Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Still a Romantic

Twenty years ago this month, Laura and I married in Pueblo, CO. Now, two decades later, I can still pour on the romantic juices. This morning my wife and I left town for a romantic getaway. Laura knows nothing of the details in advance, but to show you what a romantic I can be at heart, let me give you a glimpse of my delectable planning.

We will leave this morning and slowly make our way down to the Baltimore area, stopping for Laura's favorite breakfast at Cracker Barrel and taking time to piddle at some of her favorite stores along the way before arriving at the Gramercy Mansion Bed and Breakfast (pictured) at 1pm.

Built in 1902 by Alexander J. Cassatt, owner of the Pennsylvania Railroad and brother of the American Impressionist painter, Mary Cassatt, Gramercy Mansion was presented as a wedding gift to his daughter, Eliza. Later owners included the prominent Brewster family, descendants of Benjamin Franklin, from whom a grandson became a Senator from Maryland. In the 1950's the estate became home to the Koinonia Foundation, a predecessor of the Peace Corps, before being bought and restored by Dr. & Mrs. Pomykala in 1985. Gramercy Mansion is now a quiet bed and breakfast with eleven guest rooms, two of which were recently constructed along with a spacious addition to the home, and an elegant event site hosting numerous weddings, private parties and corporate retreats throughout the year.

As we enter the mansion, elegance and warmth will greet us accented by a stunning grand staircase and an exquisite chandelier. Our reservation is for the finest of the 11 rooms in the mansion…the Camelot Room. In this room we will be able to sample the pleasures of this magical suite fit for royalty which is elegantly appointed with a king-size bed, private sitting room, rain shower and lavish double whirlpool tub, marble fireplace and Juliet balcony overlooking the valley.

We will be dining at the historic Milton Inn in Sparks, MD. The historic Milton Inn has played host to ladies and gentlemen of the Baltimore area since 1947. Weddings, anniversaries and birthdays fill the 1740s mansion’s six dining rooms with family and friends as they celebrate their milestones. The Milton Inn is the only restaurant in Baltimore County to receive the prestigious DiRoNA award — North America’s highest restaurant award based on cuisine, service and atmosphere. Chef/Partner Brian Boston’s kitchen produces food that has been described by the Zagat Survey as “top ranked Traditional American Cuisine” restaurant in the Baltimore area every year since 2002.

While we are at dinner, I have made arrangements with the competent staff at the Gramercy Mansion (bribing them with Lancaster County scrapple) so that we return to a candlelit room romantically decorated with rose petals scattered throughout, gourmet chocolates and a dozen red roses! The following morning we will be able to sleep in and then indulge in a gourmet breakfast in the mansion’s candlelit dining room or, if Laura prefers, on the balcony of our suite! We will then spend the day together Thursday participating in one of four options that Laura will be able to choose from before heading home that evening.

Actually our trip to the Holy Land last fall was our big anniversary celebration, but this 1-night getaway should be a little more romantic than 2-weeks on a tour bus in the Middle East.

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