Friday, September 21, 2007

Ciao from Tuscany

I am posting this blog from Castello di Meleto in the Chianti region of Tuscany where I have been for the past week on a cooking tour. The scenery is absolutely breath taking. I am here with Lili and our New York YaYas, Louise and Gerry. We also met a most elegant lady from Paris who is now part of our YaYa group.

I am having a most relaxing time with good food, great wine and surrounded by wonderful people. I visited the Terrabianca vineyard who furnishes wine for the Auberge in hopes of ordering 18 liter bottles of a different wine for our weddings.

Today is our last day in Chianti. Soon we will be eating lunch 'Tuscany style' outside overlooking the beautiful hills of Tuscany.

Yes, life is good.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I survived!!

Here I am one day to take off! Yup I have managed to pack a suitcase, get my weddings organised, meet the staff and have a one of my panic fits over the weekend. The staff will be so happy to see me get out of here. Last night I had to do a political dinner thing. Our representative in the assembly had awarded Gerry a medal from the National Assembly for his lifetime achievements in the service industry and fundraising for our local hospital. She asked if we would attend this fundraising dinner for her last night, so of course I said yes having nothing better to do…

We were seated at her table with the minister of tourism for Québec so I had a chance to talk to him as president of Hotellerie Champêtre about online reservations and the labor situation (lack of personnel). I have always enjoyed dabbling in politics as my closest friends know, but in these times I do not envy them in the least.

Now back to the trip. My New York Yaya’s are leaving today for Florence and we shall join them tomorrow. I had a thing about flying on September 11th. It is also a special birthday for someone I care deeply for, so I am glad we are here to help celebrate.

I shall try to keep my blog up to date while on vacation, so stay tuned….

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

How time flies!

It is such a hot and humid day today, thank goodness the salt water pool is still open. Normally I take Thursday’s off since I work Saturday and Sunday, but do not misunderstand me, a day off does not mean I get to stay in bed.

I did manage to catch the film « Little Miss Sunshine » this morning before coming down for coffee at 9h30 this morning. I felt lazy and in no rush to start the day after being awake for part of the night due to a roaring thunder storm that passed through. I kept thinking that I should go and bring the horses in since they were still in the paddock. By the time I got the nerve to do it the worst had passed so I rolled over and went to sleep.

We are always on the look-out for good employees. We have several that are back in school so I have to find new staff to replace them since I do not want the students working more than 15 hours a week. One young man has really matured since working here. I knew his grandmother and spent many nights at their home when I was in school. I guess it is payback time now. It is my turn to look after him since she has passed away.

The personnel is the hardest part of this business. Running an Inn depends on the best food and service so… the best people you can find. We have tried to create a large family atmosphere and so we sometimes have to deal with helping staff find lodging as well as dealing with personal issues. I could do without this part of the job but their happiness really does affect how they perform at work.

My day off today was settling a few issues of work permits, lodging, money and love lives!
I told you this job was far from boring!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The best laid plans...

I had every intention last night to get up early and make a lobster lasagna today. Amazing how you can get roped into so many other things and not get anything done! Sonia from the SPA has finally received all of our new Jane Iredale mineral makeup and wanted to do some « before » and « after » pictures of people. Since I have very sensitive skin and rosacea (means lots of red in the face) and since they think that I had nothing to do today but let them experiment on me, you guessed it, I was trapped into having my makeup done.

The pictures are incredible. This make up is so different from what we have used in the past. Being mineral based it is light and very effective to cover your spots without having your skin break out. I have been secretly using the foundation now for the past two months. I wanted to make sure that I liked it before recommending it it to others. I hope others will let me know what they think of this line.

Julie our wedding planner was in today to meet a couple getting married here in two weeks. All is in order and I am actually thinking that I should have taken a longer vacation! I have the best team ever! they can take over and accomplish more than I could ever have done. Buy the way, if you are reading this blog, it is because my new web site is up and running. The English site is soon to come. Lili has done a wonderful job and I am glad that we are getting some rest after this last project.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A day in the life...

Wow, Once again I am wondering how I can possibly leave the business for two weeks!

It is always this way before a trip. You think that you are indispensable and then when you get away you wonder why you worried so much and that you must not wait another year before doing this again!!!

I guess trying to organise 9 weddings while I will be away is a little daunting. Yup, I have 9 weddings going on while I will be taking cooking lessons in Chianti Italy! That is beside the day to day business that goes on while running an Inn, restaurant and Spa health center. My days are never boring.

I will try and get you acquainted with my crazy, mad, lifestyle. I hope it will be fun, I started a diary last year at this time called my diary of a mad innkeeper that I shared with my closest friends. They seemed to enjoy it so I thought I would share it with you.

I have one week to go before leaving on this trip, so I will share the day to day events until my departure and then again while I am on the trip. We will also have videos so I can take you along.

Until next time…

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