Chapter 24: Island Innkeepers
Yes there are chapters in a book, and so are there chapters in the book of life. I am currently on chapter 24 in the book of my life, with hopefully 24 chapters to go. This chapter took place as innkeepers in Friday Harbor, Washington… What a chapter it was.
Arriving on this little island in June almost 2 years ago, we hit the ground running at the beginning of a hot tourist season. My husband Glenn and I relocated from the sweltering desert of Tucson, Arizona to fill the innkeeper positions here in the top left corner of the US. Our smiles were wide when we felt the crisp, clean air of San Juan Island. What a blessing it was! Tucked away in the extreme Pacific Northwest, this island offered so much personality, space and most of all clean, clean air. Coming from a large metropolitan area that is- how do I say- HOT! This was the cleanest of the clean. Breathe in and breathe out, take in the many vistas and the open green space surrounded by the freshest water. Need I say more? Probably.
It’s June. The “peak season” has just begun and here we go. Enter the San Juan Island Inn Collection. Wow! What a property, what a team. We felt truly blessed to be a part of the most wonderful work family ever! Cue Glenn and Susan. Tadddaaah, enter the new Innkeepers. Talk about hitting the season in a full sprint. But I’m not complaining, this is how you learn. Make mistakes, learn new things, meet new people, build new relationships… Let’s just say priceless memories were being made right from the get-go.
Let’s skip some pages for a bit, shall we? It’s now September and things are winding down. June looks like a decade ago. Oh, but the memories already made. Time to add to the team, cue Nikki our new Guest Relations Coordinator. Here is a position that not only makes the guests feel at home each and everytime there is an encounter, but fills the position of social media guru. These 20 somethings are really the bomb, aren’t they?
October rolls around, meaning “shoulder season” is upon us, time to do some deep cleaning. I don’t mean in the human department, but in the facilities. What can be done to make the guests feel like they’ve hit the lottery when they stay with us? Check on the amenities, update ourselves with
all the services on the island, including new dining venues, excursion updates. Everything we need to learn to answer all the questions from the many, worldwide calls we receive. Have I mentioned, our guests come from all over the world? Yup! They sure do. That is the coolest part of our jobs, meeting so many awesome families here for pleasure, guests here for business. Never a dull conversation. Heck this is hospitality- the best industry ever!
“Shoulder season” comes to a close and the real “slow season” sneaks in. Our time for taking a step back is over and now we have to lace up the sneakers and get ready to do it all over again. Chef Jessica has sharpened her tools, Nikki has honed-in on her skills. Glenn and I are ready and we must not forget Korbel and Socket, our trusty K-9 team members. Let the games begin.
Time for Round Two
Fast forward through an awesome summer filled with fun and excitement. I will never forget our weekly vlogs premiering every Sunday. Oh my! Can you say, “what a hoot!” Woooosh! Another September upon us, Nikki heads off to obtain her masters. Enter stage right, all the way from Atlanta is Lindsey with her amazing skills. The videographer that dreams about making award-winning documentaries. First though, she’s stuck with me… Helllllloooooooooooo.
Time flies when you’re having fun, and that is truly what the “Island Chapter” is all about. Our owners, Anna Maria and Dave, have become the best of friends. Talk about great moments. Those weekly “clam bake” nights, even when there were no clams to be found. Westcott Bay seriously helped us most of those summer evenings, though. Can you say, “I’m sick of clams, mussels and oysters?” Heck no! Best in the area.
I can go on and on (and on) with our experience on San Juan Island. But to end this before you all head off to more important things, I want to take these last few lines to thank those of you who impacted this particular chapter in a huge way.
Hugs to Nikki, Lindsey, Jessica, Elsa, Cam, Maria, Maribel, Rosa, Civ and of course our fearless leaders and best friends, Anna Maria and Dave. The memories made will forever be written in our book of life and hold a special spot in our hearts always.
Thank you all, thanks to San Juan Island and thanks for yet another completed chapter in our book of life. Until next time.
Dance a lot, laugh often and remember: age is mind over matter. If you don’t mind… it doesn’t matter.
What was that you asked?
What is next for us? Well the Miesch’s are off to Meridian, Idaho for our next chapter. Perhaps an attempt on retirement. Not going to happen, I’m afraid. Susan will dust off “Red Girl” and hopefully hit the streets of Boise throughout the summer months, while Glenn watches over the fun-loving human statue with a heart. Days will be spent hanging with Socket, Korbel and the 123-year old Founder the cat. Life is good!