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Posts Tagged ‘Nana’s Irish Pub’

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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