Monday, December 15, 2014

Cross City's Putnam Lodge & Spa

I was looking for a pull over place on my way back south - one has to look ahead when driving Turtle like vehicles, whipping around a corner just doesn't work - when I saw a good one up ahead. A 'good one' means no sharp corner, no deep drops and the ability to just drive out the other side. Actually, that is a GREAT one. And there it was, up ahead. Cross City, here I am.

I was walking around the Turtle doing my little exercise and checks, wondering what the huge stack spewing steam? was all about when a glance across the road reminded me that I'd seen this place (The Putnam Lodge - Hotel and Spa) when I was heading north and it intrigued me then. Now I wasn't driving. It was right there across the way. I'd go check it out.

The Putnam Lodge isn't huge, making for a really welcoming feel.

When I came in, a woman passing through the lobby into the dining room said hello and welcome. I thought I'd order something to drink and hang out a little but that is not what happened. It was much better. 

She offered me water or tea, and a glass of southern sweet tea seemed like it would be perfect. Then she apologized, saying they were having a big Christmas party event and the dining room was closed. I asked if it would be alright to take photos and it was.

A glass of tea, one big symbol of Southern hospitality 
I'd like to sit in this bar wearing a silk dress  and high heels...that's the effect this place has

No, I did not pose the dog (who, I later found out, is named Junior). But he's pretty perfect, isn't he?

The woodwork is the original pecky cypress, with delicate stenciling that really does adorn rather than detract. I'm not a big fan of much stenciling - this works.
So cozy. Luckily the fire wasn't lit or I might still be there

Beverly, the woman who brought me the tea, turned out to be the owner and she began to tell her story.  Wanting to buy the Lodge for years; the one time she thought she was getting close, an 82 year old woman, who saw it from the restaurant across the street, fell in love with it, even though it was obviously in deep need of repair and closed off with fencing. She bought it, for 150,000 dollars. Beverly knew it wasn't her time. Yet.

After putting over a million dollars into restoration, medical issues made continuing with the Lodge impossible for the woman who'd bought it. Her 62 year old daughter took over but then she became ill and died. The son closed it up and put it on the market, though he was very reluctant to show it at all, let alone let his realtor do so. 

Around that time, Beverly and her husband happened to drive through the area again. The for sale sign was up! Could they just call the realtor, Beverly asked her husband, and take a look?  They did, and put in a bid against two other interested parties. With the sale of their own home, they could plunk down some hard cash and the bidding war was over. The Lodge was theirs. 

Gini (the Lodge's massage therapist) and Beverly 

Winding in, around and through the relating of this story, one phrase repeated 'I just believed, and kept believing, in my dream.' At one point, she mentioned I must think it all sounded a little weird, this believing in dreams and expectations. I assured her I not only didn't think it weird, but felt much the same myself. I come from a whole island of dreamers! But I didn't tell her that...
Gini came on to the porch and Beverly introduced us. In a few minutes, she told me a bit of her own story, how she had a massage therapy business in town but that when the Lodge opened and Bev asked her to join them, she was thrilled to do so, though she still keeps her business in town going for locals. We like that sort of thing. 

All of this happened only a year ago. There was no restaurant, though there had been catering. I don't know what it looked like before in what is now the dining room and bar, but it looks welcoming, with a feel of comfortable elegance now. 

There were 100 luncheon guests coming in soon and we'd been chatting a good while. While I would have loved to snoop around a lot more, it was time to go. There are many more photos on the web site to show you what I missed. 

'Don't forget, believe in your dreams!' rang in my ears as I drove out of sight.

Have a maximum Monday. Do something mirthfully marvelous.