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Posts Tagged ‘breakfast’

This is a re-post.

About three years ago I wrote a blog post about some interesting things I had noticed about innkeeping and inn guests from my two years experience in the business. If you’re interested in reading that, here’s the link:  https://jansenschmidt.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/observations-of-an-innkeeper/

While it’s still sometimes hard to believe that we’ve been doing this for five and half years already, I am even more amazed that I continue to notice quirky and interesting things that happen frequently. Therefore, I present to you, Observations of an Innkeeper – Part Two:

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Have you ever tried to pass something off as something else? I don’t mean outright lying about something, but like buying a knock-off brand name item hoping others will think you have the real thing? My mom used to tell me that the cheap sneakers I got at K-Mart were the same as the expensive name brand shoes (Puma’s was my choice back then). My mom would say, “They’re the same thing.” In my adolescent mind I’d scream back, “No they’re not.” Notice I said in my mind. Arguing with my mother always resulted in me sulking and my mom telling me to stop sulking. (God, I miss my mom.)

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Many of you have told me that you like my posts about my odd inn guests. If that’s you, you’re welcome because today I’ve got another one. The people who stay here are certainly entertaining at times. There is never a dull moment when you deal with the public. Especially when said “public” often have a warped understanding about what exactly a B & B is.

bed and breakfast sign 2

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That’s right folks, you read the title correctly. I had some guests who simply – disappeared. They were here and then – they weren’t.

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I think it’s pretty safe to assume that we all know we should not discuss religion or politics when in the company of strangers. I also think it is safe to assume that most people are either somewhat introverted or somewhat extroverted if not completely so. We all know people who are one or the other or some mutant form of both. And, of course, we all know a know-it-all. You know, those people who have an opinion about EVERYTHING and usually express it loudly and in such a manner so as to sound like an authority on the subject. The people who make you eventually go: (more…)

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people cheeringCongratulations. You’ve ended up in my book. Some of you are thinking, cool. Authors, on the other hand, are staring at the computer screen right now with mouths agape. Why are authors gaping? Because they know that if someone ends up in one of their books, it cannot be good. Usually it’s offensive, rude, and mean people who end up in books. Most certainly, they die. So, you see, ending up in a book is definitely not a good thing. (more…)

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table set for dinnerLast Sunday was one of the most challenging days we’ve had here at Casa Baer. We’ve been very, very busy, which is a good thing. Saturday night we had a full house; someone in every room. That means fourteen for breakfast Sunday morning. The table was set, the casserole was ready to pop in the oven, the coffee was ready to perk. Everything set for the perfect morning at the inn. (more…)

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My life as an innkeeper is never dull. Most of the time my work is very rewarding. The average guest is very nice and respectful. And every day I see or hear something that makes me go:

bewildered-face

Being an innkeeper has challenges for sure, but there’s an amusing side as well. And an even larger amazing component that most people probably don’t even think about. (more…)

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Things are hopping here at the inn and I’m not just saying that because Easter’s right around the corner. And, I am in no way complaining. Keep them phones a ringin’ and keep them doors opening.

Since we’ve been here, my husband and I have developed somewhat of a routine that seems to be working. At least we’re not tripping over each other as often as we were. We’re able to work as a team to get done what needs to get done.

 

you should be writing

But the other stuff, the other important stuff, like writing, often falls by the wayside when days go sideways, which happens quite often. I’ve tried really hard of late to make writing a priority and to sit down at my computer every single day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Every minute puts me closer to the end of the project.

However, I don’t do well in the writing arena when I’m interrupted. I’m interrupted quite a lot these days, which makes for some frustrating writing sessions. Most times the interruptions are in the form of inn related stuff, which makes them a priority. When the phone rings, you have to answer it or you risk losing income. That can’t happen. When guests are in the house, they often wander and wandering brings them into my office, which doubles as the gift shop. I want them to browse the gift shop, so . . . I deal with the interruption.

don't interrupt meme

Yes, I know I can take my writing elsewhere, but it’s not always a good thing to leave the house empty. I don’t want guests to wander that much. If they want ice, I need to get them ice, since the kitchen is an “off limits” area here. If they need extra towels, I need to get them extra towels because the laundry area is another “off limits” area. And the list goes on. I’m working on finding a different set-up for my writing, but I love my office and I have it all set up the way I like it and I’m comfortable.

Let’s just say, I’m still making forward progress on my book, but it requires a good deal more patience then I’m used to.

I’ve also had to hone my flexibility skills as an innkeeper. Stuff happens. Things change from hour to hour, schedules are only suggestions at this point. As long as it all comes together at the necessary time, that’s what’s important. It can be challenging though.

For example, yesterday morning I planned on serving breakfast for 2 this morning. I shopped and planned my menu accordingly. By 8:00 last night, I needed to completely throw that plan out the window because I now had 11 for breakfast.

day planner

We also planned on moving some furniture around and doing some painting yesterday afternoon, but at 10:00 the phone rang and someone wanted a house tour. So much for painting yesterday. And I had prepared to serve appetizers for one couple during social hour; turns out the folks who originally said they’d be arriving late, arrived right at 5:00 when social hour started. Back to the kitchen I scampered, threw on my apron and whipped up another batch of goodies.

And then I forgot about the napkins. I had about a dozen clean ironed ones left in the drawer. Do I have enough for these extra people or will I now have to do laundry. And, ooops, I didn’t run the dishwasher yesterday because there was still room in it for today’s breakfast dishes, too. Well, that was when I was only serving 2. With these added folks, there is now not enough room in the dishwasher for all of the breakfast dishes. And the list goes on.

dirty dishes

It’s fun to be hopping around like the energizer bunny on steroids, but it requires a lot of patience and sometimes creativity. I only wish I could harness that energy and creativity for those quiet moments when I sit down to write and my brain shuts off.

Oh well, another opportunity to be flexible and switch gears. It’s a rewarding challenge.

What do you all do when plans unexpectedly change? Are you prepared to handle last minute switch-ups? Are you good and dealing with interruptions?

Word of the day: Epilimnion

Fun fact about me: I’m a much better cook than I ever thought I was.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, March 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Here it is – my new abode! Come on in, take a look around. While you explore, I’ll share some of the history of the home. Let’s start in the ballroom:

Baer House parlor

The Baer House was constructed in 1870 by Leona and Lazarus Baer from an existing site with a brick structure dating prior to 1850. Most of the original house was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Leona Baer (formerly Bloom) began reconstruction with the goal of building a Victorian home guaranteed to impress with elaborate woodwork in the Eastlake architectural style, made popular by Charles L. Eastlake in the 1870’s and common among the elite in New York.

If you’ll turn around, you can see the other end of this large room, which is where guests enjoy a hearty breakfast, complete with a variety of hot dishes, juice, fresh fruit, homemade breads, hot black coffee, and made-to-order specialty dishes.

Baer House dining room

Back to the home’s construction. Leona Baer, was quite the revolutionary woman, insisting on overseeing every aspect of the home’s design and monitoring it’s construction. She was very forward-thinking for her generation, insisting that the kitchen be inside the home (an unheard of idea at that time) and that there be privies on the first and second floors. That’s right, this home sports a two-story outhouse. Don’t believe me? You’ll have to make a reservation and check this out yourself. The structure is still standing and still attached to the house. Makes for interesting conversation among tour guests.

Let’s step into the hallway for this next portion.

Baer House hallway

The head-turner here is, obviously, the grand staircase, complete with solid walnut balustrade. Notice the floors? They were painstakingly constructed of black walnut and American chestnut, highly sought after for it’s durability and rot resistance. Yes, the chandelier is quite impressive as well, as are the crown moldings and ceiling medallions. However, what is spectacular about this floor is that it is irreplaceable since the entire American chestnut population in Mississippi was wiped out by the blight around the turn of the 20th century.

Up those stairs are 6 guest rooms, 4 with private baths, 2 with a shared bath. Most have either a King or Queen bed, 2 are mini suites. The upstairs, while still quite grand, does not boast the fancy trimmings of the downstairs. You see, Leona believed that the family, children in particular, should not socialize with guests until they reached a proper age, thus the need for upstairs privies. Until such time, children were to remain upstairs and out of sight. There are still 14-foot doors with glass transomes up there, but they are plain, not decorated with the fancy Eastlake trimmings. After all, family does not need to dwell among such lavishness; luxury is visible only to esteemed guests.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Perhaps next week, I’ll treat you to some photos of the guest rooms and share some more of the fascinating history, including mysterious activity that happens in certain areas of the home. For now, this was a smattering of the fanciness of my new digs. I might also tell you about some of the goings-ons (that sounds weird) here in Vicksburg. Yes, stuff happens even in the heat. I know, I was shocked, too.

How have you been managing the summer heat? Have you traveled anywhere fun this month? What cool old houses have you visited? Curious people want to know.

 

Word of the Day: Xerostomia

Fun fact about me: I’ve yet to find a dishwasher that removes egg from anything.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Photos courtesy TripAdvisor.com and Google Images.

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