Inspecting Happy Valley’s love palace |

Inspecting Happy Valley’s love palace

Did you remember yesterday was Valentine’s Day? Anyone suffering from a chocolate hangover?Sure, it’s a completely created comically commercial charade of love, romance and sex crafted by the greeting card industry for the sole purpose of boosting the American economy during the after-Christmas lull and sealed in the wrappings of a long-dead priest who in all probability planted the seeds of pedophilia for generations to come. But it’s still a fun day to have a mate and be in love. If you don’t have one, get one. Nothing beats sharing the bills.Either way, what I am about to tell you next may come as a shock to some. Sitting down? Good. Well, believe it or not, at times I can be a pain to live with. Yes, I know. You’re asking yourself, “Richard? A pain? That guy? No way.” But alas, it is true. As true as Adam Aron making more money in one hour than most of us in one or two months.So, for this Valentine’s Day I awoke from the fog of blissful husbandry ignorance and surprised my wife with an “Extreme Makeover” I had secretly purchased at a local charity auction last fall (I damn near stole the thing for way less than half price, so shut up already). She and a friend spent an entire day being pampered with micro-derma-something treatments, facials, skin consultations (just exactly what they asked the skin about I have no idea) and consumed massive amounts of time having their hair and makeup done in anticipation of meeting their wonderfully exciting and romantic husbands at a secret getaway barely a mile from home.Yep, we pretended to be tourists at a local resort for 24 hours. See if you can guess where we went.I drove to our tryst spot alone, as the ladies did not wish to be seen until dinner and I did not wish to hang around the house watching SpongeBob. Upon pulling up to the gate (Hint No. 1), I was surprised to find the gate attendant taking my name to alert the front desk of my arrival.Impressive.After the valet took my bags and my car, I was escorted to an expensive looking chair and offered bottled water which was wrapped in a label showing a photo of the surrounding mountains.Cool.The heavily-accented gentleman inquired as to my long day’s journey. I laughed and told him I lived less than 10 minutes away. He proceeded to fill me in on the area, its offerings, its history, and tried to have me sign up for a shuttle to the ski mountain for the next day.I pointed to a window, saying, “I live right over there.”He smiled, and then continued his well-rehearsed speech.I returned the smile, leaned back in the leather chair, and drank my water. This was fun. Maybe I should ask for a beer.Trying to keep the moment light, I asked for No. 8’s room, but received room No. 8 instead (that was hint No. 2).Following my escort (in other hotels I believe he would be known as a bellman), we went up an elevator, through a maze of narrow hallways, down an elevator, and finally to our romantic “palace of love” for the evening.”Is that THE chair?” I couldn’t help myself from asking as we entered.My escort shook his head, but I detected a grin.I made a few more stupid remarks. He smiled. I tip really well.As far as hotel rooms go, this one was absolutely gorgeous. It even had a fake fireplace with a glass front (very hot, do not touch) that turns itself off over time (like my wife, yuk-yuk).Hanging my clothes in the closet, I was surprised to find a small bag containing what appeared to be crushed dead leaves. My wife later told me it was very expensive crushed dead leaves known as “potpourri.” Whatever.The bathroom had towels that were over 5 feet long (I measured) and enough amenities to please the queen (after accepting Camilla into the royal fold, I do believe her standards have lowered a notch or two). The minibar had martini olives, brie and more high-priced junk food than a Britney Spears green room.Turning on the TV, the first sounds I heard said, “Welcome to Edwards.” Not Vail, not Vail Valley, not Colorado High Country. Edwards.We’ve come a long way, baby.I looked over the valley toward my house in Homestead, wondering what the little people were doing for the evening. But the truth was I didn’t really care. This was for my wife, and I intended to make the most of every moment there. For her, you understand.Suffice it to say we had a rousing romantic rendezvous, but a special thanks goes out to Mark and his chocolate-covered strawberries and Greg for handling the whole car thingy so discreetly (I did something pretty stupid, but I’m not stupid enough to tell you guys).The evening wrapped up with me finding a very nice terrycloth robe in the “potpourri” closet, but the pre-tied knot was so danged confusing I could not get it off the hanger, so I ended up wearing my Valentines suit to the hot tub. For the naive that’s like a birthday suit, only you wear it on Valentines Day. Luckily, the water was hot.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.netVail, Colorado

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