Grazing in the Grass

Grazing in the Grass
One member of our Deer Family

Sunday, March 18, 2018

To Retire or not, that is our question!

Seems like the average length of time running a Bed & Breakfast is around 10 years. There are many B&B's which have operated for many more. Ben Lomonds' Fairview Manor Bed and Breakfast is certainly one of those, we have been in business since 1986. Granted my Mother ran the B&B until she retired in 2005. We have been at the helm since then and always wonder when it will be time for us to officially retire. After 37 years in the Airline Business and an additional 13 running the B&B, it seems like 50 years of working, it is time to hang it up.
So we question ourselves ---- how much longer? Wouldn't it be nice just to have the B&B revert back to our house. Not that we plan to run around naked, we just want to be footloose and free. 
I think our grandchildren would be happy, but, would we? We do enjoy meeting new people and seeing how thy enjoy being surrounded in our grove of trees. Tranquility and the quiet always makes us smile. So, we will continue at least through 2018 and reevaluate the retirement question in the fall. 
Wishing you all a wonderful spring!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Goldilocks - Part 2

Too hard, too soft and just right can also hold true for mattresses. 
This isn't a hard (no pun intended) subject for me, because I am very picking and prickly when it comes to "my" mattress. The very last thing I want to do is to lie down on a mattress that isn't supportive. I want a good nights sleep. So I expect a good nights sleep when I am at home and keep my fingers crossed when traveling. Rarely have I been disappointed when I travel.

I would venture to guess that about 95 per cent of our guests have no complaints about our mattresses. We flip the mattresses on a regular basis and if there appears to be a problem, the mattress is replaced. 

So, my advice is, ask me! I will be able to tell you what I think of the mattress in a particular room. We have absolutely no problem changing you to another room, if available. But, above every thing else, we want our guests to have the quality of sleep we all want and need. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Goldilocks Part 1

We all remember the Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears ..... 
For the purpose of this blog, a new tale of Goldilocks and the Three Pillows!
For all the traveling I have done over the last decade, I know that I stayed in places that I wished I had brought my own pillow, but, since I usually overpack, my pillow stayed on my bed....So, I dealt with it, no big deal, right?

Unfortunately, not all our guests feel the same way .... Do you have pillows that aren't as hard, or too soft? I try to mix the pillows up on each bed, to give the guests a choice. Why? Because, we all like choices. However, I do occasionally find myself switching out pillows for our guests. I realize that everyone's comfort is different, so we do try and be as accommodating as possible.

Solution? If you truly love the pillow you sleep with ---- Bring it with you!
We promise not to be offended ---- We just want you to be comfortable.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

To be a B&B or not, that is the question!

Recent reviews of Fairview Manor lead me to believe that there are some guests who are not quite sure what a Bed & Breakfast actually is. The vast majority of Bed & Breakfasts are homes that have the owners/innkeepers living on the site. Whether they live in the main house or another house on the property. The concept started long ago with the Boarding House. Where the owner needed the extra income and rented out rooms and provided meals for those renting rooms.  Admittedly, I was in the dark about Bed & Breakfasts until I started traveling to Ireland and the United Kingdom, many, many years ago and found the Bed & Breakfasts to be a great alternative to hotels. I liked the informality and appreciated the hosts helping with my travel plans. This is what I try to do here.

Rarely are homes built to be just a Bed & Breakfast, they are existing homes that have been converted to individual rooms (most with ensuite bathrooms). Depending on the size of the house, the rooms can be quite spacious or small. There are some Bed & Breakfasts that do have a shared bathroom, but those Bed & Breakfasts note that in the description of the rooms.  When Fairview Manor went from a residence (1983) to a Bed & Breakfast, there were only three bathrooms for five bedrooms. In the conversion to a Bed & Breakfast, two additional bathrooms were added. Fairview Manor has been a Bed and Breakfast for 35 plus years. We enjoy what we do!

Since the Innkeepers live on site (many counties/states in the USA require this) they are available to assist the guests 24/7. We know the area and can offer suggestions, etc. We also try to make sure our guests are comfortable and enjoy the area, but we aren't mind readers. If there is a problem, it is best to address it immediately and not let it fester. Please don't presume that we don't care, because we do care, but, we can't help if you don't tell us. What might be good for one isn't necessarily good for another. 

The Bed & Breakfast industry has changed over the years. You will find well stocked amenities in the bathroom (unless I forgot to double check, but you can always ask for it), hair dryers and fluffy towels. Innkeepers go out of their way to make sure your dietary restrictions are adhered to.

I continue to travel and stay at Bed & Breakfast Inns. I enjoy meeting the Innkeepers, other guests and seeing how their Bed & Breakfast compares to mine. I am always looking for new ideas and love it when my guests offer their compliments and suggestions. 

So if you want to stay at a Bed & Breakfast, I say welcome to our home! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Best Routes to Fairview Manor B&B

Guests have been asking about road closures and how they can reach us. Best news, roads leading to Fairview Manor B&B are open....However, the very best route coming from the North, would be the Coastal Highway (CA 1) to Highway 17 to Mt. Hermon to Graham Hill to Highway 9 and then onto to Ben Lomond...Coming from the south, I still would recommend Highway 1 ....
Highway 17 is operating, but on a limited basis. One lane road for about 5 miles, try and avoid during commute time! Highway 9 from Skyline (CA 35) is a good alternate for those coming from the Bay Area....
We are advising our Guests to turn onto Main Street versus Fillmore due to 2 pot holes on Fillmore..

Friday, February 17, 2017

We asked for rain!

After 5 years of not enough rain, the skies have opened and as of today Ben Lomond has received over 72.5 inches of rain for the season to date. The San Lorenzo River is the highest I have ever seen and we are ever so very grateful that the B&B sits at least 150 feet above the river, so there is absolutely no way it can raise that high. There were some very brave souls who tried kayaking in the river during a recent storm and fortunately the Ben Lomond Fire Chief is an expert in saving them from the river.
Our resident dog, Murphy has been running around the property in her purple rain coat trying to figure out why it just keeps raining. She is still chasing those pesky squirrels - I think she is bored and just wants to play with them.
Though Santa Cruz County has been hit with mudslides, our roads are clear. Spring is only a month away and fingers crossed all the bulbs that have been planted will start to bloom

..... as a footnote, the final rain count for the season ending 6/30/2017 was over 100 inches of rain

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Wind Surfing/Kite Surfing Waddell Beach, Santa Cruz CA

While driving back from Half Moon Bay on Sunday, I was totally gobstruck by the kite and wind surfers at Waddell Beach! There were so many out enjoying the day, good winds and surf sets. The colors were incredible! The amount of people out on the water was awesome and parking was at a premium. So many out enjoying the three day weekend and glorious weather. If you are coming to the West Coast, you truly need to drive the Coastal Highway and spend some time at Waddell Beach. I promise you will not be disappointed.