Cheap Traveler Forced to Choose Nautical Themed Hotel Over English Manor

July 20th, 2009


We are inching closer and closer to our departure date for our European vacation.  Our trip is divided into three legs.

1. The London Leg

2. The Paris Leg

3. The Mike and Liz Leg



During the Mike and Liz leg, we will be meeting up with our friends… uh Mike… and uh… Liz and spending time in the English countryside with them and their three sons and also Liz’s family as she is English born and bred.




Our friendship with Mike and Liz came about from a chance meeting at a park in Kansas City.  It has lasted through four moves, five pregnancies, seven children, and thousands of absurd memories.  Many of these memories have names.

1. The Pretzel Cone

2. The Public Pool

3.  The Potato Gun

4.  The Exploding Guy Fawkes

5.  The Drunk Pregnant Lady

6.  Eggplant Parmesan

7.  More Eggplant Parmesan

8.  Even More Eggplant Parmesan

9.  The Sunburn

10. Cup and Saucer

11. The Portabello mushroom

12.  The Shishkabob

The list goes on and on and on and I am looking forward to making many more absurd memories during this trip.  



I had a hard time finding a place to stay during the Mike and Liz leg of our trip.  The decision involved a moral dilemma, and I came very close to making a decision based on fantasy rather than reality, which is not always a bad thing, but in this case it probably was.





You see, I found an English manor.  The perfect English manor.  The exact kind of English manor that serves as the backdrop of Agatha Christie movies and Jane Austen books.  The exact kind of English country house where all my little English manor fantasies could finally come true.  In fact, the hotel that I was looking at was at one time the private home of Princess Alice, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria.  It was incredibly affordable and even had an available apartment that could sleep all six of us.  I was so excited about this place.  The only problem was the the grand old home was an hour away from where Mike and Liz would be staying.  I fought with myself for several days over this problem.  How big of a deal is it to be an hour away from our friends?  We could drive and see them every day!  We could meet for lunch and spend the day together flitting around the country side.  It is really not that big of a deal…  Besides, the English manor is so affordable!…  And it has room for all six of us to stay together!  



But in the end, I knew that it really wasn’t the best option.  The point was to be with Mike and Liz during the Mike and Liz leg of our trip.  The point was to hang out with them.  We had talked about taking this trip for years.  It made no sense to be an hour away from them after we had come so far to be together.  I reluctantly put away my English Manor dreams and began looking for places to stay that were closer to where Mike and Liz would be.  The first place that popped up on my search had the following description…

… A wonderful blend of Edwardian charm and radical 70s architecture with a quirky nautical theme throughout. 


a quirky nautical theme throughout. 

a quirky nautical theme throughout. 

a quirky nautical theme throughout. 


As soon as my eyeballs scanned the line about a quirky nautical theme, I hastily clicked on to the next hotel… and the next… and the next… and the next…

Because a quirky nautical theme is not exactly a selling point for me.  Quirky… yes… Nautical… no.  Quirky and nautical… big no.  Radical 70′s architecture blended with Edwardian charm… oh dear God no…


SO NO.  







So guess where we are staying?

That’s right.

I have booked rooms at The Quirky Nautical Inn.

After days of trying to find something else… anything else… the Quirky Nautical Inn simply could not be beat in price, location or of course… quirky nauticalness.

Nothing could beat this hotel in quirky nauticalness.

It is simply the very best quirky nautical hotel on the face of the earth.

And I am very pleased to call it home during the Mike and Liz leg of our trip.  

These tears running down my face?

These are tears of joy.

Pure, unadulterated joy.


  • A wise choice, sailor!

    Quirkiness is so underrated these days – glad to hear you’ve seen the light! ;-)

  • Indie:

    I am intrigued how quirky will translate into a nautical theme – but then the UK contains some of the best eccentrics on the planet, so it should be interesting.

    BTW Have you seen many episodes of Keeping Up Appearances?

  • Enjoy your three-legged race, er, trip! Sounds like your resting place will be one of those montrosities of styles only the English can come up with–Edwardian + 70s + old floats and a giant wooden rudder. ::shudder:: On the bright side, perhaps that will soon be the name of another memory. Or maybe it will be haunted!

  • Susan K:

    On the bright side, it will mostly be a place to sleep since you will be spending most of the daylight hours with your friends. Hard to tell what the theme is when your eyes are closed.
    Besides, think of the awesome pictures you can take of that “awful nautical place”.

  • Oh my. What a combination! As much fun as it would be to stay in that English manor (or a lovely little cottage), in the end, the place you pick to stay is just a spot to rest and a jumping off point for each day’s adventure. You don’t want to spend much time there anyway. I’m really looking forward to seeing exactly what “A wonderful blend of Edwardian charm and radical 70s architecture with a quirky nautical theme throughout” means, so please take plenty of pictures of that!

  • Yeah.

    I would drive. Definitely.

  • Stephanie:

    Oh my….I am sure you’ll have a lovely stay but to have to choose…UGH!!! A true English manor….

  • Don’t stay in London!! It is way too expensive a better alternative is to stay in Greenwich just up the River Thames. It has the National Obervatory and it is a quaint little town. The tube goes there and there are plent of B&B’s there also and they are cheaper to stay in.
    You should get the “Ostyer Card” or a x number of days pass to use the tube. It is the best way to get around to see the sights in London. The pass can also be used on the buses – modern version of the double deckers. One day just take the boat down the Thames and see the river view of all the historic sights like Towner Bridge, Tower of London, London Eye (go on it in the evening view are better), Parliment and of course Big Ben.

  • Oh the horror. After finding the perfect manor! But think of it this way – you’ll surely have great blog fodder for at least a week! : )

  • Kellye:

    What a pretty tea tray you made for guests on the sun porch. You know your boys will think woman who plan European trips, grow gardens, are well read and set pretty tea trays are easy to find.

  • You are crazy and hillarious. And I dare say quirky. Ahem, no there are no other [seafaring] adjectives I would use right now to describe you.

  • hey, you’ll be near Portsmouth !! I loved it there, everyone sounded like a Pirate to me. I was such a tourist, all I ate was cream teas and cornish pasties. Ymmmmm…………

  • Now I want to know where you got that tea set. Me likey much.

  • [edit... stupid return key] Or where she got it. I don’t really care. It’s gorgeous…

  • Dee from Tennessee:

    As long as it’s clean and safe, I can pretty much deal with it because I would want to be on the go, go go….and see, see, see….as much as I could!

  • Yay for Europe! If you need Paris hotel recommendations, let me know. Eat dozens of macaroons for me, please.

  • Sarah, my mom bought it for me when she went to London several years ago.

  • I would so love to see images of that oh so Quirky Nautical Inn!!! And then post it on my blog….

  • Mike & Liz:


    Anyone with half a brain cell can tell that your English Manor with all its promised charm is no more than a Fawlty Towers – trust me – I’ve stayed in so many!

    Can’t wait to meet up on the Mike & Liz leg (funnily enough, we’ve named this part of our trip the Mike & Rechelle leg). I’ll have a hot pot of tea awaiting.