Monday, September 10, 2012

Door #1 or Door #2?

Holly Lane Gardens

Inn at Vineyard Lane
We recently sampled lodgings on Bainbridge Island, WA. They could not have been more different, but each had its appeal. Organic farmer Patti Dusbabek has four rooms and a cabin down an unpaved road on 8.6 acres at Holly Lane Gardens.  Llamas keep the grass trimmed and geese supply eggs for breakfast. The charm is joining Patti in her warm farm-style kitchen, watching her put the finishing touches on a cranberry kuchen and hearing the tales this retired federal labor law investigator tells about giving the good old boys a hard time at the local farmer’s market.

I’m not sure who runs the Inn at Vineyard  Lane.  Our daughter made reservations online. We received email instructions for how to access our room electronically and directions to breakfast in the morning.  The first day we never saw a soul, but hot coffee waited on the counter in the empty commons and fresh homemade yogurt, granola and fruit chilled in the under counter refrigerator.  The Inn comprises four well appointed, zen-like rooms meditating in the middle of a complex of flats and penthouses near the Bainbridge Ferry--as  urban a landscape as the Gardens are rural. It was peaceful. Eerily so, but we liked it.

So, which to choose when we snatch our ninety-year-old grandma out of Arkansas and whisk her to the island for Christmas? She would feel at home on the farm. Patti would warm her insides and make her laugh. But she chills easily. We have to keep her warm on the outside. We will choose Door #2.

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