We are like the Bushes, but not

The Bush family might be Canadians - they are cottage-crazy like so many Canucks.

Former U.S. presidential couple George and Barbara Bush famously lived in a Texas hotel after leaving office. We, also, live in a hotel after leaving our “offices,” that is places of work*. I wonder if our experiences in hotel-living had any similarities.

If I recall President Bush 41’s televised interview on the topic of hotel-living, he liked it very much.

As an aside: He is called 41 by his family to distinguish him from his son, the 43rd U.S. President – a detail garnered from a friend who was invited to Walker’s Point – the Walker-Bush Kennebunkport** ancestral home, making this one fact I knew long before some of the news staff at NBC. I could not divulge it – I was sworn to secrecy about the visit, a promise I would never break because the owner of the secret is a neighbour who has a clear view of my favorite swimming route, and I don’t want to give him any reason to ignore me should I run into trouble on one of my swims. Also, his mother makes great cookies and my children would stop talking to me if I did anything to staunch that supply. It does not matter that my kids are adults. They still covet and fight over those cookies.

But I drift from my topic…

Aside from the fact that our hotel “suite” is 400-square feet and only one room, while the Bush suite was probably more spacious, we also enjoy some of the fun of hotel living.

One highlight of a protracted hotel stay is that the hotel staff discard some of their professional reserve, which adds a certain hilarity to the day. For example, not long ago the staff sweated out endless bugs and dead-ends during a computer “migration” to an ‘improved’ system. The transition was scheduled for what has historically been the hotel’s slowest season, but disaster-devils are always sniffing out opportunity and so the hotel was flooded with unexpected guests on the day of the system transfer.

When I strolled past the front desk and asked the staff how the transition was going, a hotel manager delivered a lively German-English outburst of exasperation that I regret not having video-taped, because it certainly would have made for highly entertaining reality television.

“Every room was filled,” said the manager.

I cannot provide a longer quote, because the rest of it was in German swear-words. At least they sounded like swear-words. It is hard to tell with German.

I wonder if George and Barb ever enjoyed such behind-the-scenes drama as they strolled past the front desk at their hotel. Maybe not. Maybe the Secret Service shielded them from the hotel staff. It would have been too bad for them.

* The Bush family are also crazed cottagers, like us and so many other Canadians, although their cottage is fancier. The drawback is that it has Secret Service staff around, and to a cottager, a Secret Service agent is just a guest who won’t leave. Poor Bushes. 

**Kennebunkport is not as easy to spell as it looks. Here are some other ways I spelled it before checking:

  • Kennethbunkport
  • Kennetbunkport
  • Kenebunnkport
  • Kenbunkport
  • Kenbunksport
You would think the Bushes would have done something about this while they were in office.
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