. The Library is the only sleeping room on the first floor of the original building, and was right across the hall from the living room and dining room.

The entrance to our room

Behind our room was the sitting room, an open airy room with lots of windows looking out over the patio and the other buildings in the complex.

Upstairs there were four rooms, the French Room, the Gothic Suite, the European Room, and the Far East Room. Some photos of the Gothic Suite are below. The Gothic had a second floor patio that provided a great view. Amy and Chad had stayed there when he returned from his first deployment in Iraq, so we were especially interested in that room.

We got our casual clothes and walking shoes on, and went on a walking tour of the Judge's Hill area of Austin, a very old and stately subdivision behind the Inn.

When we returned, we sat out on the patio and watched the sun turn the leaves yellow, and the birds and squirrels play in the trees.

We went back inside to get more photos while the light was still good, then just read about the Inn and relaxed. I was particularly impressed with the sculptures, paintings, and the Tiffany lamp in the foyer by our door. We have some Tiffany lamps in our living room, and I liked seeing the similarities and differences between our lamps and theirs.

As the sky darkened, we retired to the Library and broke out the sparkling wine and chocolates, another gift from the children. We spent a long while toasting the events of our 35 years of marriage (we made a pact that we would only toast the positive ones!) and by the time the bottle was empty, we were feeing the warmth and the love, and knew again why we had stayed friends and lovers for so long.

In the morning we woke early, turned on the coffee, and ate a great breakfast of cereal, fruits, and juices while we enjoyed the dining room by ourselves. The staff might have been ghosts, they were truly invisible to us. But we knew they were there because things got "tidied up" seemingly all by themselves.

our table

We enjoyed our stay at the Inn at Pearl Street very much. For a calm, quiet atmosphere and relaxation at it's finest, I highly recommend the Inn if you are ever in Austin and feel the need to get away from it all. Jill Bickford, the owner, has created an oasis of beauty and quiet that is hard to beat.

Part 2 of our Anniversary Odyssey will be up soon; waiting for some photos to arrive.

More later,
Mike Z

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