Saturday, September 19, 2009

A B&B Exceeds my Expectations!

I’ve maintained that staying in a stranger’s home is a bit of a bizarre concept. Well, maybe saying it’s bizarre is a slight exaggeration because evidently its popularity is known the world over and it is called staying in a B&B (bed and breakfast). Staying at a B&B never appealed to me. That is, not until last week, when we stayed here.

So how did I end up there you might ask? Well, you know how it is when your mind plays tricks, like word play? That’s precisely what happened to me. When hubby emailed me the link to the B&B I didn’t register B&B, my eyes only read “Spa” in the title. Like how Homer Simpson’s mind goes vacant and he starts drooling when he sees Duff beer. Spas are excellent, with the desired objective to be relaxing, pampering, and de-stressing. Spas yes, B&Bs not so much. What intrigued hubby to this particular B&B was the fact that it was in two geodesic dome buildings with 27 feet high ceilings inspired by Buckminster Fuller built in the seventies.

It wasn’t until we were driving in the dark on the gravel driveway to the house that I said, “Oh, it’s a B&B!” “You knew that didn’t you,” says hubby. I said that out loud, damn! “Of course.” I mumbled. Holy smokes, there is no backing up now, I thought to myself. Particularly, since we came to a complete park in the driveway at that very second. At any rate, it was too late and with only two star motels in the vicinity I suppose at that instant my aversion for anything two stars outweighed my fear of staying in someone’s private home.

The host and hostess, Marianne and Gary, greeted us and showed us our bedroom, named the “Victorian". Mmmm, our bedroom has a name, that’s cool.
“What time do you want breakfast served,” inquires Marianne as we make our way upstairs. The B&B is becoming more promising by the second I thought to myself. “Seven thirty would be great!” Says hubby.

As my head hit the pillow, I snuggled between the cool sheets with the duvet pleasantly enfolding around me cozy like, and hubby says “not bad, right?” I smile and drift off into a restful sleep to wake up in seventh heaven and that is not an exaggeration.

As we came down the stairs the next morning I can see the attractively set table and aroma of alluring cooking smells coming from the kitchen. I momentarily think that we have intruded on their breakfast. At that moment Gary says, “Have a seat and I’ll bring out coffee.” My eyes feasted on fresh fruit and the quiche as I noted immediately that although my hubby’s plate had ham mine didn’t. “You remembered I don’t eat pork.” I said. Gary replied, “We remember everything.” The quiche was light, fluffy and delicious! Everything was perfection. I could get used to this I thought, or did I say it out loud?

As we descended the stairs for the next four days we were greeted with one feast after the other, and each morning our expectations were exceeded. We had private and exceptional service, fabulous and mouth-watering breakfasts and lunches. Did I mention the home baked desserts? I never in my life consumed key lime pie that melted on my tongue leaving me wanting more, just one more tiny bite, please. It had the perfect balance of tangy and sweet making my taste buds dance the tango.

Seriously it was not all about the food, although nothing prepares you for the day better than feeling properly cared for. The grounds and gardens were beautifully appointed, a screened in gazebo right next to the babbling pond set the stage for creativity. Hubby quickly made himself at home in the gazebo whilst inspired and worked on his novel while two resting cats quietly kept him company.

Remember, my mind’s focus on the fact we were heading to a spa? I decided to give that a whirl, which too did not disappoint. It was a fabulous relaxing experience. Ahhh, this is the life. At this B&B all the senses are satisfied, the sight, smell, taste and touch leaving you wanting for nothing.

What makes this an outstanding experience is the remarkable couple who own this piece of paradise. They work together seamlessly perfectly orchestrated or so it would seem to me. Clearly their attention to detail and zeal is evident in every aspect of this B&B. Marianne playfully gives credit to Gary’s mild OCD personality for maintaining order at the homestead. They are seasoned travelers, their home tastefully appointed with treasures from exotic far away lands, a photograph here, a mask there, odds and ends peppered throughout the house invites curiosity and discussion. They are more than happy to share their stories with a captivated audience. By the end of the first day we were so comfortable we had breakfast in our housecoats the following morning.

One evening Marianne asked what we wanted for breakfast I said, “I normally have oatmeal.” “That is too boring, you should have something better than you would have at home.” She said with purpose. That says it all!

Hubby’s Comments: I had some business meetings coming up in a small town where I knew there were no particularly attractive accommodations. Our son was away on a camping trip with his school and I wanted to get She Who Must be Obeyed to come with me. I found Hummingbird Hill on the internet and emphasized it was a Spa, not a B&B, knowing something about the prejudices of SWMO.

I was able to stay in a comfortable and relaxed resort while making the short drive to my meetings. One morning I had no meeting and was able to work on my novel in the fantastic gazebo with Marianne and Gary’s two cats for company.

Marianne and Gary are the perfect couple for this spot. Marianne is the one with the big ideas, while Gary is a steadying influence. We not only found a beautiful place for a getaway but we made new friends too.

Finally, the house itself is spectacular. Built by a young couple in the early 1970's, it is two large-triangle geodesic domes connected in the middle. Sounds odd, but it really works. There are no right angles in the exterior walls, and the ceilings soar to incredible heights.

Not too shabby!

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PhilipH said...

Sounds like heaven on earth!

Those snapshots of the food made me feel quite peckish, but as it is just past the witching hour I had to go to bed hungry!

Angelina said...

You are up quite late then. Thank you for your comment.

We had a superb stay, and it was a welcome distraction while our son was away camping.

Marianne said...

Angelina what a lovely writter you are, and such nice pictures of the food, I never take pictures of the food, I must agree that Key Lime Pie is hummy, had the last piece myself.............BAD GIRL BAD GIRL

I am looking forward to following your magnificent life

DUTA said...

I greatly enjoyed reading this post.
What a unique place, lovely owners and awsome dishes!
The pictures and the colorful way in which you've described it all create a special atmosphere.

Angelina said...

Thank you Marianne for your lovely comments.

Indeed, I encourage you to take pictures of the food for they are as delicious as they look. You have a fabulous business, and have set the bar high where B&Bs are concerned.

Regards to Gary.

Angelina said...

Greetings Duta,

I am glad you enjoyed reading this post. It was a pleasant and relaxing experiences.

Thank you for commenting.

Pink Heels said...

Ohhhh...I have the PERFECT B&B for you to visit. However, don't share this amazing find with everyone. I don't want the rates to become outrageous or for it to become difficult to book a room last minute.

The BEST, and I mean BEST, B&B is Greencrest Manor It should be noted that I DO NOT like B&Bs but this one...oh my! The mansion is breathtaking, the grounds are immaculate, and the lake...ohhhh.

If you ever make it there, let me know! I would love to hear what you thought!

Angelina said...

It looks grand. I will let you know if we stay there. Thank you for the scoop, mums the word!

tanveernaseer said...

I agree, Angelina, that this is a wonderful story and it sounds like you experienced all the delights that staying at a B&B offers. And you're right, that many times the food that you are served at these places can be wonderful delights.

I remember at one B&B that my wife and I stayed at we were served for breakfast one morning maple bread and homemade blueberry butter. It was so unbelievably good, it was all I wanted each day of our stay there and I'm glad I did that since even now, all these years later, I have yet to find anything that comes as close to what I was served at that quaint little B&B.

Glad to hear you had an enjoyable stay at your first B&B.

Angelina said...

Hi Tanveer,

Interestingly it would seem that our fondest memories relate back to food. I'm intrigued with homemade blueberry butter, sound delicious, yummy.

Congratulations on your new website!

Pink Heels said...

Anytime! I hope that you will be able to enjoy this magnificent place one day.

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