April 20, 2010

Romantic Weekend Get-Away

I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee, early in the morning, against the backdrop of a cold house. I’m not sure why it’s different when the house is chilly. It just is, and it’s lovely.

I’m sitting in the corner of a room on a soft, velvet-covered futon couch, wrapped in a warm, hand-stitched cotton calico quilt. Kevin found this treasure of a hideaway on the Benton County tourism website just a couple of days before we were to arrive.
A smallish barn-shaped cottage, a stone’s throw from the owner’s home, sat underneath the skeleton of an old tree house.
Kevin unloaded our laptop, the backpack with our clothes, and my camera bag from the car, and told me the code to open our door had simply been programmed with our telephone number. I plugged the numbers in and resigned myself to what I might find once we entered.
A tiny entry way table with a vintage looking lamp and a glass plate with chewy, homemade, peanut-butter-and-chocolate-chip cookies wrapped in foil labeled “cookies” greeted us at the door.
The room was dark, but softly lit with hundreds of tiny, white Christmas tree lights carefully strung through a naturally dried garland of hops trimming the ceiling over the wrought-iron bed. It was a cozy sanctuary and reminded me of a honeymoon cottage in the forest… simple and clean, but with luxurious accents like deep crimson, high count cotton sheets and layers of comforters’, quilts and velvety throws to pile on the bed in case you are chilled.
The windows were covered with handmade curtains and the little bathroom off the bedroom was outfitted with plenty of thick cotton towels, a huge double shower, and a modern country sink. We set our backpack of clothes down in front of the antique dark oak armoire and headed up the narrow stairway.
An airy, light-filled loft with shining wood floors surrounded by windows and a full deck greeted us. The room was open with a small kitchen, an elegant glass-and-iron table for two, a futon couch, rocking chair, gas cast-iron stove fireplace and a large flat screen TV with a DVD player. This cottage had everything one could want for a getaway weekend.
The owners’ children played quietly in the distant field, herding chickens into the henhouse and playing hide-and-seek in the grass.  They rendered the background noise that evening with the faint sound of children’s laughter mingling with a chorus of frogs croaking in the distance. Country music.

As I sat at the window with a glass of champagne from the local Corvallis co-op to write, I felt cozy and at peace.
All of the details had been tended to, and this morning I have found even more lovely touches that make me love this secret space even more; the cupboard in the kitchen, the one just over the coffee maker, tea kettle, and double burner, is stocked with everything one could need – an impressive Yogi Tea collection, gourmet hot chocolate mix, sugar, non-dairy creamer (fresh milk was provided in the small fridge), quality coffee beans -- even an extra bag of decaf and a grinder. A wicker basket filled with fresh bagels rests on the microwave next to a stained glass rooster nightlight, along with cream cheese, two yogurts, salad dressing and juice in the small fridge. A bowl with bananas and an orange rests on the tiny table as well. Every need has been thought of and the easy makings of a light continental breakfast awaits us for when Kevin comes upstairs.
The only problem is, I think as I write this, is that if too many other people will find out about our new hideaway it might not be available as often as I might want to escape. I sort of love the fact that for now, it’s our own little treasure chest, a warm romantic place seemingly light years away from the rest of the world.... a honeymoon cottage just an hour and half drive from the city.

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