Listen, guys, before you raise any eyebrows at me, let me just say that romance can happen anywhere, ok? Yeah. Even Wilkes Barre.
The organization I work for has a fundraising dinner once a year, and part of the fundraising effort includes at silent auction. The items up for silent auction are mostly the result of my organization's small staff guilting their professional and personal contacts into donating something weird. I suppose it is a typical silent auction for a non-profit. There are always items that are simply too unappealing to even get a pity bid, and they go to staff for a heavy discount after the dinner is over. This year I got a pair of Danskos and A WEEEKEND GETAWAY TO WILKES BARRE PENNSYLVANIA!
Rachel was pretty excited when I told her that I won her a one-night stay at a resort in coal country.
And I am here to tell you that it was totally awesome. We decided to go when the leaves would be colorful. Once we got to the Woodlands Resort we realized we would definitely not be leaving the premises. Not because Wilkes Barre isn't a great town with loads to offer - honestly, I couldn't tell you because we literally did not leave the resort - but because the Woodlands was the shit.
First thing the Woodlands did right: we arrived too early and the staff let us check in anyway. They also gave us a map of the building because it's a sprawling situation. There is a spa wing, an entertainment wing, numerous courtyards and ballrooms. We got to our room and developed our Woodland Gameplan.
First, we walked through a series of outdoor courtyards to get to the hotel's Italian restaurant overlooking this creek. We started the afternoon off with big ole glasses of wine. Was it good wine? No. Was it absolutely perfect? Oh, yes.
Then I went and got a massage. I never had a massage before. I recommend it. Post-massage we decided to keep this whole relaxation thing going and we went to the hot tub room. You guys. The hot tub was as big as the pool. We had a difficult time understanding how to turn the jets on, so we spent most of an hour feeling like we were sitting in a big bathtub. Eventually we found the button on the wall that said "Jets." Pure magic.
Rachel in the massive hot tub.
Then we cooled down in the pool. The pool room was really very beautiful. We were alone in both the hot tub and the pool, but about 30 seconds after we submerged in the cold water, a group of 10 teenagers came into the pool room and sort of ruined the moment. I mean, I was happy that they were having a good time, but their arrival precipitated our decision to head to dinner.
We did not even need to leave the hotel for dinner! We were just like, "Hibachi on site? Hibachi it is!" It turns out Rachel and I are really talented at hibachi. We were the only people at our table who caught the food the chef threw at us in our mouths. It was a resume-building experience. There are no photos of this event because you've all seen hibachi. It looked like that.
There ARE photos of breakfast the next morning, though. Look at this situation:
It was really intense. Breakfast was totally included with the one-night stay. And when something is included, I can't just walk past it, you know? I was uncomfortably full when that was over. AND I STILL WENT BACK FOR SECONDS. Then we walked back through the fall foliage and headed out. That was it.
In that one night we resorted the shit out of the Woodlands Inn. We just took in every damn thing it had to offer us: both restaurants, the spa, the pool... we even stood in the fitness room and planked. We did not go to the night club on the premises. We thought about it, but just could not bring ourselves to do it... it just wasn't our scene, I suppose. In any case, I am here to say that if you are thinking about running away with your lover and taking a one-night stay in a resort in a place that makes you say, "They have a resort there?" you should do it.
Next time, perhaps, we'll actually enter Wilkes Barre.