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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

A Night at the Shipman House

I’m normally not one who likes to stay at a bed and breakfast, since I feel like I’m imposing in someone’s home. Although I look for certain things in hotels that bed and breakfast lodgings are known for, I like the impersonality of a hotel – I’m not bothered by making a mess, since I’m not actually in someone’s home. But, I left the historic Shipman House Bed and Breakfast feeling good about my stay and wishing I had a couple of more nights to spend with them.
It was almost insisted upon that I stay at the Shipman House when my itinerary was put together for my Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau-sponsored trip. I resisted a little because of my dislike of bed and breakfasts after my 2003 trip to Ireland, but gave in and accepted a night’s stay at the house. After all, it would only be one night. And if I still was uncomfortable with the bed and breakfast experience in the morning, I could just move on to the next hotel.
Surprisingly enough, though, I was not uncomfortable and I felt very welcomed at the Shipman House Bed and Breakfast. Well, that is after I got through the usual introductory tour of the family’s house – which author Jack London stayed at on his 1907 trip to Hawaii – and presentation of ground rules by owner Barbara Ann. From there I felt like a welcomed guest staying in an old friend’s home for the night.
I was shown to my room, Auntie Clara’s Shell Room, aptly named for her shell collection, by Barabara upon my mid-afternoon arrival. She lead my to the top of the beautiful wooden staircase and into my room, which had a gorgeous view out over the surrounding trees and to the Pacific Ocean. It was there that I would quitely spend the night after a relaxing hosted-dinner in downtown Hilo at Cafe Pesto.
I sprawled on a daybed tucked into the corner of the room, near the window looking out on the beautiful view. It was dark by this time, though, and the view was replaced by the peaceful chirpping of a mob of frogs. Ear plugs were placed on the bed’s nightstands, but I found their music to be relaxing and soon found myself nodding off on the daybed, only crawling into bed at the last possible moment.
I sat down to a large breakfast after a refreshing night’s sleep. Normally I’ll only eat something small for breakfast, if anything at all, so I was totally unprepared for the massive harvest of fruits, jams, and breads presented to me – all handmade or grown right there at the Shipman House. It was all so delicious-looking, thus making it impossible for me not to have a little breakfast before heading out.
After breakfast, just as I was feeling content and sleepy – like Barbara’s grandchild in the arms of a couple visiting from Australia – happy to skip the rest of my day’s itinerary in favor of snoozing on the lanai, a gecko darted up my chair, startling me out of it in the process. I jumped so high that my head almost poked through the ceiling and back into Auntie Clara’s room. The geckos, though, like so many other things about the house, are all part of the atmosphere – and just eager helpers in cleaning up after guests who have finished their breakfast.
My intent for the day was to have been awake, breakfasted, and out the door no later than 9 a.m. My goal was delayed by a couple of hours and I would not have minded one bit had it been postponed by a few days. I loved everything about the Shipman House Bed and Breakfast – from the comfortable rooms to the friendly hospitality to the tasty eats – that I would have been more than happy to spend the rest of my time on the Big Island staying at the Shipman House. It truly has brought me back around to giving bed and breakfasts a second chance.

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  1. hawaii bed and breakfasts - April 12, 2012

    hawaii bed and breakfasts…

    hawaii bed and breakfasts So excited about the concert tonight! A Night at the Shipman House | Jason's Travels page Who is coming with me?. Bed and Breakfast Cape May NJ…

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