S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

The many roads to a B&B

Two friends of mine, both at one point or another medievalists, each married a man who works in the information technology sector. In the last two years or so, each decided that that was no longer the career route for him, and went off for intensive training in culinary school. Both men are now finishing up or are newly finished. One took his final exams a week ago; the other is working on his externship. Each is considering the possibility of starting a Bed and Breakfast in the next five years or so.

Up until the trip to Nova Scotia, I'd always stayed in B&Bs where the host couple had long dreamed of opening their own B&B. Some had toured their country to see what other B&Bs were like. Some did culinary degrees or spent years searching the property market for the perfect place and the perfect location. Opening their large new home to travellers was the culmination of a long-fostered dream.

This past trip, however, the B&Bs we stayed out emerged out of a different series of life choices. They came from the need to pay off a mortgage for large house. One property was bought by two artists as workshop and retail space, but was plenty large enough that, once the property had been acquired, opening a B&B was one of the most sensible uses of the property. The interior decoration was especially lovely there. In the other case, the family had bought a second house for their college-going son, and once his cohort of students was no longer around to let-to, they turned the property into a B&B to finish paying for the mortgage.

The different origins didn't make them any worse or better to stay in. Both had put a great deal of effort into the process of creating and running their business. Both had enough of a knack and a care for it that they were still in business, one after two years, the other after seven. Both were somewhat surprised I was interested in the story of where their B&B had come from, but that, you see, is one of the joys of staying in a Bed & Breakfast: getting to know the hosts and their stories, just as much as a B&B host is usually the sort of person who is interested in knowing other peoples' stories.

Or at least interested in cooking a really good meal for lots of appreciative visitors.

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