Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The day-to-day fun of running an inn

STEP 1: Be prepared for the unpredictable
Claiborne House is a circa 1895 Queen Anne Victorian
Yesterday we had two lovely couples from Alabama and a sweet mother and daughter here from Texas.  We also had something very annoying here as well, rattling moaning pipes! In 8 years as innkeepers, this is a new one for us. We have one bathroom that if a guest turns off the sink harshly there is a loud clunk sound, but this was not a clunk, it was that deep rattling sound that reverberates throughout the inn.
Worse thing was, no one was even here when it began, which meant "How do we isolate this issue? How do we troubleshoot it?"

Tony came home from work and was on the job! He was upstairs in each bathroom (we have 8 bathrooms y'all!), and finally determined it must be the Sierra Suite toilet, so raced off to Lowe's.

The Lowe's solution did not solve the problem.

As all good moves in innkeeping, the first solution is never the right one. The simplest solution, is also never the right one.  So Tony put on his thinking cap and went down and removed the filter in basement, which did release sediment.  The town had recently (it may have been yesterday) flushed the water mains.  Somehow we knew this had to be connected, since, again, in 8 years we have never encountered this problem.

The filter removal solution did not solve the problem.
Tony adding the bath to the Wash House Cottage (I didn't get any photos yesterday, sorry) 
As the noise continued every 10 minutes, I heard the guests laughing and enjoying our porch and views of the falling and changing leaves. Mother and Daughter were not back at the inn as of yet. Poor Tony donned his innkeeper uniform which consists of his DeWalt Cordless drill and a bucket of screws, and climbed into the 2 foot high interstitial space between top and bottom floor.  He crawled on his belly (and this man works-out, he is no string bean) and fastened and secured the pipes.

He finally came down the ladder with his back scraped up and red and asked "Where is the advil?"  Throughout the night the noise was gone, we were pleased.  We awoke early to prepare coffee and breakfast and there it was, again...oi veigh!

The fastening of the pipes solution did not solve the problem.

So tonight, as soon as possible Tony will be back troubleshooting this problem, again. I am sure while he is at work, probably focusing more on this noise than the routers and backbone engineering that is his daytime job in I.T. he will come up with the answer!
Virginia Dare at Smith Mountain Lake - a great way to see the lake!
The life of an innkeeper...this will tie us over until the next unexpected dilemma, of which is just around the corner...the good news is the guests were delightful, they are off to Smith Mountain Lake for a Virginia Dare Paddle Boat Cruise to see the lake, they also left us some CD's as one guest is a trumpeter! We are so pleased as our one daughter plays trumpet in The Franklin County Eagle Marching Band!

Life is too short for bad coffee...Shellie your innkeeper @ The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount, VA - Blue Ridge Country! You can book your room online at any time right here http://www.claibornehouse.net/

The Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast is 15 miles to three exits off The Blue Ridge Parkway.  We are located at the half-way point of this beloved road in Virginia, exit at MP 121.  We were awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor - click here to see our certificate.