“Maybe if they removed the desk…”
Isn’t it incredible what a good photographer can do? In this case the room we had booked was about the size of a tree fort (and it sort of looked like one too.) On paper and in pictures it had sounded good: stand alone cabin, 4 star hotel, dinner one night at their gourmet restaurant, bus to the slopes, indoor pool. Perfect. Not!
What had appeared to be a comfortable chalet in the photos, turned out to be so cozy that we had to climb across the bed to get from the door to the bathroom. There was no choice but to unpack into the antique (aka rustic) dresser. And somehow the loft that had appeared to hold a bed- something we didn’t need but others might – wouldn’t even fit our empty luggage bags unless we laid them sideways. The bathroom was so small that you could take a shower while sitting on the toilet.
And, in case you think I exaggerate, here is a photo I took on that trip:
To be fair- this trip was taken back in in 2000. Since then, the hotel has made many updates, including tearing down this tiny little cottage and building an expensive two bedroom chalet in its place. But, as Joni Mitchell has so eloquently sung, Something’s lost when something’s gained. And now, I wonder if perhaps I was so lost in my dashed expectations I could appreciate the beauty of the chalet’s authenticity.
I am learning that the journey changes as we age. Like everything in life, it seems as though the older I get the deeper and broader my vision grows. People, places and things have stories that I respect and want to know more about. I am glad, now, that I got to experience this little room while it was still an unpolished gem. My time there was about holing up inside it with my new(ish) husband and sharing our dreams for future journeys.
Here’s to many Rustic Journeys for all of you!
Have you ever been fooled by internet or brochure pictures? Where did it lead you? I do love to hear your stories, so please leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.
The incessant pounding of construction
Flash back to 1995. It was my first (and only) opportunity to experience a quintessential spring break in Florida, on Sannibel Island. I had all of the bases covered:
Group of friends to party with - x
Plenty of fruity cocktail recipes - x
No school work hanging over me - x
We had the bases covered; until we arrived at the hotel and discovered that construction on the pool would begin every day at 7:30 a.m. So, not only was the pool out of service, a bunch of grad students ready to sleep in every morning were awakened instead by the thunder of bulldozers breaking up cement.
. . . Good Journeys Gone Bad: Not just a clever movie title.
So, why is it then that the edges of tough times often soften and end up becoming the key to the whole journey? I am sure there were many other parts of that holiday that didn’t go quite as expected for each of us individually (I vaguely remember being asked at a bar if I was there chaperoning some kids). But it was the shared trial of the construction work that pervades the memories now so many years later.
The language of journeys is distinct from that of trips. It highlights the idea that, while trips can take us to some marvelous places, journeys can take us into ourselves. And often, like getting lost, or meeting a foreigner, it is the unexpected that transforms what would otherwise be a trip, into a journey.
We spent our time, that spring break so long ago, lying on the beach instead of by the pool. We probably didn’t drink nearly as much as we would have without the construction because trekking back for supplies was too big a pain. Instead, we rode bikes around the Island and kayaked through mangroves.
Not every trip turns out to be a journey I believe. But the ones that do linger long after the digital pictures are lost in the scrapbook of our hard drives.
Do you have a quintessential spring break story to share? I’d love to hear all about it. And, as always,
Many Happy Journeys Inspired by Love!
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