Sunday, August 31, 2008

Change of Season, Season of Change

It's hard to believe it's Labor Day already. Another summer, gone. Not that I expect business to slow down much, but the pace of life usually does after this weekend.

This summer has both flown and dragged by. The inn, and I, are going through some transitions. My husband and partner, Adam, and I are getting divorced. He will be moving out some time in October. That means I will need to find help to do some of the things Adam has done here over the years and to that end I have hired and am training an assistant innkeeper. She will take over the two breakfast shifts per week that Adam has been doing and cover check ins some afternoons so I can get out and do the shopping, another of Adam's jobs, and take care of any personal appointments. So that's one piece of the puzzle. There are many others I'm still figuring out.

Although I am sad and sometimes terrified, I do see the possibilities for positive change in all this. For one thing, I have someone to whom I can delegate certain things. Adam was a partner and would not have been a good choice to delegate some of my projects to, since he considered them my projects. Already Nancy has helped me with two small things that I have been wanting to get done but have been unable to motivate myself to do, even though I had everything I needed to do them. And over the winter I'll have her work with me to improve organization in my kitchen and office.

Adam and I have made every effort to keep this all behind the scenes. We're much more sad than angry about the whole thing and we want our guests to have the relaxing vacation they came here for. So far, from the comments in our guest book, we seem to have been successful. I hope arriving guests who read this don't get weirded out by it. The plan is to continue to provide the hospitality we've become known for.

I'm more concerned about the guests who have been here before, some of whom come every year. It will be difficult telling them, but I suppose it'll get easier with practice. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Should Have Done it Long Ago

I know it's been a while since my last post. We've been insanely busy and somehow August seems to have nearly slipped by already. It's been a good year for business but I'll admit to being tired. Although we remain busy into the middle of October, the pace of life slows down somewhat after Labor Day and I look forward to that.

One of the difficult parts about summer is that although the ringing phone means business, it also means frustration. The majority of the phone calls in July, August and September are for dates that are already booked. In particular as each weekend approaches there are numerous phone calls from people seeking rooms for Friday and Saturday night. It's no fun for them and no fun for us to have to tell them we're booked. And frequently the caller wants to know if we can suggest another place. We usually can't. As summer wears on and I get more tired, the impulse to be less than my usual polite, helpful self with the callers gets stronger. No good can come of that!

This past week I added an on-line availability calendar to my website. I had my website designer make the link into nice, big buttons that are easy to find. They very wisely put the link on both the rooms and the reservations pages. The result was almost instantaneous. The phone has almost stopped ringing. When it does ring, it's much more often someone looking at nights we do have or it's someone who's already in town who wants a room for tonight. I can't help the latter, but at least I've got a fair shot at helping the former. What a relief.

I think I'll now be able to survive the next two months with my sanity intact.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And Then There Were Two

I know there's a downturn in the economy, but people are (thankfully) still coming for their beach vacations. Our bookings have been very strong.

The title refers to the number of room-nights we still have available in August. Yes, that's right, two. One room, two nights, August 13 & 14. That's a Wednesday & Thursday.

Anyone want 'em?

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm Surrounded...

by pregnant women. Three of our five female guests this weekend are between five and six months pregnant. That has NEVER happened before. We've had lots of pregnant guests over the years, but only one at a time (that we knew of).

I hope it's not contagious.