Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Festival of Lights

I love surprising my travel buddy.  This Christmas season I booked a room at the historic Mission Inn in Riverside, California.  He knew nothing about this amazing hotel--a piece of Seville in the desert of southern California.  This place is a Disney Land for grown-ups, especially during the winter holidays when the hotel puts on a spectacular show of lights.
Although you don't have to stay here to enjoy the lights, I highly recommend it.  Only guests can wander through the corridors and see the enchanting inner courtyards.  We got completely lost and ended up going down some narrow back stairs to one of the hotel's kitchens!  One of the waiters laughed when he saw us and pointed us in the right direction--the bar!  We had a nightcap in the lounge before going back up to our room.  We listened to live jazz and strained our necks to take in the entire two-story Christmas tree decorated with creamy white and gold.

We fell asleep with bright lights filtering through the gauzy curtains and soft instrumental Christmas music floating in the air.  I loved the panda bears aglow with orange light outside our room.  When I woke up around 3 a.m. all the lights had been turned off, but the full moon continued to shine.

I fell in love with Christmas all over again.

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