A Writing Retreat at the Madonna Inn

by Jackie D on January 7, 2016

madonna innSomething I’ve noticed now that I’ve started to mention to people that I want to write a book: a lot of people look at me like they feel sorry for me — probably because it’s a ridiculous thing to want to write a book. But I have no shame about it, and even though writing has felt a little exhausting lately, it’s exhausting in a good way, like when you feel like you’ve actually made progress on something. So I’m going to keep pressing on and hopefully taking more of these little “retreats” throughout the year.

I’ve wanted to visit Madonna Inn for a while because I didn’t believe that any place in life could actually be so thoroughly hot pink and I wanted to see it for myself. Of course, I would have preferred to visit with a group of girlfriends, but I don’t know the next time all of our schedules will allow for it. So I woke up around 8am on New Years Day and drove the 3 hours up the coast from LA to San Luis Obispo, and I arrived at the hotel around 2pm (stopped in Santa Barbara for lunch, because tacos).

madonna innmadonna innBlog Madonna Inn 9I spent the afternoon wandering around taking a few photos, and then I sat by the pool and read for a while. I was starving by 5:30pm so I went to the bright pink steakhouse right when it opened and treated myself to a steak — I can’t even remember the last time I ate steak. I read my book while I ate and then went back to my room and wrote until I fell asleep on my laptop. In the morning it was more of this: eating, reading, writing. I highly recommend sitting at the bar for breakfast (before 10am, which it was when it got really crowded) and eating at least one giant waffle (or 3).

It was, as you can tell, a very simple weekend: eating, reading, writing. I took some photos. I sat by the pool. I listened to music. I took a long shower.

madonna innmadonna innmadonna innmadonna innThe hotel was anything but simplistic — it really is as bright pink as it looks in the photos. And it’s the best. There are pink basketball and tennis courts, the steakhouse has bright pink booths, the carpets are pink floral patterns, the barstools are pink leather. And you can’t miss the bathrooms in the steakhouse (the waiters will also tell you this) — the girls’ bathroom is also bright pink and apparently there is an actual waterfall in the men’s bathroom (will sneak a peek next time). The cocktails are pink, many of the rooms are pink (not mine, mine was bright yellow), all of the souvenirs in the souvenir shop are pink, the rental bikes are pink, the golf carts are pink. Guys, if you hate pink, stay away from this place.

But the ridiculousness of this hotel is exactly why it was the perfect place for a little writing retreat. When you want to do something as ridiculous as writing a book, it helps to force yourself to sit still for a minute in an equally ridiculous place.

And waffles don’t hurt either.

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