Sunday, June 25, 2006

trip, part 2, The Bed and Breakfast

Above is the bed and breakfast we stayed. Our room was the one in the top left corner with the light on.

Everybody told us we would love the Bed and Breakfast experience. They said it was like staying in someone’s home, everybody is so personable.

Maybe everybody did not look through our eyes, or walked a mile in our shoes when they said we would love the Bed and Breakfast experience.

The place we chose was on top of highest mountain/hill in downtown Franklin. In 1898 the house was owned by a wealthy government employee (that is an oxymoron). It is a huge house on probably 5 acres or more overlooking the north part of Franklin, The Little Tennessee River (where my g-g-g-Indian grandmother Polly Hogshed Trammell drowned while tending to her fish baskets), surrounded by high mountains.

The Bed and Breakfast has 14 bedrooms. Not all of them have baths, and some share a bath with the next room. They also have a lounge which they call “The Cellar”, a spa, and a fine restaurant.

If I understand correctly, Macon County is a dry county. So, what is a lounge doing in a dry county? I think it is a technicality that maybe they had legal advice on how to work around it. It appears that large groups of people rent “The Cellar” for the evening – for a large sum and people bring their own spirits and they supply the setups…. Or maybe if they are raided that is what will be claimed.

The place, on their website and their brochure does not claim to have a resident ghost but skillfully asks the question is there a ghost, and then give a brief story of a teenage daughter, Ester, of the wealthy civil servant who had an affair with the stable boy and became pregnant and when her mother found out bad things happened…. And it mentioned that at times guests have reported to have seen Ester or her baby looking for its Mama. Did the management claim they saw the ghost?…. “Noooo.” (looking out of the corner of their eyes, in an innocent way).

We arrived at the bed and breakfast before 3:30. We arrived in Franklin at 3:03 but had to adjust to their street format of one ways. You have two main streets, each is one way opposite from the other. We have the same traffic system in Marietta. We asked a deputy sheriff who we figured was talking to his mama outside the courthouse …. He wasn’t real sure where that street was, but thought it was down by the river. His mama thought so too.

The reason we thought it was his mama because as we approached them she handed him a lunch sack and they embraced. She looked too old to not be his mama.

We found the place. At the foot of the steep street going up to it is a bakery, and the steak house that Rocky, Adam, and I had dinner the time we visited Franklin about 20 years ago. The name of it had not even changed. How unique. I like that.

We entered the bed and breakfast. It is like entering a private home that has a big porch. Several people were sitting around the porch appreciating the cool rainy weather. A big dog sitting on the porch looked at us and looked away. Boy, we must be boring, can’t even get the attention of the residence dog. The first room, and every room had antiques all over the place tastefully placed. A cat walked by and gave us the once-over and prissed out. I think that is in the "How To Have a Bed And Breakfast Manual" – to have a house cat and a yard dog…. It adds the “layed back family touch”.

I had on a tee-shirt of a tombstone. It said something to the effect, “Dead Men Do Carry Tales!” – and in smaller print promoted the hobby of genealogy. The manager lady asked me about my tee-shirt when we first entered and seemed to find the wording amusing. Then we explained to her why we were in Franklin, to attend a Ray genealogical family reunion…. Remember, we told her that, out of earshot of anyone else… take note, you will be tested later.

The lady, welcomed us and carried us up to our room. Our room was two flights of stars up, the final flight was not as long as the first flight. The room looked nice, artistically done. A big brass bed, a fire place, and high ceiling just like old houses have. The bathroom we noticed, had a door opposite of the door we went in, with a latch on it. Anna asked the lady if we share the bathroom with that bedroom. The lady said not THIS weekend – which I took they have not booked that room, but that is normally the case.

I said I would go down and get our luggage and the lady told us afterwards to go down and mingle with the other guests and introduce ourselves.

Introduce ourselves? Why would be want to do that? What would we talk about? Ask one of them if they “Wanna wrestle?” or what?

The place remind me of these places you read about where New Yorkers would go for the a summer vacation in the Catskills or someplace in New England… everything simple, but charming. A touch of class. Like in "Dirty Dancing". God put us there to bring them down a notch or two – to make them more humble.

After I carried the luggage up and Anna was arranging things I did walk down to the big porch to get to know the other guests. A man was reading a book and a woman was reading a book. A boy about ten was doing something, and looking bored. They didn’t look up. I thought I’m sure these people don’t want me to interrupt their reading to introduce myself, and maybe they don’t want me to know who they are. Well, I tried. I left.

Our room did not have a TV or a phone. Which I can understand about a phone. With cell phones and all, why have the added expense and space of a phone. Now, I enjoy watching the news and channel surfing, so I think it would be nice to have a TV in each room. However, they do boast of having a large screen TV in “The Cellar” and also a TV in the dining room. And I knew better to even think about asking about a computer to check on my email.

We had a corner room that had two windows to look out in different directions. The scenery from the windows was excellent.

We went out to meet Steve and Bird for dinner (see previous entry). As we were leaving the hostess said she “could not guarantee us a parking place” when we returned because they were having a big wedding rehearsal dinner there later in the evening. Anna more or less said, “Like Hell!” in a more polite way of course, and asked her just what did she propose as way of parking. She said, aww, just go ahead and park on the side – no big deal.

When we returned we parked in front by the steps. No big deal.

The bedroom only had one light. It had a chair, but where it was placed was near a dark corner by the fireplace. Only one of us could read - by reclining on the bed with the bedside light. After a short time we both fell asleep.

The next morning we bathed, dressed, and went down stairs to breakfast. As we were in the hallway upstairs outside our room Anna tried counting the rooms. On our end there were two rooms side by side, and looking down the corridor we tried counting the rooms. Then, as we went down the flight we remembered one little alcove on the side – did it have a room? I went back up the flight and looked in, yep, it had a room there. So, I started back down to catch up with Anna to tell her that was a room when I sensed movement above me. I looked up and a girl, either a teenager, or in her early 20s, with nothing on but some kind of very sort night gown or maybe a tee-shirt, seemed to be gliding from the corner of the hall where the door to our room was to the alcove where the newly discovered room was. Was that the ghost? If so, they proprietors need to add the details to their brochure she exposes her long legs as she drifts around the hall ways.

I think really the girl was probably a lay over from the wedding rehearsal dinner from the night before – but why was she going to another room? For her to know and for me to find out I suppose – well, not really, it wasn’t for me to find out, so I will prefer to believe she is the residence ghost – it makes a better story.

Breakfast was a continental breakfast of pastries, coffee, and orange juice. One of the pastry selection was something with pecans on it… it was hard. You had to use pressure with your fork and knife to chisel it down to a bite size. I wondered if perhaps they get their pastries every morning from the bakery at the foot of the hill – and if so, do they take advantage of the “day old” prices?

They did not have water on their food bar. Anna doesn’t drink coffee and she would like to have ice water. I stuck my head in the cooking area and asked could I bother them for a glass of ice water. Several people went into action… calling off orders for a glass, for ice – it was like a trained course they went through when somebody ordered something from the norm.

We overheard a family at the next table discussing they were going trout fishing and bring back the trout and the chef agreed to cook it for their dinner that night. I guess they also would want the chef to clean those smelly things … damn, do they want the chef to bait their hooks with those nasty insects too?

We gathered up our luggage and left. We put everything in one huge carry-thing. The same gear that Rocky lugged all over Europe. I was struggling with it going down, which for some strange reason, was much harder than lugging it up the stairs. A man I haven’t seen there before materialized and insisted on helping me… in fact, he carried it all the way to the truck for me. I think he was probably the husband of the hostess who stayed in the back ground. He asked me how did the reunion go? I was surprised we were talked about, but explained to him that the reunion was that day at noon, in just a couple of hours. I thought his wife needs to get her gossiping facts right.



Blogger kenju said...

I have just read all the way down to the B&B post, Eddie. You certainly are prolific since you came home. Good photos, though, and I marvel at the amount of info you got while there.

2:44 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I got more information than I hoped for. I shamefully say that a lot of infomration just falls into my lap, so to speak, without trying all that hard.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Interesting. Justin does not like B&Bs for the same reasons that you cite. Although we have never seen half-naked ghosts or women in the 3x we stayed at B&Bs. The bedroom looked really nice, though.

12:30 PM  
Blogger ET said...

The rooms were nice and the furniture was nice. But, well, I have already grumbled about all that.

1:00 PM  
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