Lorelai warns Rory, "That had better not be a map." Rory pouts and mumbles, "Sorry, but I am openly defying your no-map policy." Rory says she doesn't want to sleep in the dark in the Jeep in a couple of hours. Lorelai moans that Rory didn't inherit Lorelai's sense of adventure. Rory says that they're headed towards Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Lorelai says that she has a friend (whose name she can't remember) who lives there and opened up a Bed and Breakfast. How convenient! Rory moans about the B&B, and Lorelai says it's supposed to be really cool. "That's like saying an understated Nicolas Cage movie," Rory says. She goes on about Captain Corelli's Mandolin, shouting, "Bella Bambino at two 'o clock!" Lorelai says that the place is supposed to be cool and that each of the rooms is supposed to be decorated in a weird style from a different century. Rory says they should go. She tells Lorelai to call first. Lorelai won't, because that would compromise their sense of adventure.
The sense of adventure leads to The Cheshire Cat, a Bed and Breakfast that's nothing like the cool place Lorelai's friend was supposed to run. I could point out here that Lorelai could probably sleep wherever she wants because she runs an inn in Stars Hollow (having both parents in the hotel industry, I know how people swap rooms all the time), but I won't, because it's pointless. Anyway, Lorelai's friend doesn't own this place anymore, and The Cheshire Cat looks like you've fallen into a potpourri sachet complete with creepy dolls and way too much flowery fabric. We immediately start with the quirky as the B&B owner at the front desk asks Lorelai if she'd like to ring the bell. The Ring the Bell bit goes on for a while as the owner explains that most people get to ring the bell because she's not at the desk when they enter, and the guests get a great thrill out of ringing the bell but Lorelai didn't get to ring the bell because the owner was already at the desk when Lorelai walked in. Lorelai rings the bell. Yes, it's that funny, and Daniel decided that the final joke of this bit should be "Well done." Here's where the owner explains that Lorelai's friend no longer works here, and that she runs things differently than he did. She goes on a long explanation of why B&Bs should be traditional and not eclectic, but it's boring and long-winded and I like you people more than Daniel Palladino does. Her name is LaDonn, by the way. LaDonn hands Lorelai the keys to room #3 and welcomes her, even though Lorelai did nothing to check in, including give a name, number, credit card, information, or cash. Lorelai says she needs to consult with Rory for a second. They turn around, which immediately creates a sound barrier that LaDonn can't hear because everyone knows that turning around makes the third person in the room unable to hear anything but her own busywork at her desk. Lorelai tells Rory that they need to leave immediately. She says she'd rather sleep in a hollowed-out tree or a riverbank. Rory says she's starving. Lorelai says that a place named after "A Alice in Wonderland character [sic]" is her worst nightmare. Rory says that dying of exposure in a Jeep is hers. Lorelai gives in for the first time in her life, and LaDonn walks them up to room #3, but not before she asks Rory whether she would also like to ring the bell, so that the joke can be repeated with just as much humor missing. As LaDonn walks up the stairs carrying all of Rory and Lorelai's bags (the comedy!), she points out Sammy the cat on the stairs. Sammy looks just like my cat Lillith, who died a couple of years ago. The girls are commenting on how large Sammy is and that it might be the cat that ate Sammy. Those ladies don't know from cats that ate Sammy. My cat Cal is the size of their duffel bag. Rory and Lorelai walk up the stairs, but the camera stays with Sammy so we know that Sammy is a cat, and that he's a cat who sits on those stairs right there. It'll come in handy later, the camera reminds us.