Ever since the ice and snow storms hit the City of Cardinals, things have been very unsettled here at the Aleksander House. Traditionally, January is our very slowest month of the year. But because of the storms, we are getting call after call from local residents who have no power. The storms outed the power of aproximately 177,000 Louisville residents.
I am not the only bed and breakfast in Louisville. There are 14 of us, mostly in the "Old Louisville" preservation area. We all belong to the same organization, the Louisville Bed and Breakfast Association, and when we fill up with guests we always refer to each other. So the calls were from both other Innkeepers and locals.
Our check-in time is 3:00 pm or after. Check-out is 11:00 am. Our rates are based partly on how long people are here. The confusing part of all this is that people without power would check in and then, when their power came back on, they would leave, sometimes at odd times. People were coming and going according to their power, or the lack thereof. It was hard to determine how much to charge them. In addition, feeling guilty that I had power and they didn't, I struggled with how much to charge them. I ended up giving everyone a discount. The longer the power was out, the deeper the discount.
The phone was ringing off the hook with calls from freezing people, who had tried to tough it out in their icey homes in front of tiny fires in fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. They were desperate to have a little relief, a shower, warm hands & feet, and a home cooked meal.
My heart went out to my local guests, reluctant to leave their homes, their pets and their plants...... throwing a few night clothes and sundries in plastics bags (too cold to go search for the suitcase in the storeroom) and searching for warmth and comfort.
We did our utmost to make them feel at home; trying to turn our Inn into a safehaven for new friends. One thing they were all grateful for were our huge gourmet breakfasts. Today, we served a delicious Spinach-Mushroom Quiche, homemade Lemon Blueberry muffins, fresh fruit and sausage. (see "recipes" on side bar). They were delighted.