Arriving in the neighborhood a bit early, we drove around the Riverwalk area, admiring all of the old homes. Nearly every building in the neighborhood had a lot of character, we wanted to barge in and tour all of them. Luckily, a few minutes later, at Mike's, we got to do just that.
Mike's house was amazing. Situated on the corner, the B&B has a great view of the downtown, and a spacious wrap around porch. We did run into a bit of consternation at his door however, unsure of the typical procedure when visiting a bed and breakfast. It's someones house, but also a business. Do you waltz on in, or ring the doorbell? After a bit of discussion, we decided to ring. We also made a note that if we ever have a B&B, to have some sort of sign or plaque on the door informing guests of our preferences, maybe a nice plaque with "Come on in!" on one side and "Please Ring" on the other, or something. At any rate, Mike met us at the door, and introduced us to his wife, their adorable dog Charlie, and himself.
It's interesting how many people we've met online or over the phone since we started this quest, and how most of them differ in person from their online and phone personas. As I'm sure it's a shock to people meeting us for the first time in person. I'm 30, but look closer to 25 or 26, and my wife looks significantly younger than that. I'm also very wordy when I "talk" online, but after years of running phone surveys during high school, I despise the phone, and I'm typically quite reserved on the phone unless I know the person well. However, Mike was pretty much exactly how we'd pictured him, very friendly and smart. He looked like a Math Teacher/Realtor/B&B Owner would look, if you can believe it.
After introductions and some dog cuddles, he gave us a tour of his excellent home. Built in 1912 by Gustav Stickley, Mike has spent a lot of time slowly renovating and renewing the place. He tore literally tons of old shingles off of the roof, exposing cool old tin signs and shingles from the original construction, and is slowly working to restore all of the old woodwork and decor from the era. He essentially runs the B&B "As an excuse for living in an amazing home" and when he's done working on it, he'll certainly have it! The upper floor boasts 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and a couple of older nooks and crannies, like a linen closet. Each of his rooms are named after Oregon rivers, and following suit, he cheekily named the bathrooms after rivers too, calling them the "Powder River" and the "John Day River" I think this is hilarious. His wife and he sleep in the master bed on the main floor, and he proudly showed off the perfect hardwoods in the floor and the great decor, followed by his misadventures installing the bath next to the bedroom. He gave us a tour of the dining room and kitchen, their next major project, outlining his plans to gut it of the flowery 60's details and adding some sleek new appliances. He seemed pretty excited about the B&B, having just experienced his first Round-Up as proprietors, and he told us some great stories about his guests. We really enjoyed his tour, and loved his attitude about his business, and his dedication to restoring the great old house he lives in.
After jabbering for a while and admiring the leaded windows that looked out over the porch (which I was quite jealous of) we realized the time and left for the motel, along with a couple of other places he wanted to show us.