Monday, February 15, 2010
Was it always a life long dream of mine to become an inn keeper? Not on your life!!! In fact, it was a very random and impulsive decision made primarily by my husband, who just happened to love to cook. That hobby is what landed us at the Korner Kottage Bed and Breakfast in the quaint, little village of Suttons Bay, Michigan.
We actually first arrived in Suttons Bay by accident. Traveling to Traverse City was a popular destination for us. On a whim we just happened to go to Northport searching for a cottage that had been owned by relatives many years ago. I’m embarrassed to say, as life long Michigan residents, neither of us had ever heard of the Leelanau Peninusla. We were pleasantly surprised!!! M~22 is the most scenic route any where, ever.
As we set off for Northport, we happened through Suttons Bay. We immediately had to stop to wander the village streets and the marina/park area. At the end of the village on our way towards Northport, we noticed this cute bed and breakfast. Jim made a mental note of it and consequently began the quest to get a reservation in the summer. Much to our chagrin it was almost impossible to book a one night stay in the summer. Not to be defeated, several summers later he wore down the previous inn keeper and secured our reservation. (Only now to do we understand why it was difficult to get a last minute reservation here in the summer.)
Upon arrival I was dropped off at Hats and Haberdashery,(now Haystacks) my new “favorite” shop in the village, while Jim went on to check in. In a short time of introductions and chit chat, he had established that the inn keeper was possibly looking to continue for 5-6 six more years before looking to do something else. Jim~impulsively said, “Here is my card, when you are ready to sell, call me as I want to buy your business”. When this conversation was repeated to me I was shocked. We had never talked of this, and besides I was still teaching and well…not to worry…..she will never call us . But trick on us, she called us that winter stating she might like to sell sooner than she thought.
WE held off making final arrangements for another 2 summers, but eventually ended up selling our home down state as we acquired the Korner Kottage to become it’s new innkeepers in April 2006.
We have learned “enormously” about inn keeping since our first, naive summer season as inn keepers. We have the inn keeping “thing” down to a well oiled machine by now. We have been pleasantly surprised by how well we seem to fit into this world of nurturing and care giving.
It has enriched our lives in a way that is frankly, indescribable. Yes, it was weird the first few times we had complete strangers staying in our home. But now, it is an opportunity to meet new faces, and just another set of guests, who arrive as strangers but depart as friends.
We live like company is always coming and are better off for it. To share our home with strangers walking through our door is a gift we just can not explain. It is a wonderful experience that has expanded and enriched our life experiences. We get to witness the best of mankind here. We honestly have not had a difficult guest….ever. Besides, it’s a wonderful excuse to have a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table year round.