When traveling, Bed and Breakfast Inn's are my favorite type of establishment. I love the cozy accommodations...the homespun charm of quilts, teapots, flowers, and aromas from the kitchen. A library with books which range from familiar classics to books of art, a fluffy cat that drapes herself around you, an antique chaise in the parlor where you can lounge like a pampered queen...you just can't get this kind of romance from a Best Western or even a luxury resort.
I've never been to a Bed & Breakfast alone. That type of romance is something to be shared. Too bad men typically don't relish that “girly stuff” nearly as much as I do. In my feel-sorry-for-myself moments I pout, thinking I might never get the chance to experience the romance of a B&B again. Funny that I didn't realize I'd be visiting one over Thanksgiving right in my sister's southern California home.
I've visited my sister before, but this was the first time I was the only visitor to her lovely home, which meant I got the full attention of her hospitality. I spent two evenings of my visit traipsing the city with Mr. November, and when I arrived back at the “inn” quite late, I found candles lit and fresh flowers adorning the guest bathroom and a mint upon my pillow! In the morning I'd wake to the scents of coffee and Thanksgiving recipes in the works.
But what made this B&B more special than any other wasn't the candles or the food. One morning I got a lazy late morning 20-minute warning from my brother-in-law, set to go with me on a long run in the 70-degree perfect California weather. Usually a reticent fellow, we chatted the whole way, discussing religion, politics, and even relationships! Every day, I got more than just the cat that draped herself around me. I got the two golden retrievers begging to be petted, their chins in my lap, looking up at me with their puppy-dog eyes. I got random hugs of affection from my neices, nephew, and sister...not because I was saying 'hello' or saying 'goodbye'....just because they love me. B&B's usually don't come stocked with people who give you a quick hug and kiss as you walk by.
I, of course, revel in all the attention. On other Thanksgivings I've been busy with my own preparations...either cooking or parenting or...at least helping the hostess. This time my sister and her family insisted on fully spoiling me and I had to do nothing but lounge around and be served. And...get this...my sister actually seemed to be enjoying doing all this pampering! I'm sure if I had stayed a few more days, she may have gotten a little irked, once I started ringing a bell for service, but she didn't even complain when I shouted up to the front desk for someone to bring me shampoo. Instead she brought me an assortment of toiletries including the requested shampoo, hair conditioner, powder, hand cream and mouthwash! They were all unopened in their cute mini containers, just waiting for the perfect guest with dirty hair, dry skin, and bad breath. This place is like magic! Quick, what else can I ask for? I know if I yell up for love, the dogs will come bounding in along with the rest of the family, and seeing as I'm in the shower, its not really the right time.
I'm not revealing the address of this unique establishment. It's not open to the general public. But I discovered that I have enjoyed this B&B more than any I'd ever visited while I was married. My husband would indulge me with occasional romance, but he was much happier roughing it at a backwoods campsite than eating scones in a candlelit breakfast room.
So, once again, I learn that a man is not required to enjoy a romantic experience and sometimes it can be a bit more romantic without one! Romance comes in many different forms. The smell of a rose placed in a room by a sister who's thinking of you means more than strolling through gardens hand-in-hand with a man who really doesn't want to be there. It's fun to share the excitement at the unexpected surprises with the person providing the pleasures, someone who not only delights in the same flavor of charm, but appreciates being appreciated herself.
So, here's to my discovery of the romance of Chez Michele, a secret Bed &Breakfast Inn.
Now....where is she with that tea?