While we were in Dayton, we stayed at a bed and breakfast in the Oregon District. The bed and breakfast was in a restored mansion on a side street just off Fifth Street, the road through the district where the tourists could find bars and restaurants to visit. The suite we rented was not in the mansion but behind it in a street-level addition that was almost certainly built at least a hundred years after the mansion. It had a private entrance, a very cozy sitting room, a warm bedroom, and a kitchenette. It was perfect for us.
We arrived in Dayton on Wednesday evening and departed Saturday morning. After driving eight hours on Wednesday we were just a little bleary-eyed and foggy-headed, so a short walk around the district was about all we had the energy or the focus for. We stayed in Wednesday night, mostly reading to get our minds off the road, turned in late and slept well. And except for the garbage trucks that rampaged through the neighborhood at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning, our sleep wasn’t interrupted much by anything.
We slept in until almost nine on Thursday. When we finally did get up, My Darling B made coffee but I couldn’t bring myself to drink it. Not her fault. She did the best she could with the Mr. Coffee machine and the big plastic jug of Folger’s coffee. Luckily I knew where to find a coffee shop just two blocks from the inn, so after a brief walk I fetched back an Americano and a latte and we sipped those as we nibbled on our breakfast.
We had lunch at a Thai restaurant, conveniently located just across the street, before getting dressed to go to the service in the evening. After the service we went back to the inn, warmed up the rest of our lunch (the portions were enormous!) and had dinner in our suite. My Darling B picked up a bottle of wine earlier, which we opened for dinner and enjoyed through the evening. We went to bed after staying up late reading, and slept well, waking to the arrival of the garbage trucks once again.
I got out of bed at about eight on Friday, tiptoed out of the bedroom to dress myself in the sitting room, and let myself out as quietly as possible to seek freshly-brewed coffee. After collecting two large black coffee’s to-go, I returned to the suite to bestow hot beverages unto My Darling B, who had just roused herself from slumber. We had about an hour to sit and enjoy our coffee while nibbling on breakfast, then washed and dressed and went to the service at the cemetery. There was a luncheon after and then a few tasks to take care of, so we didn’t return to the suite until maybe five o’clock. We got sandwiches at a restaurant across the street before settling in for the night. B read while I watched The Shawshank Redemption. We turned in at maybe ten-thirty or eleven o’clock.
And did not get a wink of sleep. Well, maybe a wink. Maybe even a wink and a half. On Friday night there’s a dance club on Fifth Street in the Oregon District where they play music on a sound system so powerful they could shatter granite and melt steel, if they so chose to. On this particular Friday night, they chose only to keep us and the rest of the neighborhood awake until at least two-thirty in the morning. (My Darling B says three, and I don’t doubt her, but the last time I looked at the clock while the dance music was still going thumpa-thumpa it was two-thirty.) I didn’t sleep much after that because I spent every waking minute up until then thinking about how tired I was going to be driving back to Wisconsin the next day, so I wasn’t exactly in a frame of mind that would let me go to sleep when the music finally stopped.
Nevertheless, I stubbornly stayed in bed until about seven-thirty, which I was about the time I got the very appealing idea to go get some delicious coffee. Got there about fifteen minutes too soon; they didn’t open until eight. I made a big loop around several blocks of the district, arriving back at the coffee shop about five minutes before they opened, so I huddled in the doorway until they raised the blinds and unlocked the door. I guzzled down every drop of that twelve-ounce cup and, before we hit the road, went back for more. I won’t go so far as to say the caffeine boost made the drive survivable, but it certainly didn’t hurt.