You know how they say, 'Don't judge a book by its cover?' Well, I hate to tell you, I do that all the time. Right now I'm reading Drood by Dan Simmon's and I noticed it because it's dark and broody cover caught my attention. Ditto for many other books I've picked up over time. And I can say, my attempts at judging books by their cover are at lease equal to my attempts to judge books by their reviews on amazon 'waz gud'.
So as we were driving the final few miles of a very long drive, from Inverness to Helensburg, we tensed up. We couldn't see any hotels on the strip, all we could see were decrepit Guest Houses. Yikes. Then it got a little better when we found this place, one of the Innkeeper's Lodge chain. Joe pulled in front and entered what looked to be a YE OL SCOTTISH PUB. He came out with a couple of keys and we drove to the back of the building. He looked at me and said, hopelessly, you want me to go check. I said, 'You'd rather go to the guest houses back their and dine with sea birds and rodents?'
We have found it difficult getting accessible rooms from huge North American hotels, from established British Hostelry chains. What awaited us here? I said to Joe, partly because I was desperate to get into my room. What with a full day lecture and a four hour drive following, I was tired. We made our way in, up a ramp that wasn't quite square and down a long hallway. The room had the double peep holes, my hope rose. The door was wider than the one on the opposite side of the hallway, my hope rose again. The door opened to a large room. Large enough for my wheelchair, I sailed through the door. Yesterday I'd been in a 4 star hotel but had to get out of my chair to get into my room.
The bathroom is completely, perfectly equipped with a walk in shower, bars beside the toilet that are placed for human use, easy roll up access to the sink to shave. I have never cried while looking at a bathroom before, but I did now. Suddenly we were both energized. Welcome will do that.
We went down to the pub and Joe had a pint of Tennents and I had a green tea with cranberry (I was feeling frisky). On their bill of fare they had two vegetarian specials. We each ordered the vegetarian wellington with tatties and veg covered in red wine gravy. The pub looked like it had been here for years. Yet even it had wide doors and a big accessible bathroom.
We'd judged this book by it's cover and got it wrong. But then it was a hotel not a book, so what does that stupid saying mean anyways?
We're here for one night.