Friday, May 18, 2007

Interruptions, the Catch-22 of innkeeping

Between the phone and the doorbell, my day is one of interruptions. This is both bad and good. While they can make it difficult to get anything done, a lot of those interruptions mean reservations.

Such is the life of an innkeeper. I suppose many other types of business owners have this same problem, people who have shops, restaurants, galleries, any business that deals with the general public rather than select clients. We spend a lot of time, energy and money making our place of business look attractive and welcoming, both physically and with our web presence. I suppose we should not be surprised when people want to come in and look around or call to ask questions. In fact, we both need and want them to do so. It just makes it difficult at times to get through some of the non-guest tasks that need to be done.

New Website

We've just completed a major website redesign. This one was a complete overhaul; we basically have a completely new site. Our old site was done by someone local and I think he did a nice job, he was lovely to work with and he has a good sense of design, but the internet world has changed substantially and a good lodging website must be optimized to come up on the first page of a search. Our new designers are a continent away so I've never met them, but they specialize in lodging sites and are much more tech-savvy than our local designer.

I guess there was something about the old site that really appealed to some people; we got compliments on it all the time. Unfortunately it wasn't doing anything for us as far as search engine rankings. I'm really hoping the new site speaks to people as much. If anyone is reading this, please go to our site at and let me know what you think.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


The first surprise came yesterday. The high school gal who cleans for me was helping me in the garden. We were cleaning the skeletonized remains of last year's petunias out of a raised planter bed when she said "Hey, there's some sort of animal nest over here!" I looked and there was indeed a tangle of dry stems and sticks. Thinking it was a bird's nest that had blown out of a tree, I picked it up. It was much looser than a bird nest and I noticed it had a lot of grey fuzz woven into the structure. I poked around some more and found a hole and as I peered into it a little brown bunny head popped out of it! It popped back down and I saw more little brown bodies in there. I called my helper over and she fearlessly reached in and grabbed one - it was about the size of my fist. Another made a break for it and then I grabbed one. She grabbed two more and the last one also got away from us.

Rabbits are really not my favorite animals. They do tremendous damage to my garden every year and I can't seem to get rid of them. Left to me, the fate of these six little bunnies would have been... um... bleak? Lucky for them, my young employee offered to take them home. We found a 5 gallon bucket, easily caught the remaining two they are now bunking with her gunnea pig. I'll try to get a picture later in the week.

Surprise number two came this afternoon. I had come inside to change the laundry and the doorbell rang. I was expecting one couple to check in so I grabbed the clipboard with their information and headed for the door. There stood the man I worked for the last 4.5 years I lived in New York and his new fiancee. Honestly, I never really expected to see him again. Not that we didn't part on good terms, but I just never thought he'd make the drive this far out onto the Cape. Turns out his fiancee has some ties to Wellfleet so I may well see him again, but this kinda threw me.

Lucky for me I have had seven years of dealing with all sorts of people at my door. I just put on my best Innkeeper smile and recovered my composure pretty well. We had a nice visit, then they left to get some lunch and head into P-town. They did not ask for a room.