It takes a special person to run an inn. I give kudos to Janice, the owner of the Virginia Cliffe Inn. She has moxie. She has the determination, nerve and force of character. She is a small business owner and I get the privilege of working for her. I can learn so much from her. She is genuinely a wonderful woman. She is appreciative and knowledgeable.
I wake up early and figure out what I need to do for the day. I am at the inn and excited to prepare the day for our guests. I have my menu laid out and fix what is on the menu for that day. It is either some type of egg dish or pancake type dish. Savory or sweet. Some type of scone and fruit.
I love getting to know the guests. I will grab my coffee and chat away the breakfast time with our guests. Get to know them and they get to know me. I love the interaction and stories. You meet many people from all over. A family from Norway, a couple from England and a college student from Texas touring historic battlefields. I have been all over the states and even to Germany. We discuss food to adventures to life happenings. I enjoy every moment.
After breakfast, it’s time to clean up and get ready for guests to check out. I clean and sanitize rooms ready for the next guests. I look over the guest list that will be checking in that day and preparing their rooms. I look for anniversaries, birthdays and special occasions. I do sometimes miss important dates, if I am not made aware of them ahead of time. That makes me sad. I want our guests to feel relaxed, appreciated and welcomed.
After all is cleaned and ready for the incoming guests, it is time for a small break. I live next door to the inn, so it’s a “hop & a skip” commute. When the weather is nice, it is a short walk. Breathe in the fresh air and take in the beautiful grounds. It’s fall, so all the leaves are changing colors and baring their branches in preparation for winter. The air is crisps in the mornings and warm in the afternoons.
I return to the inn to prepare the table for the next morning and any prep work for the next breakfast. This time of year, I am working on preparing homemade apple butter for our annual craft fair – Christmas at the Inn. This is my first year in participating and the excitement is brewing. I love winter and Christmas time. I get to bake and make things for others to enjoy. We have a slew of local crafters come to the inn to sell their crafts. Food, homemade goods and activities. What isn’t there to love?
During my slower days, I am busy playing with flower arrangements from leftover flowers from weddings or buying a variety of flowers and arranging them to put on display. I will write correspondence with previous guests (which I am 2 months behind) or plan the following weeks menu and order the groceries. Every week I get a delivery from local farmers and try something new for what’s in season. Sometimes I flop and have to rethink how to do something better or I hit on the first try. It’s a great creative outlet.
Time to move to dusting and cleaning the downstairs, mopping, vacuuming or laundry. It’s a never ending process and I love every minute of it. I find doing laundry and vacuuming very therapeutic. I love having some type of spa or meditation music playing softly in the background. I try new things, some times they work and some times they do not. I will never stop trying or give up in making the best I can do for a guest.
I love hosting people and making great food. I hope to see you at the Inn in the future.