It was our pleasure! We still plan to stay opened for at least the next four years and you'll be happy to hear that the province has decided that we need more charging stations along the TCH. That should make your trip a little less stressful. We would love to see you again and maybe your little friend too!I retired in September. I won’t vote due to my status, but after finishing this post I will go to the donate page. This is going to be a long slobbery post.
Innkeeping did not come naturally to me. 16 years ago I had a thriving medical career and much more responsibilities caring for both my parents who were both transitioning to assisted living due to dementia. Their transition was very bumpy that first year, and although I loved my patients I found more of my time was spent arguing with insurance companies and seeing my future in medicine just dishing out more of the same.
As their power of attorney it was my job to sell their house. It stayed on the market for 9 months without even a nibble. I was really getting worried that it would never sell. One day when I was driving to the hospital I drove by the house, looked at the For Sale sign, and the thought literally popped into my head that the house would make a great B&B. I had never stayed in a B&B and I was not big on cooking or housework. So, all of the sudden I decided this would be my ideal new job.
At the end of the 1year contract, I bought the house and engaged a contractor. Fortunately for me, and all my future guests, I stumbled upon the precursor forum, soon to become Innspiring.
Naive doesn’t come close to describing how I started this journey. I’m so grateful to all the innkeepers who took me by the hand and patiently instructed me personally about so much from how important private bathrooms are and what to include in a website, and how to build a list of breakfast recipes.
Ultimately it took a year of paperwork, since my town’s zoning ordinance didn’t even define a bed and breakfast and I had to make 3 monthly trips to the BZA to get a variance in zoning. Then Mr. Clean at the health department was bound and determined that he was going to make me have a full restaurant kitchen, then, since I had the property zoned, the remodeling was no longer residential and the house didn’t meet commercial standards for a hotel. Ceilings 2” too low, stair treads 4” too narrow, etc. So all the blueprints had to be thrown out and redone. Fortunately the building commissioner was overly accommodating and made my new plans work, but I ended up having a much bigger project when all was said and done.
Even though I languished through another year of construction, those two years were my time of education, so that I was far better prepared when I hosted my first guests.
So many guests have been very complimentary of my B&B and my hospitality. I always credit my skills to my forum buddies because without y’all I doubt things would have worked out nearly as well.
Camaraderie has been a hallmark. I didn’t realize how much I could get to know and appreciate people in cyberspace. I’m blessed by those I’ve met in person. I have a 4-lane road to view out the front dining room window. When 2CatLady posted a photo of an iceberg that she took out of her window, I was inspired to take the trip of a lifetime to visit her, and other forum members along the way...Glad you’re not planning on retiring real soon because your province is back on my bucket list.
Of course during my tenure as an innkeeper we’ve seen dramatic changes in the industry, but nothing like we ever imagined this year. It sounds like most of you are coping, for which I’m grateful.
My retirement isn’t going as planned. My busy schedule of volunteer work has evaporated as has the cross country trip that was greatly anticipated. I had hoped that my nephew would someday want to take over the house and reopen the B&B but he died very unexpectedly and our extended family is still grieving. Right now I feel like my spirit animal is a sloth.
Nothing cheers me up like opening up the guest rooms for some of my friends’ special occasions. They know they’re not getting a full B&B experience. But the invitation is there for any of you folks who need time away from your beautiful destination properties and want to visit Indiana, open now but who knows for how long. Invitation extends to the post pandemic era also.