scribbles tagged ‘B&B’

The other side

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Wendy Will it take about an hour to drive to Duluth?

3Sisters landlady: Depends if you go on our side or the other side

Wendy: the other side?

3Sisters landlady: You can drive in Wisconsin, or the other side  

Wendy: oh, Wisconsin, it’s so pretty here 

And I did, because it was…

The other side
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SatNav desertion

Monday, May 25th, 2015 | tags: , , , , ,  |

SR 70 WISt Paul’s, Minneapolis, Duluth, the bigger cities of Minnesota, appear deserted during the spring weekends.

This Memorial holiday weekend I decided to drive ‘Up North’, a local spring tradition, in search of the populous. The Interstate out of Minneapolis was full of pick-up trucks loaded with, or trailing, ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles). The smaller, State Routes, had signs for ATC crossings with mud tracks leading to and from them.

I left Minneapolis after work, with a B&B booked about 2.5 hour’s drive away, according to the land lady and my SatNav. I should get there before sundown. Traffic, and having to slow down to avoid hitting the deer who jump out from the forest to wander across the road meant the journey took longer than planned.  I learned that many ‘Roads’ in the wilds, of Minnesota and Wisconsin, are not ‘paved’, ‘tarmaced’. They’re mud and gravelled. They look like roads on the SatNav, but really they’re ‘tracks’. I guess keeping them in decent condition isn’t worth the expense for the local city. Those ATVs are useful.

As darkness fell my SatNav announced that it would no longer give turn by turn guidance.


It bailed on me, in the dark.

I have no map of the wilds of Wisconsin.  I panic’d, pulled over into a soft verge and reached for my cell phone. No reception. Bugger.

ThreeSisters B&BI grabbed my Surface 1. It still showed the Bing-delivered route directions that I’d checked before leaving. Phew. I worked out where I was, memorised the distances, road names and turns then drove on.

A pleasant surprise to find my pre-SatNav skill of memorising maps and directions was still in good working order. I pulled up at the Three Sisters B&B just before the tavern opposite, Gliders, stopped serving it’s hunger quenching pizza. Just in the nick of time. Pizza to the sounds of ABBA and a host of frisky frogs. Cheerfully surreal.

The landlady joined me for Pizza and told stories of her life, those of her 2 husbands & 4 children. Awesome, such a friendly and open hearted place.

SatNav desertion
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Carterville cafe

Friday, November 29th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

Day 5: October 25th

Driving in to Carterville I’m looking for a BIG breakfast, I found one in the Carterville cafe where the staff are cheerfully friendly and even gave me an extra t, on the bill:
Carterville (7)Carterville (8)

The Carterville website is worth a visit to see photographs of the old town and hear how the township sees itself. Here’s an extract copied from their website describing the town’s history:

Visitor’s from  the U.S. and overseas seem to be especially interested in the older and smaller towns that reflect the values of America’s Main Street and Route 66, and Carterville, Missouri is just such a place.

    Having celebrated it’s 125th. Anniversary, Carterville’s colorful history was born in the early 1870’s and later prospered during the lead and zinc mining boom of the turn-of-the-century. In those days, the town’s population soared to over 5000.  Two trolly tracks ran down the middle of Main street, and business thrived. Overcrowding and wealth, full employment, social clubs and the rowdy miners were common in those days, but the city did not diversify and depended on the mining industry for it’s survival.  By 1920 the boom turned to bust, and Carterville’s miners moved on, leaving a dwindling population to deal with closing businesses and fewer income opportunities.  The Great Depression  would have finished the town off, except for one thing,  a new federal road known then as Highway 66.
    Carterville’s Main Street bustled once again with automobile and truck traffic.  In spite of losing over half of it’s population, the town now had ten filling stations in operation.  Old buildings that once housed department stores, newspaper offices and banks were converted in hotels, auto service garages and cafes.  Even though the town suffered another set-back when Route 66 was decommissioned in the mid 1980’s, Carterville had evolved into a quiet, friendly community…and seemed to be content.   It can also be said today that Carterville owes it’s very survival to the Mother Road, Route 66.
    Today, interest in this most famous of all  American highways is surging, and Carterville wants to show it’s pride in, and respect of, Route 66. Local residents display the symbol of Route 66 on their homes, businessmen have placed Route 66 banners on Main Street poles and painted the shield on the pavement for all to see.  A Route 66 flag flies beneath Old Glory and events are held in the Fall to celebrate being a part of America’s Main Street.
    Carterville is now home to “Superman on 66”, a Superman memorbelia museum and ice cream parlor.  The first Route 66 Visitors Welcome Center in southwest Missouri opened it’s doors this year in a 1937 era filling station, and several other old buildings have been purchased for  a Route 66 themed Bed and Breakfast and restaurant.  Plans are also underway to purchase a city block for use as a Route 66 Festival site to attract more regional visitors, and other Route-themed activities are being considered by the new “Festival Committee”.
    Everyone seems to be jumping on the Route 66 bandwagon, including the town’s police officers whose uniform shoulder patches sport the Route 66 emblem.  Could it be that Carterville has the same spirit as the fictional town residents of “Radiator Springs” in the Pixar movie “CARS” had? 
Carterville cafe
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the Mansion at Elfindale

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Mansion at Elfindale Springfield (16)Mansion at Elfindale Springfield (20)Day 4: October 24th

For the first 3 nights of my road trip I treated myself to staying in USA ‘Bed and Breakfast’ accommodation. Each night I’d look online to find a place to stay at my next destination, then phone them using my USA SIM in my unlocked Nokia Lumina. This worked well for the first 2 nights. In Springfield Missouri I was one of 2 guests staying at the Mansion at Elfindale. The other guest was a visiting Pastor, I never saw him. The mansion seemed deserted apart from a very friendly kitty. It was very impressive. Before disappearing the receptionist gave me a full tour of the building replete with historical comment. Beautiful. In it’s lifetime the Mansion had been a private home, convent and a boarding school. It’s currently owned by a church, that has a church building behind the Mansion. They’ve raised money to refurbish and keep the mansion in good condition.

Mansion at Elfindale Springfield (18)My room was above the main entrance way, with a balcony, and en-suite bathroom with original brass fittings and a claw foot bath. The floor-space on my room seemed larger than the floor-space in my UK Wendy home! Huge and luxurious.

Mansion at Elfindale - my roomIt was another beautifully sunny day, but the ‘storm warning’ sign with directions on how to find the basement suggested that Springfield has more dramatic weather than the UK.

Tired after a long day driving, I didn’t drive into downtown Springfield, I took a long bath enjoyed the room and looked for a place to stay tomorrow night. Not easy, it seems as if Oklahoma city is full. After contacting 7 places, none of whom were ‘able’ to recommend an alternative, Rachel had a space for me in a town south of Oklahoma city, Norman. Maybe I should be pampering myself less and staying in Roadside motels? Maybe later on the trip…



the Mansion at Elfindale
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Great Dunmow

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

tonight I’m hanging out in Great Dunmow.

I’ve not seen much of it, I rolled in after 3 hours driving through places like Maidenhead, Slough, Ruislip and some cuter bits nearer Cambridgeshire.  The sun set, the roads wound.

I pulled into the Harwood Guest house Bed and Breakfast, 15mins from Stanstead airport and not on the flight path at 10.15pm  An hour and 15 minutes later than planned. Doh!  Driving the cute route was longer than the SatNav predicted.

wendy: is there a pub near here that I can get to before last orders?

Ian: where are you from gel? you’ve got loads of time

wendy: South of here, don’t they stop serving at 10.30?

Ian: there’s a pub across the road they’ll serve you till 11pm no worries.


Ian is a gem.  I’ve only talked to him for 10 minutes,  but it was enough for him to work a few embedded knots out of my shoulder muscles.  That’s a high quality Bed and Breakfast.

Across the road they serve me a pint of Doombar for £2. 

A bargain.

I fire-up my laptop to tell you guys about it.  I’m on holiday. 

How lucky is that?  Matrix is alive, how lucky is that?  The ash cloud isnt going to prevent my flight tomorrow. how lucky is that?  I’ve got a job, an income, how lucky is that?  It’s after last orders, after closing time and I’m still being served, how lucky is that?

Things may go quiet while I’m on Holiday, but they may not, Darling is travelling with me….

Great Dunmow
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5 bits of fabulous banter »

a bit sensitive

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Hairdresser Business Owner (HBO): you’ve been in before haven’t you?

Wendy: yes,  only once  several months ago,   its grown a lot and kept a very good shape, it was a good cut

HBO: yes,   I remember. Lucia, the Phillipino lady, cut your hair really short.   She’s in the Phillipines as the moment,   she owns a bed and breakfast there and its their peak season,   its alright for some!

HBO: your scalp is a bit sensitive,   do you have a stressful job?

Wendy: (giggles) Sort of because…(unpublishable)

While the assistant washes my way-past-its-cut-by-date mop the HBO checks her records.  

HBO: you came in here  last September, no wonder its grown so much

Wendy: I’m impressed that you recognised me

We talked about her business,   she hasn’t been hit by the credit crisis because ‘everyone needs a haircut’   and her business has been established for over 9 years.   We both agreed that we liked Reading a lot because of the nice people we’ve met here.   She was born in Reading,   studied in London with Vidal Sassoon,   travelled the world then came back to Reading to set-up her business.  

It’s the best haircut I’ve had in over a decade.  

I’m a very happy bunny

a bit sensitive
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relatively temporary

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |

When I arrive I will be  staying in  temporary accomodation,   in Reading.  

Staying in this quaint  bed and breakfast until the home I’ll be renting is available,   after 7 days.   The rented home is also temporary,   until I find a mortgage and a property to hang that mortgage on.   Temporary for months.

Given past trends  in my life the mortgaged property will also be temporary.   Between 3 and 7 years temporary.  

Everything is temporary.   Permanent is probably a statement of the difficulty of predicting an end-date.

relatively temporary
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clark chambers farm

Saturday, January 6th, 2007 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Recommended for an informal friendly bed and breakfast in Dungeness 🙂 🙂

ratings explained

Glenda Clark (ne Chambers)  explains that the farm is the oldest family run farm in Washington state.   She is thinking about trying to get it ‘registered’,   the UK equivalent of ‘listed’.  It is no coincidence that  Clark Chambers farm is the first building on ‘Clark road’.   Bob Clark is a never ending source of stories about farm life and the social history of the Dungeness region of the Olympic peninsular.   A chirpy cheerful couple,   they remind me of cockneys,   with a different accent.

All American accessories included a white picket fence, a porch that surrounded the whole house and warm friendly owners.   Spectacular accessories included a view of the Olympic mountains to the south and a huge bath en-suite.

The bedrooms are named after their original occupants,   mom and dad’s room,   Bob’s room, the guest room.   I stayed in mom and dad’s room with a big en-suite bath.    I miss the decent sized British baths made for lounging in.    Being a person of aquadexterous talents  I could adjust the waterfolw with my tootsies.   I sloshed in the outstanding luxury of  two baths per day.


clark chambers farm
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Spoke Ann (the prequel)

Friday, May 26th, 2006 | tags: , ,  |

that’s how the locals say  ‘Spokane‘. They don’t say ‘Spo kane’.  

This weekend Flat Eric is taking me to a turn of the century (1908) Spokane city ‘Registered Historic Landmark’ Bed and Breakfast, Stoltz House,  Oh Yeah Baby!

Spokane was the smallest city to host a World fair.   The first World fair  with an ‘environmental’ theme inspired by concerns about mining poluting the local river.    Growing awareness of the local regional nuclear contamination attributed to the Hanford facility  may have played a role.   Hanford is within 150 miles of Spokane.   Wikipedia mentions that Hanford is known for being the site which supplied the nuclear material for the ‘Manhattan project’ and the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.   We’ll be spending a few moments in silent contemplation overlooking Hanford on Memorial day.   Apparantly much of the original site is now ‘orchards’.   Hmmmmm…  Washington apples,   distributed all over America.    

I once accidentally drove onto the current Hanford site and was promptly acosted by a military person waving a BIG gun.  “Sorry sir,   it was such a nice big road and so empty  I thought it was a ‘toll booth’ not a military check point“. I suspect  a convincing ditsyness,   it being Christmas Eve,    my ‘cute’ English accent and Flat Eric wearing his seat-belt  in the passenger seat helped me get out of that without an interrogation.        

Flat Eric will be in the passenger seat again on the  way to  Spokane;   it  has  free  city-wide wireless service.   YAY!   that suits  this online girly,   Darling will be coming with me downtown!  


I’m already way too excited.   The kind of excitement that leads to these comments:

Mumzie:  “there will be tears before bedtime”  (Wendy  under 4″0′)

Wendy: “there will be beers before bedtime” (Wendy  over 5″5′)


                          boing                                     boing                                       boing                                      

boing                                       boing                                       boing                                       boing

Spoke Ann (the prequel)
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