Tag Archives: B&B

“Jaw With John” – Out Of Town Family Treats Host Family Like a B&B

We have family members who like to stay with us every time they are in town. They live about five hours away. Typically when they come to stay, most of our other family members (who live only an hour away) will come to stay too.

We love that our young kids get to see their cousins, but it is a lot of work! This last time, we were informed just days beforehand that 10 people would be spending the weekend with us. We decided to send out an email telling everyone to help with a meal since it gets expensive for us (we’re a young family!) and it is hard to cook eight meals for 18 people!

The relatives who live five hours away have told us twice now that they won’t be bringing anything or could maybe bring water or chips. They have a family of five so it would be nice for them to contribute (since we are doing everything else). Am I wrong in still expecting them to bring a meal to share? I don’t think packing a cooler is that hard! — Exasperated

Dear Exasperated:

You made a reasonable request and were met with people who are unwilling to lend a hand. Chips? Water? Really? This is stupid. Are they the family from Little Miss Sunshine and don’t have time to pick up stuff along the way because they have to get their daughter to a beauty pageant? Didn’t think so.

If they are so disinclined to contribute then maybe you should suggest they stay elsewhere. If not now, then for future trips. You’re not a B&B.

They do realize that they can buy groceries and such THERE, right? They don’t have to haul them 5 hours to your home. There is a Safeway, Trader Joe’s or a Kroger in damn near every city. It’s not hard to pick up some stuff. You’re already doing enough by housing them and feeding every. single. one of them. The least they could do is prepare, serve and clean up one damn meal.

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When In Wanaka

After spending a few months on the island continent Australia I was itching to spread my wings. I had a semester break at the end of September/beginning of October and I knew where I wanted to go: New Zealand.

The scary part was that I was going to be doing this 100% on my own. I wasn’t going to meet anyone there that was part of my university or study abroad group. I was doing this for me. It was a huge step for me to travel and make plans on my own and it gave me confidence for future travel adventures. In my head I already knew that I wanted to go and see some of the Lord of the Rings filming locations, so I made it a mission to do just that. I decided to start my adventure on the South Island or Te Waipounamu in the city of Queenstown and I booked a day tour that would take me around to various locations used in the filming of the Lord of the Rings films.

An odd connection from Brisbane to an overnight in Melbourne to an AM Sydney flight and running through the Sydney airport to catch a flight, then a few hours staring out a Qantas window, a movie about a Scottish cyclist (The Flying Scotsman) and a crappy Robin Williams movie (License To Wed) later … I landed in Queenstown.


I had arranged to be driven to Wanaka via a shuttle bus. the only problem was that I didn’t know/remember the name of the bus. This was before the smartphone era so I had to boot up my laptop and then try and find WiFi at the airport and STILL, I was stuck. I knew when I was going to be picked up, but I didn’t know by who. When the time came to be picked up I wandered around the shuttles and saw one. I guess I looked lost because the driver immediately asked if I was going to Wanaka and if I was staying at the Minaret Lodge B&B. I was relieved that he named the right place! I handed him the money I owed and off I went.

I stared out the window and took in the beautiful scenery. I hadn’t seen anything like it before. Everything was so green and pristine. Truly beautiful.

The bus snaked up a windy road and when we reached the top, I was surprised to see snowflakes fall lightly on the window. It was nearly October. It was supposed to be transitioning from Spring into Summer. Brisbane was warm-to-hot nearly every day. I also hadn’t seen snow fall since I was about 10 or 11 years old. I nearly forgot what it looked like.

One-by-one, and sometimes more, people were being dropped off at their respective hotels until it was me and two other people left. The sun had gone down long ago leaving only the orange glow of the streetlights to cut through the darkness. The bus pulled up to a driveway covered in tiny pebbles and I was let out. I was greeted by a kind woman, who was also the owner, who showed me to my Hobbit-sized room.

After traveling all that way, I had nearly forgotten that I had booked a room that would make me feel like a hobbit.





After getting settled the owner asked if I wanted to head into town to get some dinner, since she was heading there. I would have to walk back, but I didn’t mind so I took her up on it and she dropped me off right next to the restaurant she recommended to me: The Cow. Situated right next to the Post Office, The Cow Pizza & Spaghetti House, is truly one of the best pizzas I have ever eaten. It’s a warm and inviting place full of history and great pizza. I sat down, ordered one of the local seasonal beers and of course a pizza.

I don’t recall a time before this where I went out to dinner by myself. It was nice. I was able to take in everything around me. I felt the warmth of the wood fire, I heard the locals talk and I saw people young and old enjoying the ambiance, each other and the food. You can’t beat that.

At the end of my meal I noticed a few t-shirts hanging around and I asked the waitress which one looked better on me. She told me the tan one and it’s still a shirt that I own and wear to this day.

On my way back to my room I took the road parallel to Roys Bay and you know what I heard? Nothing. It was a silent, quiet night and I was able to enjoy the serenity of a nighttime lakeside walk on the aptly named Lakeside Rd as I made my way back to my Hobbit-sized room.

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