A couple weekends ago, the North Dakota Tourism Department hosted a Writers’ and Bloggers’ workshop, which included a kick-off event the night prior – a “Dine-around Fargo.”
One of the eateries where we stopped, the Hotel Donaldson “Ho-Do” Lounge, allowed a sampling of appetizers and desserts and great conversation. But before we settled into our spots there, we were given a tour of the hotel — our state’s only boutique hotel.
I’d been in the hotel as a patron before. I knew about the rooftop bar and hot tub and artist-themed rooms. I knew about the bison bar stools and the afternoon wine and meat-cheese platters for guests. But I discovered some other, secret spaces that had been hidden from my view previously.
This business room caught my eye.
I love natural lighting, and I think I would be very productive in a room such as this. I could really make some great and creative decisions here. On second thought, I could write a book in here! This is my kind of space.
Our tour also included a peek at the basement. That’s right! You’d think the basement of a very old hotel would be filled with janitor’s supplies and cobwebs, but this was not the case. As our group descended into the bowels of this famous Fargo hotel, we found much more than expected.
Including a very interesting exercise room, heralded by this curious sign:
I didn’t want to disrupt the privacy of the staff member who was beefing up his abs, so no photos of that space, but I couldn’t help but sneak in a few of the hall that led to it.
I caught the side view of Jessie Veeder, fellow columnist for our local daily newspaper, The Forum. Jessie seemed transfixed by the wood-framed displays in the narrow hallway, and I wasn’t surprised why when I got a closer look.
Not only do these walls carry many of the stories of the Hotel Donaldson itself, but they do so through the newspaper that has become so integral a part of Jessie’s and my lives. Given that most newspapers end up in the recycling bin, I was heartened to see these stories of the Ho-Do being memorialized in this way.
Touring the Ho-Do basement was a little like looking through the old attic in my grandparents’ home years ago. I can still smell the scent of that place. And I still dream of that secret space.
This is all really just a teaser to the real story about the FOOD that I experienced. But I can’t write about food on a writing blog. So I am hoping this will tempt you to read my post featured this week on my friend Mary’s food blog, Dine off the Page.
Before you go, though, leave me a comment about your favorite secret space, if you would. I can’t wait to hear about it!