Back when I was working seven day weeks in the Real Estate business getting away for a weekend was often all I could afford to do in time or money. My wife introduced me to the world of the Bed and Breakfast weekend, which I discovered to my surprise did wonders for my need to get away; to get distance from the daily demands. On the second one of those retreats I realized what the “magic” was. It wasn’t just distance or seeing some new geography. I could do that in a motel or hotel in any town. No. It was the trick of time travel.
A good Bed and Breakfast in a hundred year old home furnished in period pieces takes you to a time where there were no demands for instant gratification, for instant resolution of problems, for immediate decisions magnified in their consequences as they often are by the immediate realizations of the mistakes that were lurking, waiting to be revealed by that old, quaint phrase, “careful consideration”.
So now I love Bed and Breakfasts, and from time to time in this section you will hear about them. And to launch this segment I could not have found a better candidate than The Mt. Gretna Inn located, of course, in Mt.Gretna PA.
We were up there with friends for the annual house tour, but that was the excuse I allowed myself to use. I was up there to drop out of time, and Mt. Gretna itself is a marvelous place to do that kind of time travel.
Located about 3hours driving time from the DC metro area it is settled comfortably among small easily walkable hills. The town itself is small, more village than town, and more community than village with interesting old houses, some of which have been updated in keeping with the look and style of the original architecture. The town sponsors a variety of community activities including arts and crafts weekends, so there are a variety of good excuses, oops, I mean reasons, for taking the trip.
And when you do I strongly recommend (plan ahead) the Mt. Gretna Inn. The room we had was large, very comfortable, with a love seat couch and a few easy to sit in chairs. The bathroom was fine, the shower a treat. The front porch looks over a lovely expanse of trees to the right of which you can see in easy walking distance the local pub, and to the left the houses of the community. One of the side benefits of these quiet, contemplative get aways is the opportunity to discover, or rediscover something interesting about yourself. For me it was the re-discovery of my affection for rocking chairs. There were two wonderfully functional rockers on the porch and I did rock away whenever I could. What was ruefully brought to my mind was how long I have neglected the old, very serviceable rocker in my own living room at home.
Breakfast Saturday morning featured perfectly prepared Eggs Benedict and Sunday a splendid thick sliced French Toast. We were indeed fortunate to have delightful table mates so breakfast both days was a combination of delicious food and equally delicious conversations. And of course, as expected, the owners and the staff were all warm, gracious, and eager to be helpful.
Check out the Inn and Mt. Gretna itself via: www.mtgretnainn.com