First B and B experience: One of the B’s of Bed & Breakfast
In my line of work, I have staff scattered across Mesa, Arizona, Austin, Texas and Clinton, NC. I recently headed up to the Clinton, NC office for staff touch base and research. I had made this trip last year and opted to stay in Raleigh, NC. Last year, this commute was a little over an hour each way. It was last year I decided, NEVER AGAIN! I am used to crazy traffic but Austin traffic vs. NC is very different. In Austin, you can wait an hour just getting from North to South Austin or 20 miles. NC you are traveling long distances of nothing but trees. Anyway, I digress. Back to Clinton, NC.
I booked the only place to stay which is a Bed and Breakfast near our office. The Ashford Inn. I have never been to a Bed and Breakfast in my life! I suppose I have never been swanky enough ever to book one. I love the anonymous life of hotel stays. I was in for a new experience.
The check-in: My Southwest flight landed around 7:30 PM. Side note: Southwest is the best airline ever! I knew enough based on my confirmation email when booking the Ashford Inn I needed to relay to the innkeeper my late arrival time. I had already sent her an email a week before. I drove in the rain and reached the B&B at 9 PM. I turned in and unloaded my small luggage and headed to the front door. I saw a lady’s face only lit by a small lamp. She promptly greeted me by name and welcomed me in. She offered to take my luggage upstairs to room 3. I looked around briefly and noticed pictures of individuals from long ago. You know the type those haunted house type pictures. Or, if you would like to think of the paintings as those historical type pictures. The stairs creaked as we made our way up.
Room 3: Room 3 was well furnished, spacious and clean. It had a grand queen size bed, chair, and ottoman, armoire, table and chair, lamps, chandelier, TV, large closet, iron and ironing board, bathroom in the same room with standard tub/shower combo, toilet and vanity.
The Innkeeper was kind and sweet she was fighting a cough but was explaining items. It was late, and I can’t say I retained everything. She asked me when I would be eating breakfast. I…I…*mentally doing calculations of wake up, shower, makeup, planned time to be at the office* I need to leave here by 7:30 to be at the office. “OK, Great! I will see you at 7:00 AM for breakfast.” She hands me a key chain with two keys. One for my room and another for the side door of the B&B with a metal motel keychain painted number 3 on it.
Night time: I settled in and turned on the TV. My usual bedtime process is watching forensic files until I fall asleep. There is something about that narrator’s voice that is so soothing to me. However, I could hear stairs creaking and noises I didn’t know what they were. I admit it freaked me out a bit. Then I realized I bet others might be able to hear my TV, so I turned it was down and turned on closed captioning. As I calmed down, I realized I had a lot of B&B questions.
Brain on Overdrive: What do you wear to breakfast? Do I tip her? What will she make me? What if I don’t like it? Am I expected to mingle with other people? Can I eat in this room? I headed to google to find some answers. It was a long night.
Day 1: I managed to get a few hours sleep. I handled my morning routine and headed down three stairs before, SHIT, need to lock my door! Ok headed downstairs and looked for the kitchen or dining room. Found it! It was a yellow room with antique paintings and some floral wallpaper. “Good morning?!” The innkeeper replies, “sit anywhere there is a place setting!” I pick the one nearest me and plop down. She quickly comes out and asks if I would like coffee. I don’t drink coffee. “Do you have tea?” She quickly brings a wooden box, and I pick a chai tea. She brings out a teacup. Now, it wasn’t just any teacup but one of those pinky-in-the-air type of cups, and a small pot of hot water. The tea was delicious! Breakfast comes out, and it is a mushroom-sausage frittata with a side of fried plantains that have a touch of honey and salt. I love plantains, and these did not disappoint. She offered muffins, but I declined as she had fed me well.
Day 2: I had asked for a light breakfast. She made two breakfast tacos with Morracan oranges with a hint of cinnamon. The tacos were grits with tomato and cheese on a corn tortilla and an egg and cheese. Again, Delicious!
Day 3, the last day! Do I get breakfast on the day of check out? I had asked this question the night before and didn’t find an answer. Well, I headed down. At the same time. I said good morning and explained I wasn’t sure if I got breakfast on the day of check out as this was my first stay at a B&B. She laughed and said, “That’s one of the B’s in Bed & Breakfast!” I’m glad it was because this was my favorite breakfast. It consisted of sweet potato hash with two eggs and apples. I opted for orange juice, not tea today. I know, I am such a rebel!
Although my time at the B&B was short and colossal culture experience for me, I can say I had a love-hate relationship. The hate was all on me. I didn’t know how to act, and it bothered me. The love was the comfortable and welcomed feeling I had plus the delicious food. Thanks, Ashford Inn for popping my B&B cherry. You are my first and I will never forget you.