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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Today was the day we would move all our luggage up to the Shakespeare room on the second floor.

the main stairway (although we would use the back utilitarian stairway)

the main stairway from the lobby to the second floor (although we would use the back utilitarian stairway).  That’s hotel cat Shelley.

But first, breakfast, after a brief walk around the outside of the hotel to avoid the stairs to the daylight basement restaurant.  I wrote all about the stairs once on a previous visit.

Outside, Flossie meowed from a chair on the deck outside the Verne room; she will go to a nice home on Monday.

Flossie.  I heard that Shelley did not want to share the hotel with her.

Flossie. I heard that Shelley did not want to share the hotel with her.

pumpkin pancakes with a spiced butter for breakfast...along with pastries, juice, fruit.

pumpkin pancakes with a spiced butter for breakfast…along with pastries, juice, fruit.

The Gift Shop and Lobby

After breakfast, I browsed the lobby gift shop while waiting for our next room to be ready.

It has three shelves of blank journals, of course.

It has three shelves of blank journals, of course.

more journals

more journals

gift shop view

gift shop view

such a good collection of cards

such a good collection of cards

card

Also on offer: some small snacks, some toiletries, and books by and about the hotel authors.

the door to the lobby balcony

the door to the lobby balcony

The lobby has a table with some notebooks containing history of the hotel, before it became the Sylvia Beach, during the creation of the authors’ hotel, later remodeling, and more.

history

retired

lesuer

Le Seur (now Shakespeare, our room for tonight)

Undset (now Woolf)

Undset (now Woolf, our room of last night)

Tenessee Williams, now Amy Tan

Tenessee Williams, now Amy Tan

in the lobby

in the lobby

I went down the first floor hallway to check on our situation and found that Carol was already moving our luggage up to the Shakespeare room.

Shakespeare Room

This would be our home for till tomorrow.

bed

the bed and the cabinet of curiosities

inside the cabinet

inside the cabinet

props from the different plays; the tag says which play and which scene

props from the different plays; the tag says which play and which scene

cabinet

desk

s

room

Carol's shoes strike a modern note...

Carol’s shoes strike a modern note…

as do her jacket and cap.

as do her jacket and cap.

in the bathroom

in the bathroom

The room journals numbered only three or four as the room was fairly new.

memory of a previous big orange hotel cat

memory of a previous big orange hotel cat

A  clever Shakespearean entry:

 

 

clever

Soon in a quest for more journals, I went exploring into other rooms (which are open for touring as long as they are between guests).

Amy Tan Room

tan

where I did a little journal reading

where I did a little journal reading

Someone came into the room while I was reading, another guest (Melville room), and we began to talk.  She had stayed in the Poe room once, on Halloween.  When I shared that I had stayed there too, in 1991, she said that she had not met anyone else who had stayed in that spooky room with its raven and the pendulum over the bed.  (It is now the JK Rowling room; I heard that there was a problem with folks being afraid to stay in Poe.)  She shared my journal interest and wondered with me where the journals from the Poe and Undset room have gone to.  I told her that the innkeeper had told me that owner Goody has them safe, probably in the attic, and that I have scoured the attic but could find only Tennessee Williams, EB White, and RL Stevenson’s room journals.  She scoured the attic herself after our talk and later told me that those are the only ones she could find, as well.  It was fun to find someone other than Destiny who also craves those journals.

Jane Austen Room

On my way back to the library, I got some journals out of one of my favourite rooms, Jane Austen.

a photo from a previous visit

a photo from a previous visit

a photo from 2013 of Jane's reading nook with lighthouse view

a photo from 2013 of Jane’s reading nook with lighthouse view

Carol laughed in delight at the selection of books.

Carol laughed in delight at the selection of books.  And look, a novel by Georgette Heyer, an old favourite of mine.

pulp fiction

kitties

I long to stay in this room.

I long to stay in this room.

jane

back to the library

at the library's entrance

at the library’s entrance…quiet voices, no cell phones

library

Carol went for a long walk around Nye Beach while I settled into a couch to read till dinnertime.  She reported back later that the weather was exceptionally warm.  (At home, Allan was having to water in Ilwaco and Long Beach in 91 degree weather.)

my view

my view

ever changing

ever changing

Like this journal writer, I did a lot of thinking about my own situation as I found kindred spirits in the journals:  “I’ve done a lot of thinking and contemplating over my own situation during my stay at SBH.  This place feels as if I’ve entered a separate time and place…it feels as if time has stopped here to take a deep breath and just pause.  The hotel has a gentle, slow, rhythmic beat that just pulls you in.  I had many late nights in the library, sitting in the big green leather armchair in front of the window…the sound of the waves crashing into the shore eased my mind while my mug of peppermint tea soothed my insides.  It made for the perfect setting to spill my thoughts onto a piece of paper.  Enjoy this room, this hotel, this feeling.  Definitely nothing like it.  Ease your mind, soothe your soul, let the ocean take you.  P.S.  The cats are beautiful.”

 

Just off the south end of the library is the coffee room where mulled wine is served at 10 PM.  You can make yourself a cup of hot tea at any time of the day or night.

in the coffee room

in the coffee room

a table for playing games

a table for playing games or for jigsaw puzzles

view into the library (south end)

view into the library (south end)

my view as I sat back down with some peppermint tea.

my view as I sat back down with some peppermint tea.

Two women came in to the library and when they looked around and walked over to the window, their faces lit up with such joy that I was moved to comment how happy they looked.  “Oh, we just got here!”, they said.  I asked which room they were taking and they said Jane Austen.  I said that I had some of her journals and had been watching for people to check in there so I could return them, and they said I should take my time.  How pleasant!  I told them I would leave the journals right outside the door, although later I was able to just hand them to these guests as they re-entered their room.

The following entry gave me thought:  Would the hotel be as blissful a retreat if all the world (or our homes) were like it?  “….for the peace and tranquility of the Sylvia Beach Hotel would not be here if it were not for the chaos and stress at home.  Both realities need each other to exist, and both realities are equally good and positive.”

 

I have never had a long talk with other guests in the library.  I read in another journal that Goody loves when this happens:  “spent time  talking in the library all day and all through dinner…the most sustained group conversation I’ve ever been in on, from everything beginning with why are we here to everything ending with the theory that we spend out lives trying to fulfull, overcome, or negate our first conscious wish, obstacle, or fear.”

 

Jane Austen room inspires the thoughtful sort of journal entries that are my favourites:

“This is more like coming home than coming home is.”  And:

 

jane

jane

jane

One thing so sweet to me is that many of the journalers write to Jane herself.  In the Emily Dickenson room, guests write letters to Emily.  They don’t write letters to Ernest (Hemingway) or Herman (Melville).

jane

With the Jane journals returned to their rightful place, I looked into the former women’s dorm.

Ken Kesey’s Cuckoos Nest
Near the library is the former women’s dorm.  It caused considerable sorrow among poorer guests when the affordable dorm was turned into a room for four.  I read in a journal that the bunk beds were declared not quite up to hotel inspection standards.  Now the room sleeps four, and is not rented out by the bed as it used to be.  I believe that the smaller men’s dorm is now a retreat for Goody herself.

nest

nest2

I finally figured out, after some searching, that the journals are “patient records” on clipboards on each bed.

rules

So I took them into the library to read.  They are not as introspective as the old dorm journals, which are…where?  Those were among the most angsty as the people who stayed in the dorms were poorer and faced more challenges, I felt, than the people (like me) who could afford the author rooms.  The dorms often had moving journal entries from women who had fled to the hotel to heal.  (The men’s dorm room tended to have some cruder entries, as I found one day when I crept into that empty dorm to read them.)

 This entry told me that the guests of the Cuckoo’s Nest are given jelly bean “pills”.  Such attention to detail!

“It’s my 65th birthday and you’ll never guess what management did.  I just complained a teeny bit about my room being on the 1st floor, and now I’m stuck in the “rest home”.  They said “Think of it as a college dormitory” but I know better.  I showed ’em.  I pretended to take the medicine.  They said it was jelly beans.  I know better.   I’m going to escape tomorrow.  P.S.  I’m taking the meds with me just in case they are jelly beans.”

library view to the south

library view to the south (over the Mark Twain room deck)

looking down on a garden to the north

looking down on a garden to the north

looking east out the coffee room window

looking east out the coffee room window

We left the library to go to dinner.  On the way to a highly recommended local restaurant, Carol said that she had finally realized that what I really wanted was to dine at the Tables of Content and play “the game” (two truths and a lie) every night.  I said, well, yes, but that it was her vacation too, and she wants more of a break from people as she works in a public job (driving a Metro bus!).  Besides, I had heard great things about our dining destination…in entry after enty of the rooms journals, people raved about….

Nana’s Irish Pub

nana

our view in the pub

our view in the pub

menu

I had the Vegetarian Celtic Curry Pie as it was repeatedly raved about in the room journals.

It was wonderful; even though my photo came out blurry, it hints at the delicacy of the pastry crust.

It was wonderful; even though my photo came out blurry, it hints at the delicacy of the pastry crust.

Carol's so scrumptious shepherd's pie.  (We shared bites.)

Carol’s so scrumptious shepherd’s pie. (We shared bites.)

On the way back to the hotel (a block or two away), I saw an interesting landscape, a wetland garden on the lower corner of an old beach house’s lot.

natural and appealing....note buzzards to the right.

natural and appealing….note buzzards to the right.  (not real)

back to Sylvia Beach

We went back up to the library at sunset, passing the Colette room where Shelly waited for some attention.  While Carol has become mildly allergic to cats, she cannot resist petting one.

shelley

Shelley in the Colette room

Shelley in the Colette room

the view from Colette's balcony door.

the view from Colette’s balcony door.

and from my favourite sleep spot, the day bed (Colette's "raft") at the north end of the room.  It is good to sleep there with the window open a bit and hear the waves.

and from my favourite sleep spot, the day bed (Colette’s “raft”) at the north end of the room. It is good to sleep there with the window open a bit and hear the waves.

the raft

the raft

Having stayed in this room before, I had read the older journals; I caught up on just the very latest one.  Oh what bliss it must be to have sisters and a mother who all love this hotel.

colette

Back to a couch in the library….fog had rolled in.

library

view

Two hardy souls had made a nest for themselves.

Two hardy souls had made a nest for themselves.

If I lived far from the beach, I would have been out there no matter what the weather.

If I lived far from the beach, I would have been out there no matter what the weather.

Back to the journals….I am always so very pleased to find entries by frequent guests, whose stories I can follow through the various journals.  And with every journal read, I find healing and inspiration.

“I have comes to terms with just me and me alone,” writes one guest, “without all the distractions of too much work, too many half-baked friends, too many choices.  Perhaps this new beginning is the greatest challenge and the most difficult journey of all.  Remember, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood (Tom Robbins).”

And look who I found in the library journals:

carol

 

Carol in the library with a photography book about authors

Carol in the library with a photography book about authors, showing me one of our favourites, Ruth Rendell

sketch of the library from one of the library journals

sketch of the library from one of the library journals

After mulled wine, at about 11 PM, we repaired to the Shakespeare room to read some more.

Shakespeare room before falling asleep

Shakespeare room before falling asleep

Next: our last long morning in the library, and back to reality

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Friday, 19 September 2014

I continue my stream of consciousness of our day at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport, Oregon.  It is hard for me to even leave the hotel for lunch.  However, Café Mundo has always intrigued me from the outside so I was eager to go there; during previous offseason visits, it has been closed.

We passed some cute cottages on the two block walk.  If I lived here, would I spend my days sneaking into the Sylvia Beach Hotel library instead of reading at home?

Nye Beach cottage, Newport

Nye Beach cottage, Newport

and another

and another

Café Mundo

Mundo

outdoor seating

outdoor seating

the courtyard

the courtyard

Inside, we sat at one of the few downstairs tables and looked at the second story balcony.

Inside, we sat at one of the few downstairs tables and looked at the second story balcony.

looking up over the (live music) stage

looking up over the (live music) stage

We decided the upstairs looked intriguing...

We decided the upstairs looked intriguing…and it was.

looking out that screened door

looking out that screened door

looking down from the balcony

looking down from the balcony

down

the upstairs espresso and drinks bar

the upstairs espresso and drinks bar

Carol seated at our table

Carol seated at our table

art on the high walls

art on the high walls

The cute little hut at the end houses the upstairs bathroom.

The cute little hut at the end houses the upstairs bathroom.

Carol had a grilled cheese sandwich.

Carol had a grilled cheese sandwich.

I had a Greek veggie pita...delicious!

I had a Greek veggie pita…delicious!

A gauzy banner gently blew next to the railing.

A gauzy banner gently blew next to the railing.

looking up to the ceiling; I wonder if all the windows are why I have found this place closed in the winter.

looking up to the ceiling; I wonder if all the windows are why I have found this place closed in the winter.

a beautifully light space

a beautifully light space

view from the back door; the red roof is the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

view from the back door; the red roof is the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

Despite my problem with stairs, I would like to spend much time here.

Despite my problem with stairs, I would like to spend much time here if I lived in the Nye Beach neighbourhood.

stairs going down

stairs going down

the outdoor patio again

the outdoor patio again

looking back

looking back

In summer, it often has live music and stays open late.

In summer, it often has live music and stays open late.

Nye Beach

On the way back to the hotel, Carol and I took the tiniest walk on just a couple of blocks of the Nye Beach neighbourhood.  Perhaps if I had a six night stay at SBH, I might get my fill of the hotel enough to explore the surroundings more.

We turned to our left here.

We turned to our left here.

A garden just down the block...

A garden just down the block…

garden

belonged to these fascinating rental cottages.

belonged to these fascinating rental cottages.

I peeked through the gate and it looked wonderful.

I peeked through the gate and it looked wonderful.  With a kitty.

This is the sort of place I'd like to stay, were it not for the SBH being so near.

This is the sort of place I’d like to stay, were it not for the SBH being so near.

seaweed

beach

In this evocative article that includes praise for Sylvia Beach Hotel and Café Mundo, I found this intriquing words about the Seaweed Bungalows: “Nye Beach Bums Seaweed Bungalows, 541-961-8574. Only a couple of turn-of-the-century cottages, but well worth it if you can persuade the owners you are right for the place.”

a window in a house near the hotel

a window in a house near the hotel

the house just south of the hotel

the house just south of the hotel

Sylvia Beach Hotel

Back at the hotel, I finally climbed the two flights to the library.

Shelly was watching at the second landing.

Shelley was watching at the second landing.

Colette Room

The Colette room was to my left.

The Colette room was to my left.  That little bed is my favourite of all in the hotel.

I passed the Colette room again later on the quest for journals.  I think it is Shelly's favourite room.

I passed the Colette room again later on the quest for journals. I think it is Shelley’s favourite room.

Dr. Seuss Room

The first time I stayed at the Sylvia Beach was with Robert on a trip down the coast from Seattle in 1991.  It happened to be vacant on a summer night.

seuss

The hats are still by the window...

The hats are still by the window…

me and Robert trying on hats in the Seuss room, summer 1991

me and Robert trying on hats in the Seuss room, summer 1991

The hotel in 1991

The hotel in 1991

SBH from the beach in 1991

SBH from the beach in 1991

Back then, because I did not live at the beach, I had to go spend time on the beach rather than just read in the hotel.  I remember that later that year we went back in autumn and I read journal after journal in the rooms that were open because it was offseason.  At that time, the hotel had been open for only five years.

We did not get back after 1993 because we adopted a dog and did not want to travel without him.  Robert was not especially happy at the hotel because it is no smoking and he craved cigarettes.

For more photos of the Dr. Seuss (and other rooms) see this previous blog entry.

Herman Melville Room

Just off the third floor library is one of the larger hotel rooms with a wonderful view.

the huge bed

the huge bed

a reading nook perfect for two

a reading nook perfect for two

I knew someone was likely to check in soon on a Friday so did not try to snag the journals.

I knew someone was likely to check in soon on a Friday so did not try to snag the journals.

the Melville room view

the Melville room view

The library

At last, the library

At last, the library

one of the library views

one of the library views

I sat myself down at the north end...with this view to the south

I sat myself down at the north end…with this view to my left

and this view at my right hand.

and this view at my right hand.

as I read on into the evening

as I read on into the evening and the rising wind sculpted the sand.

I had to quest for more journals, as I wanted to save the library journals for the next day; the Gertrude Stein room was open so I borrowed some from there.

Gertrude Stein Room

This room was too small to add a sleeping pad for a friend, so I would love to stay there by myself some time.

I would love to stay there by myself some time.  It is one of the smallest rooms.

writing desk

 

Tables of Content Restaurant

At 7 PM, we joined others for dinner at the Tables of Content Restaurant, where I thought the wine list made each selection sound irresistible.

winelist

I had the Pinot Gris because it mentioned grapefruit, and because I had a little headache so could not have a red wine.

We were seated at a table with three couples who were not staying at the hotel.  I very much want to sit with other hotel guests because of the shared experience.  I wonder if next time I can ask if that would be possible?  In all the times I’ve dined at the Tables of Content, I have rarely sat with other guests, instead usually with people who come in to dine from “the outside”.

first course...Hopping Jack.

first course…Hopping Jack….then the conversation got too busy for photography.  We both had chicken saltimbocca for our main course…excellent.

I was sure that the table would not play The Game…Two Truths and a Lie, owner Goody’s beloved method of getting people to share about themselves.  (On the hotel website, she writes: “Not all the dinner guests are from the hotel; there are also locals and people visiting the area. But we all eat together.  Dinner is served every evening.   Our ‘new’ chefs have been here for a year now.  They are always incorporating local, fresh foods into their cuisines.   The food is served family style (you have a choice of 4 entrees) and is out of this world. It is always fabulous. If I didn’t totally believe it I wouldn’t have the nerve to write it here. I have often been told “that was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had.” But on top of that, the dinner conversations are what brings me the greatest pleasure. Our guests are from all over the country, and sometimes out of the country, and they’re thoughtful, curious, and high spirited.

If the table is willing, we play two truths and a lie! I’m addicted to the game! (So if you make reservations to come to the hotel when I’m there, and you’ve got good stories, please ask to sit at my table! I promise you a great time!)

The hostess of the night always tells the diners about the game.  To my surprise, our tablemates immediately started to play.  I had been dreading it all day, as I always do, as I could not think of two truths that were interesting.  And then, as always happens, the minute the others started playing, I was filled with intense exhileration and I whispered to Carol, “I LOVE the game!”  She doesn’t love it as I do although she is good at it, having lived an interesting and well traveled life.

After dinner and a round of the game, the conversation became just two of the men reminiscing about how they got into college (West Point and Reed and a law school) with their wives gazing on admiringly.  I was wishing then that I was at the next table where I thought I overheard conversation about books.  So Carol and I took our leave and I went back to reading journals.

Many journal entries mention dinner and The Game:

“I read a book.  I eat.  I read a book.  I eat.  I wonder what’s for dinner.”

“I always start Two Truths and a Lie a little reluctant, feeling a little pissy about being directed to play a game, but even when my own entries are mediocre, I always marvel at the hidden facets and ability to connect in my dining companions.  Thank you for directing us in a positive direction…we don’t always practice revealing and connective habits even when they are pleasurable.  Of course, having such an amazing repast over which to converse doesn’t hinder the process.  Bravo!”

“This was our second night of dinner at the Tables of Content, which means our second night of Two Truths and a Lie.  So it is fitting to end this way:  1.  This is the best weekend trip I have ever taken.  2. I will be back often to the SBH.  3.  I have six brothers.   Thanks for the memories, SBH!  Signed, the only son.”

“The game at dinner allows guests to offer fictitious versions of themselves for others’ investigation.  It’s no wonder this place has the effect it does.  It offers a ‘place apart’ (no phones, no tv etc) with the opportunity for imagination.  Connecting this way may be the only place that visitors have this opportunity.  How many jobs offer a love for creative play or draw on one’s inner reality.”

 

Back to Virginia Woolf room

In the Woolf room, I read more journals while Carol read her book in the library until she kindly brought mulled wine down to me at ten PM.

One of the room artists for the Tolkien room wrote thoughts about the Woolf room (and cats):

woolf

woolf

more I found more thoughts about the painted furniture:

“Sitting at the desk and looking at the lighthouse is irresistible.  We miss Undset, but not that much seeing this new gem of a room.  Just the colors alone sing their own song.  Funny to think of the English being so bold with color but when you think about it, they’re bold in many ways.  And they love the seaside.  We are lucky to have the chance to have our own little seaside fantasy here.”

And then…to sleep.  Next: The Shakespeare room

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Friday morning I was up by eight.  Even more impressively, Carol had gone up to the Sylvia Beach Hotel library to read at about six AM.  I stayed in the Colette room for awhile and finished the most recent room journal and, yes, left my own entry (which I had neglected to do in the Dickinson room).  It was, of course, about my passion for the room journals.

Here is one entry not by a honeymooner:

page one

page two

“And have you changed your life?”

I then went up to the library to join Carol.  Destiny (my long distance SBH sister-journal-addict) had messaged me (I did still check Facebook messages on my quiet cell phone!) to ask if I had found any library journals.  I had not, so looked harder.  In the northeast corner, where someone had usually been sitting absorbed in a book, I finally found a stack tucked under a table and brought them over to my chair.

more journals!  But my time was almost up!

more journals! But my time was almost up!

Some of the “retired room” journals (rooms which had been switched to a new author) had been repurposed as library journals, so while I thought I had read the year of new entries since my last visit to the library, I suddenly found that the whole beginning of the book was new to me and was from the Meridel LeSeur room, one I had never stayed in and whose journals I had probably not read since my first stay in 1991.  Pat Henderson wrote movingly about helping to retire the room.

a room fades away

a room fades away

Praise for the Sylvia Beach Hotel:

"one day spent like this can make up for weeks of hard times"

“one day spent like this can make up for weeks of hard times”

on motherhood

"the silence inside of me"

“the silence inside of me”

words from Pat

words from Pat

Just following Pat’s entry, someone writes to him who has, like me, seen his many entries through the years!  I love this kind of communication between guests and if only I had time to read all the journals, I know I could find more.  (Woe betide anyone who criticizes the hotel for not being modern; that person will always be advised in writing to go to a motel chain, but no doubt they never return to see the advice.

letter to Pat

letter to Pat

letter to Pat

A guest writes about my favourite spot in the fourth floor library attic (mentioning the fainting couch which has been replaced by a chair):

"the thumping, whistling chimney pipes"

“the thumping, whistling chimney pipes”

As a chronic hypochondriac (I hope, or I am done for!), I can relate to this entry:

home away from home

home away from home

I found another deeply moving, very personal story:

the ocean works wonders on the broken-hearted

the ocean works wonders on the broken-hearted

Below is a lovely description of walking the beach, something I would surely do if I did not live at the beach (Long Beach).  One huge advantage that Nye Beach has over the Long Beach Peninsula is that vehicles are not allowed to drive on the beach.  What an improvement that is, even when it comes to just looking at the beach from the hotel.

Nye Beach

Nye Beach

I found an entry by Wild Rose.  I think I posted something by her in my room journals blog entry of 2012.  She is someone else I would like to know.

on being an introvert

on being an introvert

I hope this one is true:

Captain's Log

Captain’s Log

And then….I was out of time as both Carol and I were hungry for our breakfast, after which we would check out.  What to do about the unread Meridel Le Seur room entries that I could not bear to leave behind!  I quickly photographed the unread entries in order to take them with me to read later!

The hotel used to have more obscure writers:  LeSeur, Sigrid Undset, Lincoln Steffens.  Of them, only Lincoln Steffens remains, and I have heard he is a particular favourite of Goody’s.

I had not read any Meridel LeSeur but her stories of “women, working people, the poor, the disenfranchised and the dispossessed” sound well worth seeking out.  Here are my favourite entries from the last of her room journals; I wish I could find and read the rest of them.

in the LeSeur room journal

in the LeSeur room journal

a birthday present

a birthday present

Meridel became the Shakespeare room.

Meridel became the Shakespeare room.

all ages welcome to write

all ages welcome to write

With no more time, I leave upon a note of mystery.   Who is putting post it notes in the journals, and why?

post its?

post its? with backdrop of the library fireplace

I did not have time to try to figure out why certain entries were marked, and I doubt the post its will last till my next visit.  What do you think, Destiny?  Was it you?

We had our lovely breakfast and departed and we did manage to take our walk on the bayfront before leaving Newport.

goodbye, SBH

goodbye, SBH

Next time, I'll stay in the Jules Verne room for a night, hear the rushing water, and perhaps sit on the deck.

Next time, I’ll stay in the Jules Verne room for a night, hear the rushing water, and perhaps sit on the deck.

My next visit to the SBH will be, I hope, an autumnal one, because I have fewer gardening worries in the time after the tourist season and before Bulb Planting Hell.   Work put off then is work deferred, not work lost, whereas in the spring it costs me at least three hundred dollars in lost income to take three days off.

Carol and I are planning another trip for late September 2014 (should I live so long) and I wonder if I just might go back somehow in autumn of 2013.  It is easy to settle back into my life and let years go by between visits, but life is not going to allow more than twenty more years of climbing those stairs so I do need to go more often.  Who wants to go with me?  I have journals to find and read:  the Gertrude Stein and Lincoln Steffens rooms are unmined treasures.

Tomorrow:  back to photos and words about gardening.

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as we arrive and park

as we arrive and park

front entry...like coming home

front entry…like coming home

in the little garden

in the little entry garden

We took a peek in the room we would have the second night, and Shelley was asnooze on the bed.

Colette room

Colette room

Colette room

Shelley would be barred from the room the next morning because Carol has developed a cat allergy.  Sad for all, because Carol loves cats and Shelley is particularly nice.

She is a delight.

She is a delight.

Down the second floor hall, we checked into our Emily Dickinson room.  My choice of rooms to stay in with a friend had recently expanded when I learned that several rooms without twin or trundle or daybeds do have room for rollaway beds.

Emily’s room

Emily's room

Emily’s room

Emily's room

window

view to the north

view to the north

view to the east

view to the east

The shadow of the SBH is cast over April’s at Nye Beach, where we had dinner the first evening.  We had had every intention of going, on my friend Nancy’s recommendation, to Local Ocean down on the bayfront but already we could not find the desire to go further from the hotel than just across the street.

The next morning Carol left the room very early to read in the third floor library.  It must have been six AM, after a night of insomnia.  (I slept fine, lucky me.)  She kindly let Shelley in and after sitting on my back for awhile, the sweet cat curled up at the bottom of the bed and slept with me till 8:30.

Shelley

my little friend

my little friend

************************

During our stay, we explored some rooms old and new.  (Over the last couple of years, some of the rooms have been redone with new authors.  This causes some of the regulars worry about what happened to the room journals of the retired rooms, but more on room journals later.)  The unoccupied rooms are left with doors ajar so that they can be appreciated by other guests.

Jane Austen

Jane

Jane Austen

Jane's room is said by many to have the best chair of all the rooms.

Jane’s room is said by many to have the best chair of all the rooms, with a view toward the north.

view from Jane's chair

view from Jane’s chair

J.K. Rowling

I and other guests persist in calling this the Harry Potter room.

JK

potter

desk

potions

I have more photos of this room in an entry about last year’s visit.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitz

F Scott

Tanqueray

I read a stack of journals from this room and found that they were particularly bawdy.

Across the hall from F Scott’s room is:

Moon and Sixpence

Moon and Sixpence

This used to be a dorm.  I think it might have been redone as a room for the owner of the hotel when she visits.  The other dorm may still be in operation as Ken Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest but I am terribly confused and never saw the door open so did not find out.

Jules Verne

The former Robert Louis Stevenson room has become Jules Verne.  I thought it might appeal to steampunks and indeed found evidence that it is so, both in the room and in the giftshop (where I will take you in my next entry).   It is a dark room but we are told it will get more lighting soon.

the door to Jules Verne

the door to Jules Verne

Carol in the Verne room

Carol in the Verne room

Verne

Verne

spacious bathroom

spacious bathroom

on the ceiling

on the ceiling

dark and mysterious

dark and mysterious

I knew it!

I knew it!

I long to stay in this room because I was fortunate to find, in the fourth floor library, the journals from the old Robert L Stevenson room.  A common theme is how the pipes rush with water (from the showers and flushing toilets of other rooms) that sounds like a waterfall.  Back in 91 or so someone suggested it would make a great “20.000 Leagues Under the Sea” room.

prophetic journal entry

prophetic journal entry

I think that the water sounds would soothe and amuse me.  The room also has an outside deck and entrance and is big enough for a rollaway bed so, next time…

Amy Tan

I took some photos of the then brand new Amy Tan room on my last visit, and here are a few more.

Amy Tan

Amy Tan

Tan

Tan

Tan

Colette

On Thursday morning, because Chez Colette had been empty the night before, we were able to check in early and spent a few hours reading in the Colette room before repairing to the library for more reading.  First, Carol napped.  When she awoke we both agreed to not leave the hotel.  Our plans to go to the bayfront seemed distant and unappealing compared to the quiet peace of the SBH.  It was very much the right decision.

Colette

Colette

by the north window

by the north window

At breakfast we had met a woman named Kelly Paige who is writing a book about the authors of the hotel.  She has stayed in each room on the author’s birthday and had just completed her mission in the Shakespeare room.  Each room received a birthday present and the crystal cat (and a triangular vase with the letter C on it) were Colette’s.

colette

mantle

mantle

Colette

over the daybed

over the daybed

Colette spent much of her later life ill and writing on a bed she called “The Red Raft”.  While it is now covered with a white bedspread, you can see in the photo of two cats above (and in some that I took in 2008) that it used to be red.

Colette

The Colette room has a little deck but it was too cold to sit out there.

the deck

the deck

Thursday night sunset from the "red raft"

Thursday night sunset from the “red raft”

When I awoke Friday morning at 6:30 AM, the ocean view from the window by the daybed was obscured by fog.

6:30 AM

6:30 AM

By 7:50 AM the waves could again be seen.

beach with Sylvia Beach shadow

beach with Sylvia Beach shadow

Because we were checking out, Carol let Shelley into the room and she resumed her favourite spot on the big bed.

Shelley

She looks very much like my cat Mary.

Next…tomorrow? :  The library and the gift shop and the lobby….and the stairs.

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