Wednesday, July 23, 2008

travel saga: bed and breakfasts...

they're strange. awkward. these people have some extra bedrooms in their house and they open them up to you. do you tell them where you're headed when you go out? when you come in, should you sit around and visit, or can you just go to your room?

well our first b&b was in new perth, PEI. about 25 minutes east of chalottetown. we showed up around 4pm and our hosts were a cute couple in their 70s. they've been running a b&b for 33 years in the area. so we show up, they show us our room (one of four upstairs all sharing one bathroom), and then what? umm...we left. "we're going to the movies" (i felt the need to share our plans) when we returned, all the other guests and the hosts were sitting around in the living room. we stood (implying we were going to leave momentarily) chatting but eventually felt that we should just give in and sit down. so we sat around making small talk for half an hour. okay, okay, it's a great way to meet the locals of the area... and their rooster. we met him each morning at 6am (2am as we adjust from BC time) so just as you're feeling like you're getting to know the folks you're staying with, we have to sit down and be served by them. they kept bringing out the next part of the breakfast and pouring me coffee. it's great...but juxtaposed with the grandparent-like familiarity, you feel badly that you're just sitting there!

so the next b&b in murray harbour, PEI was more expensive (aka we'd have our own bathroom) and they had a satellite tv in the room. umm...we had to be prepared for SYTYCD, right? but they took our credit card number, had a great website, served fancy breakfasts - it sounded a lot more business-like. i was looking forward to the trails through their "mixed forest", paddling on the lake, and spending time non-guiltily in our room watching tv. so we showed up here today (they have wifi) and our room is right next to the hosts' office. i had just bought a diet coke on the way over and wanted to sit back in our room, check facebook...so i did. as soon as i came out of the room, the hosts were there (since their office is there) telling me that i don't have to sit in my room the whole time. oh i know...thanks...smile, smile. we're out of here. when we came back after dinner, i ran myself a bath in the jacuzzi tub. i was reading the binder that is in our room about the b&b and it says that guests are "encouraged" to come have tea in the evening and visit with other guests. then when i got out of the bath and was walking to my room, the hostess (who's sitting in the office) says to me, "be sure to come out and have tea later"...what do i say? umm...i've come all the way to PEI and i want to watch my tv show. so we're sitting in our room right now and i'm feeling guilty that i'm not out being social. shoot.

so bed and breakfasts...the verdict isn't in yet. i need to chill out a little, not worry about appearances, and enjoy the only tv on our trip. but despite the tone of this post, we ARE enjoying paying less and eating huge breakfasts (my favourite meal to have someone else make for me) and we'll see how the next few go!

6 comments:

therachel said...

i don't think you should feel guilty for watching your show. I would do the same thing.

I think it would be fun for you to take pictures of your breakfasts from here on in, and put them on the blog - like when you did the week of dinners...

judymacd said...

hey.. good to hear that all is well on the other side of the country.. AWKWARD is all I can say about B&B's... that's why I often will try to find "private entrances" -- yeah, they're few and far between, but I know how you're feeling... the jury's still out! Slide show coming up.. :)

therachel said...

oh, the slide show! wish I could be present. Dallas and I so enjoyed the slide show from last year's vacation!

Carolyn said...

I love B&B's. In fact I want to own one when I grow up:)

Jonny said...

Joy and I stayed at a B&B once...Never again! No matter how much money is saved, I'm not into sitting around and conversing with people that I don't know. The worst part was that the B&B we stayed in was more money than a hotel room.

I don't really understand the whole concept of just sitting in a hotel room or B&B anyway. When we go on vacation,we want to see things, not hang out in the room!

Anonymous said...

Sam and I have used B&B's quite a bit in recent years. I think some people get into the business b/c they like meeting people from all over the place. Our strategy is to have a little visit when we first arrive, as they are showing us the facilities, i.e. ask about how long they've done this, alterations to their house, points of interest in the house, etc. Then we do our own thing without guilt, reminding ourselves that we are paying for this room, we are not "guests" in the normal sense of the word. We have stayed in some wonderful historic or unusual houses, and eaten some great breakfasts. We try to stay in charge of our holiday and not give away our precious time that we have looked forward to all year!!
Bonnie