Saturday, July 12, 2014

Goodbye to our own Brigadoon

February 19. 2013 6:10PM
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There was a time I never would have thought it possible, but I really missed the froo-froo.

Well, that and the breakfasts.

MT and I did our 13th annual walk to Jim Thorpe and back this past weekend. We start near White Haven and use the Lehigh Gorge State Park Trail, stay in town for two nights and walk back. It's about 25 miles one-way.We started this tradition on MT's 40th birthday; she wanted to celebrate by walking 40 miles in two days. I proposed to her on the return trip.

And we always stayed at the VictoriAnn Bed and Breakfast, run by Louise Ogilvie, a woman in her 70s when we made our first tirp. Some people considered her a bit termpermental, rude or crusty, and I can see that. But I often wonder if they knew how old and frail she was getting. It couldn't have been easy to walk up and down those steps all the time. We always found her pleasant and accomodating.

When MT called to reserve a room this year, there was no answer. We learned the building is up for sale (Corner Post Realty, $199,999 if your interested). We also later were told Louise just couldn't do all the work and retired,

I'm not going to sing praises to the Victoriann.It was a bit rundown. Getting enough hot water to soak in a tub (much desired after a 25 mile trek) was hit or miss, and the old heating system could leave you sweating or shivering through the night sometimes.

The decor should have been overwhelming - the place was crammed with pictures and furnishings, lamps and knick knacks, doilies and lace - but it grew on us. We didn't realize how much until we tried another B&B with a more modern look (a fine place with a very helpful hostess, to be sure).

MT & I both realized that Victoriann's overdone decor functioned like the fog in Brigadoon. It enveloped you so thoroughly you could leave the real world behind for a day each year.

And Louise's breakfasts were hard to beat: A plate of fresh sliced fruit, a tray of varied toasts with optional marmalade, bite-size pastries, a quiche or some similar dish, a side of home fries or bacon or sausage, stick-to-your-ribs homemade porridge she loved to brag about, and a pot of tea in - of course - a tea cozy.

Her retirement, and the closing of the Victoriann, were no surprise.We knew it would happen, as surely as we know the day will come when we can't walk this walk anymore (though I'd like to keep at it into our 60s).

But for us it is worth noting the passing of The Victoriann, and retirement of its owner. I really will miss the froo froo, and the breakfasts. And I thank Louise for providing our own personal Brigadoon.

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