MadlyLiving: One of the Area's Hidden Treasures

Barrington M. Salmon | 5/27/2012, 8:02 p.m.

Tucked away in a bucolic Fort Washington neighborhood sits an oasis of peace that offers guests the opportunity to leave life behind at the front door and luxuriate in a world of amity and relaxation - if only for a few days.

MadlyLiving Bed & Breakfast offers patrons a welcome respite to rest, sleep and recharge, said owner Candice Camille. Camille has infused the space with an aura that embraces a visitor as soon as he enters the premises. That's by design.

"This is a wellness bed & breakfast, a no-stress zone," said the New Jersey native who moved to the area four years ago. "I wanted to create a place to go on vacation - a stay-cation. I dare say I'm a five-star [accommodation]."

"Breakfast is included in every overnight stay. I'm often asked by guests which types of sheets we use, the type of mattresses. It's very, very important that we rest and very important that we get the best night's sleep."

Camille said the MadlyLiving environment is the complete antithesis of the hustle and bustle, the rushing and non-stop activity that is part and parcel of modern life. And wellness is a critical element of what the bed & breakfast has to offer.

"Wellness equals total passion," she enthused. "I live to live. I'm madly in love with life. We need to be in love with life and our Maker. Here, you get solace and calm and take it out with you. America needs to take a card out of that deck. We over here are in such a competitive state. We're always climbing, never satisfied. We think we have all the time, so we put everything into money."

"We're so busy chasing the money, work, work, work, work. I look at life as a table base with spiritual, emotional, financial and physical legs. On top of the table is passion and dreams."

Camille, who is 50-ish, said she lives by an adage her grandmother told her: "Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; and today is useable currency."

"So you have to be the best," she said. "Very seldom do we operate in the moment. In America, we're hamsters on a wheel. We're just too busy. We don't take time to breathe, acknowledge what we've accomplished or what we've achieved. It's on to the next thing..."

Camille's friend Doris McMillon said she's grateful for Camille's emphasis on wellness. She walked in during the interview, slid into a sofa and exhaled.

"When people come, they don't want to leave," she said with a laugh. "Do you hear the music? I could stay home, but I'm here."

"Oh and the beds ... they just want to envelope you. I think Candice's focus has been a wellness issue. We're busy taking care of business, putting out fires, taking care of everything but us. We can just sit here."

In fact, McMillon made herself at home by brewing a cup of tea and listened as Camille talked about her life and her business. She interjected her observations and comments, often providing verification of what Camille said.