Saturday, May 11, 2024


 PH and I just returned from our anniversary get away trip.  We saw some beautiful, historic, stately homes built by people who had money.

This is the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina.  It was built with shipping and railroad money.

This is the governor's palace in Williamsburg, Virginia built in the 1700s when our forefathers were committing treason by drafting the Declaration of Independence from England and the king. Scary, but they did it anyway.
This was a Native home in Jamestown, the site of one of the first settlements in Virginia
and this is Monticello, the home Thomas Jefferson, the one who wrote that Declaration of Independence.  He was a contradiction in terms.  We discovered many really strongly disliked him for his personality, but he was also a renaissance man, an inventor, a person who saw the possibilities, who founded the University of Virginia.  

All of these homes were stupendous, though not in the sense they were large.  They are remarkably small - with the exception of the Biltmore.  

PH and I?  We stay in hotels.  We are not and never have been campers.  I am adamantly not a camper.  PH says my idea of camping is a Holiday Inn instead of a Hilton. But after a couple of our hotel experiences on this trip and mulling it over on our way home, I can understand a tiny bit more the camping culture. 

 Here in the U.S. during covid the sales of RV's skyrocketed.  You couldn't beg, borrow or steal an RV.  It was a way for people to get out of the confines of their homes, get outdoors, and still have your own space. Your own bed. Your stuff is not unpacked each time you go someplace new. 

 I really don't know if the real cost of RVing is any less expensive than getting a room for the night.  The cost of gas must be outrageous, the site rentals in the U.S. can be very expensive and then there is the cost of the RV itself and the insurance.  As we pass the monstrous rigs being pulled behind the highest level of truck out there, PH and I always look at each other and say,  "You can buy a lot of hotel rooms in Tahiti for what that must cost."  I am not convinced it's a cheaper way to go.  I know people who absolutely love it and I know people who found it wasn't their thing. 

And that brings me to my hotel thoughts.  Our first night out we pulled into the little town we were headed for at 11:30 p.m.  PH had made a reservation.  The town was so small I'm not sure there were any other choices but at 11:30 it's a bit late to look.  It was a hole.  Oh, my, gosh, I was disgusted. And in the morning when we woke up and actually saw it in daylight, well, we couldn't get in the car fast enough.  A gross hole.

The next night was better, and when we got to Williamsburg, it was all good.  We didn't stay in a chain hotel, but a local motel with thick walls, clean bathrooms, the car parked right outside our door, a nice area with no truck traffic and within walking distance of historic Colonial Williamsburg.

But after leaving Williamsburg and heading home, we fell down another hole.  In fact it was so bad (another chain) I absolutely told PH in my no-uncertain-terms-voice we were NOT staying in a rat hole. Of course when you make a reservation from a website you don't see these things.  We struggled that night to find something else and finally did but it was just one small notch above the rat hole.  One notch.

I got to thinking on the way home about RVs vs. hotel rooms.  The bottom line really is the bed.  In a hotel you have to know the comforter is not washed after each guest, just the sheets are - if you're lucky. So there is no telling what's been done on or to that comforter.  I found blood on the sheet of my bed.  And then some on the floor.  The cleaning is done to a point. But you have to know that the 'stuff ' you see in the corners of the bathroom isn't your stuff and you are sleeping in a bed a thousand other people have slept in and putting your head on the pillows a thousand other people have put their heads on (I bring my own pillows.)  

I can hear people who RV saying they are sleeping in their OWN beds and using their OWN pillows and I get it now.  Just a little.  


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry you had some bad experiences with you your motel stays. It's so hard to know exactly what you will be getting. I'm not a camper either and think it's still less expensive to stay in a motel as opposed to RV ownership. The last time stayed overnight, the room was spotless, the sheet clean and crisp, the bathroom was nice and clean too but there were glass doors and walls on the shower and the bathroom door was like a barn door with rollers so there was not way to shut it for privacy. I didn't take a shower while we were there. I've been in a few places where we were desperate for a place to lay down and like you say couldn't get out there fast enough the next morning. Taking my own sheets might be on my list next time we go. We have a little camp trailer that my husband takes fishing. He keeps trying to get me out in the wilderness. The house made out of bark (?) was fascinating.

  2. think I lost my big comment............

  3. Beautiful houses, they look very grand. We often stay in cabins in camping grounds, I have found the few times we have stayed in hotels they have not been clean. RV's sound good but are huge to drive and costly. We hired one to see how we would go, I was happy, hubby was not!!

  4. I loved the photos of the houses, especially the first one. It sounds like a nice little vacation.
    We have been pretty lucky with hotels for the most part. I am going to an air bnb next week, so hope it all works out. RV's are harder to park too