So now that my intro is accomplished, let me tell you about my shadowing experience. I arrived on a Thursday afternoon and was immediately put to work. I learned everything from how to make and strip beds, clean the rooms, check in and out guests and most importantly learned all about the breakfast!
Rise and Shine breakfast Service - I was exhausted after my first day, but I woke up at 6:00am the next morning to do it all over again! That morning the focus was on the breakfast aspect of a B & B. Making breakfast is the easy part! However, it can be very chaotic trying to make breakfast for the couples, when they come downstairs at different intervals. While trying to make breakfast, you are also responsible for greeting, entertaining, serving and clearing. The phones may also need answering for reservation details.
Over the course of the weekend I learned how to make The Blue Door's specialty breakfast bowls, which I so love. There was Baked French toast and omelets. My cooking skills have certainly improved after that weekend at the Blue Door! Once everyone is done with breakfast its time to clean up, take a bit of time for ourselves. A time to reflect on the great conversation, and the uniqueness of each on of the guests,. And a simple time just to sit back for a few minutes with an entire cup of coffee and breakfast of our own.
Darn Sheets - Then it is off to cleaning the rooms again and the laundry. I have never seen so much laundry! It’s like it never ends. I have to say; the hardest part of the whole weekend was learning how to fold the sheets the proper way! I can say with certainty, that when I do open a B & B I will hire someone to do the sheets!
There are bits of downtime throughout the course of the day for an innkeeper. On the weekend, the House is full with lots of activity. Just when you think there is nothing left to do, there is someting lurking to yet be done. Even at the end of the day once all the rooms are cleaned and the guests are checked in, it is time to prepare for turn down service. During my stay I did not have to bake any goodies for the turn down service, but that would be part of the nighttime activities. And finally, preparing for the next morning's breakfast.
Turn down service was fun. I enjoyed making the tray full of goodies to bring to the rooms. Every night but one night the guests were out. On the nights that the guests were still in their room I just knocked on the door and left the tray outside for them to enjoy. Then you get to hear the great comments of the treats left at their bedside, it is quite flattering.
For two nights of my stay, Roger and Cecilia trusted me to run the B & B all by myself! They went to stay on their boat with Leopold while I took over. I must say I was very nervous to do this, but all worked out well. Both nights were quiet!
I had a wonderful time and learned so much. I know now more than ever that this is what I want to do one day. I couldn’t have asked for better people to shadow. Roger and Cecilia were a wealth of information. I was so inspired after my weekend of shadowing that when I returned to New Jersey I took a class called ServeSafe. ServeSafe is a food handling/safety class that the city of Baltimore requires. Other cities may require it too, but it varies from place to place.
I can’t wait until my next visit to the inn and get another turn at the Blue Door.