Orange Blossom Bliss

I stepped outside this evening and the air was cool, but not chilly; clean, but with no hint of dampness. There was a familiar scent on the slight breeze, and I recognized it in an instant:

It smelled like the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

If you’ve never been, you need to go. I’ve had the great fortune of staying there a few times for work, and — year after year — vow to go back for some personal R&R. Its architecture is influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, consulting architect for the hotel; its grounds are divine and its “Jewel of the Desert” status almost doesn’t do the property justice.

An orange tree’s fragrance drifted lazily in my direction as I stepped outside my back door a while ago, and this is the scent that has warmly enveloped me each time I’ve stayed at the hotel. The Arizona Biltmore’s property is dotted with them — on the patio where guests enjoy them during an exquisite dining experience, along the driveway as you enter the property, and probably in a myriad other locations around the premises. If you have a sliding plantation shutter door in your room, leave it open a bit to let the perfumed night air in (and the moonlight, if there’s anything close to a full moon above). It’s nothing short of bliss as you drift off to sleep.

I’ve always loved the smell of orange blossoms, especially on the evening air, but when that fragrance combined with the sights and sounds of the Biltmore, it’s a staggering experience for the senses.

Tonight’s thanky is short and sweet: with yesterday’s headache still lingering and a few random thoughts today that reminded me I need to carve out some downtime in the next few months (without really knowing where to do that), the orange blossoms were like a familiar friend stopping by for a brief hello — and an invitation to come see them when my schedule permits.

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