Monday, May 19, 2008

The Pleasures of Chatham

After our horrific drive to Mystic, CT, on Friday, we were rewarded with an easy three-hour jaunt to Chatham the following day. Light traffic and clearing weather made for blessedly welcome road conditions. We found ourselves ahead of our scheduled arrival, but the rental office permitted us to check in early, for which we were grateful.

Our two-bedroom condo, which perches one floor above the back end of a posh pet boutique, is better than expected. It looked lovely from the photos we saw, but we've been burned by some previous vacation rentals. Several years ago, what looked like a nice beach cottage on the island of Eleuthera turned out to be little more than a dive. Dirty, with broken rattan and unwelcome critters (I have a vague, partially repressed, recollection of a bat), it offered the additional indignity of broken-down beds. So colored was our Bahamian experience by this lousy rental that we have never ventured back. Of course, it didn't help that some locals slammed into our car on Christmas Eve, or that the police were unhelpful, if not downright hostile, or that my son was in the final throes of a very tough adolescence. It was not a good trip.

Chatham, by contrast, has always held good memories for us. When Rod and I were seriously courting, he whisked me away for several days at a lovely inn, replete with fireplace and hot tub. Several years later, after we married, we rented a pretty little house within an easy walk of the lighthouse. And here we are for the third time, again delighted by our accommodations. Our condo was recently refurbished, and while the owner favors the sort of Crate and Barrel look that can sometimes be a bit twee, in this instance, the decor isn't overly done. A seaside theme pervades, but, again, it's just enough to be charming, not oppressively cute. We especially like the skylights throughout and the smartly outfitted kitchen, gleaming with new marble countertops and shiny steel appliances. If a setting can presage good tidings, then I think we're in for a fine week once again.

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