It's hard to explain why Don and I felt an urgency stay at the Anniversary Inn. We weren't in need of a romantic getaway, which seems to be the point of The Anniversary Inn, if you read the website.
We weren't drawn to the hotel's architecture or history. The building is fairly new and sort of thrown together with a turret here and a balcony there.
Mostly Don and I just couldn't pass up the Themed Room Experience. We were determined to stay in one of the hotel's 40, kooky looking rooms. You never know when an exciting hotel will suddenly go out of business. Then you have to kick yourself, for letting it get away. We've experienced that before.
Last July, we arrived on a Monday, to take advantage of a promotional deal. Don and I climbed the porch stairs and walked into the lobby.
For a hotel that boasts about fantasy filled rooms, there was absolutely no character to the lobby. The 2 ladies in their uniform vests, also seemed lacking in character. We were given a key to The Treasure Island Room and headed up more stairs, with our suitcases. Odd to have no elevator, in a fairly young hotel.
The Treasure Island Room
I felt like we were in an apartment building as we walked down the musty smelling hallway. Then I noticed the fake jewels and the titles on each door. "Sleeping Beauty's Castle" and "Jungle Safari" I was giddy with anticipation.
We opened the door to our own special room and found it already prepped, with spotlights and romantic music and an ice bucket with chilled apple cider! It was just as silly as I had hoped it would be!
Bathroom on the Lower Deck
Before climbing the wooden steps to see the wonders of our ship-themed room, we searched the bathroom for hidden treasures.
A good sized dressing area held the vanity and robes. One door led to the toilet and the other to a closet with a fridge... Ah-ha! Two pieces of cheesecake and two plastic forks!
Next we headed up the steps and did exactly what The Anniversary Inn hopes their guests will do. We wandered the space smiling and procaliming, "Wow! Look at that. Wow!"
But we were also laughing. A lot. It was so incredibly corny and kitschy and hilarious and I loved every bit.
The Upper Deck
The whole guest room was actually huge. As we moved past the red shipwheel, we gazed upward at the loft!
The painted walls made it look like our bed was neatly placed in the bow of the ship... or was that the poop deck? And what about that funny little sail on the mast? It was hiding our 40" TV. So clever.
Up, in the Seagull-filled Sky!
The painted clouds and gulls were illuminated by two bedside lanterns. There was also a blinding spotlight, coming from one of the masts.
The rotating ceiling fan, created a strobe effect that made me a little seasick. It took a while to figure out how to turn the spotlight off. However, the king-sized bed with nautical comforter, turned out to be very comfortable.
Standing at the railing, I took in the exciting view below.
The adventurous side of me did a lot of pondering. A rope here... a horizontal pole there...? What a great photo, if I could get myself into that little crow's-nest-tower-thing!
Romance With Every Glance
It was hard to determine what was the most entertaining part of the room. The table, filled with sand and shells was the perfect place to enjoy sparkling cider and cheese cake.
But the shower with nearby towel swans, had me totally giggling. First, you had to sort of walk the plank to get to the little island that held the flesh-colored, jetted-tub. "Is there a shower?" I cupped my hand like a pirate's spyglass and focussed upward. Sure enough, there was a shower head coming from a coconut, near a dangling seagull.
Don and I both fumbled with the faucet, but couldn't get any water to come on.
I made the hike down to the desk to inquire and after two different people visited the room, we had a working faucet. That was good. There was no way I was paying for a night in the Treasure Island Room and NOT using the coconut shower.
The website mentioned that our room had a balcony. "If you be feeling homesick for land, step out...see the Boise scenery!" Evidently recent guests must have felt homesick for their cigarettes, because the standing ashtray was quite full.
So I made use of the balcony chairs instead. I brought them inside and up on the deck of the old "Hispanola". You never know when some other pirates might visit.
Don and I have been known to pack a few props when we're road traveling. This hotel stay hardly needed any props, but we did pack bandanas and an eye patch.
Don was in this very position at the wheel, when my brother and sister-in-law knocked on our door at 6:00.
Sharing Some Grog
Chris and Karen had played host to us for a couple days of our road trip. Now it was time for us to host them... before we went out for a fantastic Cuban dinner.
Don welcomed them with a little "Aye! Mateys!" or "Yo Ho Ho!" or something. Then we laughed around our sandy table, spiking our sparkling cider with our own secret grog. I think Chris and Karen could see why we just had to add a Pirate Night to the Notable list.
On our way out to dinner, I asked our vested woman at the desk, if someone could clean our ashtray.
We returned later that night and clearly no one had plundered our cigarette butts... or removed them. (I don't speak Pirate well) That made me so irritated, I had to get my mind on other things. I made Don pose for photos with me.
If we had owned a copy of Treasure Island, I would have brought it along and made Don listen to a chapter. That's pretty much not what they expect their romantic couples to do at the Anniversary Inn.
But I did bring a copy of Mutiny on the Bounty, starring a very handsome Clark Gable. That turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought. I wish my photo could have captured the film's scenery and how it actually blended with the sails and ropes, surrounding the TV. That was actually very fun.
Don and I survived our night at sea. I did have to make the treacherous hike from the loft, down all the stairs to the restroom in the middle of the night. If only I'd had a torch.
I got up with the sun the next day and headed down the hall in my running gear. I don't think that's typical hotel guest behavior at Anniversary Inn. But it was actually a pretty nice way to make use of the inn's location.
I headed up the hill towards an area known as Depot Bench. It was such a beautiful morning, despite the haze of recent fires.
I ran and paused and ran and paused. What a lovely city. I was kind of surprised that the Anniversary Inn looked sort of appealing from above.
Back for Breakfast
When I returned the halls were lined with holders for breakfast trays. I raced to get my shower and it was pretty comical trying to get my hair shampooed.
By the time the water left the coconut, fell 20 feet and reached my sudsy head, it more of a mist. I stuck my head under the faucet.
Flowers & Feast
Don and I needed a little food reward after all the trickiness of showering. We spread the feast out, over the sand-filled plexiglass shell.
Red and blue silk roses, a carafe of coffee, croissant with egg, frittata, toast and yogurt with fruit. It was actually pretty tasty and I was glad to just relax in our room and not share a breakfast room with other romantic guests.
Don and I thought our stay was a hoot and a half. We totally appreciated the stage set/carnival feel of our room. I loved the goofy shower island and the ropes and sails and murals. The room made me laugh and we had fun.
But, when Don and I need a romantic getaway, we will go elsewhere. The over all feel of the hotel was odd. The staff seemed weary and the halls and stairs felt like they were intentionally blah, to make the room more exciting. I'm so glad we had fun and I'd actually be open to experiencing a room at the Salt Lake City location, in an historic building. But it may be a while before I get my sea legs, for another try.
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!