A good friend sent me a wonderful essay about family reunions. It struck a chord with me because we will be departing for a family reunion in California in just a few days. Since I was a child our family has gathered in just one location. There is much to say about traditions, especially when it comes to family.
There is also something to say about familiarity in a location. I know of many B&B’s that host family reunions and often it is the same family group that books the entire inn on a regular basis. They feel welcomed and are comfortable in familiar surroundings.
I recall years ago visiting an inn that had just hosted a family reunion. The last guests were leaving as we arrived. There were half packed bags, ski equipment and toys strung about on the staircase and a general look of last minute departing frenzy. I recall that the innkeepers were so cool and easy going amongst this disarray. I also remember them saying that this was this family’s 10th visit. Yes, the inn would take a lot of extra cleaning and in general putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, but they would not change it for the world. The innkeepers would turn the inn over to the family for the 3 to 4 days and leave them to enjoy their ‘little interval of time’ to be reunited.
As an aspiring innkeeper or seasoned one I hope you will or have experienced the satisfaction of hosting family reunions at your property. Your inn can become that timeless location where time stops for a while, a place that is or will become special and familiar.
Here is a great quote about a family reunion at a B&B.
“Our group of 20, ranging from 5 to 72 years old, took over most of the inn for a long weekend. “Charles and I visited six or seven times and said what a great place to have a family reunion. The rooms are beautiful and there are a number of suites,” explained Mary. “When you go to breakfast it’s like the movie The Big Chill, everyone is laughing and singing and talking and getting to know each other.” Storytelling was an important aspect of the gathering. What’s important about a reunion,” said Mary “is feeling comfortable in an intimate, casual place like home. Hiltons and Holiday Inns don’t have the same feeling.”
The author of the essay had just left his own family’s 10-year reunion that took place over the 4th of July. He ends with this well written philosophical phrase; “In the long struggle with time, the family is the only clock we have to follow our own passage within it, and occasionally stop it. Relationships fixed early remain fixed, and then all together we watch nightly fireworks.” Yes it is nice to stop time for a short time and no better than with family.
I could go on and on but I must start packing.
Thanks for Listening,