More Foghorn!

“What the hell is that?”  My husband and I stumbled out of bed and to the balcony of our room on Block Island to determine the origin of an unfamiliar sound.  It was the first of our six nights at our favorite B&B this year, clear and beautiful.  The green and red lights on the breakwater of the Old Harbor shimmered on the undulating surface.  Every minute to 90 seconds, a low but none-the-less piercing tone split the silence.

“Sounds like a foghorn,” I said.  “There’s never been a foghorn here.”

We looked at each other.  “And there’s no fog?” 

We turned our fan to high to drown it out, went back to bed and put our pillows over our heads.  So it would go every night, every morning at dawn and at crazy intervals in between for our entire stay.  Oh yeah, and no fog.

To be fair, we go to Block Island to party, not to sleep and in the last 10 years staying at The Inn at Old harbour, we’ve seen the atmosphere become a lot less raucous. Less all night drunken hollering, rock and roll, dishes clattering and loud employee parties with bongo drums on the deck of the adjacent seafood restaurant.  

We kind of miss it, really.  The energy and exuberance of happy people is contagious, but last year (2009) we had the best nights’ sleep ever.  It wasn’t bad to have a little less party, but I’d like to have a word with whomever had the bright idea of adding the random foghorn. 

Granted there are probably determining factors that I have no understanding of.  What I do understand is the importance of tourism to the local economy.  If you’re not gonna let us party all night anymore, at least let us sleep.

The foghorn might not have seemed so bad, had things not changed so drastically when the place we’ve stayed at for nearly ten years changed hands this year (2010).  I hate to say it, but even though we love it we won’t stay there again.

When we walked in there was a bad smell in our room, like old urine.  We got the air moving and I found an odor eliminating canister in the closet to put under the bed, as well as a t-shirt and boxers from the previous occupant.  I put them in my Victoria’s Secret bag and had them sent to their owner.  Hope he got a laugh out of that.

On closer inspection, there was dirt and hair behind the sink and toilet, trash on the floor behind the bathroom door and dust bunnies with threatening expressions under all the furniture.  In previous years, the place had been so clean you could walk around it in white socks and not get them dirty all day.  It had smelled like my grandma’s shore house in Madison.  It had been a place where old happy memories became new ones.  This year our socks turned black from just walking around our room and you know what it smelled like.

The next day when we returned from the beach the bed was made but nothing else had changed.  I picked up the trash behind the bathroom door, and when the island employees closed everything and left early for a party, I got the vacuum out of the maid’s closet. 

It was over-filled.  The staff probably thought it didn’t work since I never saw them use anything other than a dustbuster.  Dysons aren’t the most easy to figure out how to empty.  Took Mark and I about 5 minutes then I cleaned the room while he moved things for me.  The bad smell was gone then but that was the last time our room was vacuumed. I left a piece of fuzz on the floor everyday to see, but it was obvious even if I hadn’t. The bathroom fixtures were wiped down, the trash was taken out but the dirt and hair remained behind the toilet and sink and our sheets were never changed.

I thought about complaining but then I’d picture the sullen staff cleaning the toilet with our toothbrushes.  I hid them as best I could everyday in case they’d heard our grumblings through the thin partition that divided our balcony from theirs.

Among other things, I am a professional housekeeper.  I made a point of inspecting the vacated rooms “cleaned” and left open in anticipation of new guests.  I found those rooms to be in the same state.  When the previous owner who has come to be a friend asked me how things were, I saw the look in her eyes and didn’t have the heart to tell her.  That’s why I’m telling you.


~ by loretta8 on April 15, 2011.

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