Thursday, December 02, 2010

The Turkey Day Double Deployment

It sounded good to say it, to tell our friends and family and fellow innkeepers about our plans for Thanksgiving: “Oh, we’ve rented out the entire inn to a family so that they can have a reunion and Thanksgiving dinner, so we have to hit the road.” It made us sound both altruistic and financially savvy. We could almost hear the thoughts forming in the minds of our fellow innkeepers: “Gosh, they must be getting a ton of money...and they get to go on vacation.”

At least that was the way it was supposed to work out. The first glitch came when we couldn’t decide where we were going to travel. We had some friends in the Baltimore area who’d invited us down, but we soured on the notion of driving up and down the Northeast corridor during the busiest travel week of the year. We thought about decamping to my mother’s, but her house is tiny, and I was sure it would only be a matter of hours before one of my teenage sons sent the other through one of her windows. What we really wanted to do was get on a plane and fly somewhere warm, hang out by a pool, and do nothing. We even kicked around a trip to NYC, but...well, that didn’t sound warm and relaxing.

So we hemmed and hawed. We equivocated and procrastinated. We muttered and stuttered. Plane fares were on the rise, and we’d already taken a big family trip that year to Arizona, plus another one in the summer to Cape Cod. One night, some friends and fellow innkeepers gave us the solution: “Why not stay at our place?” They were going to be away for a month, so we could have the place to ourselves.

So, while everyone bolted Stowe, we were left behind to look at the leafless trees and subdued skies. Maybe the snow would fly early, we thought, and we can get some skiing in. Though Stowe Mountain Resort opened the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, it was mostly man-made, and limited terrain, so we didn’t bother. I managed to get out hunting a couple of more times, but my tag remained unfilled. At least we could look forward to Thanksgiving dinner with both our mothers, plus a friend.

Everything went fine (except for the cat, Jimmy Jazz, who required surgery the day before Thanksgiving to remove a small bell that he’d swallowed, which had become lodged in his intestine; cat’s okay, wallet took a beating), and we found ourselves pleasantly relaxed the day after, contemplating our return home. That’s when Chantal reminded me that we’d have to deploy home, clean the entire inn after the guests had checked out, then come back to our friend’s B&B and clean their place.

It was a lot of schlepping. And an obscene amount of vacuuming. Was it a good break? We had a lovely time, and we’re indebted to our friend’s for their generous hospitality. But I think next time we rent out the entire inn, we’ll hit the road for real, and at least try to get to a different area code, if not a new time zone.