Bill and I like to spend time in surrounding states and provinces. We never stray far from home because I hate to leave the animals, even though I have the very best person in the whole wide world to take care of them. Those of you who have read my posts for a while will know that I am talking about Wendy. She is my Girl Friday, my Jill of all Trades, but mostly she is an Auntie to our animals. I know, this has nothing to do with Room #9, but I’m getting there!
We went to upstate New Hampshire to poke around a few years ago. It occurred to me that we were in Pittsburg, the very same town where my parents honeymooned so many decades before. I’d never been there, but there it was, Back Lake! I had heard a lot about this place where my country mouse Dad fished with my city mouse Mom, both having a wonderful time. There was the cabin where they stayed! I shed a tear or two as we drove by, I won’t lie. There was a boat out there, very much like my Dad’s boat Penny. Yes, yes, Room #9 is coming, but I have to connect a couple of posts together here for my readers who have been with me for a long while.
We were driving along in our convertible named Penny. A while back I wrote a post about that car in “Pennys” From Heaven For those of you who remember that post, this is the front story to that back story…sort of.
The car was named after a long line of my Dad’s boats. Also, there was a guinea pig named Penny, but that only shows how important the name Penny was to my Mom. How I avoided being named Penny, I’ll never know. It was much later when I found out that all of the Pennys were named after a dog my parents met on their honeymoon at Back Lake.
Enough about the Pennys. I just wanted to set the stage for Room #9. We crossed the river to Canaan, Vermont to find a place to stay. You see I was in a very nostalgic mood when we found a room in a motel that probably existed when my parents were on their honeymoon. Now don’t go jumping to conclusions about them staying there because they didn’t. They stayed in a lovely cabin on the lake. It’s just that the motel was old, that’s all I’m saying. You’d know this if you paid attention in paragraph 2.
This motel was a little sketchy and the people who owned it even had a pub of sorts across the street. We got there too late to check out the night scene in tiny Canaan, but it was interesting that there WAS a night scene…till 10 PM. I’m kind of sad that we weren’t able to experience that pub. It would have been odd, if not fun; it might have even been quirky. I love quirky!
Just as a side note. The motel is still rated #1 out of 1 hotel in Canaan, Vermont according to Yelp. The 8 rooms they have there are the only beds for hire in the town. Ok, there might be other beds for hire in town, but we won’t go there. This is mostly a family-oriented blog, after all. I know you are all sitting on the respective edges of your seats so I will tell you that yes, Room #9 is at that very same motel. Some of you are scratching your heads about the room numbering system, but you are just going to have to wait while I spin my yarn. I won’t drag this on forever, even though it must seem like it.
Here is a rather unexpected tangent, but I promise that it is crucial to the story. That summer I was collecting alcohol. Over the years I’ve had a lot of “obsessions” where I have to read everything, own every book, and buy everything I can find on a subject. That summer it was alcohol, especially alcohol that was unusual or in pretty bottles. Did I collect the little nip bottles? Oh no! I went for the full-sized specimens. I was all about mixology. The fact that I rarely drink was but a small consideration. I still have scores of those bottles, mostly unopened, but they are so pretty! Yes, we are almost there! Room #9 will be fully explained in the very next paragraph, I promise!
We were dead tired when we stumbled into one of the eight rooms available in Canaan, Vermont (other than the ones we won’t talk about.) It didn’t matter that it was dated. We slept well. The next morning I strolled over to the motel office to return the room key and ask if there were any liquor stores in the area. See? I told you the liquor obsession was important!
The motel owner told me that the liquor store didn’t open till 11. It was 10 o’clock and we didn’t feel like hanging around Canaan, Vermont for an hour even though there were so many things to do there. Ok, I lie, there was absolutely nothing to do there. I also lied when I said this would be the paragraph where you would learn about Room #9. It’ll be the next paragraph, I promise! But then again, I promised last time, too so you’ll just have to wait and see. I have a feeling after all of this you won’t give up on me now but I could be wrong. I was wrong about this being THE paragraph, after all. Enough of my lying ways; back to the story…
Next thing I knew the motel owner reached for a bunch of keys from a well-worn peg. I heard her mutter something about 10 being close enough, but I wasn’t quite sure what she was saying. I certainly wasn’t quite sure why she was bringing me back to the motel. She took the keys and headed toward Room #9. It was only then that I noticed the sign above the door.
When the door opened to Room #9, I was astounded to see a well-stocked liquor store. They had taken out the bed, put up a few shelves and the bottles were lined up like nobody’s business. Obviously, it was her business because she decided to open up an hour early just for me!
I still have that bottle of Vermont Maple Liqueur, and I probably always will. I couldn’t believe the variety of spirits they had in that small room. Next, she opened the bathroom door. Suddenly I found a whole new meaning for the phrase “bathtub gin.”