Our family (Deb’s side) learned several years ago that we love B&Bs¹ for occasions special (anniversaries) and not (crashing at a local B&B after seeing a show at the theatre next county over, thereby only driving ten minutes late at night instead of forty). The last several Christmases they have given us gift certificates to B&Bs local and not-so-local, which is pretty cool.
So when we got a gift certificate for the Apple Bin Inn, a B&B a short drive away from the theatre where we had season tickets, we knew how we’d use it: we’d take in the April musical at the Fulton Theatre, then crash at the Apple Bin afterward. This was our plan as of January 2020.
You know where this is going, right?
Thought so. Yep, by April 2020 the Fulton Theatre was shut down, the B&Bs were shut down, and essentially we were sheltering place while waiting for the Angel of Death to pass by our home.
So now it’s January 2021, and Deb (who is a smart person and a good planner) decides to check to make sure that Apple Bin Inn is still in business and will still accept the gift certificate. Yes and yes! Big smiles!
Deb’s suggestion is to book a room for early February. Just one night. We don’t go out and do anything wild and crazy, like go to a show (there aren’t any) or a movie² or dine at a restaurant (ha ha ha ha ha NO).
Plus it happens to be the week of our wedding anniversary. Number twenty-one,³ thanks for asking. So let’s book for the night before (which is a Thursday, so there will be more rooms available, right?) and we can wake up on our anniversary have someone make us breakfast! Pretty cool, eh!
Deb talks to the owner of the Apple Bin Inn. They are in major pandemic mode. We have to promise the day before we get there that we have no symptoms (we called and promised) and sign a waiver that we are healthy as far as we know (yes, they understand about asymptomatic cases) and if we catch COVID-19 and die we won’t sue the Apple Bin Inn (cross our hearts and hope to… um, not die).
We order a meal for takeout from a local restaurant we know and like, for pickup Thursday evening. We pack our own dishes and tableware. And wine glasses. And wine.
We check into the Apple Bin Inn on Thursday afternoon. We are the only guests at the Inn.⁴ We are in masks, as is our hostess, and we are asked to keep masks on whenever we are departing, arriving, or might see anyone while at the Inn. Sure!
Our room is beautiful, although not quite like the photos on the website. The Inn has stripped out anything that is pretty but not useful, so there are no pretty scarfs hanging from the bed canopy (also no bed canopy). There is a dining table instead of a sofa; we have the option of being served breakfast in our room. (Yes, please! And the table means we can eat dinner without juggling plates on our laps.) There is a small fridge if we want to keep food there. Or chill wine.
We dump our bag, go grab dinner, return to our room and settle in with a movie from the Inn’s DVD collection.⁵ Dinner is excellent; the restaurant has narrowed down the menu to items that travel well. The movie is nice; the company is wonderful. We sleep well, are treated to a delicious breakfast in the morning, and check out without actually coming into close contact with our hosts at any time.
Kind of dull, as anniversary weekends go, overall. In the era of the Trump Pandemic, however, it has to rank as the most exuberant fun we’ve had in a year!
¹Bed & breakfasts? Beds & breakfasts? I’ll assume you know what I’m talking about and move along.
²The idea of sitting in a theater while the maskless people behind me are munching popcorn and coughing means any movie is in the horror genre — oh, and all the new movies we like are either postponed or streaming.
³We celebrated #20 by going on a cruise to Alaska. Oh wait, no we didn’t, there weren’t any cruises to Alaska in 2020. So May 2021, we’re good to go! Oh wait, no again, Canada announced they would NOT be allowing cruise ships to use their ports in 2021. So we’re pencilled in for May 2022. (Light pencil. Easy to erase.) On the plus side, every time we tell the cruise line it’s okay to keep our ticket money, they tack on bonus stuff; we’ve gone from a very nice cabin with room to turn around if you keep your elbows tucked in to a freakin’ suite with a verandah. No, I don’t know what we’ll do with the extra space, but if you don’t have plans for May 2022 and you can figure out a way to sneak on board a cruise ship during a port stop, maybe we can figure something out.
⁴There was a family, but they were in an outlying cottage. We never saw them.
⁵Our hostess requested that we look through the movie list in our rooms, decide which DVD we wanted, then go select it from the library. Please don’t touch anything we will not be viewing, and please leave the DVD out so it can be sanitized. Yep, these folks take COVID-19 seriously.