Wendy and I are sitting on the porch, sipping wine and people watching at the end of another long and busy day. Five Harley’s go by, each mounted by ginormous, tattooed, unshaven people. Some of them women.
Wendy watches them round the bend and roar off. “Man, someone decided to put ugly on parade, attach some wheels to it and add a flag on the back.”
So funny that girl.
This weekend there was a Maine PTQ that I wanted to attend and our plan for these PTQ’s is to make them into a business and pleasure trip. The business side would be my articles on Star City Games about trying to qualify again, and the pleasure side would be whole belly clams, a nice B&B, some beach time and maybe some lobster. We are reserving late so everything in Kennebunkport is massively expensive, everything in Old Orchard Beach is sold out, and everything in Portland that isn’t sold out isn’t on the water.
I start researching towns that are between the PTQ and various spots we want to visit on the Maine coast. I find a nice B&B that has five stars and looks amazing. I book online and get a confirmation letter that says I have reserved the NEXT DAY and Sunday, which I do not want. I need Friday and Saturday. I call them to explain the situation.
“Uh… yeah, that room might not be available. Hang on, let me check.”
If he’s trying to muffle the sound or put me on hold, he has forgotten.
He asks his wife “Can the Dakota be made up tonight?”
Wife starts screaming in the background about how much work she has to do cleaning other rooms and he’s not going to be there to help and what time do they want to check in?
“We think we’re going to arrive around four.”
To his wife - “They want to check in at four.”
“I can’t have it done by four. And I have to pick up Charlie at 5:30 so you have to be home by 5:30 to check them in, IF I can finish it by then.”
“Yeah, I don’t think that room is going to be available tonight.”
“No! I can do it! Just be back by 5:30 to check them in!”
Holy awkward Batman.
“We can check in at 5:30 if that’s easier for you…”
“Yeah… I’m going out of town, I don’t know when I’m going to be back… I don’t think we can rent that room tonight…”
“Look, we can check in anytime you want. The room doesn’t need to be done at that time, we can take a key and come back later.”
“Yeah… it’s just not going to work, I’m sorry.”
I do some more research and find a nice place with rooms named “River,”
“Cumberland,” Bear Cave,” Cub Cove,” and “The Leather Room.”
Really? That is a little odd, but it also has fantastic reviews so I call them, reserve for tonight and tomorrow and we’re set.
We arrive around five and are met by Scott. He is clearly a large, gay, fiftyish, hairy man. Wendy loves gay men. I find them charming. He explains the rooms to us, the combination on the front door if we come back late, etc.
We are in the Leather room. It is so named (supposedly) for the leather ottoman at the front of the bed. I’m not buying it.
We meet Matt on the way out. He is thirty, also clearly gay, and a total sweetheart. He’s the guy I spoke to on the phone. We have a short conversation then head off to Old Orchard Beach, which is horribly, wonderfully, tacky. We head back to the Inn and we find out we have forgotten toothpaste. I go downstairs to ask the innkeepers, who are both sitting on the porch looking out over the river if they have any. There is a wooden bear carving/statute next to the hot tub. Huh.
Matt goes to look and I get a chance to talk with Scott and sip a beer while Matt searches. They are clearly a couple and I start to understand the names of the rooms. There is a subsection of gay culture that likes large hairy men, called “bears.” Their lovers are usually younger, usually less hairy, called cubs.
We are in the Leather room.
Toothpaste is found. I head up to bed. In the morning I go to PTQ and totally scrub out. I call Wendy to come and get me, rather than play on, because this is supposed to be a mini vacation for us. Since it is overcast, we decide to skip the beach and head to Portland to look around and get some food. We head back to the Inn to change and Wendy points something out to me. “Look at those eye-hooks in the ceiling. And then the other four holes on the opposite walls. What do you think that’s for?”
I laugh, having not noticed them before but know immediately what it is. “It’s for a sex sling.”
“Really? How do you use it?”
“Oddly and honestly, I have no idea.”
Matt and Scott give us some nice recommendations for lunch and then Matt calls us on the road to tell us “The place I told you to go isn’t open for another three hours. I recommend heading into Portland and going to Di Millo’s. I already called them and they are serving all day.”
We head to Di Millos and I get three of the largest shrimp I have ever seen, with cocktail sauce, as an appetizer. The things were as big as my fist. I don’t even need any more food at this point, but I have lazy man’s lobster (cooked in sherry and butter) coming which somehow I manage to choke down as well. Delicious. Di Millo’s is highly recommended.
We find the rest of Portland to be a pit. Sorry, but it’s true.
We head back to the B&B and join Scott and Matt on the porch overlooking the river.
Wendy asks “What are the hooks in the ceiling for.”
Scott says “We hang geraniums from them.”
“Okay, that’s not even a good lie. Geraniums need full sun.”
“You would be surprised how many people believe it.”
“It’s for a swing” I say.
“Like a Hammock?” Wendy asks.
“No, a sex swing” I tell her.
They nod and turn a little red. “We’ve actually had four requests to put it up.”
We find out that they have been together for eight years. Neither of them has ever worked in hospitality beyond the fact that Matt is bartender at a gay bar. But, Scott is a realtor and when this property came up he called Matt to come take a look at it and they had to have it. They do B&B right. Rather than consume them whole they have a woman come in to clean the rooms. In the confirmation letter you get online it tells the combination to the front door for that week, so you can let yourself in. On the table as you enter is an envelope with your name on it containing your key and instructions.
They might be out to lunch or drinking at nice restaurant. They might have gone for a walk or shopping. It doesn’t matter. They don’t let the business chain them down, they just set up everything to be very trusting and automatic.
We have a nice evening on the porch with them until they have to leave for a dinner date in a dry part of town. Yes, dry, as in, no alcohol is served in the restaurant. So, they are bringing their own. They have two bottles of red wine, a bottle of sherry, and a bottle of Skyy Vodka.
“Why don’t I give you guys my cel so you can call me if you need a driver…”
“Oh you’re so sweet, but we’ll be ffine.
Matt makes us eggs Benedict for breakfast and tells us he’ll miss us and had so much fun talking with us.
We feel the same.
We’ll be back.