We were seeking fall color when driving into Missouri last weekend, a little early in the season perhaps, but we had booked a hotel with a restrictive cancellation policy which deterred second thoughts. Big Cedar Lodge is a well advertised “resort” destination, not our usual choice, but the appealing brochure photos set my expectations. I can’t say I was disappointed exactly, because it has much to recommend it, but the weather on our primary day there was miserable, keeping us room bound and cranky. Late in the afternoon, we decided to undergo the drive and shuttle bus effort necessary to reach the resort’s “Top of the Rock” restaurant, to call quits to the weekend with food and beverage at the bar.
Though still wet and chilly, the sky had begun to clear, and the location is quite spectacular. There has been no expense spared in the structures or the artwork that adorns the site, or the 9-hole golf course they overlook. There is even a chapel used for destination weddings and events, built on a lake overlook. It’s pretty. We ordered drinks.
Then others began stirring from their seats, and commenting on the rainbow. The glass walls of the bar were pushed open, and we all moved to the outside terrace to gawk at the beauty. And then the bagpiper appeared walking up the hill from the golf course. What? A sunset ceremony? “Amazing Grace” and “America” piped as the sun appears and disappears into the most gorgeous sky imaginable? Did the unexpected far exceed expectations? Yes indeed! Even the bar food and entertainment during dinner was a delight. It turned out to be a very memorable evening, and reminded me to cultivate patience through times of temporary disappointment.