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June 2007

Our Members Speak Out

Historic Scanlan House Bed and Breakfast Inn, Lanesboro, MN

Question for July/August: Health insurance might not be fun to think about, but it's a necessity, and a question we are often asked. What can you share with other innkeepers about to find the best policy at the best price?

Email your responses to
Sandy@BedandBreakfast.com. If we publish your comments, we’ll thank you with a $25 credit in our Featured Properties Auction program!

You were asked: What are some of your breakfast-time triumphs and disasters? Please share challenges and creative solutions to problems of serving times and styles, special dietary needs, menus, and more.

”One morning, a couple who were the only guests staying here (thank goodness) came to breakfast. The wife had on a robe and curlers in her hair. Her husband, on the other hand, was dressed. I served them breakfast and poured the coffee; as I walked into the kitchen, I heard ‘phrrrrt’ come from the other room. I thought the situation was surreal until I heard it again and peeked around the corner to see the husband sitting ‘cockeyed’ on the chair. I think that sound came from the dining room four or five times. When I realized what was going on, I took the coffee in the dining room, set it on a coaster on the table, and told them to enjoy their breakfast and that I would see them as they checked out. They asked if I had a room again for another night, but I told them I was booked. The weather was frigid, but after they left, I had to go in the dining room and open a window for awhile. True story.” Sally Mullikin, The Inn at Three Bridge, Powhatan, VA

“One Sunday morning at my previous B&B, The Britt House in San Diego, I had forgotten about the time change and was in the garden before breakfast picking fresh flowers when a guest appeared on the lanai and asked ‘What time is breakfast served?’ ‘8 o'clock,’ I replied. ‘Well it's 8:30 now,’ she answered. The OMIGOSH light bulb went on in my head, and I raced into the kitchen knowing full well that I had a dining room full of waiting guests. I threw open the oven doors to extract the ginger apple muffins and tossed them upside down onto the serving plate without taking the time to let them cool. The disaster that ensued was that all the tops came off of the muffins and the bottoms were stuck in the cups. I took my egg casserole and muffin tops to the table and announced that breakfast this morning was to be served in two courses, and the second course would be muffin bottoms. I got lots of laughs and some applause.” Elizabeth Ferris, Hale Luana Bed & Breakfast, Kauai, HI

“Our whole town is four blocks square. I had guests walk up to Main Street (two blocks away), and they had to ask a local merchant for directions back to the bed and breakfast.” Mim and Paul Groesse, Beach Avenue Bed and Breakfast, Pacific Beach, WA

“Once a guest said to me: I eat so little for breakfast, can you give me a sack so I can take some things with me for lunch…” Ina Vos, Bed & Breakfast 'Achter Sint Joris', The Netherlands

“We just opened a few months ago. We are often exhausted after our guests leave, so sometimes we'll wait a while before we start cleaning the rooms. Thank the Lord we went to check on this one room 24 hours before the next folks were due to check in: the previous guests were extremely obese, and when they came down to breakfast they said we had a ‘caulk’ problem in our tub. We had recently remodeled and added a Jacuzzi tub, so I couldn't imagine what he was talking about. He told me to fix it with a little bathroom caulk, and all would be fine. After they left, we went up to look, and to our surprise the tub had dropped through the floor about a foot! We got a construction crew to make an emergency call and get it fixed before the next guests arrived!” Kim Savage, Pine Victorian B&B, Pine, AZ

“I was doing my breakfast Bolognese one morning with seven guests in the house. This dish combines breakfast sausage, onions, peppers, and tomatoes and is poured over toast and eggs. Just before all the guests came in for breakfast, the glass lid for the frying pan shattered. I had put it next to the pan on the stove and turned the wrong burner on. The lid exploded, sending glass shards everywhere. The only thing that was not affected were the 14 eggs I had cracked. I had no more ingredients to make a new sauce. What to do? I turned the 14 eggs in to the richest Belgian waffles I had ever made.” Randy Leskie, Chalet in the Rockies B&B, Fairmont Hot Springs, BC

“Breakfast solution: This morning we had two vegans and 10 omnivores. I fixed individual strawberry-rhubarb cobblers to start, topping the vegan ones with granola rather than the buttery short crust everyone else got. Then their potato pancakes had no eggs (just flip them once), and I skipped the bacon. Everyone got the homemade applesauce.

“Breakfast disaster: I made mini blueberry muffins but forgot the leavening. They still tasted good, so I called them "blueberry custards" and the guests raved about them! It's all in the name.” Joan Huiberts, Wedgwood Manor Country Inn, Crawford Bay, BC

More silly questions from guests

“What time do the whales perform?” Charles & Valerie Binford, The Place At Cayou Cove, Deer Harbor, WA

“With magnificent views of the ocean and just one block away, a guest asked, ‘Where is the ocean?’ Another guest asked, “Where is the pool?” Our response was, ‘One block away; it’s called the Atlantic Ocean.’” Bob Hilton, The Ocean View Inn, Ocean Grove, NJ

“Over the 22 years I’ve had the bed and breakfast, I’ve gotten lots of stupid questions, including a few by myself! But this one really took the cake: we owned an ice cream shop called the Ice Cream Garage for a few years. I will never ever forget the lady who came in with her husband and adult son and asked if we served ice cream here. I was young and couldn’t resist and responded: Maam, I am sorry but here at the “Ice Cream Garage” we do not sell any ice cream. The lady said ‘thanks anyway,’ then turned and started walking out the door, but the husband and son broke out laughing and said, ‘Mom, they sell 42 different flavors here; see the sign!’ I apologized and explained that I just couldn’t resist the temptation and gave her a free cone!” Kirsten Lee Mensing, Historic Scanlan House Bed and Breakfast Inn, Lanesboro, MN

“Recently I had a guest ask if I really had deer grazing in my back yard, and I said yes. He asked if I could arrange for the deer to be there when he brought his mother to our B&B. This same gentleman also found out that I had other guests that were part of a local rodeo and became irate with me because I rented a room to rodeo folks, and I should have reported them to PETA and not let them stay here, which meant that I condoned animal abuse. I was very happy when his stay ended.” Sally Mullikin, The Inn at Three Bridge, Powhatan, VA

Two funny questions: “Do your Jacuzzi Suites have Jacuzzis?” We answer the phone “Beaver Lake Cottages,” to which the caller asked, “Do you have cottages on Beaver Lake?” Kymm & George Fleischman, Beaver Lake Cottages, Eureka Springs AR

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