I had my own private tour of the hotel today by Bianca who spoke very good English!!! She has worked here 2 years and was just great at showing me all the great places in the hotel and telling me the history. Pictures are a little difficult to take as it tends to be a little dark and the flash is not big enough to light these huge spaces so I may have to buy postcards but here are a few pictures. The bottom picture is of the library—they have an “open” and a “closed” library and from what she said I guess it is just because the doors close the one in! Beautiful and a great place to curl up with a book in. The hotel employs 350-400 depending on the season and is currently under more renovations which will add another restaurant and outdoor seating area. Everywhere you go here there are cranes and workers and things being done but they are trying to keep it authentic and true to how the place was built. I am just in awe at the beauty of the marble and all the tapestries on the walls, chandeliers, etc.
I walked around in the gardens a bit–they even have a dog cemetery and some of the markers were really old –not sure who gets to bury their dogs there—there was one from 2008 so I guess it still is “open”. They are just now getting the spring pansies and other plants set out so it still looks a little bare but in a few weeks it will be masses of color and beautiful.
I found a great bench in the sun on the waterfront and sat and read for a couple of hours, people watched and just enjoyed the outdoors. I did not have a sweater or jacket on and was just perfect–actually got a little hot walking back but the funny thing is that all these other people were really bundled up—coats, heavy sweaters, etc. Maybe Iowa has done something to me!!
Another thing that Chris and I have discovered is that the bedding here is different. We have a king bed which is just really 2 twins pushed together. At least ours has one fitted sheet—I think most times they put twins on . They take the bedspread off at night and when we got here I thought the bed looked really lumpy. Well, good reason! They have 2 separate duvets on it—one for each side, no top sheet, just the duvet. I find it WEIRD! And I am not used to having a sleeping bag like sleeping experience separate from my husband. I am a little worried Chris might get used to it…….