When one throws off everything comfy and familiar and moves to a new region to begin a new chapter, the expectation is to run into some things outside of one’s comfort zone. It’s just part of the deal.
But there’s one terror I didn’t see coming. I’ve been “asked” by the Boss to……….YIKES!……..WRITE A BLOG!
Welcome to Liz Gullbergh’s first ever blog attempt. I was happy the topic was “suggested” and doubly happy the topic was one I am interested in BUT I am veering off topic. The original idea was a blog about Lake Erie Wine Country and how it is through the newcomer’s view… but I just couldn’t get past the fabulous Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast Inn itself.
I’m Liz Gullbergh, the new Assistant Innkeeper. I am a food service professional with a culinary degree and 20 years of rich and varied experience in the trade. Yet, from even before I embarked on my culinary career, I had both a lurking desire to be involved in the bed and breakfast segment of hospitality and a notion that I would both enjoy it and be very good at it. I don’t know why I waited so long to find out for sure.
But here I am. The last seven years I lived in Norfolk, Virginia but I’m a tried and true Jersey Girl, actually. A very fortunate Jersey Girl because much to my surprise my resume got some traction among some B and B owners and
Grape Arbor, my first choice for several reasons, somehow decided to give me a shot.
Farewell to Norfolk it was, a fine city actually, and the unbearably humid, hot, long southern summers replete with saber tooth mosquitoes.
I had done my homework and poured over images and info online but in one respect the images weren’t quite true – the Inn is much more beautiful and is in possession of much more je ne sais quoi than pictures can convey. My expectations were pretty high but reality exceeded them.
First the Inn’s curb appeal – approaching the two twin red brick Victorian Mansions, highlighted in white trimming and accents. Two white wooden rocking chairs beckon on the front porch of one building. There’s an attractive sign with a grape vine in front announcing the business of these two stately buildings. Neatly trimmed lawns and well planned and executed flowering landscaping abound. Down the long driveway to the back and there are more fantastic flowering gardens, a flowering arbor, a swing for two, nice lawn furniture and a lovely patio.
In we go! Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast is an entity to itself with a “personality” all its own. It is at once a credit to Peggy Hauser, Owner, Innkeeper, Pastry Chef and Breakfast Chef Extraordinaire, and yet quite apart from her. I am sure you will just have to come and stay with us to really get it but…….
Grape Arbor does indeed generally have the smell of baking cookies and homemade bread baking wafting through and through. That’s often augmented in the early mornings by the smell of sizzling bacon.
Each room and suite at the Inn have their own private bathrooms, flat screen TVs, king and queen beds with locally crafted mattresses that are an amazing combination of firm support and sweet softness. Each suite has its own appeal and each is carefully appointed resulting in an elegant yet very cozy and comfy atmosphere. My current favorite is Isabella with her burgundy jewel tones, king bed, fireplace and exit onto the outside patio.
The common areas inside of the Inn are remarkable in appointment, amenities and ambiance. They include the sun porch, the dining room, the parlor, and the library. Again, each is set and decorated in such a way that rests on the fine fulcrum of elegant yet comfy, relaxed and inviting. The furnishings and decor are stylish, tasteful antique and vintage, and yet always one feels the inclination to relax, sit down, linger a while. My favorite spot is the library as it is surely one of the Zen-est placed on earth. Soft, beckoning sofas, a walnut round table and chairs for those who need a hard surface for their crossword puzzle endeavors, a huge fireplace, tons of books, magazines, DVDs, videos and games and ALWAYS seasonally accented.
One of the best parts is the fact that the Inn is always host to the most amazing guests and staff.
In case your curious about how the live in Assistant Innkeeper lives, I enjoy a huge apartment over the kitchen with a fireplace and a walk in closet. Far from my fear of being jammed Harry Potter style in a small space under some staircase. Again, the reality exceeds the expectations in a very good way. But that is just the way it is here at Grape Arbor…………..my wordsmithing cannot bring it to you. You simply must come and experience it for yourself. See you soon!