Getting back to sharing more of my sojourn to my much-loved northern Michigan, I thought I’d mention a bit about where I stayed. Usually, I stay either at my boss’ condo at a ski and golf resort, or at a lovely B&B in Williamsburg, MI called the Country Hermitage. This time, I simply wasn’t motivated to do the housekeeping and grocery shopping that staying at the condo requires (e.g. I didn’t want to clean up after myself, even for a free bed LOL), and sadly, the rates at the Hermitage have become way overinflated in my opinion. I looked for a comparable lodging experience, and for a good $80 LESS per night for a more furnished room, found Stafford’s Bay View Inn.
We got off to a rocky start. Since these trips are a big deal for me, I try to make each as special as possible, and I am VERY fussy about the details. Any initial stay at an inn requires a scouring of their website and reviews, and viewing online pictures of rooms from every possible angle, before selecting one with almost as much as care as someone might their baby’s name. Therefore, when on the road and perhaps two hours away from my destination, you can imagine my dismay at receiving a phone call that there was a maintenance issue with my room and they would be moving me into a “another room that was also a nice suite.” There was nothing to be done be for it; I continued on my way, arrived, checked in, found my new room. ICK. It was smaller, adorned with very dated decor and other cosmetic issues, a sitting area with such uncomfortable furniture so as to be rendered unusable, and no private porch overlooking the bay (which my originally chosen room boasted.)
I sat, suitcases surrounding me, on the edge of the bed and looked around sadly. I went downstairs, got a Heineken, came back. I texted my friend Michelle, venting over the whole thing. And really, in the context of what else is going on in the world, felt very childish for reacting in such a way to what should be a minor disappointment. I finished my bath, unpacked, lounged in the whirlpool tub (closing my eyes to the heavy vinyl floral wallpaper in the bathroom), ordered a pizza, and went to find a sunset.
I did not have to go far. My room faced west over Little Traverse Bay, and the inn is very short walk to the shoreline.
Right next to the inn’s property was this peaceful little grove with its irresistible stone path. I followed it a bit in, and realized… it was a memorial garden. People can lay the ashes of their loved ones to rest in this picturesque place, and small engraved signs bearing the names of the departed stood, almost like garden markers, all over the knoll. I thought it was perfect.
So, I mentioned I was hankering for a sunset.
Needless to say, I found one. They are rather plentiful on Michigan’s West Coast.
I turned back to look at the inn, bathed in this light.
And returned my view to the water, for the last kiss of sunlight.
The next day, I was much on the road (and not just to escape my ugly room.) I had things to see, places to shop from, vistas to explore, and friends to meet for dinner. The following morning on my way to breakfast, I saw the door open and Housekeeping working on the room I had originally reserved. I peeped in, explained myself to the maid and mentioned I just had to see the room I was originally SUPPOSED to have LOL! The manager, apparently within earshot, overheard me and was pleased to say that the shower in there had been repaired, the suite was nearly cleaned, and would I like to move in? Would I??