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Not a Hotel

July 19, 2010
It really irks me when someone complains about having to help out in the kitchen on Maine Trips. It is like some people think I am making money off these trips and will therefore at like a housekeeping and catering service. Umm…no. Yes, I know it is a vacation for you, but guess what? It’s my vacation too. In fact, the only true vacations Jimmy & I get are to Maine. I haven’t been on an actual vacation in years. The last time I stayed at a hotel was when I drove with Jimmy to Wisconsin to get a telescope instrument.
For those of you who have never attended, or heard of, my Maine trips. Here is the gist: I convince my grandfather to let us invade his wonderful spacious log cabin home nestled on Long Lake in Bridgton, Maine. He uses the home as a summer house. The house isn’t fancy…in fact, the basement floor is like fancy camping, but that doesn’t matter to those of us who love the Maine trips. The spot is just perfect…gorgeous view, nearby mountains, beautiful lake, pine trees…plenty to do because we are so close to the White Mountains.
Twice a year, I invite a large group of my friends to join us up there…actually, the trips have gotten so popular that friends of friends often accompany us. Many friendships have been forged at the Maine house. The house is full of wonderful memories. Each trip is a unique experience depending on the group attending…some years are better than others, but they are always a pleasure.
We charge $90 for an entire week stay. The money is used to provide food for everyone. Since we plan out the meals ahead of time, and do our shopping at warehouse stores (Sam’s & Costco), we are able to have a wonderful meal every evening, coolers full of a variety of beverages, and a snack table overflowing with breakfast, lunch, and snack foods. We always have plenty of food and drink, and people are always pleased with the variety.
To keep the cost down, we cook dinner at the house almost every evening. Volunteer chefs plan out excellent meals. But they can’t do it alone, everyone has to pitch in at some point during the trip to help the chefs make the magic happen…we ask that each person helps cook or cleanup afterwards.
Sounds reasonable, right? I think so. It is a $90 vacation! Still, every trip at least a couple people complain about these “kitchen duties”. If you want to be waited on, go to a hotel and dine out at restaurants. If you are expecting a true vacation, and not a unique trip experience…well, then Maine trips aren’t for you.
Am I crazy here?
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Liz permalink
    July 19, 2010 5:36 pm

    $90 for a vacation? That is CHEAP! No way would I be complaining about having to help out a bit. We’ve always done “vacations” where we would have a house/cabin/tent/etc to ourselves and have to cook and cleanup. Not that I haven’t loved the very few where we have gotten to have that all taken care of, but for some reason I don’t see it nearly as much of a chore in a new location as I do at home every day ;oD

    • opicana permalink
      July 20, 2010 11:05 am

      Liz- I don’t mind cleaning up as much when I’m on vacation either…I don’t have all of my normal obligations to attend to, so a bit of cooking and cleaning won’t kill me. I love being waited on, of course, but as you said $90 is cheap and worth it!

  2. Billie permalink
    July 20, 2010 8:14 am

    You are so not crazy.Some people are lazy or expect something for free. They watnt the hotel service but not the price. I think I even remember some trips where you and Jimmy paid extra outof your own pocket instead of charging people more after the fact.
    And last time I stayed at a hotel it was the cheapest I could find was 60 a night and only including breakfast.

    • opicana permalink
      July 20, 2010 11:08 am

      Thanks, Billie. Yep, the trip has gone over quite a few times, and I guarantee the price will stay at the amount I say, so it adds some responsibility on my part. Now that I’ve mastered the process, we are less likely to go over nowadays, though.

      Yeah, we are $13 a night and include all your meals! Can’t beat it!

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