Thursday, 10 March 2016

Long Weekend In the Off Season; on Germs, 2 Night stays and Breakfast on Time- March 10th 2016

Well, normally, in a burbs B&B, it’s peaceful, civilized and heavenly quiet, albeit poor, from January to April.  I have my spiritual workshops and they feed my soul and give me pocket change but the pace is so wonderful.  I finally can connect with old friends who have stopped bothered inviting me to their weekend events because they know I have to hang around to welcome another first timer to my place, bake up something hot and welcoming and most likely, my car is blocked anyway so I’m a happy prisoner.  Now I don’t have that excuse anymore but it’s good because except for the -44 with the windchill weather we had recently, I have cabin fever and need to get away.

This weekend was the anomaly.  Valentine’s and Family Day all in one.  Wow, they packed the house.  And the best part was, they each stayed for two nights!!!!  OMG that is a first.  For the last year, I have hosted guests from all over the world in a location that is not downtown, so not a destination.  All of them have stayed for one night exactly.

I belong to a number of online groups for all the other B&B owners and I'm learning thru them -I have to for the one nighter issue.  I am the queen of one night stands... that can't be taken the wrong way, can it?  Is it time to join the B&B owner and learning from the school of hard knocks and change my ways? Seven of the longest months of my life, changing beds daily from people who stayed ONLY one night.  Now most other seasoned owners have a two night minimum but new entrepreneurs don't have the guts to be that hard lined.  I'm torn.  It's a lot of work for one night but I also like the coming and going of frequent travelers. I haven’t been open long enough to feel comfortable enough to say, "two night minimum, ya bums," like the veterans do it but I finally get it.  Maybe a dollar value off each additional night they stay?  Imagine, having a full house, and at 11 am, they all leave, and three hours later, I have to have cleaned up the breakfast feast, changed all the beds, cleaned all the bathrooms and vacuumed to be ready for 2pm.  If a particularly long haired woman has stayed, I also need to de-hair the place and especially the shower. I almost have collected enough to clone another human being. And I can't tell you how much I love vacuuming daily.  

It was wonderful to let the rooms go to the dogs somewhat these last few months, but this weekend was trying.  Getting back on the horse after a long break is tough.  You get up too early ‘cause you are no longer in the groove.  You overcook until you realize that they are all from Airbnb and aren’t really expecting any food.  Boy are they in for a nice surprise.  

Now here’s the catch. I haven’t been sick in three years, ever since I bought my Bed of Nails acupressure mat that I lie on at least once a day for 1-2 hours.  No colds, nothing!  If I’m honest with myself, I haven’t been around many children, or sick people, to my knowledge so I haven’t challenged this theory thoroughly.  This weekend, I did.  The man from the first couple had the sniffles.  I was ok.  I am a germaphobe if you are showing symptoms in the first three days.  Keep away from me; I will give you a pillow (to cover your face) and blanket and you can sleep in your car.  Don’t touch anything, or breathe on me and for the love of God, don’t touch my kitchen.  Normally, I have an extremely relaxed house but when a couple shows up and late in the day, lady starts showing significant signs and is streaming like an ebola patient, I’m officially in quarantine mode. I discreetly carry a soapy cloth and wipe down everything.  It’s probably not a bad thing because the house finally gets a proper cleaning but it’s soooo much work.  Suddenly, their snacking in the kitchen at the island is transferred to “maybe you will have more room in the dining room”.  “No, no, no, let me get that for you.  YOU are the guest”.  STAY OUT OF MY KITCHEN is what I am screaming in my head with an angelic smile on my face.  She gets it and is very gracious when I explain that I have never been sick while in business and have no idea what I would do or how I would be able to manage alone.  Thankfully, her job entails the same level of stealth when it comes to germs.  I love her for understanding.

 Also, for many years, my colds have consistently lasted more than a month of hacking coughs so I DO have a legitimate reason to be annoyingly germaphobic.  I did resist the urge to wrap her firmly in saran wrap and put her in her vehicle; I think I showed marvelous restraint, but I did finally ban her from touching anything and waited on her hand and foot; made a special brew to drink, fed her vitamins… spoiled her rotten.  They slept in the master suite so I have no idea if there is enough disinfectant to clean everything.  Tell me I’m not doomed.

Update… my health survived.  Sure, I gobbled Vitamin C pills like they were going out of style, I have no more finger prints from washing everything so much, my breath smells permanently like turkey day and stuffing from the Oil of Oregano I swear by, and I know most of it is placebo and in my head, but I survived unscathed.  Woohoo!

After that issue was solved, everyone went down for the count early at night, including me.  The main room upstairs and the basement room are ungodly cold at night in winter especially when we are in Wind Chill country.  They both put on their heaters, and then fell asleep.  Big mistake.  One was turned off in the middle of the night but the poor young lads in the basement woke to full body sweats and dry noses even though two woke up to use the bathroom and still didn’t think to turn the heater off.  This would never have even been discovered if I hadn’t had to go look for some snow pants they could borrow in their closet the next morning.  One minute and the stuffed turkey breath B&B owner was cooked.  Thankfully, they are staying another night and their last memory of here will not be when the crazy clock lady tried to cook their keesters. 

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, yes, I know I am a saint, we all negotiated breakfast times that suited everyone.  Two groups for 8:30 and one for 10.  I am very punctual with breakfasts because I don’t want to disrupt schedules and make people miss their events.  Sometimes I am even quick enough to let them know that 8:30, in my manic, obsessive world means exactly 8:30.  It’s a thing of pride for me to plan for 1 ½ hours to have everything perfectly planned and executed.  But then they ALL slept in; said the beds were sooo comfy.  Damnit people, this is not how to run a tight ship with lovers on vacation.  I should have learned the trumpet when I was in the military, or at least had the nerve to pick up pots and pans to bang but alas, I put it all back in the oven for another hour or two to dry out and have them cluck silently, 'not bad but a little dry.  Wonder if I should tell her'. 

But I get the last laughs always.  I tell them to make sure they take all their belongings and often they forget the shower or a fancy makeup cream gets left under the bed which of course, I won’t find for months after its expiry date due to my housekeeping skills, or lack thereof.  A lesser person would screech happily but I just put it in the lost and found and one day, my staff and I will all share the booty.  So with that said, since I am a staff of one, I get stuck with all this crap.    
Next, I don’t have to go out in the cold and finally, when they have put on their worst attire to brave the cold and freezing rain for the next many hours, its picture time in the Spoiled Rotten Lineup so all those people who thought they would sneak away without a shower or brushing their hair, are all rethinking that decision.  Mama always told you to wear clean underwear and look your best for a reason.  

(Thanks for posing Natalie and baby)

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