Dear Teresa, Elizabeth, Kimberly, Kolin and Miss Betty,
Three days back in Miami, and still I have not been able to stop thinking of your wonderful Inn. It has been difficult for me to concentrate at work. I find myself going into your website and reading all the wonderful blogs, trying to keep this dreamy feeling as long as possible. May I never wake up from this dream. The minute we walked in to your house (because we felt like this was “your” house, not a bed and breakfast), we felt like we were stepping into another world, another country (if you will), a country full of friendliness, good manners, excellent service, fabulous food accompanied by wonderful discussions over breakfast. In this little country called Azalea, strangers became friends in less than ten minutes, discussions flowed and laughter came easy. In this little country, smiles came easy and helpfulness came naturally. This beautiful little country is full of color and flowers and rooms full of light; the people that are lucky enough to visit this place are magically transformed from the moment that they walk in through the foyer. We have visited many places, many countries but we have never felt so welcomed, so comfortable, yet so reluctant to leave the poetry and the charm of the place. Here we found culture, southern hospitality (which is as warm as our own Latin version of it which stresses the importance of family and food that warms the heart and soul), and the best gourmet breakfasts that we have ever tasted (I am not exaggerating!!!).
I would wish for my words to capture the feeling, I would wish to write an ode to the Azalea and to each one of you. Thank you Teresa for sharing your wonderful stories, your wit, your energy, your flowers, thank you for creating Azalea and for making it grow as lovely as your garden. Thank you Kolin for food that melts in your mouth. Thank you Elizabeth and Kimberly for five-star service and for golden smiles. Thank you Miss Betty for your sweet personality and an extra smile for my Mami every morning when you greeted her.
May we all be lucky enough to visit Azalea once again and may the dream last forever. I will end this heart-felt tribute with some of my favorite lines from Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale”, which perfectly suits beautiful Savannah and your Azalea:
O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool’d a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
Thank you again for inspiring my mother, my sister and I and for making our stay in Savannah so special! Azalea will always be in our thoughts and in our dreams.
Fondest greetings from,
Ana (myself), Maria Esther (my sister), and Esther Pezon (my beautiful mother)