Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the founding of the Girl Scouts of America (1912), the first women priests were ordained by the Church of England (1994), the anniversary of FDR’s first fireside chat (1933) and Austria was invaded by Germany in 1938.
Supposedly, the blog’s being sent Facebook and Twitter. I’m going to have to open a Twitter account in my new smarty pants phone to see if it’s working.
David, my new architect from Morgan Associates was over this morning so we could review the blueprints. He should have final copies next week and I can finally put it out to bid. I’m finally getting around to doing the loft, which da boiz and myself will be moving into and then we’re going to up grade my current space turning it into my 9th and final guest room here. David had a great suggestion with my problem with the chimney that’s pretty bothersome with the entrance up to my current space (it makes the lower hallway too narrow). He’s such a nice and positive guy, a pleasure to work with.
I finally figured out how to darken the lines in my rez book. They have reservation books you can buy for hard copy records, but for one thing I’m too cheap. Also, I started this before I found them and I certainly am a creature of habit, just ask da boiz, that’s why we get along so well. Dogs (and the owners of some Inns) do like their set routines. In my defense, with all that’s involved with running an Inn and dealing with the ever changing demands of my guests, it’s easier to know “the milk is on this shelf”, “logo pens are in that cabinet”, “the hammer’s over the workbench”, etc. But I digress, I finally Googled “Excel gridlines darker” and the solution was the first one to pop up. My problem with Excel’s default is the lines are too light for my eyes to follow across, particularly in the middle of the month for the rooms in the middle of the page. This will work so much better.
I was at The Mid-Atlantic InnKeepers Trade and Conference Show this week. First of all, I stayed at my good friends Myra, Phil and Alex’s soon to open The Stone Manse Inn. It seems that they will have a web site soon and be opening soon as well. They have the summer house finished (except for a few details their person guinea pig pointed out ) :) The summer house is the oldest continuously occupied structure in York County, it was built somewhere around 1736. They also have two more rooms just about ready to go. Myra’s working on her state license, so they should be good to go soon.
For three years I have been looking for small mugs for use in guest rooms. I want a smaller quantity size because I just have small coffee makers in the guest rooms. They are just an amenity so someone can have a cup while they’re getting ready to come down for my fantastic breakfast. :) So I don’t want 12, 14 or 16 ounce cups. Also, several of the rooms are tight for space were I have the coffee makers and I want cups that will fit everywhere. And I want them logo’d. At the conference, I found a family owned china company (anyone that knows me or follows my blog knows how HUGE that is for me) that has what should be a perfect sized mug both in quantity and shape. All china companies I have spoken to about possibly buying mugs from them have minimum quantities they will sell logo’d. I understand they don’t want to run eight mugs with my logo, I’m fine with that. What Maryland China does is charge you the set up fee all china companies charge, but they run 200 logo’s and I only have to buy the mugs in dozen quantities until the 200 logos are used up. Then I’d be assessed a new fee for more logos. I’m waiting on the set up price from them and will order as soon I get that. I’m so excited. I know, I’m so sad, it doesn’t take much to get me going.
I also made some very good new Innkeeper friends. Swapped stories and offered/got advice from other Innkeepers on how to deal with things. Some excellent seminars. One of my favorites was on microwave cooking. Mainly for energy conservation, I’d like to use my microwave for more than melting butter, blanching veggies and making hot water for tea (actually, I do use it for a bit more, but not as much as I’d like). Carol Evans from the Cape Charles Bed and Breakfast was very informative and kept quite the pace throwing tons of info out on recipes and microwave secrets.
By far, my favoritist seminar was by Vikram Singh, from Evision Worldwide on mobile marketing. That was a huge topic at the convention. Smarty pants phones are huge and getting huger. They will find my web site and navigate it like a left handed person using right handed scissors. You can create a new version of your web site that’s more mobile friendly. Vikram is extremely knowledgeable, extremely personable and presents his ideas in an extremely fun and attention catching way. It’s not been unheard of in my life where I’ve sat in a lecture and valued what I was hearing but was either having a hard time following the speaker or worse, staying awake. This guy is great and if you ever get a chance to hear him, I urge you to do so.
OK, lets go back to my good friend Myra (whom I attended most of the conference with) and a lady at a booth that owns an Inn in central PA. This lady said she knew Myra from my blog. How funny is that. Me in Pittsburgh, writing about my friend opening an Inn in central PA and another Innkeeper in central PA learning about it on my blog.
Another reason for me to attend this conference is I want rid of my current on line reservation system, Webervations. If you remember, whenever I don’t provide a hyper link to a company, like Walmart, it’s because I don’t like them. I don’t want to spend the time now whining about what a terrible customer service company they are now, maybe in a future blog. So there was three or four new on line reservation companies with booths at the convention. This one I go to, Innkeepers Advantage has two representatives, Cindy and Felix. I’m speaking with Cindy and she looks at me funny and asks where my Inn is. I tell her above Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and she says “I know you, what high school did you go to?” I say Peters Township and she says “Yes and then you went to Penn State”. I could have died. Me that don’t remember someone I met yesterday speaking to someone that remembers me from more years ago than I care to admit. Here she’s five years younger than I and when to high school with my sister Susan. We went to college together because I took five years off between schools for working stints and the army. She and Felix own their own computer company here in Pittsburgh, small firm, local…they have a good shot at me. I probably shouldn’t be exposing my weakness here, we’re meeting next week to finalize any deal we’re going to have. They have a very nice product, it’s just a good bit more expensive than what I’m paying now. We’ll see.
Miserable day here today. It’s rained/snowed all day and been all over cast, etc. And actually, it’s not supposed to get much better for awhile. But it’s time for me to leave the office and go down and be an Innkeeper. I’m sold out with several people on the sleep sofas. I need to make breakfast for twenty guests tomorrow. I think five of the rooms are Karen & Mike and Patti & Linus, repeat guests from last year and three other couples. They all have college kids participating in the robot challenge here at Carnegie Mellon University. Last night, Patti & Linus and D & Mark came in when I had two other guests sitting in the Parlor and I think all six of them when to the same college. Small world.
But I do need to go down to the kitchen and get busy. I have lots of prep to do. I’m making Fratatta for breakfast and there’s lots of veggies with my name all over them. Have a great one.