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First time trying a bed and breakfast
December 28, 2009 - Jim Smith
Nearly a year after our daughter and son-in-law gave us a gift card for a bed and breakfast getaway weekend at any of about 1,000 such retreats in the United States, my wife and I gave bed and breakfast life a try recently.
We figured we had better use the Christmas 2008 present before Christmas 2009 rolled around ... and we just made it.
While we have stayed in some pretty "quaint" hotels and motels in our travels, including my wife's Welsh relatives' favorite hotel near Paddington Station in London, England, where we had to lug suitcases up three steep and narrow flights of stairs to our room and then found the bathroom in our room up another flight of stairs, we had never stayed in a true bed and breakfast.
Since my wife had been wanting to return to Dresden, Ohio, to check the craft and antique shops in that predominantly Longaberger basket-dominated town and also wanted to travel to nearby Roscoe Village, again for the crafts and antiques, we opted to try a bed and breakfast in Dresden ... and are we glad we did!
The Pines of Dresden, operated by Allison Brown and her partner, Marin (we never learned his last name), is a restored 1800s farmstead that once was a doctor's office. The three-story brick home has four rooms for rent with hospitality galore, a great breakfast by chef Marin, rooms nicely decorated with period pieces and an evening snack that made me wish I didn't have to count carbs as closely as I do.
Maybe the best part of the experience was Ali and Marin, who we learned met in college in California and went to Japan together for five years to teach before finding the bed and breakfast, sight unseen on the Internet, and opening it three years ago.
It turns out Ali, who never mentioned it until we saw a photo of her wearing a crown and sash, had been Miss Teen USA in 1986 and appeared for five years on "The Days of Our Lives" before going to college. Her mother was an author and prominent in the women's "lib" movement and her father was vice president of the Oklahoma University.
Marin, who didn't talk much about himself, is from Hawaii and began cooking as a hobby ... a hobby he's darn good at. Since moving to Dresden he has become active in economic development and is chairman of the development council.
If Ali and Marin hadn't been so nice, friendly and open to sharing their interesting lives, I don't know if I would have enjoyed the bed and breakfast concept, which I only would be interested in doing again if the host-owners were as nice as Ali and Marin.
I guess I'm just a hotel/motel-type person.
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