Cut tulips in a stemware glass. Chocolates in a crystal bowl. A hand-written welcome note in a lovely card. Soothing natural shades on a well-dressed bed. It doesn't necessarily take grandeur to create a heavenly home-away from home, but after a day of travel - car, boat, bus, rapid transit - and several hours of meandering in the wrong shoes, I can't think of anywhere I'd rather land than where I am right now - in a rented room with the most gracious of hosts, and his imposing-if-only-he-didn't-think-he-was-a-kitten bull mastiff.
I'm in Vancouver for what promises to be a very intense few days of international conferencing - networking, learning, and *fingers crossed* a little fun. I found the place I'm staying via a site called Air BNB that STG and I have been using to plan our summer holiday. The ad looked wonderful, but you really can't tell.
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Only, this time the reality is even better than the promise.
Vancouver is a city that hasn't treated its history well. Too many jewels have been destroyed to make way for condo after condo after monster house. And yet here sits this 1906 suite of flats. Hard wood and penny tiles and baseboards to your shin bone and clawfoot tubs and all. It's not modern. It's not spa-like. It's ... Alice in Wonderland, and Jane Eyre and comfort and style and charm. It's a library, and an art gallery and a home.
And I'm going to log off now so I can snuggle down in my cozy comfy bed and read until my eyes won't read any more. And I will drift to sleep grateful for great conversation, for more books than I could dream, for fresh flowers in wee vases, for dogs that make me feel petite, for high quality chocolate, and for a respite and retreat in the midst of a mad mad city.