My friends and I share lots of interests: photography, reading, travel, thrift store yarn tapestries. Suffice it to say, I trust their judgement in taste. So when they told me about the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, I knew it must be something special. Although they had sketched out some details for me, I was still caught off guard by the sight of a whimsical Swiss-Alps doll house right next to the highway. It was kitschy travel in a way that can only be associated with the 50s: wholesome kids + cowboy hats + cap guns + Buffalo Room = classic American vacation.
After comparing the merits of the of circular beds and the photogenic nature of floor to ceiling fushia color schemes, my friends chose room 207: Spring Flowers. It had dark blue carpeting and gilt mirrors. If the walls weren’t baby blue with butter-yellow flowers, they were painted a light pea green. The lighting was low and so were the small chandeliers. I must have hit my head at least twice.
As we were a group of ex photo majors, we spent the first three hours blinding ourselves with strobe lights. Every time we decided we had taken enough photos, there was just “one more shot” that couldn’t wait. Finally we walked out into the fading light, our eyes squinty and still clutching cameras.
Like the rest of the premises, the dining facilities were completely outfitted in pink. The most impressive restaurant of the two, the Gold Rush Steak House, looked like a giant pastel arboretum. It glittered, it enticed, and it brought to mind my mother’s concern about properly dusting fake flowers.
I didn’t notice any faults though, I was in love with the pink on pink on pink color scheme and my memory card was filling up fast.
How to get to the Madonna Inn: 100 Madonna Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405