Saturday, March 29, 2014


  The Oregon Coast has to be one of our favorite spots to work. It's so beautiful and when we are not on the job, there are so many fun things to do. Kirk loves to go mountain biking and has some secret spots around Cannon Beach that I have never tried - too tough! He always comes back dirty!

Walking on the beach is much more my speed. Cannon Beach itself is about 5 miles long and all of it is just lovely so, when I get any free time I love to just stroll....

Of course sometimes it is so windy that you really can't get anywhere! This day however was just stunning - brave little kids out in shorts - and I was carrying my parka. Gotta love it!


Haystack rock [the biggest sea-stack in front of Cannon Beach]  is a Natural Tide Treasure and sometimes you can see lots of these fat, colorful guys. You have to go at low tide and peak under all the rocks to see where they hide . Fun!

Of course I do love to go "COASTIN'" with Kirk when I can... now this is my kind of biking... a paved path that runs by the ocean and through the forest at Fort Stevens State Park. It's so beautiful there and of course there is a pic-nic in my bike basket! Boy do we know how to live??

                                                     Where is your favorite bike-path??

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Smart Start

 In my opinion, the key to being a good [sometimes GREAT!] Interim Innkeeper is to be really well organized. Kirk is a  hard worker and great with the guests but in our team - I'm the queen of organization. Every day I write out a list of how many we have for breakfast and what we are serving, how many rooms are to be tidied and how many to be cleaned and then how many new guests we are welcoming that afternoon. Breakfast is of course where it starts and since I am not naturally a morning person [DARN] I do as much "prep" for breakfast the night before as is possible. This is what I call my "Smart Start".

Each of our properties is different and the amount and type of prep that each inn allows is different but if possible we always like to have at least one pot of coffee ready to go so that we can just punch a button first thing when we get to the kitchen. If we are really lucky our inn will have a pot with a timer and the coffee is ready when we show up. Kirks part of the "Smart Start" is the coffee. We always work with what each inn prefers but one of his favorites is "Seattle's Best". It better be good because guests who stay at B&Bs do expect GOOD COFFEE - right??

For a B&B breakfast the food must be as fresh as possible so you can not do too much cooking the night before but there are some dishes that can be "preped" and then refrigerated to be baked in the morning - what a smart way to start the day. These are my famous Baked Pears ready to spend the night in the fridge. Well they aren't really mine - I stole the recipe from the Hood River B&B Association. I'm sure they won't mind if I share it with you so here it is:

Hood River Baked Pears -

  Take one really nice pear - as you can see I like Red Anjou-
  slice it in half and scoop out the core, slice a small part off the sides so that it will balance.
  Spay a pan with oil, place pear half's in pan and sprinkle with really good granola - homemade is      best- sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.
  Refrigerate over night and then bake at 375 for 20 min or until pear is soft.
  Serve with vanilla yogurt and more cinnamon/sugar on top.

One key to a "Smart Start' is to set the table the night before. Most of our properties encourage this as it is attractive and gives the guests something to look forward to. Actually, setting the table is one of my favorite chores at a B&B. Its always fun to play with someones china and sliver.

                  How do you start your days? Just don't tell me you sleep in cause I'll be jealous!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Frozen Fun!!

                   OK, call us old-fashioned but one of the things we love to do in the winter is -
      We take our skates [L.L. Bean Comfort Skates - the BEST!] with us everywhere we go in the winter and when we get a chance we strap them on for some FROZEN FUN!! So I thought I might share photos of our favorite skating spots. This one is at Devil's Thumb Ranch in Colorado and we skated there after a day of nordic skiing so we were really tired but after skating we went in to their lodge and sat by the fire with a glass of wine. Perfect ending to a great day!


This tiny rink is in the town square at Grand Lake Colorado. We skated there after a day of shopping and then we went back to the mountain cabin where we were staying and built a cozy fire.

This little pond is in the village center at Copper Mountain Ski Area. We ended our day of skiing with a  a little bit of skating there while the sunset and the lights came on - so pretty!

Evergreen Lake is my absolute favorite place to ice-skate. It has been voted "one of the 10 best outdoor skate venues in the US" by Sunset magazine - and you can see why. It is a big lake that is almost all maintained for  skating. The day that we were here it was so warm that we sat on the deck of the lovely log lodge to have a pic-nic lunch. Can you say "FROZEN FUN"?

Another ski area - Winter Park - so after a day on the slopes we hit the ice for a little more Frozen Fun. These seals are intended to help children learn how to skate but Kirk had fun pushing me around on on one!!

 This little rink is in the town park in Grinnell Iowa just a block from where my parents live. So, while visiting them, Kirk and I would take off to ice-skate. We enjoyed ourselves even though it was COLD COLD COLD!! I love the charming gazebo behind the rink and I loved the nice classical music they had playing for us while we skated.

Here Kirk is on a 5 acre lake at 9,500 ft - Keystone Resort - this is another one of our favorites. The restaurants on either side of the lake have rubber matting laid down so that you can keep your skates on, skate over for pizza and then skate back across the lake for dessert and cocoa. What a perfect way to spend an evening!

But Laurance Lake holds a very special place in my heart because it is just a few miles from our home in Oregon . My daughter and I are skating on Christmas Day and we are having a blast! Note the matching mother/ daughter skates.

So, how do you have FOZEN FUN??