Fall is a beautiful time in the Laurel Highlands! Warm days follow crisp mornings…soon the leaves will be colorful and inviting nature lovers to enjoy the golds, reds and oranges. I look forward to Fall, while sharing some warm memories of Spring and Summer of 2008.
May was a busy with many guests coming to visit for weddings, to visit relatives, class reunions, tours of Fallingwater & Kentuck Knob, special occasions or a getaway! While it was an exciting time for guests it was a time of preparation for this Innkeeper, who was preparing for a trip of a life time to Scandinavia. My trip was a Christmas gift from my Swedish friend who retired as President of a Swedish Co. and returned to his home land of Sweden. I was sad to see him leave Ligonier, but I looked forward to visiting Sweden which lessened the sadness.
The difficult part of this adventure was leaving my business, my guests, my livlihood, my 15 years of hard work and dedication in the hands of an unknown for three weeks. Yes, I worried and with reason. Let’s just say that if I had to do it over again…I would make the trip but I would be more careful to select a “true professional interim innkeeper”. I am still licking my wounds. Having said that, I had a fantastic time.
I couldn’t wait to get all the countries stamped into my new passport was my thought that day of May as I flew from Altoona, PA to Dulles, Washington,DC. I got a leg and foot massage at Dulles…I was told this would help to keep swelling down. (It worked) I flew Luththansa Airlines on an overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany. I felt refreshed (I had slept 5 hours on the flight) as I presented my passport to an unsmiling officer who looked at my passport, at me and my flight ticket. Stamp! Stamp! Ok, Germany on my passport, next Denmark, Sweden and maybe Norway! It was about 11 PM in PA and my body time, while it was 5 AM in Frankfurt…
In order, I wanted the ladies room (not rest room) and coffee (after all it was morning). I found the ladies room, got in line, then I along with several other females was shoved out of the way by a large German woman who moved to the front…I had a few words for her rudeness but since I can’t speak German and she was much larger…I just breathed some Italian American fire. Now for the coffee! Oops! I have no Euro’s, and the few kiosk’s with coffee didn’t seem to take Dollars$$$ (worthless in Europe and Scandinavia)… So, no German coffee for me but there will be coffee on the flight to Copenhagen, Denmark. Wrong! Well, not exactly! I looked forward to Swedish (maybe Gevalia) coffee on my SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) flight to Denmark… Not to be! I was sitting in the cheap section-three rows behind where the FREE coffee was served. This time I didn’t have Swedish Crowns and I wasn’t going to use my debit card for a cup of coffee which may show up on my statement as $8.00. So no coffee for me. Ok, I am a B&B Innkeeper, who grew up with coffee and yes I am addicted to java.
Next, on to Denmark where the sun was shining brightly for my arrival. I had been given instructions by Sten as to what to do…so I went for my luggage (known as big red) then to Passport Control…and to my disappointment I was waved through…NO STAMP! I was confused! I want a Demark Stamp! I want my bragging rights! If you could see my old passport it is a country brag book, from Austrailia, Japan, China, Thailand, Brazil, Greece to name a few…now I have a German stamp and no Denmark. What’s the deal? Ok, disappointed as I am I continue on with my directions to go through the double doors and there I will see a “tall Swede”. Ok, I am short, but when I went through the double doors there were hundreds of “tall Swedes”, but none that I knew. Big Red and I take a seat, hear some American, so I start up a conversation with some folks from Boston…trust me that would be the last American I would hear for a long time. Finally, I see a familiar “tall Swede” who I hugged with these words, “I need coffee”. I got coffee…but no other country stamps on my passport during the entire trip through four countries.
Was the land of the midnight sun ready for Patti-or was Patti ready for the land of the midnight sun?