Friday, 28 April 2017

MILLENIALS, FOOD & FITNESS and how this near senior keeps in shape while running Spoiled Rotten B&B

Running a business and trying to stay in shape is a constant challenge.  My best motivation to keep fit is right after I’ve showered and weighed myself; you know the time, when you are most disgusted with the worst friend in the world who you keep in your bathroom on the floor?  That’s the time I should get on my bike to go work out.  It’s also at that time that I realize, I need to be downstairs creating a food masterpiece for breakfast for my guests and I can’t go anywhere, so I don’t.  By the time the guests have checked out, so has my motivation. 


I was recently at the gym working out near my daughter, who just achieved top provincial salesperson as assistant fitness manager in her national gym, and observed her enthusiasm and humour as she dealt with her latest customer.  I’m so proud of her work and accomplishments she has achieved.  They love her at the gym; she cute, she’s funny, bubbly, tiny, beautiful, like a miniature Thai princess.  No one should look that good in spandex or work golf shirts.  My only consolation is that I used to look that tiny once and one day she will turn into me and she thinks it will never happen if she doesn't want it to.  Mwahahahaha, that makes me smile, wickedly.
 
After the short exercise set, she told the woman ‘good job’ and raised her hand to high five.  I discreetly shook my head and said, you don’t high five older (50+) women;   men maybe, because they are just so happy to have a nubile young girl touching them and it’s part of the sport culture they grew up with…young people sure, but never older women. We think it’s dumb.  We would much prefer a verbal “great job” confirmation than the silly high five.  She hotly disagreed and said some jump to do it even if she’s not initiating.  

I thought about that and I think it’s because we are of a different era.  We don’t want to have this tiny person in authority over our fitness and weight to think we’re not cool.  We are so relieved to understand that when the young adult raises their hand, they are not getting ready to hit us.  The hand raise is not to fist bump, chest bump, clap or do a clever hand welcome maneuver or whatever else inappropriate our options are.  We know that not only is the high five the only alternative to not looking stupid but also that the instructor seems pleased with us but make no mistake, we hate doing it.  Pay attention kids.  We hate doing it, whether it’s at meeting, or fitness clubs or most places you can come up with.  You play a football game or baseball outside  with us and the play goes well, then yes, that is the exception to high five an older lady.  May you find out your adult child has just told you they are moving out- definitely a loophole to the rule! High five away.  I have an older female friend who hotly disagrees, but she is wrong. Case closed! 

Daughter shook her head in disgust and said “what would I know about fitness” and that got me thinking.  The audacity of her to think she invented exercise and how to do things properly.  I have been exercising for 32 years, since when I joined the military, and then always belonged to private national gyms long before we dragged the ankle biters in diapers to daycares at the gym.  We parents modelled fitness, healthy living and sports long, long before the children ever jumped on the band wagon.  Truth be told, they were young adults before they finally embraced the gym.  We had been eating healthy for years before they suddenly told us that we should have chicken and veggies, “which are good for us”, don’t cha know.  Lordy, they are the epitome of righteous and know-it-allness.  I think some think they should set up shop on the mountain top so peons like you and I will go to them for their precious advice. 

To add to my wisdom from age, over the last 32 years, I had been to more doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists from hell, Osteopaths and physiotherapists for fitness injuries than she could ever dream.  I have learned massage and healing from the best of the best because I always shopped around when I had insurance.  I have entire binders of exercises they have me doing if I throw out my back, my tennis elbow, my rotator cuff, my bum knee, bad wrist, cricked neck, and sciatica... I know what to do for most ailments, pulls, strains, and muscle booboos.  You tell me some symptoms and I bet I can hazard a guess at what you have or should do and then I see her teaching one of the stretches I learned years ago for shoulders.  Maybe I should be teaching cause we all know those who don't, teach.  

When she told me her elbow and forearm really hurt, and she was setting up an appointment for surgery, I suggested that it might be tennis elbow or carpal tunnel and to give me her arm so I could massage it near the elbow and adjust her hand for a good stretch.  She was in heaven and every time I went to the gym, like Pavlov’s dogs salivating, her arm would rise as I neared her, no not to hug me but rather to receive her free treatment.  I’m not just an old, wrinkly pretty face.  I know stuff too.
 
I have followed more fitness crazes and regimes from Stop the Insanity, Sweating with the Oldies, The Thigh Master, Atkins Diet, Cabbage Soup, and of course everyone knows the Lemon, cayenne, honey drink (that they think they created)…well the list is long, longer than she could ever imagine but now I’m obsolete, I know.  One time, (ok, 100 times) I get caught saying, “if you asked me if I went to the gym today, the answer would be yes.  I did.  I spent some of it in the massage chairs, the sauna, visiting with said daughter and once, so tired, falling asleep on all the machines.”  As if she knows everything. 

You’ll never find me on the treadmill without a good book or my preferred Kindle.  There’s always a workbook or novel nearby if I get bored, and works well in the sauna since I can’t bring my electronics.  I discovered that I need a special bag when I work out to carry all my stuff.  Yes, I’m the queen of Bag ladies.  

Recently I took an inventory of what was in it.   My kindle goes everywhere with me but if it’s running low on juice, I need my remote juice charger.  I have my cell attached to me at all times since I run the business and have to be on high alert in case the phone rings and a drop-in is moments away from arriving.  I also have my old I-phone with all the music on it since no one, and I mean no one can figure out how to transfer my playlist to the new Android.  Most annoying! And finally I have my huge Blue Tooth headphones which I won at a work networking event.  I only use these for about 15 minutes when I warm up on the rowers.  When I start a machine, I line up the Kindle, the I-phone and the Samsung cell.  I almost need a backpack cuz I have my hand towel, a handful of old ladies Kleenexes, a soft cover Readers Digest, just in case all technology fails, a workbook and pen if I’m on a stationary bike and having an inspiration, mini headphones if I’m on the big stepper, lipsol, and reading glasses.   I need to lift weights just to be able to lift my bag to go lift weights.  And she thinks I don’t know what I’m doing.
   

 Now I know my workouts are very basic.  I don’t want to be there but I’m nearing 60; cut me some slack.  I’ve done my time as a gym rat; now it’s maintenance.  If I didn’t ever go, I’d blow up from late night eating, leftover from the B&B dessert binge eating.   I tell myself I’m doing myself a favour by just eating all the junk food in the house so that I can get get rid of it.  There are flaws to my system, I know but I did go to the gym today and if you go midday, it can be so quiet, you’ll catch some of the best zzz’s  of your day getting some shiatzu while in “the happy chair”. The nerve of her thinking I don’t know what I’m doing in the gym.  The audacity of youth!!!


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Spring IS Coming, despite all the snow but the PC Cooking School Makes it all Better


Spring is coming

And this I am certain, or at least I was until I saw this view of my Spoiled Rotten Bed and Breakfast.  This is how mother nature greats my guests. How rude! I'm also a little horrified to realize that my shoveling skills might need some work for this "blue job".  


I know, it’s horrible to look at.  Not so long ago, there was a 5’+ snow tunnel for my driveway. This particular photo below is of my five foot tree that is completely obliterated.

I was almost ready to lose my sign if the snow didn't stop soon. When I saw this mess, a part of me cringed and said it looked so much nicer with all the snow.  I think it was at that point that the snow decided to return, because of meMy recycle box  is no more, hidden beneath the sign.          












  
Do you see the five foot evergreen hidden under here?                                                                            

I feel really bad about being responsible for bring back the fury of mother nature.  I should have been happy with the messy melt.                                                                                                                      
And then I took a PC Cooking class at the Innes Road Superstore in Orleans.
I met Chef Keith and realized it was not my fault at all, in any way.  He’s a wonderful instructor that all the dames love to heckle but he’s to blame.
He won my eternal adoration when he slipped only three of us newbies an extra slice of onion cheese tart that I would commit murder for.  Now, here is where the finger of guilt might point.  He admitted to us that the snowstorm is most likely his fault. [Total admission of guilt].  He put away his snowblower for the season.  I am not sure who is more culpable (him) but we both have to share some of the blame. 
It saddens me because he is such an amazing entertainer and cook, even with his beard that he asked our opinion about and promised us to shave then completely ignored his promise.  Are you seeing a trend here?  

Another thing, and I’m just guessing here but maybe he feels his class is getting slack in presentation.  Last week, he told us a video crew was coming in to film us for a PC commercial and interview some to be talking on the commercial.  Well, we got all dolled up and the beard stayed and the crew never showed up.  Do you think he just wants us to care about our appearances more and to get rid of all the track suits or is he really telling us the truth but I digress.

So what is worse, the clean lines of a driveway totaled by snow or the previous mess?  
 
On the plus side, the snow is going fast and now I can see most of my poor tree.  Repeat after me… SPRING IS COMING! 
 So make your booking to Spoiled Rotten B&B to watch the snow melt and take the cooking class.  

Classes are every Tuesday and they are a steal but filling up fast.  You pay $10 then get to eat what he cooks, and each person gets a $10 store voucher.  Win/win, you would think but really, that $10 voucher is an automatic $80 minimum grocery bill to me every single week.  Do you think they know this might happen?  Someone should tell them.  

Enjoy your balmy springlike 4+ degree weather Monday and Happy Spring. 


Friday, 17 March 2017

Spoiled Rotten made the Top 10 Bed & Breakfast list in Ottawa… Despite thinking, I COULD NEVER DO THAT!

My most recent guests just told me they found my name from the Trip Advisor Top 10 Bed and Breakfasts in Ottawa list!  This is fantastic news that I have worked so hard to achieve and what a long process it has been.  After I worked out most of the kinks of the job, I realized it’s mostly about attitude. 

I am at a time in my life where I am over 50, nearing 60 and can pretty much do what I darned well feel like, say whatever I want kindly and wear whatever the hell inspires me.  It pains my younger daughter and the other smiles and cheers me on.  I like to think I am living my life as an inspiration to others.  I know that sounds self-serving but after 25 years of marriage and now on my own for 6, I have learned stuff, tried stuff and been there, done than, much more than the average middle aged housewife has ever dreamed of. 

There was the year of trying everything once and I am ever so glad that year is over with.  I’ve been a voyeur to some pretty outrageous stuff out there on Meetup.  There was the 6 month solo trip where I learned to be alone and lonely. I’ve rappelled down waterfalls, 7 to be exact, racked up 25,000 km in one trip, hiked Thailand, driven a tiny camper van on the wrong side of the road, thru Australia, lived in the jungle in a rainforest in the rainy season with spiders the size of small dinner plates and lived to tell about it.

I run my business the same way.  I jumped in with both feet and did the business plan and started to renovate.  I’ve added workshops and paint classes, meditations, retreats and energy healing events, music and sexuality workshops; I know, I’m really out there but I love life.   

I joined a quiet coffee group for mostly divorced people and they were quietly staring at each other like “waiting for paint to dry”.  Before I knew it, we were talking about one of my favourite topics, sex after divorce.  I realized then how shut down, reserved, and scared most people are to move on.  They live in fear about what most people will think of what they do, like sign up for the adult sex classes.  Who cares?  This is your life.  You think people are talking about you?  Maybe they are, but most likely, they aren’t.  Most people are just so involved in their own lives, they might raise an eyebrow about what daring thing you have said or tried to do, but then they think, I could never do that and they move on.  I even catch myself telling people I could never do what they have just done when it is really outrageous, and then I have to remind myself that I have done that and much more.   

Most of my adventures come with a colourful story and end with “it was the worst experience of my life and never again” …and then I forget and do it again. But I know the stories inspire others, even if they are humorous and wicked.  I especially love to shock people.  I love to see their eyebrows raise and the judgment in their eyes…and sometimes, the wistful yearning for a life more exciting. 

When I said most of the time, people aren’t even giving your actions another thought, there is the opposite.  People are talking about you and that is great.  You have become memorable.  People will come to your funeral and talk about you.  I have house loads of people coming by for workshops and they are high energy and focused.  Unless you are dynamic, I probably won’t be able to remember who you are when we meet on the street and I apologize for that.  I think it’s important to stand out and do things that people will remember and talk about. 

Once, I went to a friend’s meditation music event and as we went around the room to introduce ourselves, I said, “Hi I’m Cathy and I have a bed and breakfast called Spoiled Rotten.”  Suddenly, one of the younger ladies there whispered in awe, “Are you that lady, the workshop lady?”  I was indeed, but I had no idea my reputation preceded me.  How funny to see yourself through others eyes.  I’d never seen her at my place (which means nothing with my memory) but I had made an impact on her and that made my week.

A fellow student on my government Entrepreneurial course met with me recently and while reminiscing, told me, “I think except for one other person on the course who was well on his way to a business in progress, you are running the most successful business in the group.  Wow, that’s awesome to hear.  I must remember to tell someone something like that to uplift them too.

I hosted a racy book club at my place and met a number of new people and continued to be the story teller of the group to draw out the members from their shyness and become actively involved and tell their stories.  When the topic is risqué, you have to learn to step out of your comfort zone or it’ll be one very long quiet afternoon watching grass grow.  Weeks later, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join a midnight snowshoe event in Gatineau with Couchsurfers.  The emails were flying back and forth and one young lady told me when she saw my name, she asked her mother, ‘isn’t that the lady with the B&B you were telling me about with all the stories and has done all those interesting things?’  Her mom signed up.  

The snowshoeing was tough and while the three of us lagged behind all the other 20 somethings running their late night marathon and leaving us in their snow dust, I could feel the frustrations of her being alone in the wood, struggling to keep up and hearing sounds that seemed like wolves.  She was nervous so I told stories to the daughter, shocking stories to liven up the night, stories an old grandmother with Alzheimer’s would casually reminisce to her grown children in her waning years and have them raise their eyebrows in shock.  She even laughed and said, “Mom, you should do that” but her mom said, “no way”.  Oh, I wish I could take her scared mom on one of my adventures. 

I loved trying to inspire the daughter to do some of the same stuff I’ve done.  I firmly believe it is the birthright and obligation of every single youth to travel the world and learn about themselves before they settle down to grow up and get a real job.  When my older daughter told me in tears, “mom, I just quit my job, got rid of my apartment, put all my stuff in storage to move with my boyfriend and we were supposed to go tomorrow but he just dumped me, what am I going to do,” I told her this.  “You have just won the lottery.  You have absolutely nothing tying you down.  Pack your suitcase and get your butt to the airport and just travel, see the world,” and she did.  She travelled the Far East and Australia for 2 years until she met someone and she’s delivering twins in mere days.  I’d say that’s a pretty awesome story to tell your kids, but I digress.

Most of these adventures that I truly don’t enjoy except for the storytelling aspect are there to challenge me, push me out of my comfort zone, to show to the 20 somethings that an old lady can do it too, (because in my mind, I am still 30ish) and I do it especially for bragging rights.  
I can tell people I stayed in a rathole of a youth hostel in the filthy belly of Bangkok in the dead heat of summer with feral cats running thru my room.  I slept in a satin, sweat inducing tube to avoid bed bugs from an ugly stained mattress with no sheets, to shock, both myself and others, and say but I did it and survived and to remind me to keep doing crazy stuff like that.  It keeps us interesting. 
I survived the Cranbrook flooding and almost being killed driving on a road that was closed and a river of mud washed out right behind me.  I survived two months in the jungle in the rainy season.  I survived the awkwardness of painting nude on the beach in a clothing optional retreat.  I survived swimming back after the tide left so I had to do the very long walk of shame to the shore without a stitch of clothing or water to hide me.  I held my head high and walked back like I owned this.  Inside, I was dying from terror that people would stare and talk but really, no one cared and if they stared, it was probably to say, I could never do that.  I want to be an inspiration but it doesn’t come without overcoming fears, barriers of the mind and self-recriminations and of course, the negative self-talk we all do.  

Sometimes, these adventures feed your soul, sometimes they inspire others and sometimes they are just great for business. Recently, after sharing travel stories, a happy couple staying for a romance package told me they found Spoiled Rotten when they searched the Top 10 Bed & Breakfasts in Ottawa and I showed up on the list.  I never actually made it to the top 10 of the list but they kept reading and there I was, #12.  I’ll happily take that endorsement.  I don’t believe I could be doing as well as I am without all my past experiences.  Shortly after I opened my doors to strangers, I remember two young men listening to all my stories and studying my wall map of all the places I’d been and they wrote in my Guest Book.  “Cathy, you are the coolest woman we have ever met.   Erin Brockovich and the ‘Eat, Pray Love’ ladies got nothing on you.”

For each of these crazy adventures, I pick my favourite, most outrageous events and frame it for my map wall of fame; of places I have been in the world.  This is one of my most favourite parts of my travelling.  Everyone in my family has the same 3’x4’ map and it’s a fabulous reminder of where I have been and where I want to go next and let’s be honest; it’s a great conversation opener for my B&B guests who have never taken a chance and say, I could never do that! At close to 60, I am living proof, you can! 

My map of the world and where I have traveled.

Rapelling the 7 waterfalls in Costa Rica


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Why Tapping Maple Trees Should Belong only to the Professionals

It's maple season time at Spoiled Rotten B&B  and I thought I'd jump on the band wagon.  Never was a thought more in error. The longer I am an innkeeper, and the more things I attempt, the more I realize how bad I am at certain things but I'm a disaster at mapling.  Yes, that is a new word.  I have exactly one tree and attempted to tap it last year.  I got a meager amount of sap and called it a day.  My friend Jon reminded me how wonderful it would be for me to have fresh maple syrup for my guests and I must admit, I got caught up in the whimsy of it all.  Forget that I'm drowning in paperwork and budgets and year ends....how long could it take to tap a simple tree and collect two jugs of sap a day, then boil them down and whatever else it all entailed?  Why, I even researched the best way to tap my tree and bought all the props, bells and whistles even though they are sold in lots of 20 and I only have one tree.  As most of my flights of fancy have turned out, I should not have bought anything or tried it again.  One flop was enough.  

Let's start with I love trees.  To take a drill and drill into the trunk for inches, well, quite honestly, it broke my heart and pained me to the core. I could hear her cry.  Unfortunately, I inserted the tap on a warm day and then it turned really cold and nothing happened.  On the first warm day, I was so excited to bottle up enough to sell and get wealthy from this get rich scheme but not a drop.  The next day, same thing, except for one tiny change.  The small tap I had used the previous year was dripping on the north side of my tree.  The massive wound I had inflicted on the sunny side of the tree was hemorrhaging tears of sadness.  The tree was soaked but nowhere near my drilled hole.  I researched how to fix it and Dr Google Death said to "put a cork in it", literally, and the next article said never do that.  You are putting a foreign substance in the wound and it will get infected.  Leave the attempted murder alone and it will heal itself.  The original person who encouraged me to just keep tapping; well I have his number.  He just wants all my trees to die and he alone will own the forest.  


A small part of me wants to try this one more time.  A small part wants to take the wine cork and stuff the hole.  All the voices in my head are telling me to stop.  You don't have time for this.   I have no idea what to do so I will do nothing and just keep getting my syrup the old fashioned way... from the grocery store.   

Thursday, 9 March 2017

March in the Capital – Ottawa 150 - 2017

Well, Ottawa has become a hotbed of excitment to party in 2017.  With all the hype of the Canada Table shared dining top chef event, I sadly did not get a ticket.  You had to buy in groups of two. Sigh!  Oh well, as my daughter always reminds me, some other more needy person probably deserved my seat….like a big corporation perhaps????   ;)

Well, last night made up for this crushing blow.  I excitedly anticipated the arrival of Red Bull Crashed Ice and while I like neither skating, nor the cold, the price was certainly in my visuals…Free!  I saw the canal being reconstructed into the raceway a mere few weeks earlier and it was fantastic to imagine.  Unfortunately, I imagined it going down the other direction of the Rideau and pretty much taking up half the city.  I guess its better that I’m not on the city planning committee because their setup made juuuuuust a little more sense than mine. 
I was coordinating with three other unrelated friends and that’s fraught with problems and millions of texts, and emails and Facebook.  I’m too old for all this social media tracking.  When I want to find a message I received, the steps I have to go thru to find it in every single program is daunting.  Quite often, it never does appear in any searches so I have to write the customers back requesting it again.  Ya, that’s professional.  Maybe I need an 8 year old on staff to do this stuff but I’m not sure I could handle the eyeball rolling. 

Back to Ottawa!    The grounds opened around 4pm and the race was advertised to start at 6pm so get there early.  Well, I layered up- a turtle neck, a long sleeved shirt and a hoodie, long johns, winter wooly sox, compression sox, a parka, hat, scarf, mitts and perhaps an airline shot…I said perhaps.  It was freakin’ omg cold but I was prepared.  Then, to add a little excitement, I caught a cold earlier in the week.  A wise man would have stayed home but this was a two day only in Ottawa event I could not miss.  Surprisingly, the crush of people was warming
The roadway to walk down the hill was wet and covered in ice, and treacherous.  I’m surprised they didn’t put gallons of road salt on that because I saw some epic near falls.  My friend was not allowed to climb the hill on the west side for taking pictures but on the other side of the canal, another death trap, they were all perched inside the fence.  Crazy but I bet the view was good.  Standing on the icy roadway was soooo cold on the feet.  I may have complained a bit in the beginning and was told to basically stifle myself; I was being a buzz kill.  How rude!  You know who you are. (see candy cane toque below)



 After waiting with nothing happening but videos playing and chatter, waiting from 5:30 until 7:30, our miss uppity manners was no longer on her game and wanting to go home too.  I just reminded her to "remember her warm place to visit". That was fun  and then I got to warm up in the Bytown Museum store while they gave out free popcorn.  I loooooove freeeeee!
It really was exciting being part of history in Ottawa.  I did see a woman texting on a phone that surprisingly still had juice in the cold and I watched a weird gush of fluids coming from her coat.  I told her she might be spilling her drink as she texted and she looked down to see that her coat was toast, totally drenched.  The bottom of her cup had separated and her drink was now empty.   She was beyond sad.  Her only night out on the town as a mom of three, all her medicinal drink gone and she had paid over $100 for the evening with childcare.  My heart went out to her; I could remember it all so well with my youngin’s.  I slipped her my hypothetical airline refreshment and she got all huggy and crying and laughing.  I think we both made each other’s night.  Now why do you keep getting me off topic while I’m simply trying to tell you a story?!
Watching the race was challenging.  All the best photo ops had volunteer security telling
 people to move on.
    
Every time we would find a “great” spot, tall people would stand in front of us. Before the event, a recon was done of Major’s hill park but pronounced blocked by all the construction vans.  The exciting end of the raceway was blocked so really, it was just a one second viewing of a hill that we could see.  Quite honestly, I was happier to see the Chateau Laurier lit up like the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany and the crush of people and just being there.  
I didn’t really care if I saw the race; I know that’s wrong to admit but it took too long, I have a short attention span, my feet were frozen and I had two boots full of toes that had broken off in the cold.  I was even content to only see the first two pre skaters zip down and then pack it in, but I didn’t.
                                                         
When my friend, you remember the big complainer, said she was going home, we walked her up to the top, and realized that thousands of early arrivers were going home as well.  My thoughts are, if you have told us to arrive by 6 and refuse to tell us when the start time is, people are going to get fed up and cut out early.  Just be honest with us; tell us we won’t see any action until 7:30 but enjoy the videos.   If we know we have an hour, we might go inside to warm up, spend some money and not fear missing the action.
With that said, we walked to a sports bar on Elgin, and realized that some of the screens had the same races going on INSIDE, where it was warm, oh so warm.  I glued back on all my toes and we also realized that the race actually has an entire raceway, not just two barely visible humps to go over.  It was actually exciting to watch indoors and groan along with the crowds at the stumbles and triumphs.  I think I’m glad I did both but the cold entered my being and stayed with me till late, late into the night.  So that was my Red Bull experience.  Did not try a Red Bull that night, or ever but I overheard someone wanted to and it was frozen in the  -25 degree weather.  Now  that’s cold!!!

 Now don’t forget the next two upcoming events:        
                              Mar 15-18- The Stanley Cup Tribute and
                              March 27-2 Apr- The Juno Awards

And remember to book your rooms early or rent the whole house.  www.spoiledrottenbnb.ca


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Business in the off Season at a Bed & Breakfast

We're back in business at Spoiled Rotten.  The phone has started to ring again;  I stared at it while a funny noise came out and suddenly I realized, I was receiving a call, for business, no less!  Until Valentine's Day, it is the quiet season for most of the B&Bs in Canada and I'm pretty sure I have seen  tumbleweeds rolling around in my living room and families of dust bunnies having potlucks under the beds. Wait, that last reference doesn't relate to the lack of business,  just that I need to clean better.  "Jury will disregard that last statement".  

I ended last season with the busiest October ever.  I traveled figuring who travels to Ottawa in November?  I knew it would be quiet because two years earlier, when I first opened the doors, I only had 3 guests in November but I had only been open a couple of months.  I've always assumed every November would be the same.  Google analytics proved me wrong, Very Wrong, HORRIBLY WRONG!!  My "quiet" month generated 1200 hits in November.  OMG!!!!! I will never travel again at that time. 

Christmas was surprisingly and blissfully quiet and I have really really really enjoyed the silence and done two months of paperwork, month-ends, year-ends and marketing.   For the longest time, I lived on high alert that the phone would ring, and  guest will say they are just pulling in the driveway.   Except for the odd booking at New Years and the Romance packages, I have now relaxed into it.  I have become so relaxed that I fear the worst... the phone will ring and I will have a disaster in my house and need to do tornado cleaning.  

Things are getting done around the house; cleaning, organizing, some painting.  I did rent out my romance suite to a man in transition and he was the perfect house guest but never again will I tie up that room for a longer rental.    Having someone stay longer in the house means I can no longer rent the entire house.  Having someone in the high end Romance rooms means all the high rollers will no longer have Romance or a private ensuite soaker tub at their disposal. A lesson well learned.   

It's interesting what you discover about yourself when you haven't lived with anyone for 6 years and suddenly, there they are...parked behind you in the morning so you can't sneak away to the gym, (or is that a pro?) parked in front of the tv when you are used to have your favorite shows on in the background, talking when you are used to working alone.  I had no idea how much I took my privacy and solitude for granted until it was taken away.  The rental was such a blessing and even more so that it came to an end.  

February, being my month for lovers, sent me some of the best ever guests.  You know you've won pay dirt when the 5 star reviews start coming in before they have even left.  That's when things get comical and the stoopid stuff starts to happen; you know, you forget to give them silverware or press start for the coffee but hey, doesn't matter.  They already sent in the review and I can rest on my laurels.  

March might be another quiet month before the season blows up.  I did see what Ottawa is doing for the Red Bull Crashed Ice raceway and it's going to be spectacular, altho it's hard to imagine now.  

This is the construction of Red Bull off the famous Chateau Laurier.

 Now with that said, I sure hope families get off their duffs to make their bookings and come to Ottawa for Winterlude before it's over with Feb 20th.  You're late to our birthday party of 150 years...ok, not technically late but we celebrate for the entire year!  Come to Ottawa to get Spoiled Rotten.


www.spoiledrottenbnb.ca 





Thursday, 9 February 2017

150 Reasons to visit Ottawa in 2017- especially for Family Day at Spoiled Rotten B&B

There are so many reasons to visit Ottawa this year and I'm hoping to enjoy the benefits of filling accommodations at Spoiled Rotten B&B when this city gets crazy with tourists.  I'm mildly amused that my sister on warm Vancouver Island is shoveling day and night with a continuous snowstorm.  That shouldn't fill me with chuckles but I kept up with the snow this year by myself and briefly overlooked a snow drift.  The freezing rain came and I am now the proud owner of a snow kingdom of my own, not so unlike the one you will find at Winterlude's Jacques Cartier Park.  They celebrate the cold and I'm ashamed to say, I curse it, just a little. I must chip it away before the guest come tomorrow.

Since Australia, I only leave the house when absolutely necessary.  It catches fire?  You might find me in the shower, which is a cold wet spot indoors while I hold my fire extinguisher to avoid getting dressed up for the cold.  I run out of food, don't you worry about me.  I have lots of canned and questionable stuff I can re-create into something I would feed my kids.  (what, me eat it? No way!!).  I need gas for the car.  Nope.  It'll be cheaper in the spring.  I only have about 6 more weeks to hibernate.  Move over bears; there's one more to share your cave.

I even bought cross country skies a couple of years ago and joined a ski group but I have yet to get out.  I did buy snowshoes and made it out once with a bunch of young bucks racing like wild fire was after them at midnight in Gatineau.  Not so much fun especially when you are always the oldest one in the group. If they had any respect for seniors, they would revere me and maybe even carry me if I lagged behind but they don't.  Rotten whippersnappers.

Now where was I.  Oh ya, call me and make a booking for your family to stay with me.  I'm such a nice person that I will even take your family members you don't want to have stay with you.  Even better, why not rent the whole place so you can all hang together for Family Day long weekend.  Before you even ask, yes, I do live here; my insurance company requires since I'm a real bed and breakfast in case you decide to do the proverbial bus pulling up to the house full of partiers for yet another Airbnb party.  Once!  It happened once and I hear about it all the time and now I have to be here because of those darned party goers.

Don't worry, you won't have to see me if you don't want to.  All you have to do is ask, "so what time are you leaving here to go home" and I can take the hint but if I duck out, who is going to give you the massage when you return home battered and worn after your snow activities.  Who is going to tell you how to run the bubble bath so the jets don't run a muck?  You want me there and I promise to keep you in stitches.

So click on these links and see when you want to come to Ottawa and have a pampering stay here or even a romance package.  If you are spontaneous, this link might lure you for Winterlude this weekend.

 https://www.ottawatourism.ca/ottawa-insider/things-to-do-in-ottawa-this-weekend/   or https://www.tourismeottawa.ca/les-coulisses-dottawa/quoi-faire-ce-weekend-a-ottawa/


http://www.ottawa2017.ca/150-reasons-to-visit-ottawa-in-2017/



http://www.ottawa2017.ca/events/signature-events/  Ignite 150

Make sure you bookmark these links when you are coming here and I'll see you soon.