In Europe, there is a tradition of using "love locks" to express your devotion to your partner. You take a padlock and attach it to a gate, fence, or other public place and leave it there to forever capture that moment together. The tradition actually goes back to China.
The innkeepers at Tropical Inn, a Diamond Collection property in Key West, Florida were inspired by this tradition when they learned about it from one of their Czech employees. They had planted a ficus tree that had outgrown its space, so they decided to relocate it and instead replace it with a piece of found art. They loved the idea of love locks and decided to replace the tree with their very own place for couples on a romantic getaway at the inn to attach them.
According to the innkeepers, "From now on, guests at the inn are invited to symbolize their own everlasting love by attaching a lock to the newly renovated bird cage that houses a pair of 'flying pigs'... to replace the banyan tree!" You can see it pictured to the right.
Guests are encouraged to bring a lock with them--the more distinct or vintage, the better, they say. The innkeepers have pens you can use to mark your names on them. Alternatively, they suggest going to a pet store and getting a heart-shaped tag engraved with your name and dates, which can be attached to the lock before you close it.
Make your romantic getaway in Key West even more romantic by partaking in this symbolic tradition at Tropical Inn!
By Emily Starbuck Crone