True story: Victorian bed and breakfast
A few weeks ago, my best friend Sarah announced the date of her wedding and asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. I accepted of course!
Sarah informed me that she wanted her bridesmaids to wear a red dress and gold shoes. It was kind of weird because a few days before I woke up wanting to buy a red dress even though red is not my colour. Later that same day, I ended up in a small boutique that sells clothing inspired from different time periods. I actually own several medieval and Victorian dresses as well as corsets, and part of me wishes they were still in style so I could wear them more often without getting weird looks.
While I was in the boutique, I saw a lovely long red dress with black lace, but was not a big fan of the price so I quickly moved on to the other articles of clothing. I thought about that dress again after Sarah mentioned her desire for her bridesmaids dresses to be red.
Although deep down I knew Sarah would want me and the other girls to wear something modern, I ended up searching for red coloured Victorian dresses for sale on various websites. During my search, I stumbled upon a Victorian style bed and breakfast located in Montreal.
I live in Montreal and was drawn to this small hotel even though the outside of it wasn't all that attractive. I guess it was the concept I liked. I discovered by curiously looking at the pictures online that each of the four rooms and four suites had Victorian furniture, nick knacks, and paintings, as well as old style tubs. They also had modern things such as flat screen televisions, which looked completely out of place, but I decided to pretend they were not there.
I read a bit about the history of the place as well as the people who resided there way before it was turned into a bed and breakfast, and was tempted to spend a night. I had a feeling it would be easy for me to get story ideas there and I also thought it might be fun to do a photo shoot with my Victorian dresses. But, that wasn't all that went through my mind.
I told my boyfriend it might be nice to get away someplace just the two of us, without my teenage son, and mentioned the Victorian bed and breakfast. He suggested going there for our one year anniversary coming up.
I wanted to contact the hotel to ask questions before booking a room so I dialed the number listed on their website. I ended up falling upon the voice mail of a man named Denis. Thinking I had the wrong number, I hung up. I was a bit confused when I compared the number I had dialed, which my phone saved, with the hotel number listed. I had not mis-dialed.
I wrote to the hotel, mentioning my confusion about the telephone number as a polite hint that it did not sound like I was calling a hotel. I nicely commented on the fact that I thought their place looked lovely and that my boyfriend and I were thinking about booking a room for our anniversary in April. I asked if they had a room available on the Saturday following our big day, or any other Saturdays during the month of April. I also asked if they had room service or a restaurant were we could eat dinner, or if they only served breakfast. I inquired on restaurants and cafes in the area as well, in case they did not serve dinner.
In response, I received the following message:
Bonjour Madame Bellehumeur,
There is a two nights minimum stay in our inn, therefore we cannot accommodate you for April 4th only.
Perhaps it's just me, but I did not feel like a valued potential customer after reading this short message and became disappointed; especially after receiving such good customer service earlier that morning while making reservations to the five star hotel where my best friend will be getting married in May.
I was actually really excited about my reservation and eager to go to the out of town hotel and see the room etc, plus attend my friend's wedding of course.
I wrote back to the bed and breakfast asking if two rooms were available on any given weekend in April, even though I did not like the fact that I was obligated to book something for more than one night, and also asked to please answer my other questions in order for me to plan. I repeated what they were.
After I sent the e-mail, I realized I didn't care anymore. My interest in staying at that the Victorian bed and breakfast had vanished. It was like my fantasy bubble had just burst.
I later shared the news with my boyfriend, who was just an unimpressed as I had been.
When I saw that I had received a new message from the hotel, I expected another slap in the face. This time, Denis mentioned having plenty of rooms available in April and I was encouraged to go on their website for more details. I didn't really want to.
I continued reading the e-mail and found out that the hotel does not serve dinner, only breakfast, but that we were allowed to order something and have it delivered if we wanted. In my opinion, a place like this sounds good for one night, not two.
I am now motivated to make different romantic plans for my anniversary. I want to enjoy whatever I end up doing, down to the planning. I know that just spending time alone with my boyfriend will be enough to make me happy, and that is not part of my fantasy world.