Saturday, July 19, 2008


Photo by Dan4th
It's nice to be home. The feeling of "I-don't-want-to-do-this-anymore" didn't hit me until our very last day of vacation, brought on by a hotel breakfast bar.

Breakfast bars are very hit and miss at hotels. For some, a "selection of cold cereals" is a box of Froot Loops, and a "continental breakfast" is cold bagels and juice. Some roll out the red carpet and offer everything from amazing fruit salad to eggs, bacon, french toast, and waffles on top of the breakfast basics like coffee and muffins. (hint: Breakfast bars in Las Vegas and Reno are amazing at the Hampton hotels)

We're not a picky family, but we are specific. The breakfast bar must have bread and a toaster. Preferably whole wheat bread. Hey, on that topic, is it not politically correct to say "brown bread"? I was corrected every single morning-then when we got home I ordered "wheat bread" in Tim Hortons and the girl looked at me like I had 3 heads.

Anyway, back to the toast thing. Hubs must have honey, but will settle for jam if he must. I'm adventurous with my toast fixings, so for me I just need some butter and jam or peanut butter and I'm happy. Unless we're in Australia, because if they only have Vegemite I won't touch it. Sorry Lizzie!

The breakfast bar must also have 2% milk, coffee, and something dairy free for Jake to eat.

The very last hotel of the trip had a conveyor belt toaster that moved so slow, you'd swear that it was mocking you. Then it would spit your bread out, toasted so slightly that you had to squint to see it. The only way you knew the bread even went through the toaster was that it was warm.

Hubs likes his bread a little darker, so he sent it through again. And waited.

Smoke began slowly curling out of the toaster.
"Dad! It's burning! Shut it off!" Jake was giggling.

Hubs, the man with the amazing skills at building things yet who is hopeless when it comes to anything mechanical with buttons, began fumbling with the knob to make the belt go faster. Smoke began to pour from the toaster.

Eventually, out came a completely black, charred piece of bread, smoke curling from it's edges. You'd swear a dragon just tried to make some toast.

With the conveyor belt's speed turned up a bit, Jake sent through his bagel, with the same result. By now you could smell burned bread all the way down the hall.

"This thing doesn't really work," Hubs pointed out to a nearby employee, hoping to get some pointers on how to get his bread toasted. Not burned or warm, just toasted.

"Well, you see, we just set the knob on it," she moved the knob back to the original place (you know, where it burned the bread beyond recognition?) "and then we never, ever, touch it. This is the perfect spot."

"But then it doesn't toast the bread."
"Oh, then we send it through one more time?" She sounded as if she were explaining something completely obvious to someone who was incredibly stupid, all the while smiling sweetly.

"And then it looks like this." Hubs held up his charred bread.

"Well, we leave it here. And we don't touch it." Rather then argue, Hubs let her walk away and then moved the button to another setting when she wasn't looking.

After a few more pieces of burned toast, he gave up and settled for something slightly burned but not completely charred. I wasn't so adventurous and settled for warmed but not toasted.

With no other breakfast options in sight, we sat there chewing our soggy, barely toasted white bread and sipped our cold, dishwater coffee. We'd been away exactly 2 1/2 weeks, logged more then 8000 kms on our car, and seen 9 states. Our eyes met across the table.

"I want some whole wheat bread, perfectly toasted in our toaster, with Becel. And that home made mango apricot jam in the fridge." The statement just came out; so matter of factly, while I sat there chewing on my soggy toast.

"Hot Nabob Coffee. Three scoops."Hubs smiled as if remembering a long lost friend.

"Maple Mini Wheats with lactose free milk!" Jake piped up.

Collectively, without actually saying the words, we all know it was time to go home. We were ready. There was just one stop to make before we hit the road again.

"Hey Honey, did you see that Starbucks when we drove into town last night?"

"Oooooh ya. And we're so getting a coffee there before we leave. Too bad they don't do toast."

Want to know exactly where we went and what we did? Watch for pictures in my feed in Flickr, and stories or reviews over in Oh, the Places You'll Go.

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