Saturday, September 24, 2005

# 59 HOLIDAYING OUTSIDE THE BOX

Hub and I just got back from a most enjoyable holiday. It didn’t actually start out that way. Initially we considered this trip with a whole lot of angst and reluctance.

Number one concern – the price of gas. Number two concern – should we be blowing money on a leisure trip when it could be a long cold winter with heating bills reaching unbelievable proportions? Number three – could we really expect to find new pleasures on roads previously traveled? Number four – could two old fogies like us keep up with the pace of youngest daughter and her hub?

But then, Middle Daughter came through with that wee bit of advice that I needed to minimize the stress of all these worries and just concentrate on a good time. "The expense doesn’t need to be a worry if you concentrate on making memories. Really special memories."

I took her advice and so did Hub. We determined to force ourselves to concentrate on doing what MD suggested – creating special memories.

To alleviate some of our distress, we determined to do what we could to economize. Hub would drive slower than he normally does. He would keep the gas feed steady. We would effect a plan to spend cautiously, move frequently and camp on side roads and ditches rather than campsites. Cook on a campfire with basic foods bought at reasonable prices. And we would stay away from tourist spots. Stay far away from them.

All pretty much a common sense approach. But you know on the second day we happened upon a most exotic resort with a campground, restaurant, and cabins buried in the mountains among falls, and streams, and canyons, and walking bridges that as far as I was concerned couldn’t be equaled no matter where you go. The cabins were so special. Pricey, but really special.

Beautifully rustic and as homey as a lighthouse in a storm. Delightfully furnished with real stone fireplaces and each with a veranda with two lovely reclining chairs. A rustic but oh-so-cozy kitchen with an old-fashioned, but stainless steel sink, colorful pottery plates and stainless steel pots and pans. Warm stained wooden floors, lots of windows looking out at stunning snow-capped mountains in every direction, two roomy bedrooms with lovely curtains, wooden bureaus, and historic paintings. A cozy living-room area with antique leather easy chairs and a special chesterfield custom-built to nestle in the spacious old-fashioned picture window. A large nostalgic old-fashioned hooked rug on the floor. High ribbed ceilings. Stained glass windows in the bathroom. And most splendid of all – an antique and deep slipper-shaped bathtub to soak in.
Gorgeous, just way too gorgeous. And a history of the place that was as exciting as the place itself. We didn’t even notice the things that were missing – no TV, no room service, no DVD, no air-conditioning, no continental breakfast.

We took a room. It was so nice. Our doggies were welcomed and acknowledged with the greatest affection by management and guests alike. We hiked, we trekked, climbed walkways deep in mountain walls, crawled through caves, and swaggered across bridges over bottomless gullies. We sat around the fireplace in the evening in the glow of parchment-shaded lamps and played crib and Texas hold-em. We took the puppies out into vast wooded areas, removed their leashes and let them wade in streams, climb on rocks, cross narrow bridges, and snoop in caves. They were beside themselves with joy. We brought in our grocery bags and cooked new potatoes, fresh zucchini, and garnished our bacon and eggs in the morning with ripe and juicy garden-grown tomatoes. We chopped wood, packed it in the woodbox and sat nestled with comfort and satisfaction around a snapping and crackling fireplace with hot freshly-perked coffee.

And then nightfall set in and we knew this was all too silly. That we were out of our element. With the famous author on one side with his Doctor-of-Psychology-wife, and the professional fast-water kayaker on the other side with his sleek sports utility vehicle and gleaming kayak. Country hicks vainly trying to mimic and live the lives of the hoity-toity. Silly, wouldn’t you say.

But when morning came, we could not give it up. So we stayed. And when the next morning came, we could not give it up, so we stayed.

Then came the bill. Time to pay the bill. But what a surprise? The cost was way less than it would have been if we had continued meandering down the road, burning gas, eating in over-priced restaurants whenever the weather was depressing, and paying the fees to see man-made sights. It was much less. And, you know, even if it hadn’t been, but it was – we would have come home feeling it was worth every penny. As it was, by thinking or should I say moving outside the box, we got the bargain of the century.

More about this special holiday coming up on the next post.

7 Comments:

Blogger Roberta said...

Hi anonymous. I'm sorry I had to delete your comment but I do not wish any solicitations of any kind on this blog. However, you are still welcome to comment if you leave out any and all solicitations. Thank you in advance.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Hey thanks for dropping by my blog - looks like you've got quite a good one yourself!

I think you found the key to travel. It's not where you go, what you do, or how much it costs that makes great times. It's the attitude you approach it with and the connections you make with places and people along the way. Well done!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Molly said...

Roberta, I salivated over the description of the cabin. What a find! And of course one wouldn't want to venture further, once one found the best of the best: the rocking chairs, the fireplace... be still my beating heart! Any chance these cabines are a day or two drive from Massachusetts....?

10:02 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi brandon, pleased to have you stop in. And thanks for the words of wisdom.

Molly, Oh Yes, I know you would have loved it. Sadly, it's a long long trek from Massachusetts.

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Wandering Willow said...

Oh my gosh that sounded like SO much FUN!! What a good decision. I'm glad I stopped by to read this.

Now, as for solicitations... I immediately thought of some very funny solicitations I could make in the comments, but decided against it. Too bad.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

wandering willows, I'm glad you stopped in and found worth in my little expose of our holiday.

I'm sure if you had done any solicitations, I probably would have accepted them with good humor. The one I deleted was pure SPAM - someone with a hot link to a 'sketchy' bit of business. ('sketchy' is YD's descriptive word for anything or anyone that is untrustworthy and I quite like it. Seems like a very appropriate word for anything that is suspicious).

11:36 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Oops, sorry. That should be wandering willow rather than willows. Forgive my carelessness.

11:38 PM  

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