Are you one of those people who are never truly
satisfied? You know, the kind a customer who
always wants more? Who keeps pushing for an
upgrade? And inevitably gets much more than
they paid for? While I wish I was such a person,
I'm not. Prior to traveling I do my homework.
Thus by the time I arrive at my destination I've
already checked out the details. Fully aware of
what in theory is going to be waiting for me post
checking in. On the rare occasion I have called
down to the front desk and requested a different
room. But only when I'm absolutely not happy.
And all that I really want to do is to check out!
As you know, we're celebrating my beloved's
birthday. This year I decided to do something
different. So I methodically planned for a three
day getaway in Connecticut. My goal was that
Frank would see New England at it's best with
fall foliage ablaze. Sadly timing is everything.
So there was a risk that said hue extravaganza
might be post peak. Well, as fate would have it
we had nothing to worry about. You see up to
now our weather has been in the low eighties.
With anticipation we drove north only to find
that the majority of the leaves were still green.
Was this an omen of things to come?!
Weather or not
As if that wasn't enough to dampen our spirits,
we started on our journey in the midst of rain
storm. Soon we realized that Columbus Day is
still a holiday way back east. A non-event in
most of this country, almost everybody seemed
to have the day off. Thus businesses were either
capitalizing on the day's traffic or closed for the
holiday. Or worse - closed the day after. Hence
our first afternoon was spent frenetically driving
over hill and dale to dash in and out of charming
shops. All within the last ninety minutes before
they put their lights out. Power shopping pros -
we were soon ready to check in for the night.
I don't know about you but we're not bed and
breakfast types. There's nothing we like more
than staying with friends. However paying to
stay in some stranger's abode holds no allure.
That said, we do enjoy renting free-standing
homes or apartments. Settling into one's "own"
space sans the staff and accoutrements of a
hotel can be quite enjoyable. So after weeks
of pouring over "vacation rentals by owner"
I thought I'd booked our sweet spot. Sadly
on arrival at our home away from home in
the dark of night, we realized that I'd made
a mistake. A big, dark, and rather dirty one.
It looked charming on-line. Every review that
was posted - some as recently as a month or
two ago were glowing. And yet. post walking
into said space we knew that perception isn't
always reality. There was no doubt that said
place was charming. However it was filthy,
worn, and at least in our opinion uninhabitable.
Our dilemma was where do we go from here?!
I'd already pre-paid the full amount. There was
no chance of changing our room or getting an
upgrade. We were stuck out in the boonies with
no option but to turn around and go home. So
we opened a bottle of wine and tried our best.
The good, bad, and the ugly
For an hour or so we attempted to adjust to
our circumstances. Both hesitant to say what
was truly on our minds - we unpacked our
gourmet goodies. Nibbling and sipping on
said bounty - we tried to pretend everything
was fine. However nothing could have been
farther from the truth. Finally we admitted
that neither of us wanted to spend the night.
Let alone two. So I got on the internet and
found a nearby inn that had rooms available.
Next I e-mailed the owner demanding a full
refund. Quickly he agreed and we were back
on the road to a place to rest our weary heads.
Falling in love again
Soon we were down the road at the inn.
While not the Ritz, it was quite charming.
Post an exploratory view of the rooms we
checked in. Built in the eighteen forties it
had great bones. Plus our room had a lake
view and was clean as a whistle. Shortly
thereafter we were downstairs dining by
candlelight and all was forgotten. Like
that pricey bottle of white burgundy that
we'd left in the hovel's fridge in our haste.
Win some, lose some. We awoke the next
day to glorious autumn view. And finally
all was right in southern New England.