Petite powerhouse Miranda Lambert could have just about anything she wants. She’s got the talent, the money, the connections and the partner to make it happen. But when she decided to open a bed & breakfast in tiny Tishomingo, OK (it’s still twice as big as my town), she didn’t draw up plans for new construction with an architect. She didn’t scout out a location with the best parking. She didn’t build a marquee with her name in lights. Instead, she found an old building directly across from The Pink Pistol, her eclectic boutique. She created a space where the old is given new life, details mean everything, and glitz and grit live together in perfect, delicious harmony. Her heart and soul were poured into its walls, textures, and colors, creating the jewel that is The Ladysmith.
“This isn’t Mirandaland. That’s not her. This was her dream, her vision, her style, but her presence is very subtle.”
That’s my friend Staci, innkeeper extraordinaire at The Ladysmith. She invited me to come check out the B&B before it opens, and I jumped at the chance. (Okay, I jumped on the inside. And squealed just a little. Maybe a lot.) I grabbed one of my best gal pals and we headed south on I-35. We’d both been wanting to go shop at The Pink Pistol for quite some time, and this just sweetened the deal.
We didn’t know quite what to expect, but we both needed a night away. We’re both busy moms (which is a bit redundant to say, because all moms are busy), and any kind of outing was welcome. But this. This. Oh my. It was special. Nevermind meeting a celebrity (yes, I met Miranda), we felt like celebrities. I actually wasn’t sure what to do when someone (an awesome staff member named Chris) offered to take my bags. Who? Me? My bag? Um, okay. I’ll act like this is natural and it happens all the time. No, never. It never happens. I am always carrying extra things for my children. “Mom, can you carry my cup/snack/headband/tablet/crayons/book/shoes/baby sibling in your womb for 40 weeks?”
My burden was lifted, quite literally, and it set the tone of the entire visit from there. I was shown to my room (after being loved on by my friend Staci who I hadn’t seen in years). My room, the Laci Jill, named after one of Miranda’s best buds, offered a bed so inviting looking that I nearly face planted and called it a night. But there were places to see and things to do. Like shop. Tishomingo has a very nice selection of unique boutiques. I can’t remember the last time I shopped (and not for groceries or home improvement items) for hours uninterrupted. Well, I actually do remember. It was Monday in “Tish” (as the locals call it) and it was glorious.
Of course, we had to check out The Pink Pistol. My advice? Budget several hours of your time to take it all in. Physically, it’s not that big of a space, but they’ve filled every nook and cranny with interesting finds. While most of the fashions were for the younger crowd (or young at heart, which I’m not), there was something for everyone. Chefs, children, decorators, country music fanatics, party planners, and just about anyone looking for a fun gift. My favorite find? Unicorn headbands for my girls. They flipped out when I pulled them out of the bag at home, immediately put them on, and began charging at me while whinnying. (I didn’t see that coming.)
After shopping, uninterrupted, for hours (that was weird) we headed back across the street to The Ladysmith to hang for a bit before heading out to dinner. And that’s when we met her. The lady. Now, I’m a fan, but not really a fan girl (if you know what I mean). Don’t get me wrong, I was really hoping we’d meet her, but wouldn’t have been heartbroken if it didn’t work out. (Maybe just a smidge.) I’m not all atwitter about many celebrities, but I know some of you are, so I’ll tell the story to indulge your curiosity.
She was sitting in the B&B office, one leg crossed over the other, her common black sneakers, jean shorts, baseball-style T-shirt, and ball cap a juxtaposition to this uncommon person. But even in average-Jane garb and no apparent makeup, let me tell you, this woman is gorgeous. I’m not sure she has any pores. (I have the opposite of this situation, so I’d love to know her skin care regimen.) Staci introduced us, we shook hands, we chit chatted about my visit so far, and that was about it. She was pleasant, but I didn’t dare ask for a photo or autograph or anything like that. I know you’re disappointed, but it just didn’t feel right. I shook hands with one of country music’s biggest stars, and that’s pretty darn cool. (And yes, I washed my hand at the appropriate time afterward, you weirdo.)
Looking back, the entire experience of staying at The Ladysmith was a bit like that chance encounter with Miss Miranda. It’s not big and loud and made up into something unnatural. It’s real and raw and yet when you experience it, you walk away knowing it’s very special. The Ladysmith is her brain child, and you can’t get much more personal than that.
If you’re considering staying at the Ladysmith, there are a few things you should know.
1. First, you’ll be treated to a delicious three-course breakfast in the morning that may be worth the entire expense. So. Darn. Good.
2. Second, it’s a kid free atmosphere. Now, don’t go and get your panties in a bunch. I love kids (mostly just my own), but adults need a place where they can escape. It’s a good thing.
3. Third, it’s just as suitable for a girlfriend getaway as it is for a couple’s retreat. Guys and gals alike will enjoy the vibe.
4. It’s a bit of an investment. If you’re looking for bargain lodging, this isn’t your jam. As Miranda says in her song Automatic, “It’s only worth as much as the time put in.”
5. Renting out the entire place (8 rooms) would be ideal for small weddings, celebrations, or even corporate gatherings. They’re putting the finishing touches on a small event venue next door, where rumor has it Blake and Miranda’s deer antler wedding arch will be available for couple’s to say “I do” under. (Oh, and maybe, just maybe, these famous crooners will make an appearance every so often for an impromptu jam session.)
Update: The Ladysmith is now open, and they’re taking reservations! Check out the website at theladysmith.us. There is so much more history and so many more details that I’d like to share, but it’s too much for one blog post. Perhaps you’ll just have to go see for yourself.