Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ROOM AT THE INN

For almost 15 years, Gloria and I slavishly observed a holiday schedule that had her heading out on a three-day drive down to Long Beach every December 21 or so--we can be specific about the date because it always seemed somehow ironic to us that each year, on the first leg of her winter trek south, we spent the shortest day of the year and also, for her springtime trip south, the longest day of the year, at the Butterfly Lodge in Pacific Grove, California, which lies cheek by jowl and immediately south of Monterey.

She made the pilgrimage to her parents' home in December and June each year with an almost mechanical regularity until her dad George passed away several years ago. Part of the ritual was that I would drive separately to her first night's lodging where we would spend the night, parting the next morning. And we almost always stayed at the Butterfly Lodge, because it enjoyed the two absolute requirements to qualify for our patronage, which were and continue to be (1) that it has a pool, and (2) that it accepts dogs.

I don't know that Gloria actually swam in the Butterfly Lodge pool more than two or three times, and those were always on our June 21 (or thereabouts) visits. There were other lodgings in the immediate area that took dogs, and we bunked at one or more of them on occasion, just to check out the terrain, but always returned to the Butterfly. And I can't exactly say why. We were disappointed by the happy hour fare they offered in the late afternoons, although you couldn't beat the breakfasts. And to reiterate, Glo very rarely used the pool. But the location offered two terrific dog walks, one along the ocean, the other along an old railroad spur line a few blocks inland.

Why I bring this up, is that it occurs to me every now and then to wonder if the staff at the Butterfly, whose paying guests we were twice a year most (but not all) years from around 1989 to 2003, ever wonder about us. Why we no longer show up as we reliably did with, literally, the solstices each year. What may have became of us, that couple that always had a yellow lab and the woman always wore hats. Whether our absence is indicative of some unhappy experience and, even worse, one that might somehow show up on their AAA review.

Of course, I like to think that somewhere down at the Lodge there is a sage and savvy veteran housekeeper who now and then recalls our visits and nods to a young protege and surmises, "I got a sawbuck says she killed him in his sleep."

1 Comments:

Blogger ....J.Michael Robertson said...

To sleep,perchance to get rubbed out. But I'm guessing Gloria would take your shoes and give you a running start. Kant's Categorical Imperative in action.

December 6, 2006 at 10:43 PM  

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