A Hidden Gem in the Poconos: Akwabaa The Mansion at Noble Lane Review

IMG_8233Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on hospitality-related businesses across the nation as many were forced to close their doors to ensure the safety of staff and customers. Now that the case numbers were decreasing and hotels/inn were slowly reopening their doors, I knew that I wanted to take a short socially distanced getaway during my time off. An important part of my health journey, is taking out time to take care of myself. Therefore, I decided to stay at Akwabaa The Mansion at Noble Lane, a black-owned bed and breakfast in the Poconos Mountain Region as seen on Checked Inn on OWN. I also brought along my husband, sister, and her husband. 

Prior to booking the reservation, I visited Akwabaa’s site to see its Covid-19 procedures. The site detailed the many adjustments they have made to ensure the safety of their guests. Upon arrival to the Mansion, I was immediately impressed by the beauty of the grounds. The inside of the mansion had a rustic charm that showed its age and history but with some beautiful modern updates. We were greeted by Monique Greenwood at check-in, the owner of 5 black-owned bed and breakfasts. She gave us a private tour of the Mansion, detailing its history and unique architecture. We stayed on the third floor of the Mansion in their luxury rooms. Our room had a welcome snack basket with some games, which was a pleasant surprise. 

This area of the Poconos Region is truly a gem. Our itinerary for the getaway included horseback riding at Happy Trails Stable, hiking at Prompton State Park, Boat Tour of Lake Wallenpaupack, and a picnic in the park. Every morning at the Mansion, breakfast was served at 9AM and they were able to easily accommodate me and my sister’s vegetarian dietary restriction. The food was delicious and it was comforting to be surrounded by so much black excellence. Our second day was a rainy day so we stayed at the Mansion for the full day but there was more than enough there to keep us entertained. I went to the gym in the morning and we spent the evening splashing in the indoor heated pool. We even made a few friends along the way, who happened to also be from Maryland. 

All in all, I was extremely torn between writing this review or keeping this best kept secret all to myself. I decided that it would be better to spread the word about this awesome place to stay in the Poconos area for a quiet and relaxing time. I truly appreciated how invested Monique was in every customer, how she remembered all the names, and spent time talking to us about family and values. If you ever have a chance to visit the Poconos Mountain Region, I hope you consider staying at Akwabaa the Mansion at Noble Lane.  

 

Why Birthdays Are Difficult for Creatives

image1

In just three days, I will be celebrating my 28th birthday. Despite all I have to be thankful for, I still find myself creeping into the birthday blues every year around April 26th. I find myself consumed with thoughts of “have I reached my maximum potential?” or “what more could I be doing?” So I’ve spent the past few weeks leading up to my birthday deeply immersing myself into activities to make me feel better about the fact that I’m not exactly where I want to be just yet. Birthdays are normally a cause for reflection and celebration but they can be difficult for the creative mind. Research shows that birthdays can cause disappointment and dissatisfaction due to not achieving expected accomplishments from the previous year. The deep reflection that particularly goes through the mind of creatives can make them wish they had done more to achieve their goals for the year.
This year I decided to make a conscious effort to combat my birthday blues using these tips:

1. Talk nice to yourself

The words you speak over yourself have power. Do not criticize yourself for what you have yet to achieve but praise yourself for what you have already accomplished. Look in the mirror and say something nice about what you see.

2. Confront your negative feelings

While you shouldn’t talk down to yourself, it is okay to acknowledge the feelings you have and why you’re feeling that way. Give yourself space to mourn over what you felt you could have done better but don’t dwell in it. Once you’ve addressed and made peace with those feelings, move forward in a more positive mindset.

3. Manage your expectations

Don’t let your expectations control you. Remember the journey that it took to get you to where you are. Reflect on how far you’ve come over the years. Realize that where you’re at now was once a goal. Let your thoughts be a motivating force that drives you to achieve more of your goals for next year.

4. Spend your birthday with the ones you love

Spending your birthday with your people you love doing an activity you love is a great way to cope with birthday depression. It also serves as a reminder of all the people who continue to root for you and your success.

Conclusion…

Creatives should avoid using their birthday as a measuring tool for success but as a celebration of life and progression. Time is one of the most valuable assets to a creative. Therefore, every day you wake up alive is not only more time but another opportunity to take a step or a leap towards reaching your goals.