The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The Sunset Motel

Bunny and I are staying at the Sunset Motel here in overcast and slightly damp Brevard (just an inch or two more of rain a year, and the area around Brevard could be classified as a rain forest). We're staying here for two reasons:

  1. It has this cool 50s retro-style and it looked like it would be a fun place to try out (it's been here for as long as I remember—in fact, it's next door to the town homes I lived in when I was last living here thirty-odd years ago);
  2. I procrastinated too long in registering at The Red House Inn and we couldn't stay there the full nine days we planned on staying here.

It's a nice place and even if it's relentlessly gay:

[Their decorator is walking a very fine line here.]

it doesn't bother either one of us. We're okay with this. It's fun!

I think we're staying in The Star Room, as it's decorated with pictures of 50s movie stars like Audrey Hepburn, Marylyn Monroe and Elvis “Hunka-hunka-hunka burnin' love!” Presley.

[Unfortunately, breakfast will not be at Tiffany's.]

Yes, I think this will be a cool place to stay for a few days.

Extreme free wi-fi, Brevard edition

Bunny and I stop by Ingles to pick up a few items when I notice an odd offering for a supermarket:

[WTF Ingles?  Wi-Fi?  You are a grocery store! Really?  Wi-Fi?  Now I'm upset!  At home, Publix doesn't even offer Wi-Fi (as far as I know).]

I … I don't know what to make of this.

Thursday, July 02, 2015


Bunny and I have usually visited Brevard late in the year, sometime between October and December (inclusive). It's typically quiet, lots of parking downtown and very few people milling about.


Oh My God!

The one downside to staying at The Sunset Motel is having to park downtown (it's a bit outside walking distance to downtown). And that's bad this time of year as there is no parking available. Even last night when we ate at The Square Root (their Pecan-encrusted Brie is to die for) we had trouble finding a parking spot. Today? We ended up parking several blocks west of downtown. The sidewalks were mobbed. And there was fifteen minute wait at Rocky's Soda Shop.

But for a retro-50s soda fountain they are rather high-tech. A waiter took our name and cell phone number, entered it into an iPad application which then called us when our booth was ready. Who knew there's an app for that? [Rocky's Soda Shop. —Editor] [Shut up, you! —Sean]

And even the barber shop was crowded today when usually we're the only ones there.

It's odd to think of Brevard as “bustling.”

What next? Sushi at the sea food counter?

ORLANDO, Fla. - Publix announced on its Facebook page it has activated free Wi-Fi at all of its stores so customers can access the internet and their apps – including the Publix app – while they shop.

Via Jeff Cuscutis on FaceGoogleMyPlusSpaceBook, Publix offers free Wi-Fi at all stores

That was certainly fast.

I caption a photo taking Publix to task for failing to have Wi-Fi in their stores only to just now hear them announce Wi-Fi in all their stores.


I guess that's a thing now.

Extreme music appreciation, Brevard edition

Brevard takes music seriously, what with The Brevard Music Center. So I guess it isn't all that surprising to see a large banner of Beethoven hanging from the side of a building.

[I bet nobody told him he used too many notes.]

Friday, July 03, 2015

Dining in at the drive-in

Bunny thought we should try the Cardinal Drive-In (sadly, no website), a traditional drive-in burger joint just a few blocks north of The Sunset Motel. We arrived to a nearly empty lot (amazing, but we did arrive significantly before noon so maybe that helped).

Now, you would think that being at a drive-in, we would be eating in the car, but that would be too cliché—instead we ate in the dining room.

[And here I thought the Red Phone was reserved for Presidents and Batman, not for average Joes to order food from the booth.]

But to enmesh you in the whole drive-in theme, each booth had a phone where you could place your orders. The clerk could barely hear us through the device though, and instead walked over to our booth to take our order.

The food was quite good but I was rather surprised that in this day and age, there still existed a business that refused to accept plastic money. How authentically traditional (not to mention archaic but I digress).

But other than that, eating in and ordering face-to-face, our experience at the Cardinal Drive-In was exactly like eating at a drive-in burger joint.

Extreme food trends, Brevard edition

So at the drive-in, I came across this menu item—“breaded fried mushrooms!”

[I bet people were skeptical about deep fried onions when they were first available.]

This isn't a thing I'm again, not aware of, right?


Binion's Roadhouse

Given that Brevard has been rather crowded, Bunny thought it might be a good idea to try nearby Hendersonville for dinner. “A steak house,” she said. “Binion's Roadhouse sounds good.”

So Binion's Roadhouse it is. Some thirty minutes later we're driving through the parking lot of Binion's. The full parking lot of Binion's. The line snaking out the front door and across the parking lot of Binion's. “This place seems full,” said Bunny. “Why don't we try downtown Hendersonville?”

So downtown Hendersonville it is. A few minutes later we're driving though downtown Hendersonville and not a free parking space to be seen. Sure, there were a few empty parking spots, but there were people nearby hawking them for $5.00 a pop. It didn't help that a few streets were closed off for pedestrian use only. Man, what is it with North Carolina towns in the summer? Are they always this crowded? “You know,” Bunny said, “Binion's wasn't that bad a choice.”

So Binion's Roadhouse it is.

The wait wasn't that bad, actually. Maybe ten minutes. And the food was worth it (except for the fried pickles—they were a bit greasy and to me, tasted a bit like fried fish). But vegetarians and those with nut allergies are advised to avoid the place.

There is also no relation to Binion's, the Las Vegas casino, excpept that the owner of Binion's Roadhouse is friends with the owner of Binion's and has a license to use the name (I asked).

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Moving from reservation to reservation

With our reservation up, Bunny and I bid our adieu to The Sunset Motel.

[Good bye 1950s retro stylings (and plumbing)!]

The only real complaint we had about the place was the plumbing—straight out of the 50s. The inflow of water during our showers did not match the outflow of water down the drain, so we were continuously up to our ankles in water. Also, there was a fine line (about 2mm) between “boiling alive” and “flash frozen.” And the less said about the toilet, the better.

The other complaint we had (and I'll admit this is totally a First-World 21st Century problem) was the rather lackluster wi-fi access point (more like a yo-yo wi-fi access point). Most of the time I used the “Personal Hotspot” function of my iPhone due to the poor performance of the wi-fi (and managed to burn through half our “Trust Us! One gigabyte is more than you need” data plan in a few days—damn you overly large webpages!—but I admit, I'm a special case here).

But with our reservation sunsetting on The Sunset Motel, there was a reservation rising at The Red House Inn.

[Hello 1850s retro stylings with modern 21st Century networking and plumbing!]

Again, due to recurrent procrastination, I couldn't reserve the room we wanted, but that's not to say the room we got was bad. It's not.

[While not as big as our last room, it's plenty big, and just as nice.]

And like the previous room, the bathroom has a shower with dual-shower heads.

[You have no idea how insanely decadent and luxurious it is to have dual shower heads going at the same time. Sinful, I say! Sinful! And that won't stop me from doing it on vacation.]

Now I'm wondering if all the rooms here at The Red House Inn have dual-shower heads.

Also in the room is a beautiful writing desk that I've taken over.

[Eat your hearts out, you steampunk-wannabes!]

And so far, the wi-fi access here has been fantastic (no First-World 21st Century problems here)!

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