What time is breakfast?
Is it a ground floor room?
How close are restaurants?
What’s within walking distance?
These are some questions I might ask the next time I make reservations at a Bed and Breakfast. Our recent experiences have given us strong opinions on B & Bs.
The first night of our vacation was at a Hampton Inn, the closest to the airport for our late night arrival. The breakfast was mediocre–coffee not hot enough, pathetic pastries. I went for the oatmeal, a sure sign nothing indulgent was available. But it met our needs.
The second night, our accommodations were excellent. The restored mansion, Churchill Manor, was incredible–period furniture from the 19th century, high ceilings, lovely paintings and accessories. We were told breakfast was 8:30-10. Just having arrived on the west coast, for us that translated to 11:30-1! But we managed. The “gourmet breakfast” advertised was okay, but not as fantastic as we’d expected.
Our room contained an enormous, claw-footed tub and a modern tiled bathroom off our room. But only one chair and only one luggage rack made it a bit awkward.
The second night, the Beazley House was very nice, but it had never been a mansion–just a nice, comfortable home. The gardens were lovely and our room was spacious. Two wingback chairs, two luggage racks! These hosts understood it was not a room for one. Nice big tile bathroom. And an outside entrance off the garden, which we enjoyed.
But our breakfast was from 9-10:30. Good thing we were getting into the new time zone by then. And the breakfast was terrific! Homemade granola, homemade yogurt, and fresh fruit preceded a hot dish of rosemary potatoes topped with poached eggs and thick, crisp bacon. Our host constantly offered more coffee or tea and took time to chat as we ate.
Then we went to the Lavender House, which truly was painted lavender. This was a sprawling old Victorian house with a big porch and again we had an outside entrance, this time off the porch. The bedroom was not very large, but the bathroom and private patio were huge. It was easy to pull in a second chair from the porch. And breakfast started at 7:30!
All three had easily started gas fireplaces, ample toiletries, wonderful mattresses, pillows, and linens, free wifi, and appetizers with wine each evening. All were within walking distance of lovely restaurants. The last one was by a park with a walking path to another park. All were delightful.
But then we went to visit my brother and his wife. You might think visiting relatives would be a step down from that opulence and service, but it was not! Lovely, spacious bedroom with sliding doors overlooking a beautiful pool and manicured yard. Private bathroom, nicely appointed. Made to order breakfasts, though we protested. Gorgeous artwork, beautiful cabinetry, elegant hardwood floors. Constant concern for our comfort.
Best of all, conversation. We talked about everything and about nothing. We talked about our childhoods and our relatives, our activities and our children. We talked about friends with problems and friends without problems. We talked about church growth and church issues. We worshiped together.
What a lovely storehouse of memories! I appreciate so much the people who made it such a wonderful trip. Staying overnight with strangers can be fun, but there is nothing like family. Visiting my other brother and his wife offers similar luxury–lake view, sliding doors to a pool, lovely breakfasts and conversation about both the important and the trivial.
More to add to my list of blessings above and beyond anything I could ask or imagine.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)