Come a Stranger, Leave a Friend

I have always been a social person.  As a 2nd grade student, I remember the teacher throwing a chalkboard eraser at me to try to get me to stop talking.  With people as one of my passions, moving into the bed and breakfast business was going to be a great fit.  It is like entertaining, but different since you are always meeting new people, or so I thought.

This past weekend, nearly 12 and a half years in the business, the rooms were filled with not just guests, but friends.

One couple received one of my very first gift certificates, a purchase from his dad as an anniversary present.  This became an annual gift, so they came often.  Then, a few years ago, the entire family came to stay booking a whole house rental.  I was able to meet kiddos and their parents.  I truly felt part of the family that weekend.  Coming from 4 hours away in Missouri, they have stayed enough times that we’ve built a relationship.  After we greeted one another with our hugs, she was excited to hand me a local craft beer from Missouri she thought I’d enjoy.

Guests Friends

Another couple, living only 3 hours away in South Central Nebraska, has been visiting since 2010.  Typically they bring their puppies and love to stay in the Roost in the Barn.  On a recent stay, they shared a video of their granddaughter, photos from their son’s recent wedding and the excitement of a second grandchild soon to be born.

Coming from Omaha, just an hour away, this third couple booked a stay early in their relationship. Now, they book multiple times a year to celebrate their anniversary and birthdays.  Sometimes they invite me to join them for a round of golf or an afternoon conversation on the porch.

For all three of these couples, our friendships have grown immensely. Now, we ask about one another’s families, share stories of our travels, discuss house projects and most importantly, when we’ll see each other again.  You can tell we care about one another and sometimes even get into the meaty stuff, not just the surface topics.

Two is better than one, but one is better than none

Together these three couples have spent 100 nights at Whispering Pines B&B!  How is that possible?  Well, I often say “Two is better than one, but one is better than none” when encouraging people to return or expressing how it was better for them to getaway for just 24 hours instead of not getting away at all.

Something special happened this winter…all three couples booked the same weekend, something that just made me think, “This is cool!”  I know their food preferences, how they like their coffee and prepare their favorite breakfasts.

I understand that not everyone can come as often as these couples do.  Life happens and people get busy with work, their kids’ events and caring for aging parents.  I have guests that come back year after year, but some it’s after many years, but it’s just neat that they do come back.  We must be doing something right!

As I look ahead at the calendar, I have reservations on the books from many return and new guests.  I invite you to visit Whispering Pines B&B; come a stranger, and leave a friend.