Sunday, 16 May 2010

The lap of luxury

bright sunshine, mild, temps 18

Lovely, lovely fresh day. Not hot, but warm, especially in the sun. Just beautiful.

We're at Hovey Manor! Arrived in time for breakfast....on Sunday they do their wonderful breakfasts until 2pm - which is a brilliant idea since lots of non-guests now come for it. Not expensive (at least not as expensive as other meals) - very yummy - and glorious setting.

So we determined to leave as soon as Pat and Tony arrived to house-sit and Trudy-sit.

Drove the hour and a half over here....arrived at the front desk to see our friend Marc-Andre there. He looked at us, smiled - and then a look of desolation came over him.

'Bonjour,' he said - his smile almost recovered.

'Salut,' we said. 'We've arrived early, for breakfast.'

'Bien sur,' he said. 'A little early. We have you booked in for next Sunday.'

Huh? (that seems a universal expression - as was the look on our faces)

'Next week?' I asked with a more than nervous giggle. Since I was the one who'd made the reservations I had reason to be nervous, though not much reason to giggle.

'Oui. And the hotel is fully booked.'

What could a gal do? I broke into hysterical laughter. Michael did not. When I stopped we all just stared at each other for a moment. And then I apologized. It was clearly my fault - I must have been looking at the wrong page in my calendar. And next Sunday is a spectacularly ridiculous time to reserve at Hovey since it's in the middle of the Victoria Day (yes, we celebrate Queen Victoria) long weekend and we have family staying up to the gunnels.

Marc-Andre decided to check once again. often the tiny rooms at the back aren't taken. Ironic, since in The Murder Stone something similar happens with Gamache and Reine-Marie, and they end up in the tiniest room at the Inn. perfectly happy. But as we have established beyond doubt over the years with this blog, they are far better people than me. Still, to be honest, we'd have been happy with that. Or we could have gone home. As I said to Michael, as Marc Andre checked for a broom closet we could stay in, at least we hadn't flown in from New York or Toronto for this.

'Yes,' agreed Michael, 'that is a relief.' He didn't seem convinced.

'Well, we do have something,' said Marc-Andre - now smiling. 'you've never stayed in this room.'

Was it, I wondered, one of their public bathrooms? The shed?

'The only room not booked for the next three nights this one of the Vista Suites.'

'Pardon?' I asked, my head reeling.

'A vista suite,' said Marc-Andre - pointing either up the hill overlooking the lake, or to Heaven. turns out, it was heaven.

Dear Lord - the only room available, which they gave us at the rate we'd booked for next week (much lower) is one of the best rooms at Hovey. More like a completely renovated cottage.

Remember when we arrived in St. Lucia to find they'd given us the Presidential Suite??? Well, this is the same thing. It's spectacular!!! Can you believe it? When I regained consciousness we signed for it fast, before Marc-Andre sobered up.

Then went in for breakfast (the room wasn't ready). Michael had the 'suggestion' of the asparagus, brie and smoked salmon omelette, with sausages. I had eggs Benedict and sausages - with rich, strong coffee. then we walked the gardens and onto the dock. Lounged by the pool. And then the room was ready.

It's outside the main lodge, on the hill...easy walk to the main building for meals, though they'll also bring them up. I'm sitting on the big wooden verandah looking over the lake...the private hot tub calling to me.

Inside it is totally renovated with a sort of mid-century modern feel....huge bedroom with walk-in closet. Huge living room and bathroom. A kitchen! Flat screen TV's everywhere.

We're cha-chaing in the lap of luxury!!! Forward our mail.


Marjorie said...

Unbelievable. In a good way, of course. And I think that perhaps you need to send Marc-Andre something special. Like a box of gold. Or a cashmere sweater.

So happy for you both,
Marjorie from Connecticut

Darlene said...

No question, it was meant to be. Enjoy, enjoy! And don't forget to send Marc-Andre a box of gold.

Susan Fish said...

I say you thank M-A by naming a character after him.


Marjorie said...

Ah, Susan, that is an even better idea than mine. A character! Just not a victim...or the murderer!

--Marjorie from CT

Jodi Kaplan said...

LOL, Marjorie. A box of gold.

Thanks guys, I needed a smile.

Marjorie said...

Thanks, Jodi. I would usually say a very nice thank you gift would be flowers or chocolates or muffins, but I am guessing that Marc-Andre sees (and eats) that stuff every day working where he does. So gold (or cashmere) would be something special.

--Marjorie from CT (who could use a smile, too. I bought myself a new watch yesterday and today it fell off onto a cement floor and shattered. Yikes.)

m00ndance said...

Dear Louise:

Your karmic payment has scored!!!

Enjoy! It sounds wonderful!

Diane said...

Hi Louise:

Your karma is fantastic -- totally unbelievable how you stumble into the glorious. Wonderful. No need to say enjoy.

Pierre said...

You are either very good or very lucky with your hotel bookings. Next time I travel, you'll take care of my booking!

Dana said...

Marjorie - sometimes if you pay with a credit card you can get a full refund, no matter how the accident happened.
Louise, do not use the kitchen! It would be a terrible waste of calories when at Hovey.

Marjorie said...

Thanks, Dana. I will check that out.

--Marjorie from CT

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

I told Mar-Andre about your box of gold suggestion and he quite agreed! But I suspect he'll have to accept a character. Great idea. So in some future book when you read about the glorious and generous Marc-Andre you alone will recognize who it is...and know the idea was born here.

Sorry to hear about your watch, Marjorie! So upsetting when that happens.

Quite right - not going anywhere near the kitchen except to put our ginger ale and elderflower cordial in the fridge.

thank you all for being so happy for us. How kind you are.