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Kalamazoo B&B

Darwin and I are big bed and breakfasters.  It started because we both dislike hotels as sterile and dull.  We had to stay out overnight, and we decided to look for a B&B instead.  I forget if it was his idea or mine.  We were pleasantly surprised to find that B&Bs cost about the same as a decent motel, once you factored in the cost of breakfast.  We booked a room at one and loved it.  Since we're both history buffs, we had endless fun picking out historical details of the house and its architecture and looking up its history on-line and figuring out what was original and what was changed.

So now whenever we need to stay somehwere, we look for a B&B instead of a hotel.  This was the case last weekend when we took Aran to MCTI.  Registration was Monday, but on the same day, we had the memorial for Darwin's father, who died a couple months ago in Harrison.  The only way to make both events was to overnight near MCTI, register Aran as early as possible, and rush up to northern Michigan.

In Kalamazoo, I found Hall House Bed and Breakfast.  The web site said the attic had been turned into a suite that could sleep five adults, so we booked it for only slightly more than a motel.  Perfect!

Hall House was beautifully restored.  The place was built in 1923 by a builder, so the place was solid.  Granite front steps, original inlaid tile in the foyer, original lintels to the doors.  There was what looked like an old-fashioned telephone in the entryway which turned out to be an intercom that had typewritten labels on it: Maid's Room, Butler, Kitchen.  It gave insight into the original daily structure of the house.

The first thing I noticed when I entered was how the place smelled.  The walls and floors gave off the exact same smell as my grandparents' house, and their house was built in the 20s as well.

The dining room was huge.  It had a grand piano and four tables in it, with a sun room off to one side.  All the floors were original, and finished with a smooth, warm varnish.  A grand staircase went up to the second floor landing, where the families rooms were.  A little hallway led off to the back staircase and the servant's quarters.  I pointed out to Maksim and Aran how the back staircase let the servants in the old days get around the house and stay out of sight as much as possible.

The innkeeper was a very nice lady who met us, gave us keys, and showed us to the garret suite.  It was the entire attic.  Lovely!  A twin and a double bed were tucked under the eaves of the front sitting room, which also had a wet bar, mini fridge, sitting table, and living room suite.  The back room was the main bedroom and bathroom.  Everything was decorated in a mix of modern and antique.

Maksim thought the place was completely awesome.  He flopped onto the twin bed and settled in to relax.  Aran was a little nervous about the day tomorrow and hid behind his phone for much of the evening.  Darwin and I wanted to go out an explore, since it was early evening still.  The boys didn't, so we went on our own.  (More on that later.)

We were the only ones in the house, so in the morning, we had the dining room to ourselves.  The innkeeper made us a great breakfast of gourmet eggs, fruit, muffins, and various breads.  Maksim thought it was the best ever.  We enjoyed it very much.

B&Bs rule!


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