- Category: The Garden Cottage Bed & Breakfast
- Created on Monday, 20 September 2010 21:38
- Last Updated on Friday, 19 April 2013 14:52
- Written by Carin M. Miller
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As a mother of four, it is rare that I ever get a moment to myself. It’s difficult to even make a bathroom trip without little fingers underneath of the door almost always accompanied by the inevitable question, “Mommy, what are you doing?” Seriously? I am in the bathroom, what do they think I am doing, knitting a sweater?
My children are everything to me, make no mistake about that, but sometimes moms just need a break from all the chaos. Especially moms who go to school and work. That is why on this particular B&B trip I decided to go solo and grant myself a little bit of “Me time.”
The day was a long one with little time to accomplish all I needed to. In my world though, that is indicative of a typical day so I am pretty used to it. Still, the relief of knowing I was going to get a sound night’s sleep, with time to actually read a book, (and not because it was attached to a homework assignment) gave me solace during the mundane tasks that lead me through the day.
The Garden Cottage was the only one of the bed and breakfasts in the area that I had toured prior to spending a night in because when I wrote the very first story in this series, “Bed and Breakfasts offer cozy, enchanted retreats” I had interviewed owner Diana Simkins.
The house was quiet upon my arrival and it seemed as though I had the place to myself for whatever the depths of my imagination would like to curiously explore. Before long I found myself in the garden enjoying the silence and the aroma of the fabulous flowers that echoed the light from the moon that night. It was peaceful back there lying in the grass watching the stars and reminding myself that it’s moments like these that ground me and carry me through the many tribulations I have endured.
Inside, the charming little Victorian house offered a homey welcome feel and invited me to sit back and relax as if I were in my own living room, minus the television set that makes me crazy. Even though the parlor area was packed with beautiful Victorian style furniture the air was not only one of comfort, but the stuffy aristocratic feeling that one might expect was completely non-existent.
My favorite part of the house was without a doubt the old photos of Diana’s family that decorated the home. Being a photographer for the past 10 years has influenced my life heavily. I look at the world around me as though I am looking through my photo lens. Each image viewed as a moment captured in time, immortalized forever.
For example, I have a family picture, the only one that we ever dressed up and went out to have professionally done. There are seven people in the image including myself and since it was taken, both my father and my step-mother have passed on as well as my two step-brothers.
When I look at that image I contemplate how fragile life is and consider the implication that has on my everyday life. I wonder if I will get to watch my grandchildren grow up? And, I wish my dad was here to see what amazing little people my children are becoming.
Looking around the parlor it was impossible not to travel through time and consider the family history there in that room. The generations of moments captured and immortalized in time filled the room, creating a sense of nostalgia that hung in the air like a cloud, and I found myself transported to a time when life was not easier, but simpler by today’s standards.
Feeling the weight of the day I decided to saunter up to my room and pack it in for the night. The stairs on the way up to my room creaked under the pressure of my feet. I entered the room slowly, taking time to inspect each nook and cranny of it. In keeping with the rest of the house, it was true to the Victorian theme right down to the handmade quilts and embroidered sheets.
Morning came swiftly that night and I awoke the next day ready to take on the world. Usually, waking up is a process that has been known to take up to hours to complete but somehow, not on that occasion.
I had a fantastic homemade breakfast that morning with the most delicious scones and flavored butter I have ever tasted. There were only two other guests there that night since it was toward the middle of the week, but I was not disappointed by any means. The quiet number made for splendid conversation and the opportunity to actually get to know the couple I was sharing a meal with.
Pete and Sheryl Robbins said though they live in Salt Lake they have been coming to the Utah Shakespearean Festival as a couple from the beginning of their relationship. Over the years they would take their children, who are now grown, and camp in Cedar Canyon so they could afford to go to the plays. Now that the kids are gone they can afford to stay in nicer places and in their opinion there is no nicer place in town than at the Garden Cottage.
Pete told me it all started when he and his father were in town working one summer and his dad saw a flier for the plays. When they went home and his mom heard about the plays, the whole family decided to come. It just so happened, that was the first year the festival performed.
“They had a stage made of wood planks on top of saw horses out on the grass,” Pete said. “After it was over they came out after the applause and said ‘We have to water tonight and would you help us fold the chairs and put them off the side so we can water tonight.
“So, we folded chairs and put them off to the side and then we helped them take the stage down and put it off to the side,” he added.
After all these years, the festival has obviously evolved and taken on a life of its own, running plays in three fantastic theatres. One of them, the Adams Shakespearean Theatre, is an outdoor theatre modeled after The Globe, and is critically acclaimed as one of the most authentic Shakespearean theatres that exist today. The festival itself is now a Tony Award-winning festival that has gained recognition not just all over the state, but all over the country.
It was nice to revisit the history of where it all began in the comfort of the Simkins home. It was even nicer to revisit it with the kind of people who really appreciate the transformation. The Garden Cottage and the Simkins family have touched a piece of my heart forever. Thank you Diana.
Read more: Cedar City News - A moment alone at the Garden Cottage