The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast is family owned and operated – meaning cleaning, bookings, yard work, phone calls, cooking, banking, errands, food shopping, vacuuming, pruning, mowing, website maintenance, marketing, painting, renovations and restorations etc is all done by your innkeepers Shellie and Tony (and their two daughters when time allows away from Marching Band 3 hour daily practices, music lessons, homework, reading, walking Junie B Jones our dog and other household chores).
Another inn-mate of mine is going to blog about B&B Etiquette and I don’t want to ruffle any feathers so I will keep it simple then tell a few true guest stories – our guests always love hearing guest stories.
- First and foremost – if you cannot check in at check in time, please call BEFORE check in time to let us know, that is prior to 4pm. We have no problem at all with late check ins, we have them all the time, to make your drive less stressful and our wait less stressful – just give us a call. Remember we are up early preparing breakfast, working all day and if you check in at 11pm – we will be asleep – guaranteed. zzzzzzzz
- Second – this is your lodging, please come and go as you please – you will have the access code to the front door and enjoy yourselves! Just make sure you show for breakfast – if you can’t make it just let us know the night before or early. Or else the yummy food will be wasted and the cook unhappy (that would be me).
- Third – we don’t bombard you with little notes all over the inn, so use common sense and you will be fine. We’re casual here.
Now for the true favorite guest stories – gee where should I start? I have quite a few...but not a lot of space here so I will just give you a handful.
The Sleep Walker. We know she was sleep walking as someone mentioned they are messy-sleep-eaters those sleep walkers. We awoke to her banging on our innkeeper quarter’s door at 3am in only a tshirt and undies asking if we had seen her son? Was he in THERE with us? No, we told her, no one in here but us innkeepers. She was obviously not all there, had a kind of glazed look on her face and proceeded to go into the parlor to munch on her snack
s and soda and then wandered back up to bed, leaving abig mess on the coffee table behind, never mentioning it again. Just suffice it to say Tony avoided her the next day as much as he could. My father – always the kidder, called and sang Mrs Robinson into the phone to Tony just to give him the mickey.
The Make Up Artiste.
The lovely guest with the truckload of makeup and accessories. Her husband made exhausting trip after trip from the car (or was it a bus?) with case after case or makeup bags, implements and beauty products. She woke up at 3am (we know as the bathroom is over our bedroom) and began the process, he came down at 9am for breakfast to join the other guests, and just brought coffee back to her from time to time. Oddly enough when she “appeared” she did not visibly look like she had any make up on. She was a true artist!
The Broken Bed. Cell phones are wonderful things, and thankfully we do have excellent coverage here. At 2am we get the embarrassed call. “Um, um, we broke the bed” he said quietly stuttering into the phone. Once again, Tony to the rescue. He races up to inspect the damage – the mattress had fallen down through the slats on this king sized bed. He quickly races out to the shop and comes back with a 5 gallon bucket. A bucket? You are thinking? What the!
Our dear friend who is Battalion Chief in the Tacoma Fire Dept presented us with a slide show years ago of the Oklahoma City bombing to which he responded as FEMA. One of the photos showed half the building being held up by a simple 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot. Never underestimate the strength of a simple bucket and inngenuity!
Mr Ten Towels. He was a very eccentric movie producer here filming a documentary. He told me he must have at minimum ten towels to stay here. Why? He did not say, nor did he ever say. I provided the towels and pictured a trail of them from his bed to the shower and back. I never did find out why he required ten towels. He was an enigma.
The Special Ops Recruiter – still a mystery to me. He was retired special ops and a saturation diver, in other words - he was one tough cookie! He recruited other retired Navy Seals and Army Rangers to deliver armored equipment to Afghanistan to our troops - while there, he said they ran a few maneuvers just for fun. He was a very interesting fellow and at check in when I asked what time he wanted coffee in the morning, I already knew the answer…5am. Okay sure thing, I said. The only issue with super early coffee is waking up other rooms. He assured me THAT would never happen. I believed him. Of course being a very old house, the stairs creak like an oversized elephant stomping going down them, even for a 90 pound weakling, and this man was no weakling let me assure you, he was a big guy. I came in at 6am and the pot was drained…I had envisioned him sliding down the banister in stealth mode.
Honey Leave Me Be. Showering in another guest room, yes, you read that correctly. When I caught the dude and said “WHY? JUST TELL ME WHY?!” His humble reply “My wife was in our shower and she said to leave her be."
Lock Your Doors. Here come the Alaskan honeymooners - the reason we keep all of our doors locked on unoccupied rooms. Many guests want to see the other guest rooms and find it strange that we, and other innkeepers keep the other rooms locked up. It takes well over an hour to clean a guest room after a guest checks out, what will we have to do when we find another guest has used all the beds in other rooms? Yes, this is a true story. So please don’t take it personal when you find the other rooms locked up tight.
VIRGINIA IS FOR B&B LOVERS