Friday, 19 September 2014
Breakfast is included in the price of the SBH rooms and is kindly served till 10 AM so we night owls do not have to get up too awfully early. Carol and I walked around the outside of the hotel to get to the dining room to avoid the stairs (due to my sore knee).
Flossie, the outdoor cat (not let in because apparently the hotel cat is territorial) was due to go to a loving home the following Monday.
The Sylvia Beach Hotel breakfasts are lavish.
Then…back into the hotel. I was oh so fleetingly disappointed that the weather was good. The predicted rain would have been perfect for staying indoors; I always feel a little guilty staying indoors in good weather. However, nothing would keep me from the room journals, my SBH obsession.
Good weather would have been quite perfect had we had one of these rooms with the little deck right by the front entrance: Jules Verne and JRR Tolkien.
Back to the Alice Walker room, I read journals while waiting for our next room to be cleaned. Carol went to the library, as we were just shifting next door so I could accomplish it easily.
I was able to snag enough journals from the nearby Hemingway room to keep me happily occupied for hours.
An antelope head used to hang over the bed, leading to journal complaints about killing animals and journal humour about the antelope watching over amorous antics in the room. Now it has been replaced with paper mache heads.
The roomie (i.e. the creator of the room) wrote this about some of the reactions in the journals:
How enviable an experience to be one of the roomies (also knows as roomers). I like her attention to detail:
The Hemingway room view would be blocked by parked cars. However, journal entries revealed the convenience of being able to load one’s luggage in and out of the window.
I had read several of the Hemingway journals years ago when staying in the Agatha Christie room. They always hold up to re-reading. Often the hotel guests do their best to write in the style of the author in whose room they reside, and the results are funny and charming.
Journelers also share their experiences that relate to the author:
And they share the inspiration they got from the author:
And they sometimes share why they don’t like the author (as sometimes one takes whatever room is available).
There are many references to books in the journals, and I wrote myself a list of recommendations.
My journal reading was briefly interrupted when I moved our belongings to the Virginia Woolf Room, right next door to Alice Walker.
Virginia Woolf Room
Note there are only two room journals on the bed. That is all I found. I thought that the old ones had disappeared until I realized in reading one entry that this was fairly recently transformed from the Sigrid Undset room into Virginia Woolf. I long to know what happened to the Sigrid room journals as often the more obscure and quiet authors are the ones who inspire the most introspective journal entries.
This journal entry solved the mystery of the missing journals:
Carol is my only friend who has, I know, read and indeed owns the Undset Nobel-prize-for-literature-winning trilogy, Kristin Lavransdatter.
I would not have understood why the furnishings and were painted as they were had I not read these journal entries:
Each room is provided with a good array of the books by and about its author. If I ever finish all the room journals, I would have plenty of other room-appropriate reading material.
After awhile, in order to save the last Woolf room journal for bedtime reading, I went exploring for more journals (and more rooms).
JRR Tolkien Room
Jules Verne Room
I’ve read old journal entries from the guests of this rooms previous incarnation, Robert Louis Stevenson. (Those journals reside in a glass fronted bookshelf in the attic of the library.) It was suggested, because of the rushing of water in the ceiling pipes, that 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea would be a good theme for this room, and here it is.
John Steinbeck Room
I stood and read the new journal entries in the Steinbeck room. This used to be the E.B. White room where I stayed three times with friends (because it is the only room with twin beds except for the dorms…more on the dorms in a later entry).
Agatha Christie Room
I’ve stayed in Agatha’s room with Carol and with Mary (the latter being a Christie fan from way back). Last time I stayed in her room, the journals were missing, all but the most recent, a true and tragic mystery (and I searched EVERYwhere).
I caught up on the Christie journals. (The rooms that are not currently occupied are left open between 11:30 AM till the next guest checks in.) There is a series of clues left around the Christie room, although over the years I think they have gotten kind of mixed up. There used to be a pair of shoes peeking out from behind the curtain, and a bottle of “poison” in the bathroom cabinet, which may still be there.
With that little mystery, I will close this long journal entry of mine and Carol and I will leave the hotel for lunch.