Better Way To Stay (video) Several years ago we visited Mississippi on our annual 2 weeks vacation. People couldn’t believe that was where we chose to go during our limited time off. “Mississippi?” “Why would you want to go there?” Well, my wife and I love to visit Civil War sites and Mississippi just happens to have a few. And we’ve discovered that those sites take us to wonderful other places that we might have never seen, and this trip was no different. Our first stop was Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee, then across the border to Corinth, Mississippi where the armies battled for control of the rail lines heading east & west and north & south. We reserved for two nights, but extended to three as there was more to see than we thought. Next, a half day stop at Brices Crossroads National Battlefield site, then on to Tupelo where we picked up the Natchez Trace Parkway, a beautiful drive with many interesting stops along the way. Vicksburg National Military Park was next on our radar. Three days later we were on our way to Grand Gulf military site and Port Gibson, a town that General Grant said was “too beautiful to burn” so he didn’t. Finally we reached Natchez, a town filled with many beautiful antebellum homes.
Now here is where I get to the point I want to make. When we travel we like to stay at B&Bs and not because we are B&B owners, but because of what they offer. So when we went to make our reservations, we were disappointed to find that none had any availability. What we didn’t know was that the week we chose was Spring Pilgrimage, when many of the homes are open for tours to the public and reservations for rooms are made up to a year ahead of time. So we had to settle for a national chain during our five-day stay. Each morning I looked forward to the same breakfast of cold cereal, watered down OJ, store-bought mini muffins, a soggy waffle with make-believe maple syrup and a banana. The first morning I visited the front desk to inquire about places and interesting things that were “must sees” during our stay The young lady at the desk told me that, well, she wasn’t from the area so couldn’t help me with my request She “only” worked in Natchez. I did make it a point to go to the desk each morning ,but only to inquire about things she might know. It was always the same person. I was never greeted with a smile or a query about whether I was enjoying my stay, or any other nicety After five days I checked out to a virtual silent transaction, not even a goodbye. I walked away feeling like a stranger.
When I got home, I did write the headquarters of the chain to express my disappointment with my stay. I never got a reply. Who would have thought! Oh, by the way. I did get the information for which I was looking concerning those “must sees”. I went to one of the B&Bs that I couldn’t get into and the innkeeper was more than happy to assist me with the information and a whole lot more. He even said goodbye and have a nice stay.
This is the kind of hospitality we try to show at Breakfast on the Connecticut even when cyclists and others stop to use our bathroom or non-guests believe, because of our name, we are licensed to serve breakfast to the public who are not staying here. B&Bs are a better way to stay – you bet!