I wouldn’t know the author Nora Roberts if she came up and bit me. My wonderful wife however, has an entire bookcase shrine devoted to her works. A few months ago, she mentioned that Ms. Roberts and her husband lived in Boonsboro, MD and had opened up a B&B. I feigned nonchalance - hard to tell I know - but filed the information away. In an effort to surprise Sarah, I made reservations for a November weekend. Each of the rooms has a literary couple theme; Nick and Nora-from the Thin Man series, Westly and Buttercup, and others. Looking at the rooms and their amenities, I picked out the Jane and Rochester suite (stupid joke edited out here.) Nope, I get the final review. I still don’t know why Tarzan’s wife and Jack Benny’s valet had a room. I had to make sure that nothing else would be scheduled for that weekend so I blocked off the time on the calendar on her iPhone. Big Mistake! When they say "they like surprises"---don’t buy it. I got hounded, harassed, wheedled, coaxed, and begged to reveal the secret destination. I tried in vain to throw her off the scent. Hints of Charlottesville, the beach and other locations in the area, fell like the leaves dropping from the fall trees. “What if I don’t have the right clothing?”—Don’t worry, I said, there is nothing else around. Nope, not good enough, finally she wore me down—good thing it wasn’t classified information.
After spending the day in Antietam, we wandered the six miles to Boonsboro. Ms. Robert’s is really to be commended. The Inn is lovely. She kind of has a monopoly on business in the little town though. Her husband owns and operates the bookstore and her son runs Vesta, the town’s pizza restaurant. Small towns do have their challenges as well. When we asked our very young server, which she recommended, the lasagna or the spaghetti, she replied—“I don’t really know about this I-talian food”. The lasagna was fine.
Now because I had done my homework, I know that Ms. Roberts’ latest book was the first of a new trilogy which was set in the very Inn in the town itself. I arranged for an autographed copy to be placed in the room. The original painting for the cover hangs in the front hallway.
The most amazing thing about the place, was not the lovely antiques, the beautiful library and fine breakfast, nope it was the fixtures in the bathrooms. Every review of the place mentions them, but until you experience them, you have no idea. Let’s just say that we are saving our pennies to buy our own.
On Sunday, after a leisurely breakfast, we headed out of town to visit the original Washington Monument; not the more famous one in DC, but the one erected in 1827 by the townspeople themselves. This simple stone structure has an incredible view as it sits atop South Mountain. It was a gorgeous day and a much needed, very delightful weekend, and all less than two hours away. Take time and explore the area around you—there are plenty of local treasures hidden in plain sight.