A few years ago my wife turned me on to something I had never considered when traveling…bed and breakfasts. I had heard of them but honestly I never gave them a second thought (or a chance) as an option. Now having had my eyes opened as to the wonders of B&B’s, I’m a huge fan.
Last year we spent 10 days touring England and Scotland and opted to spend our nights in B&Bs along the route. Andrée planned out the itinerary and set everything up for us (and she did an amazing job considering all of her limited research was off of the internet and not knowing what neighborhoods these places resided, etc…). With one or two exceptions, we had a fantastic time and got to know many different travelers and B&B owners along the way.
Recently we attended the Google Plus Photographers Conference (I know, you’ve seen a blog post or two regarding this event already…sorry). Anyway, when I heard of the event and got the blessing to go, I picked up the tickets without checking out the local hotels beforehand. Almost immediately I had buyers remorse…hotels in the downtown area of San Francisco were way out of our league financially, especially since were down to a single income while Andrée starts up her painting business. The thought immediately turned to selling the tickets…something I had to do earlier in the year due to a conflict with work and an event in Los Angeles and I wasn’t looking forward to missing out (again) on a great opportunity.
Bless my wife…she’s the best; before I knew it she had reached out to a few friends and came up with the perfect answer to our plight, a B&B. And not just any B&B mind you, this one has an incredibly rich history as it originally built as a bordello and a saloon in 1875 (oh if the walls could only talk!). In 1906 it notably served as a homeless shelter as the great fire swept the city and then in the day’s of Prohibition it served as a speakeasy! Whew! Today, it proudly serves again, but this time as one of the top ten urban B&Bs in the country. I’ll go out on a limb and bet that the local Motel 6 or Holiday Inn doesn’t have such a rich and exciting history.
The experience was pleasant and the room was cozy and nice; it had a great patina to it and fit the bill very well for the both of us. The breakfasts were ‘normal’ for B&B’s and included a great mix of cereals, fruits, juices, breads and some hot items cooked up by a very sweet and charming lady.
The moral of the story is: If you are ever looking for an alternative to the standard hotel experience, give B&B’s a try, you might be pleasantly surprised at what you’ve been missing.
Until next time…