Running a Bed & Breakfast

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People who spend more than a day on the road need food, water, and shelter from the elements. Some travelers equip themselves to deal with the ordeals of the journey, even bringing or building temporary shelter when the need arises. However, other travelers may find themselves without lodging, possibly from lack of preparation, or due to unexpected delays. In such scenarios, people often turn to lodging establishments.

Lodging establishments have been around since the early days of roads and long-distance travel, and have usually been profitable investments. These days, hotels are the royalty of lodging, offering top-notch luxury to travelers. However, most hotels are too expensive for the average pilgrim, and that leaves cheaper establishments – such as bed & breakfasts – more than enough demand for profit.

When starting a B&B, the first thing to consider is location; how far is it from competition or from the next rest stop? Is it close to any attractions that make it worthwhile to spend a night in the area? Ideally, any lodging establishment is remote enough to be the only choice for food and rest, but not too far away from civilization as to give travelers no real need to pass through. Also, when considering location, it is a good idea to get familiar with other local lodging businesses, taxes and laws governing both, as they will often dictate the rates needed to make a profit.

The next things to consider are the expenses. What will you invest in? Do you need to hire staff, or are you capable of handling it yourself? Is the food going to be provided for your guests, or are you planning to run a self-catering establishment? It is important to set a budget with which to work with. This will prevent expenses from going too high as to stop the establishment from bringing in income. Still, enough investments must be made to ensure that the B & B has the comfort to attract customers.

After the plans are all done, the next step is implementation. This is the process of turning all plans into reality. As a reminder, this includes not just the construction and renovation of necessary facilities, but the observance of systems to ensure the smooth run of the business as well. This includes the front desk, schedules for meals, and other services guests may require. Because the establishment is meant to service only overnight stays, it may not be a requirement to provide more meals than breakfast. That does not mean of course, that services should have standards below those of larger businesses.

Finally, the most important thing to ensure is maintenance. Anyone with enough money can have anything set up, but it takes much more skill and attention to keep everything in working order. For instance, if one purchases a prime location, puts up a large three-to-four-bedroom house, and has it furnished with exquisite décor and furniture, but is unable to maintain the condition of the property, then the investment is all for naught. If however, one simply makes use of an existing house, but keeps it in pleasant and functional condition with clean sheets and working plumbing and electricity, then the business is probably going to draw in more customers than the former example.

High-Heeled Shoes

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It was a Sunday and I attended mass with Jim. The priest had a very nice and charming story on his homily. When the mass was finished in an hour, I was surprised to see my friend, Nancy, in crutches. She shared that recently, she had a surgery to remove off her annoying tailors bunion and she told me that it did not hurt as much as she thought it would. She told me that Dr. Lee is a very good surgeon who was recommended by her long time podiatrist. The same podiatrist that I consulted years ago. It has been years since her foot problem had been bothering her. She had been searching high and low for the best shoes for bunions and she was unsuccessful on her quest. Instead, she took a drastic approach and chose surgery as her option. She was urging me to undergo surgery too, but I was afraid to do so. She told me that the surgeon gave her a mild sedative and she did not feel any pain during the process. Her surgeon made an incision on the side of her toe. She added that the surgeon shaved off excess bone spurs that was protruding against her footwear and he carefully aligned her toes to the original place with wires and screws to prevent it from protruding again. Her stitches looked fine and she told me that they are going to be removed in 21 days. His doctor told her that it would take her a month or so to recover, so she should not put weight on her feet if not necessary.

I also have bunion problems on my feet. Now, I just choose to wear wider toed shoes, avoid high-heeled shoes and sometimes, I even put shoe paddings to relieve tension on my bunions and it is going great so far. I got it when I was younger because I used to love wearing high-heeled shoes. My husband would not admit it until now, but I know that when he approached me at the party where we first met, he finds me sexy and I know that it was because of my high-heeled stilettos because it made my legs longer and my butt bigger. Anyway, wearing them caused my feet feel frequent pains and later on, I developed my disgustingly, gross bunions.

I have tried many things to relieve my foot pain like hot compress and taking pain relievers, while still wearing high-heeled shoes so it just cancelled each other out. That made me go to Nancy’s podiatrist and he asked me to get an x-ray first of my feet so he would know my real condition. When he saw my x-ray film, he told me that I should completely avoid wearing shoes like what I was wearing then in his office. I was not offended as he tried to break it to me gently and politely. He also suggested that I should always fit my shoes properly when buying new ones, even though I already know my shoe size. I thanked him with all his advises and since then, I have not felt that much pain as I did when I was wearing high-heeled shoes.

Great Weekend

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This weekend, after our fun barbeque with our kids and their families, we ended up going to Lake Eerie to swim at the beach because our grandchildren were so pestered with the heat of summer. Our two girls, Meg and Maggie planned our itinerary and bought food and drinks for our impromptu beach trip. Before leaving, my husband Jim and I visited our bed and breakfast and we told our staff that, we are going out for a couple of hours and if there are problems that they cannot solve arises, they can contact me and my husband through our own, separate cellular phones.

It took us over an hour to get to the beach because our grandchildren had to buy swimwear at the mall because they did not know that they would be going to the beach. All the time that they were shopping, Jim and I just sat comfortably at the café while sipping my favorite mocha latte, while Jim was having his usual cappuccino with a stick of cigarette to perk up our busy day. We drove off and they were so excited, especially our grandkids to go swimming at the beach. I asked Meg and Maggie if they brought a high SPF Sunscreen to prevent sunburns and they told me that they have enough to cover all of us. I added that they should put it on an hour before going swimming. They forgot about it and they rushed to put sunscreen on their children. I thought to myself that something never changes because my two lovely, daughters are still forgetful at times.

I remember when they were younger and we used to frequent Lake Eerie. Both of them were so eager to swim as they went on swimming without putting on sunscreen. After a few minutes, both of them returned and they were crying because their skin hurt. They were asking me if it was a second degree burn like what they watched on TV last night and Jim told them that they aren’t that bad, but it is a lesson that they should learn to always listen to their parents and they both agreed. It was a good thing that we also brought a bottle of vinegar as a dipping sauce because it can also be used as a vinegar for sunburn. Meg and Maggie’s faces looked so funny when their dad was putting vinegar on their arms and back. They shared that it was soothing, but at the same time, they smell gross and Jim and I laughed at them.

I asked Meg and Maggie if they remembered that incident and both of them laughed loudly and told me that it will never happen ever again, not even with their kids. I told them that was a lesson learned, as they were not listening to me when I tell them things while their husbands laughed. I am very happy that they made time to spend a whole weekend with us because I really miss them. I hope they will not change and will still make time for their parents in the future.