We tend not to host your average Joe and Joanne at the bnb. There’s the nearby motel and a dozen more in town so if four walls and indoor plumbing is all you need, there’s plenty to pick from. We get a thinner slice, and I like to think more interesting one, of the redwood and river enthusiast. It’s been an adventure sharing time and conversation with people — much more fun than I expected. But some guests are funner than others.
Chris, Mariel and Chris’ dad Brownie stayed for trio of days this summer and each day dawned brighter and more packed with conversation. each night over dinner seemed more fun and more engaging then the last. And for me, this booking marked a couple of liberating firsts. The first first, discussing politics with guests. The second first, the giving up of the evening meal to a guest who had a purposeful recipe and eating experience to share. The surprise discovery was that as much as I wanted to have control, if I let my
self stray just a little, life not only went on just fine, it got better.
Brownie was an early riser. So before the sun would come up over the ridge and while I prepped breakfast and watched the muffins rise, Brownie and I would chat. I learned about his family’s connection with the redwoods and Jed Smith Forest, a bit about his career, and a lot about politics. This was before the November elections so there was much to discuss. We got on to talking about the Romney-Obama contest and as much as I thought it might be a bad thing, it wasn’t. We weren’t voting for the same candidate but it didn’t prevent us from sharing political perspectives and reacting with shock (sometimes) to our different points of view. Surprise, surprise … talking politics didn’t wreck anyone’s vacation or business model. This may not work for everyone but for Brownie and me it worked just fine.
And then there was the cooking. I consider the kitchen solely my domain, but something about Mariel’s expression of love for her stuffed chiles won me over. This was a dish I had to try. And after asking myself what I like to do most on vacation (answer: cook!), I realized maybe Mariel and I were cut from the same cloth when it comes to the kitchen. So I gave in and while she and Chris hiked, I picked up the necessary ingredients.
The recipe was a good one, the dinner was excellent, and Chris’ knowledge of tequila, his stories of off-road racing and mechanics, and the description of life on the SoCal beach and his tons of trips to Mexico made for a perfect wrapping to put all the silly laughs and fun inside. Letting go never felt better.