A Recent Stay at a B&

I am not a large woman. My rump doesn’t bump into things when I walk through a room. The word clumsy doesn’t come to mind in describing me. So, how is it that in the last two days, I caused two household items to crash to the floor and break into smithereens? Permit me to explain:

My husband and I, along with another couple, I’ll call them Jack and Ellie, routinely celebrate New Year’s Eve by spending two nights at a Bed & Breakfast. Jack is our designated “camp counselor” and he has always taken it upon himself to select the B&B – different each year. His choices – often sight unseen – have been superb and we always have a great time. Jack and Ellie checked out the website, looked at photos, read the description and passed it by us for approval. This one sounded good!

We knew we were in for a somewhat, shall I say, challenging experience when (1) the owner had informed us she was not going to be there; (2) the walkway was covered with snow and ice; and (3) the second B was “help yourself.” An 1850’s farmhouse, it was situated across the street from a very famous racetrack. Not to give too much away, let’s just say Paul Newman was one of Paul Newman dressingthe regulars who had competed there. The owner of the house obviously had a thing for him, as the kitchen was filled with more Newman’s Own products than you’d find in his own home!

NYE 005

Reading Material

We entered and proceeded through a cluttered hallway to our rooms. No available drawers, no space to hang clothing. All surfaces were used for various knickknacks, decorative items, jars, chatchkas. Unpacking was not an option. I checked out the owner’s taste in literature.

The fireplace (gas) looked inviting. To the left, a chair.  To the right, a TV and several remotes for which there were no clear directions. Were it not for the owner’s daughter, who occasionally came by to feed the cats (did I forget to mention the cats?), we would never have been able to see the ball drop!

The Kitchen.....where to begin?

The Kitchen…..where to begin?

The kitchen was a mass of clutter: The only available surface was the stove, on which we piled everything that had been on the center island so that we could have a few square inches of space. A hand-printed sign on a basket said, “Help yourself” and contained one old box of Cheerios, a few protein bars, instant oatmeal and a package of hot chocolate. This was our Breakfast.

After we poured ourselves the first of many cocktails, we settled in for a good time. Ellie and I constantly marveled at things we uncovered; a mink stole hanging on a hook on the wall, ladybugs flying around the bathroom, a jar of peanut butter under the kitchen sink marked “for mice,” fake floral garlands lining the banister, more Christmas decorations than you would find at The Christmas Tree Shop, 14 bottles of Conditioner in the shower, but no shampoo and barely enough lighting anywhere.

Which brings me to my “clumsiness.” The seating around the dining room table was so cramped that upon rising, I caused a large ceramic Chrismassy scene to smash to the floor.

Dining Room Decor

Dining Room Decor

Thank goodness it wasn’t the crèche; I couldn’t live with the guilt! In my bedroom, while inching my way to the bed in the semi-darkness, I bumped into the dresser and a small lamp with a glass shade crashed to the floor.

Before we left, we checked the website again. Yup, still looked inviting, spacious and neat. No clutter, room to spread out and an organized, inviting kitchen. My husband and I, and Jack and Ellie carefully maneuvered the icy walkway to our cars and drove off. A Happy New Year was had by all!


  1. LOL! Arlene! Well at least you got a funny post out of it! I doubt the owners will ever notice the things you destroyed with your tiny (but destructive) derriere! Hah!

    • Well, we left the broken lamp in full view but I haven’t heard anything yet. Thanks for reading.

  2. elmo

    You did us justice!
    Ellie (or am I Jack?)

    • You just blew your cover! Thanks for being a good sport.

  3. Linda Levine

    Well, at least it wasn’t phony. It was surely homey and without artifice. I think your friends , having had such a good record in picking places, decided to rest on their laurels (and probably broke them). Here’s my suggestion for the future. Motel 6. At least you can be sure of a light.

    • Motel 6: Now why didn’t I think of it? Good idea!

  4. Linda Levine

    Oh are you laid back! We would have broken more china, “helped ourselves ” to the mink stole, strangled the cats and sent the lady a personal scree and a Lawyers letter!
    l&L ( Good photos)

    • Good for you! Next time, I’ll consider your suggestions.

  5. Heh, quite the experience! Happy New Year!!

    • And a Happy New Year to you as well. Hope your new job is settling down and allowing you more time to write. Liked the piece on Santa’s gender!

      • Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it! (Ironic that when they Freshly Pressed me they picked non-original material.)

        Not sure if my schedule will be any lighter, but June 1 is getting closer and closer! (I spell June 1: R.E.T.I.R.E.M.E.N.T!)

      • I am retired as of last August and love it!

  6. I can’t believe that kitchen!!!! What an extraordinary place.

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