Somedays I feel a bit like Megan and I are Mary and Joseph, wandering the desert/countryside looking for shelter under which to spend the night.* Though Megs and I have a set schedule, it’s all based on my taking a young lad out. So we’re never quite sure where we’ll land come bedtime until I have made, confirmed, and gone on a date. Until the date is secured, we don’t secure a hotel — which makes most every morning an adventure in wondering where we’ll stop for slumber.
We are not quite as open-minded about where we stay as Mary and Joseph, though. Megan and I have a rigorous screening process for the motels of America: find the cheapest place that doesn’t look like it will give us scabies or get us violently attacked, and search all reviews for the dreaded term bed bug. Thus far, despite one location we decided maybe wasn’t super safe to run in, we’ve woken each morning unscathed.
Much like the innkeepers who kindly offered ol’ M & J their manger, our local friends and contacts have offered up patches of their floors for the evening when we’re in town. Like the original manger-surfers themselves, every time Megan and I have the opportunity to stay in a home, we’re grateful beyond compare. People who don’t even know us personally, who just know a friend or cousin of ours, have welcomed us into their abodes, handed us towels and made us coffee.
Instead of a barnload of animals, homestays in modern-day America tend to involve hanging out with our hosts plus their roommates/husbands/wives/friends/pets. We bring the wine, they bring the place and we all bring the conversation (or in the case of a pet, the snuggles).
As we entered New England, a few things changed. First, we picked up Noah, our executive producer. He’s the Big Cheese. The Head Kahuna. The guy that advises us when we’re waffling, listens to us when we’re feeling like wimpy tigers and encourages us to keep on keeping on when Megan has questions about gear or when I’m grumblecakes from not getting a chance to go running. Second, we stayed with Noah’s uncle for two days. In a house that allowed us each to have our own room, no less. Which meant that we had a whole day in which hunting for housing wasn’t on our docket. **
Noah’s uncle (and his dog, Berkeley) was no exception to the being-rad-to-stay-with rule. Curled up on worn-in living room furnishings, Megs, Noah and I chatted with Uncle Conlin about everything, including presidential debates, tales of yesteryear, literature and art, technology, space travel, and exercise. I think both Megan and I were relieved for the reprieve from the company of just each other and from the stress of filming another date. I know for me, it was exciting not to have to wear makeup for an entire day.
*I suppose this analogy makes Huckleberry Fit a donkey, which I’m okay with, but he may not be.
**A night not immediately next to Megan? Whoa. A few days spent in the company of others? Double whoa. I maybe (definitely) face-chatted with my friend Adam while in my moment of solitude. I also definitely wore a tank top instead of a t-shirt to bed. Yep, I got crazy.