So hard for the money.
So, you better treat her right!!!
This anthem plays in my head every day as I am working so hard for the money at Il Cedro Bed and Breakfast. And, I love it. Everyone needs an anthem, right??
Now, six months later, we see what Katie meant!
I’ve had a few emails asking for some Il Cedro updates. So today, in part one of a three-part series on running a bed and breakfast, I present to you (drum roll pleeeeease…)
“She Works Hard for the Money.” (You know you want to sing along…)
A B&B owner’s job is never done. Really. Our 12-hour days start around 6:30 AM and, although we do stop for lunch (dad’s orders) there is always something to do. Peppe and I have devised a little system, however, that works well for us.
I, dear blog readers, am no morning person. I * hate * mornings. Well, not if you consider 9:00 AM the morning, but “6:30 mornings” and I do not get along. So, my sweetie, my love, my knight-in-shining armor does the pre-dawn shift. He wakes up at 6:30 AM and goes to the bakery to buy freshly made cornetti for our guests. He serves them coffee, prepares cappuccini, gives advice or directions, and visits with them throughout the morning.
I join him around 8:00.
We complete the breakfast rush and immediately begin cleaning.
I start with the breakfast mess and Pep heads directly to the bedrooms. He opens the windows to change the air, because, you know – they’ll die if we don’t, and he begins making beds.
For the next couple of hours we clean rooms, bathrooms, and common areas. We replace linens. We sweep. Someone opens the door and the infamous Catanzaresi wind blows through. We sweep again. Ditto. Ditto. We straighten the garden area and clean outside.
Then, the washing begins.
We wash bath towels, hand towels, bidet towels, kitchen towels…and sheets. Sometimes we even throw in a tablecloth! Those of you familiar with Italian dyers know the precision to which they work. For those of you don’t, an average-size load of towels takes 180 minutes to fully dry!
One hundred and eighty…
So, our towels, sheets, and whatnots are often put on the line to dry at leisure.
We collect them when they are dry, fold the towels, and iron the sheets and pillowcases.
Yes, yes…I realize ironing the sheets sounds a little, oh what would you say, finicky? But, they look sooo much nicer on the beds, and everyone knows – first impressions are everything!
We go back through the rooms to close windows, replace rugs, refill candy bowls, and lock the doors.
Throughout all of this we are making reservations, replying to emails, and assisting tourists with travel information. We are also handling phone calls…or, well, Pep is. On some days, we go to the store to replenish our breakfast or cleaning supplies.
One of us usually stays in the B&B until around 7:00 PM.
After that we head home (upstairs) and bake a ciambella for the next morning’s breakfast.
We haven’t had a day off for more than two weeks.
The last three nights we have fallen asleep by 8:30!
That is embarrassing.
Embarrassing, but true.
B&B’ing is hard work, but, it’s not all bad.
Stay tuned for B&B’ing Part II to discover the other side, and see why we do it.