I've been feeling at loose ends all day. Had a hard time focusing at work, and am feeling kind of restless now. Maybe it's because it's Spring but I keep having this urge to clean. That is so Not Me. I am a fan of basic sanitation, and I will occasionally vacuum up the drifts of cat hair Cleo generates, but hardcore traditional Spring Cleaning? Washing windows? Dusting? No way.
My mother used to tell horror stories about spring cleaning, back when she was still living with her parents on the ancestral acres -- the house would literally be emptied, mattresses dragged outside to air in the sun, bedframes and springs painted down with kerosene to kill bedbudgs and other vermin -- which I find hard to believe existed to begin with, given the Finnish fetish for personal cleanliness abetted by frequent saunas -- and everything scrubbed or laundered. And all done without the benefit of electricity, because the REA didn't get there until after my mother was in her late teens.
Anyway, I started thinking maybe it's time for the S.O. and I to do a road trip up to the Blue Ridge as a cabin fever cure -- it would definitely beat giving in to the urge to clean -- so I spent some time today researching bed and breakfasts close to the parkway. The S.O. was asking before we headed for Savannah last month why we've never stayed at a B&B, so I figured I'd do some searching in preparing for the next trip -- even though I much prefer the consistency of Comfort Inn waffles to the dubious cooking abilities of some well-meaning amateur with haute cuisine delusions. The S.O. and I may never have stayed at a B&B as a couple, but I've hit a few solo in my travels.
The absolute worst breakfast I've ever faced in my life was at a B&B in Chico, California, when I interviewed for a teaching job there back in the 1990s. The room was lovely, and the older couple who ran the place were charming people, but she could not cook. The only bright spot at the time was knowing that it was the university paying for that hideous meal, not me. Had I been eating in the lovely anomynity of a hotel restaurant, I could have shoved the swill to one side without the risk of offending someone to her face and chalked it up to experience. But when this sweet little old lady was sitting right across the table from me asking if I liked the extremely strange omelet? I smiled, choked it down, and hoped fervently she wouldn't offer me seconds.
That B&B, though, did have quite a few redeeming features. The room was wonderful -- light, airy, simply furnished. So why can't I find a place like that now? Is there some sort of rule that the decor in every B&B in North Carolina has to resemble something out of a Thomas Kinkade acid trip? Aren't there any innkeepers out there who are into mid-century modern? Do they all feel some bizarre urge to tart up every room, fill it with clutter, and generally make it resemble something that not even my grandmother could love? Do they have any clue that they're driving a potential guest to consider Red Roof Inn as a viable option if only because I know that when I check into a Red Roof Inn there will be absolutely no extraneous crap? And why do they all feel compelled to do theme rooms?!
Maybe I'll go bake a pie. It'll burn up some energy, and thrill the S.O.