Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"INN" PEOPLE - 11/02/00

Subj: “inn” people
Date: Thu Nov 2 20:08:15 EST 2000

This time three years ago, Elsa and I were tootling along to Charleston. Elsa had "guesstimated" how far it was from Williamsburg, VA to Charleston, NC. We pulled off the interstate at around 4:00 for an early supper and on the way out she asked how far it was to Charleston. "286 miles."

I was amazed - Elsa didn't turn pale or panic or anything over so many miles left to our destination, just settled down for a long stretch of driving.

Looking back, it was a great day, from beginning to end, in spite of its unexpected length. That first morning in Williamsburg set the pace for the rest of the trip. Elsa got up early and headed out for a ramble, then came back around 9:00ish with a cup of coffee and some breakfast goodies to tide me over until we had a real breakfast. I dressed as she packed and bundled everything out to the car. It was with great excitement that we bade our farewells and headed for a late breakfast - at the 5-star Williamsburg Inn.

Since I cannot abide the ticky tacky commercial parts of Williamsburg, Elsa managed to find a route that avoided all of - to me – the trashy new intruders. Instead, we drove down tree-lined streets I first came to love reading Elswyth Thane's Williamsburg book series.

Breakfast was wonderful, bringing back happy memories of our trip home from the Apollo launch with Brooke and Mim and of a trip down in 1991 with John to celebrate my 1st anniversary of becoming a Squirrel Haven-ite. We had a view of the terrace, which drew memories from Elsa of sitting out there with Mike & Kerry and Reynolds three summers ago, on a visit we took down after Scott’s 1997 graduation from Bryn Athyn College.

The service at the Williamsburg Inn reflects true Southern hospitality - I never had to open a door, there was always a smiling staff member ready to do the honors and to wish me a good day. I love the Williamsburg Inn and I hope to go back down again before being reunited with Pete.

There is not much between Williamsburg and Charleston, at least along the I-95 route, so even if Elsa had known how far it was, she probably would have done the same long stretch of driving.

It did help that we had some wonderful audio tapes to keep us company - lots of music, including my beloved Willie Nelson and unabridged recordings of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Deprak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Christiane Northrup. We may have been totally tuckered out by the time we arrived at Charleston's King Charles Inn, but we were not bored.

The King Charles Inn reminded of parts of Paddington, in Sydney. Cast iron railing and a building that was not low but somehow looked like it was. When we finally plunked down our stuff in our room - at around 10:00 p.m. - and opened the curtain, there across the way was a terrific view of an old, white, magnificently columned church.

I was finally - really and truly - in Charleston, after all those years of wishing and hoping.

We unpacked our things for the night, spread out the stuffies we had brought along, and settled in for well-deserved slumbers.

This is fun, writing about it - can see it all over again in my mind's eye and feel the happiness in my heart.

Love and hugs to one & all - Nan

reposted in honor of the 05/14 centenary of Nan's birth

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