I prefer hotels over Bed and Breakfasts for a few reasons, the least of which is not that at a hotel I don’t feel obligated to interact with the staff on a personal level. But the one time I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast, it was like eating in the family’s dining room, which was awkward. Especially because I’m such a picky eater.
I remember realizing I was a picky eater when I was young; my Mom always ordered my food for me at fast food places but this time I was with my Mom’s cousin, Pam, who didn’t know what I liked and so I was forced to order it myself. And I didn’t know what to say to the pimply-faced teenager ruining in the Burger King uniform. So I got a burger with an onion and a pickle and mustard on it. Gross.
At a hotel I could get what I wanted without fear of upsetting the cook. But at the Bed and Breakfast – well, I was going to sit there in the cook’s home suffering through whatever she made me.
I went to Knoebel’s Amusement Park in rural Pennsylvania to visit some friends who were singing and dancing in a show there. This park is located in a valley between two mountains; it’s definitely a throwback to a different era. Free parking! Free admission! Tickets for each ride! And no hotels.
There are no hotels anywhere nearby and the closest ones are not places I’d care to stay. But there are several very nice Bed and Breakfasts a few miles from the park. So I was brave. I booked myself in one that had its own bathroom – an absolute must – and made the nine-hour drive there.
It was pouring down rain most of the trip. I had bought a GPS – with the intention of returning it once I got home – because I was sure there would be limited cell phone service in the mountains and I didn’t want to get lost. I had a playlist of songs I loved singing along to as well as some stand up comedy and enjoyed the solitude of a long, highway road trip adventure.
I finally made it to Elysburg, PA and found the hidden driveway of the Sleepy Hollow Bed and Breakfast. I was greeted by the husband of the husband and wife duo who owned the place and he told me where to park my car and how to find my room. It was upstairs and to the right and as promised I had my own bathroom. The queen-sized bed had a wooden headboard, like something my Mom would have in her house. It was also very blue, with a blue quilt and blue sheets and blue wallpaper and blue carpet and a little tiny TV with basic cable. There was WiFi, which surprised me.
I got up in the morning and moseyed my way into the kitchen. The woman of the house said she had English muffins and she could make me any kind of egg that I wanted. She was super kind and really stoked about the omelets.
I despise eggs. I hate omelets. Scrambled eggs look like yellow flavored vomit. Overeasy only makes me remember that this is someone’s unborn chicken-child. I was frozen in confrontational fear. But I had an idea.
How about an omelet with ham? My thought was I could scrape the ham out of the eggy nightmare and salvage my breakfast without offending my hosts. The problem is that even the ham became “eggified” and was hard to eat. Also, what you should know about me is that I have a very strong gag reflex when I’m grossed out at what I’m putting in my mouth. There’s no way to hide my disgust. Luckily, I have mastered the art of small talk even though I still hate it and was able to distract this couple by making them tell me the story of how they ended up as innkeepers while I figured out how to mash up the food on my plate to look like I ate most of it.
I ended up at McDonald’s a few minutes later ordering a bacon and cheese biscuit – no egg, of course.
Kirk Sheppard is a blogger, with a variety of interests. On select Mondays, he posts “Monday Memory” posts where he tells stories about his life. Other topics on his daily blog include “Saturday Q&As” “Spiritual Sunday,” and his monthly “2020 Vision” feature-length articles.