Tag Archives: Butterfly Garden Inn


Yesterday, you heard about our initial encounter with the wonderful team at the Butterfly Garden Inn. This morning I got the following message from the Owner Nichole:

“Dearest Susan,

As I sit here wiping the tears away, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of love and warmth. Meeting you yesterday was such a blessing. You and your husband are pillars of strength… You exemplify what loving parenting is all about. I am truly inspired by Justin’s story… What a gifted young man he was… A true angel. I know that you found your way to our little haven in the woods for a reason. Life is such a bizarre and magical journey. We have a butterfly lovescape in the center of our property where our guests can place a lovelock to commemorate their time with us. The locks have no keys, so they will remain on our butterfly forever. We would be honored if you would come back before you go so we can place a lock on our beautiful butterfly in Justin’s honor. We even have a turquoise one! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with me. I will forever be touched…

With love,

Since I can’t make this stuff up, you know after I received this note, Darrell and I had to quickly make our way back up the hill.  Once we got there, we met Nichole’s cute and advanced young daughter, and husband Frank (the swimmer).  Frank was as tall as Justin -so you know I had to look up with a pause as I shook and held on to his hand.  We also met Mary,( her beloved Mother Linda’s best friend ), who made the trek cross county from Florida to spend the holiday with Nichole and her family.  This was their way to keep up the family tradition during holidays despite the loss they too hold deeply in their hearts.

A few minutes after giving us a plate of freshly baked cookies, Nichole handed me a “turquoise” lock.    She told us to think of a message and you know that was not hard to do.  Within minutes,  Frank carefully engraved the lock.


Nichole then  led us  out back to an open area  in the surrounds of the cabins and she said: “Place it wherever you like.”   She said she got the ideal from the Pont des Arts footbridge  in Paris, France where Love locks have created spontaneous “lovescapes” in cities and towns around the world. The idea is that you and your love attach a lock, often with names or initials written on it, onto a bridge. You throw the keys into the river or canal as a sign that your love is eternal, never to be undone.  She said that she met a local craftsman who made the butterfly trellis that supported the locks.

Butterfly Garden Inn Love Lock
Butterfly Garden Inn Love Lock

She also shared the depth of how they came to acquire such a lovely piece of property. Read the article:


As we said our goodbyes and headed out, I quickly remembered that Justin’s Aunt Caroline did a photo shoot near the lock she placed for Justin in Paris and his friends  Kovi and Autumn and my friend Kathy all sent us pictures last year that were posted when they were there on vacation.  I can make the quick trip to Arizona faster than I can to Paris so this is a good thing.

Justin's Auntie Caroline
Justin’s Auntie Caroline
Locks on the bridge in Paris
Locks on the bridge in Paris
JCWWP in Paris
JCWWP in Paris

These are all signs that my love for Justin is eternal and will never be undone.  My locks of love for him will always be held close to my heart.   I feel good this night before Christmas 2014.


***  I know from an aesthetic point of view Justin is probably rolling his eyes because I added the  luggage tag to the lock arrangement.  Nichole said I could do whatever I wanted.  So, Justin at least the tag matches the lock right???


Mom aka OTTO (Over the Top Olivia)

Some things never change…

JCWWP_Logo_with_Butterfly_II_copy copy


The Butterfly (INN) Me

Last night, as the background noise blurted from a nearby-unattended TV, one advertisement caught my ear. It made reference to a must see sight located somewhere near a “Butterfly Café.”

(Of course by now, everyone knows the significance of the Butterfly INN my/our life. In case you don’t know-read what I wrote last year.) https://www.justincarrwantsworldpeace.org/wordpress/?p=384

I immediately took to the Internet to find the location of this place. This little-known café was part of the Butterfly Garden Inn. http://www.thebutterflygardeninn.com/ This vacation spot included private cabins nestled in the heart of the canyons and clearly made it possible for guest to experience the mystery, healing and restorative powers of nature.

So, this morning I called to see if the café was open to non-guests. The woman on the other end said absolutely! My enquiring mind also wanted to know how the resort got its name. The woman politely said that the name was in honor of the co-owner’s beloved Mother.

Subsequently, we drove about 10 miles before we spotted “The Butterfly Garden Inn” sign. We stopped in front of a rustic southwest style porch that supported a stout antique red cocoa cola machine placed conveniently near at the Country Store entrance. Once inside, the gracious hostess (Denise) asked me if I was the one who called earlier and then she gave us mouth-watering descriptions of the menu items. We ordered our meals and took seats on the porch facing the creek and red rock mountains.



After delivering our beverages, Denise asked: “ What brings you to town?” With enduring love spilling from our mouths we told the cursory story of our life past with Justin and how we had to make the great escape to protect our hearts and minds during this most celebrated season. She empathetically told us how sorry she was for our lost.

We could not help telling her all about Justin and the things he liked including swimming. She gently smiled and told us that the co-owner Frank was also a competitive swimmer from Florida. (Not sure if you guys know but Justin learned how to swim when he was a baby in Florida). Darrell then chimed in that he noticed a series of cameras on display inside the reception area. Denise informed us that Frank was also a photographer. Darrell said: “I am too. I taught photography for many years.”


After our tasty meal came to an end, I went back into the store for more water. Denise looked up at me and asked: “How did we liked the meal?” With a tad bit of hesitation, she nodded and said: “ I know how you feel, I lost my eldest son Joshua 15 years ago. He is the first thought in my mind when I wake up each morning and the last thought in my mind when I go to bed each night He was an artist, dancer and a musician. He was a straight arrow and an old soul and he spoke with you with undivided attention.” I immediately stopped in my tracks looked at Denise and gave her a hug. I then asked her if she would share her story with Darrell. She kindly walked over to our table and retold Joshua’s story. We were speechless. She then said: “You know, our children are only on loan to us”. In the back of my mind, I thought to myself “That is exactly what Father Jay said to us during Justin’s celebration of his life…


Denise and Jenny of the Butterfly Inn


After she finished Darrell and Denise both exclaimed: ” Look there is a butterfly!!!- as a yellow butterfly flew between us. We marveled in its beauty before it left the porch.

As Denise continued to talk, from the corner of my eye, I noticed a young lady pass us to speak with a person in a car that pulled up on the property. I said to Denise: If that’s the owner, I would like to meet her.”

Minutes later Nicole, the co owner, came over and greeted us at our table. I told her how I found the Inn by chance, and how great the food was. I then asked her about how she came up with the name of her business. She said her mom was in hospice and the aftermath of her transition they gave her a stained glass butterfly to place on the door of her room. “The butterfly is significant in my life it has healing power” she said. Nicole politely excused herself and retreated back into the store. When she came out, she handed me a small pouch. Inside was a beautiful ornament created out of the remains of a fallen monarch butterfly? She said a local “Butterfly Lady” made it and she felt compelled to give it to me.


After embracing we walked towards the marquee to pose for a picture. I told Nicole that Justin loved the visual and performing arts. Nicole said that the lady she was speaking to prior to meeting us was a cast member in a play she directed. Nicole told us that she teaches theatre and directs most of the productions in the area and that her husband Frank is also a Set Designer. Once again I was flabbergasted. I said, Justin loved the theatre and set design and that he even had his SAG card! I could not believe it. As we posed for the picture I blurted out “Justin was just like a Renaissance man!” She looked at me and quickly said in amazement: “Wait, how did you come up with those words just now? Renaissance Man was the name of her husbands business for many years, he even has it on his license plate”… We had no words and just shook our heads. She said: “we were suppose to meet today!”




Darrell & Nicole
Darrell & Nicole



Nicole & Susan
Nicole & Susan

Once again Justin our Butterfly will continue to live with INN us…even at this random Butterfly Garden Inn and in the beauty of this church that is built in a mountain where we said a little prayer for Justin.


Going in this church was a big effort on my part.  No Words…

This occurrence did not happen in a week. It all happened in a matter of 24 hours.

My Butterfly Justin will always be with in us.  His spirit will live with me forever.  Like Denise said about her Joshua… Justin is the first thought  that comes to my mind every day when I wake up and the last thought every night  when I TRY and go to sleep…


*** As a side note I told Denise that they needed to modify their signage to include the word “Cafe” so that more people can stop and have a great meal… Better than most places in the main town.