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September 15th, 2021

Home Away From Home

Really enjoying what is essentially a one bedroom apartment here in Saratoga Springs, especially the fully equipped kitchen. And it’s reminding me of the guest house apartments mom used to get us when we went to the beach, back when I was a kid. Those would be two bedroom things, also with fully equipped kitchens. I guess I’d forgotten this.

They would usually be a block behind the hotels stacked along the boardwalks and beachfronts. Large structures that looked like very big old houses, but were divided up into apartments that families could rent for their stay at the beach. Often much, Much more affordable than the nice beachfront hotels, they provided plenty of space for mom, dad and the kids. Ours usually had nice front porches to hang out on in the evenings. The equipment in them was usually old like the buildings themselves….bathtubs with legs, sinks with separate faucets for hot and cold, stoves you had to light…all seemingly from the 1930s or 40s. But they gave you a good close approximation of a home away from home while you were at the beach for a week or two.

At the end of the street where we always stayed in Ocean City, New Jersey, was a Very Nice upscale six floor hotel right on the boardwalk. I used to envy the people who stayed there…very well to do folks judging by the cars parked there (I became fascinated by cars early in my boyhood…we wouldn’t have a car of our own until I was in my middle teens when mom bought a Plymouth Valiant.) When I returned to Ocean City after decades away, making very good money myself now, I made a beeline to that hotel. Yeah it was pricey, but the view out over the ocean from the upper floors was magnificent. Still…it was a hotel, not a guest house. You didn’t get a kitchen. You didn’t even get a fridge or microwave unless you sprang for one of the deluxe corner units. Those had wet bars and mini food prep areas. It was expected that you would be eating out all the time. Really, the food prep areas were just for after hours hanging out drinking and snacking.

In my adult travels I’ve always hit the hotels and roadside motels. They’re good for the road, but if you use them for a stay you’re depending on restaurants for everything but snacks. You might get a small fridge and a little microwave. There’s usually a coffee maker. Rarely do you get a sink and a food prep area. I’ve been creative with this setup, bringing to it my own travel silverware, dishes and food prep stuff, but you really can’t do much with it. You’re basically planning to eat out all the time or snack in your hotel room. For an extended stay you really need a kitchen. Then you have a home base, from which to go exploring.

Perhaps this is my introvert nature expressing itself, but really feeling like I have a home base this trip is very soothing. A motel room just isn’t that. This one bedroom DVC I got in Saratoga Springs (so I’m told, the very first Disney Vacation Club site) is all that. I’m able to do a week of it here in Saratoga Springs because it isn’t expensive point wise, and I get walking access to Disney Springs. If I’m not doing the parks anymore Boardwalk’s walking distance to my two favorite parks isn’t offering me anything.

It’s easy to fall into a home away from home routine here in a one bedroom. In the mornings I’ll make a mug of ice coffee from the fridge and take it with me for a morning stroll, then come back and make breakfast and think about my day. I might to a laundry…there is a washer and dryer right in the unit. I might just work on A Coming Out Story…I have what I need to get the next episode out…make a lunch and hit the pool here. I’m not doing the parks this trip (thank you Ron DeSantis you insane murderous Trump loving jackass), but I’ve a good set of cameras with me and there are nearby places to explore. Maybe I’ll eat somewhere interesting. Or I can just return to home base and make dinner, and think about what I saw, and maybe write a few things down.

This is what vacations were like when I was a kid. Just hanging out in a fun place with no particular schedule in mind. Mom would spend the afternoons at the beach. I might too, or I might just wander the boardwalk and do some mini golf or some of the rides. Or I might hop on my bicycle and go explore. Now I have a car.
 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Home Away From Home

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