The idea of being an innkeeper all started to form about 30 years ago. My husband and I purchased an old farmhouse that dated back to the late 1700s. This house was gorgeous, with a lot of character and so much charm. This is also the same house we raised our three sons in. It had four bedrooms and plenty of space for all of us, but cozy enough to feel very much like home.
The bones of this house were strong and beautiful, but it needed everything cosmetic. The avocado-colored appliances and bathroom fixtures, bright pink and green flowering wallpaper, shag rug in the living room and up the stairs, all had to be replaced. We took many years renovating the entire house and enlarging the kitchen and enclosing the breezeway, which added more square footage to the house. We added a huge deck off the back of the house, we installed a huge pool and deck in the back yard. Those were some very busy years for all of us. The boys all were involved in school sports, renovations, and kitchen additions and I was attending nursing school, it was exhausting.
We kept going full steam ahead because our dream was to make this house a Bed & Breakfast when the boys were grown and moved on. I planned on entertaining in the back yard, having glorious breakfasts in the dining room. I imagined of meeting people from all around the world, sharing travel stories with our guests. But, just as the boys were growing and starting college, the economy in our area began to fall. Our dream was put on hold while my husband moved South to be where the jobs were. I stayed behind, continued working as a school nurse. The boys were off at college in different parts of the U.S. My husband and I saw each other almost every weekend. Holidays were spent at the Farm House with our sons and now daughters-in-law and granddaughters. After three years of living apart, I finally made the decision to retire as an RN and move South to be with my husband. Fortunately for us, our sons decided to move South as well, keeping our family within distance of one another.
I kept my dream of owning a B&B. I believed the economy would come back and we would live happily ever after in our Farm House B&B. That was not the case. Sadly, very sadly, with many tears shed, we sold our beloved Farm House. This was something I never thought we would do. This was our “Forever House,” the house with so many wonderful memories and so many more to be made. This was where my grandchildren would spend their summers learning how to garden and swim and climb trees. How was I to know that the future had a bigger plan? The day of the closing, my oldest son called me to make sure I was holding up ok. He said, “Mom, I know you’re sad. We’ll always have the memories from that house, but we can make new memories at your new house.”
He was absolutely correct.
A year before selling the Farm House, we purchased six and a half acres of wooded land only 2 miles from the beach. A dream come true, especially if you love the beach as much as I do. Here is where the new memories will be made.
So, one Sunday, my husband and I sat down and I showed him the drawings that I came up with for the new house. He loved the layout and the general concept, but he wanted a bigger house. That’s when we decided it was time to finally have our B&B. My drawing of the new house now had red pencil marks all over it. We enlarged the guest rooms and added an extra guest room. We made the living space bigger to accommodate our guests. Of course, the kitchen needed a little extra counter space. The laundry room doubled in size, and now had 2 washing machines and 2 dryers, perfect for all that laundry I was going to be doing. The patio around the pool had to be big enough for all our guest and their lounge chairs. The driveway was made to have plenty of parking. The list kept getting longer, the house kept getting bigger. But, my husband being in construction, made all our plans and dreams a reality.
We love traveling and absolutely fell in love with Italy. Of course, we loved the people and their food and the scenery. What caught our eye, though, was the architecture. The beautiful designs of the homes and the simplicity of the interior. We learned that molding, either crown or base, was an American design. So, we chose not to include that in our home. Then there’s artistic tile throughout the homes. So, we decided to include that in our design as well. We also were drawn to the stone and stucco exterior of the homes. We were fortunate enough to find highly skilled and talented masons.
So, here I sit in my beautiful Tuscan Style home, 2 miles from the beach, living the dream of being an innkeeper.