“The last stroke of midnight dies.
All day in the one chair
From dream to dream and rhyme to rhyme I have ranged
In rambling talk with an image of air:
Vague memories, nothing but memories.”
William Butler Yeats
I’ve been ignoring the call of my laptop for days. This morning I started to ramble on when my connection was dropped so I had to wait for the host/server to come back to life. Maybe it was a sign?
Do you stay in B&B’s when you travel? That’s probably one of the most frequently asked questions from our guests. We always smile, look at each other with a secret little gleam in our eyes, and answer, “No, we don’t.” And, of course, the next question is, why not?
Well, let’s see… imagine you work in a cubicle 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year, and then when you finally get that oh so needed 2 week vacation, you spend it in your cubicle. Yep. It’s kinda like that. Our home is our business and our business is our home, staying in a B&B is just a little too much like being at work.
When we travel, we hotel it. While on the road for 2 months in December/January, we stayed at 26 different hotels and all but 3 of those nights were spent at a Hilton property. Do you know the Hilton brand includes not only Hilton Hotels, but also, Hampton Inn, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites and for those who mingle with the Hilton clan, The Waldorf Astoria.
There’s never a dull moment when you own/operate a Bed & Breakfast Inn. Trust me on this. Last night I prepped a large baking dish of french toast souffle, (it has to refrigerate overnight) only to discover this morning that two of our guests left early. I did appreciate the note they left, but would have appreciated it even more so had they notified me last night – so as to not waste food – but better yet so that we are not tempted to eat it in order not to waste it. To expand on that, Abi and I do not eat the breakfast we serve to our guests. We might nibble a bite here and there – and quite frankly I cannot resist bacon no matter how hard I try – but we never sit down and eat a full plate of breakfast. Since taking over the inn 3 years ago, the Abigail diet, as I refer to it, has been instrumental in both of us losing a significant amount of weight and we have no intention of regaining what we’ve lost.
As we ready (and steady) ourselves for the upcoming tourist season, I was reminded of a hilarious article I read on the Huff Post about
stupid idiotic not so smart things people say when it comes to reviewing their travel experiences.
Please take 2 minutes to read through the list, I promise you’ll get quite the giggle. Huff Post: 19 Idiotic Travel Complaints
As innkeepers, we do have the occasional guest that will cause me to roll my eyes toward the back of my head while silently screaming, but truth be told 98% of our guests are quite nice, very friendly and reasonably sane. Because after all, aren’t we all just a bit touched in the head with our little idiosyncrasies?
Two of my favorite things guests have said to me are:
“One day I heard someone talking about ‘sifting sand’. I liked the sound of those words and scribble in my notebook ‘old man sifts sand’ tells stories…’ and forgot about it. Then one day I was on a beach, watching the sand trickle through my fingers and thought, what if every grain held a story. And what if someone were able to tell those stories by sifting the sand?” - Wikiquote
What if every grain held a story? What an awesome thought; especially when applied to the wonders of White Sands National Monument, New Mexico.
We’re headed south of the border today, all the way south to San Bartolo, Baja. We consider ourselves lucky in that we’ve twice been to Baja – Los Barrilles. The countryside is a picture of contrast with the waves of the Sea of Cortez breaking against the desert sands and cacti standing tall alongside the seashore, with spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
One of the best things about traveling is making memories. Long after you’ve moved on from wherever you found yourself, you have your memories. And every now and then something will trigger said memory. It happened to us on a recent Sunday evening while we were watching that legend of a weekly news show – 60 minutes. Up pops Dr. Sanjay Gupta with the story behind Cajun Ketchup, also known as Tabasco. Big deal, you’re thinking, right? But hey, we’ve been there!
Every spring it’s the same thing – the onset of my love/hate relationship with this blossoming time of year – and it’s about to roll around again come Thursday, March 20. The first day of spring 2014. Yesterday, it hailed in southern Oregon. Go figure. Blossoms through the hail, it’s a symphony of contrasts.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity…” ~ John Muir
I am not someone who will sleep under the stars, or in a tent, or in a rustic cabin or go anywhere near anything that creeps, slithers, buzzes, flies, sneaks, spins a web, etc. etc., – but, I do absolutely love to be outside and I love to hike, as long as the hike doesn’t include me edging along some precarious cliff face because as I’ve mentioned before, I’m burdened with a wicked fear of heights.
With that being said, as we started out on the Dripping Springs National Recreation Trail – just outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico – I had to take a moment and consider my options when we came upon this sign.
There is an area of this country that is like no other. I should preface that statement by saying that I have – of course – not seen every single speck of this country, but I do feel pretty safe in saying that the area in northern Arizona, southern Utah and western Colorado, is like no other. Raise your hand if you agree! That one big spot on the map offers the road warrior the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Mesa Verde, Monument Valley and Arches National Park – oh and the Canyonlands and the Grand Staircase and the Canyons of the Ancients and the list goes on – and on. If you add in the northwest corner of New Mexico, well than you can experience what is known as the Grand Circle. It is by far some of the most incredible examples of Mother Nature you can ever hope to experience. We are slowly, but surely, visiting them all.
Sometimes, there just aren’t enough adjectives. Amazing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, spectacular, magnificent, they’re all good words, good describing words and yet they become tiresome when over-used. But what other words will suffice? I mean, come on, take a look at this and I dare you to find the appropriate adjective – go on… I dare you.