Running a B&B has many rewards: it provides us an opportunity to share our wonderful property with others, it fosters our social acumen, it allows us to share our story and to hear the story of others. And that connection to people from all over the world is pretty awesome. We've enjoyed getting to know all our guests... some encounters remain skin deep while others cross the line into a genuine, caring friendship by the time they leave. This is what happened to us this week.
Krista and Dave arrived on Monday for four nights and five days. They flew in from Oregon. They both work crazy hours and hadn't had a break in quite a long while, and they were long overdue. They needed a place that offered some much needed respite. And they chose Hush Valley Lodge to decompress. We spent a great deal of time with them because we found we had so much in common.
We learned that Dave has a passion for roasting coffee and brought us a bag of his own batch (how generous is THAT!!). He was particularly interested in going on the coffee tour in Santa Maria... it did not disappoint (it never does). They enjoyed exploring San Marcos, too. They went to the Catarata restaurant, which has a lovely waterfall and good food. Oh, and Krista brought me the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (one of my favourite writers), which was amazing. I read it in two days flat.
By the time Friday rolled around, we felt like old friends. You can read their guestbook comment here.
Our week has been busy with more fish selling and more B&B guests. However, it was made even busier and filled with anxiety two dog episodes.
1. Last Saturday, our little Frankie was feeling under the weather. A bit lethargic and just not herself. By Sunday, she was throwing up and we noticed she also had diarrhea. She wasn't eating or drinking. On Monday, she was still vomiting and there was now blood in her liquid poo. She was a mess. She would wake Kevin up at least three times during the night, asking to be let out. Bless her. (Thank goodness for Kevin waking up because I didn't hear a thing and slept through it all). I took Frankie to our San Marcos' vet on Monday morning, but she was not in that day. I took her back on Tuesday, and our vet was in, but didn't have the medicine on hand. She checked Frankie and determined that her organs were swollen and causing Frankie pain. The vet was able to give her some pain relief medicine, but asked if I could bring her back the next morning for antibiotics (because we're not busy, right?). But it's our Frankie, of course I'd bring her back. On Wednesday, I left at 6:30 am to be the first in line at 7 am. The vet gave her a shot of antibiotics and then gave us something like Gravol to alleviate the vomiting (Yay! Maybe Kevin would finally get some sleep). But the vet also gave us a one-time dose of this stuff that is meant to clean out any parasites or infections or whatever might be causing her illness. Boy, let me tell you... that stuff worked like a dream. Within a half hour of syringing the dose down her throat (just to make sure she swallowed it all) she was showing a certain perkiness. And she got better. All her symptoms disappeared. That stuff was some kind of magic potion!
2. And if that wasn't stressful enough, Bobbie McGee went missing on Wednesday. It's not unusual for her to roam during the day, but there were men working on the telegraph post at the entrance to our property, and the last time Kevin had seen Bobbie, she was hanging out with the technicians. After about an hour, we hadn't seen her around. We called her... Kevin whistled the "come now" signal, but nothing. Kevin hopped on the ATV (quad) and went to Martin's restaurant, then up the hill, then drove down all the way to Copey... then back up to La Trinidad, then back down to Copey for a second time. We were both a little panicked. She's so friendly that it's not an impossibility for her to follow someone up or down the road. Although she roams, she's never gone for long periods of time without coming home and checking in. This was worrisome.
A few hours later, the technicians from earlier drove down our driveway, honked the horn, and delivered our Bobbie. Her collar had been taken off. The men handed her to me and said they had found her somewhere in Copey. I was relieved that she was okay. She licked me and appeared just as relieved to be home again. Phew. A few minutes later, Kevin came back from his search and I was able to give him the good news. We're still not sure what happened exactly, but we're glad she's safe and not hurt. She's been staying close to home ever since.
I completely forgot to mention in my last post that we saw a danta last Tuesday!!
I was inside the house baking bread and getting things ready for our B&B guests, who were arriving Tuesday afternoon. Kevin was outside transferring the fish from one pond to another. The dogs were outside, too, and suddenly there was a mad, chaotic barking concert... something was upsetting them. It got louder and louder and more intense. Kevin came onto the terrace and looked across the river to see what they were barking at (sometimes people fish in the river, which sounds the alarm in our dogs). Well, I heard Kevin yelling at me to come out. I ran out and we saw this guy (well, not this exact guy because I didn't have my camera and he was too fast, so I borrowed this image from the internet)...
This is a danta - a type of tapir - almost like a land hippo with a anteater snout. They can grow to be 6' long and 4' high. The one we saw was smaller... but not by much! There was a dog on the other side of the river chasing it, and they both landed smack in the middle of the river... the danta took off down the river. We know we have dantas on the property, we see their dung and hoof prints, and Kevin has seen one once not too long after we first arrived, but I had never seen one... until last week. It was very exciting. They are herbivores, so not a danger to us... their size makes it that they charge, so you don't want to be in their way... other than that, there's nothing to fear. I'm thrilled that I got to see it. I don't know how I could have forgotten to write about it, but I did. Sorry.
So true to Kevin's word, he, Martin and Jairo transferred the fish from the big pond to the pond in front of the guesthouse... then they spent approximate four hours cleaning the big pond before transferring 1,000 trout from the gallina (hen) pond into the big pond. And while this was all happening, we were also catching fish for Roberto (on Monday) and our other client (on Tuesday). It's a good job done!
Oh, and on Thursday, we acquired another 3,000 fingerlings!! We're up to 12,000 trout now!
We were also hosts to Ali and Corey from Maryland, U.S. They were super nice people. It was their first time fishing and Corey declared himself 'the worst fisherman' in the world... because it took him all of 10 minutes to catch his (which isn't all that long, but seemed to think it was taking forever haha). We had so much fun teasing him about it.
We welcomed Wendi and Laramie as our B&B guests on Thursday. I picked them up at the Santa Maria bus station and I'm dropping them off tomorrow morning. I've been cooking their dinners and they decided to have trout twice: on their first night... and on their last. Wendi had never fished before so today she decided to give it a try. And like a pro, she caught this beauty...
Just before Wendi and Laramie arrived, Kevin made this bench so that our guests have a place to sit and admire the waterfall garden. With this vantage point, we can see the waterfall on the right and the river on the left. It's a great place to be perched and feel the serenity of the surrounding nature. I love this bench! It's rustic, but really comfortable, too. And two people can sit side by side and have a conversation. Yay, Kevin!
Tomorrow we'll be catching and gutting 100 fish... and 80 more on Tuesday. Then Kevin will be draining the big pond and transferring the trout from there to the pond across the guesthouse. Since the large pond will be empty, he, Martin and Jairo will take this opportunity to clean it. Kevin and Martin will select the trout in the 'gallina' pond and transfer 1,500 of largest ones (out of 3,000) into the big pond, giving them more 'elbow' room to grow. This process will take two full days.
**We are using four ponds at the moment... the small pond beside our huge cedar tree is called "cedro" pond (that's the pond where the small trout go after they've been in the concrete container as fingerlings)... then a little further down, there's a pond next to the chicken coop, so we call that the "gallina" pond (gallina = hen), then there's the largest pond on the property, which we call the "big" pond (pretty obvious, I know) and the one in front of the guesthouse is called the "casita" pond.
And all the while, more guests arrive on Tuesday afternoon. And so it goes. We feel very blessed indeed.
I've not had a moment to spare the last week so I'm a little late with my blog post. We've been hosting B&B guests non-stop, but the administration portion is keeping me on my toes as well now. We're getting lots of inquiries, which I do what I can to respond as soon as possible to answer all their questions. I'm organizing tours and making lists of who wants what for dinner. It's not difficult, but I have to give it the attention it deserves. And I really like doing it.
We haven't sold any trout over the holidays, but we're back at it this morning. I have to go get ready to gut and clean 100 fish. Martin will be here to help me, which is a relief. It goes much faster with two people. We'll be catching fish every Monday from now on.
Bobbie McGee has been barking up a storm the last few nights. This morning, Kevin witnessed either another dog or a coyote up on the ridge of the pasture. Bobbie is a great guard dog and she's very protective of her territory. I think she's happy she has a 'job' to do.
Guests arrived late yesterday afternoon and will be with us until Wednesday. Better go and be a good host.
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Dave and Krista are a couple from the Pacific Northwest that led overwhelmingly busy lives.
Click here to pick up your copy of Anne's book! It's all about their adventure and the establishment of Hush Valley Lodge: from leaving their middle-class suburban lifestyle in Canada to reinventing themselvess in the beautiful mountains of Costa Rica. Check it out and if you enjoy it, please spread the word! Thanks!