Monday afternoon, a gorgeous spring day, I hear the horse and carriage going by our front door, I hear the driver talking about our historic home. The passengers are not wrapped in blankets. I guess spring is here. The phone rings and I book a reservation for this upcoming weekend for one of our newly renovated family friendly cottages, yes another sign of spring. Guests are going to the Sea Dogs this week, it must be so. Spring has sprung. Cottage 6 our two bedroom unit is booked all week. Saturday, we are planning to set up the front porch with the outdoor furniture. Mabel’s Lobster Claw has opened. Perhaps it won’t be too long before we can serve breakfast on the porch. It must be so…we survived our first winter in Kennebunkport and in a few days we will celebrate our first anniversary of owning the Maine Stay Inn. The reservations are coming in for summer and we are beginning to welcome back repeat guests. We look forward to seeing old friends and new and enjoying the gorgeous Maine spring and summer.
No, we were not eating PIE in Atlanta, but we were instead ingesting
information galore at the Professional Association of International
Innkeepers annual conference, commonly known as PAII.
Last September, when I was beginning to grasp the complexities of inn keeping,
I arranged for us to go to the PAII conference. Although my background is in sales and retail management and Walter’s in sales and accounting, it seemed like a good match for inn keeping. We quickly learned that we desperately needed more knowledge and training. The PAII conference provided us with the opportunity to take four days of classes in Internet marketing, record keeping, cooking, customer service, and Quick Books. We recharged our souls by acquiring new knowledge and meeting fellow innkeepers also dedicated to providing exceptional stays for their guests. When we committed our money for this conference, it seemed like a huge investment and perhaps unnecessary. Now I fully understand the value of PAII, and I look forward to implementing some of our newly learned skills in hopes that we will be able to provide our future guests with better than ever getaways. We are constantly learning here. Our friends who think we are only changing sheets and cooking are so wrong. Everyday we have new surprises and challenges, but more importantly, we are constantly learning how to improve our offerings and to provide fabulous experiences for our guests.
Judi the Innkeeper always thought it would be great fun to be a restaurant critic, so now she has deemed herself “restaurant critic of the Maine Stay”. Judi has made a new commitment; she will suggest to her guests and on her web site only restaurants has been to. Since Judi and Walter purchased the Maine Stay in May of 2008, the focus of restaurant visits had initially been limited to Kennebunkport and Kennebunk. The first restaurant that Judi and Walter thoroughly enjoyed that was slightly outside of Kennebunkport was Joshua’s. Monday evening in late February was cold and uninviting, however the evening spent at Joshua’s was completely welcoming. The dining experience was special for two reasons, not only was the food fabulous, but the company unparalleled. Two guests at the inn, who had came to freezing Kennebunkport to get a taste of winter from Belize were truly a delight; it was the first time Judi and Walter had ever dined with guests and the evening will always be remembered as exceptional.
Joshua’s in Wells, Maine is in a 230 year old home that features old brick hearths, wide pine floor boards, and Indian shutters, with accents of contemporary touches making for a comfortable dining experience. The meal obviously reflects Joshua’s commitment to freshness, we ordered appetizers, entrees, and desserts and everything was fabulous. Judi’s only regret was that she had not dined there earlier and that she had deprived her guests of the knowledge of this incredible restaurant.