You may or may not know this. This month marks our 15th Anniversary as the innkeepers and owners of the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast. It’s hard to believe that 15 years have gone by.
So many people ask us how we decided to become innkeepers and, more pointedly, how did we end up in Americus, Georgia. As the Christmas season is the season of nostalgia, I decided to share some of our first impressions of Americus.
We were living in Tampa, Florida. It seemed everyone had a Lexus and a cell phone. We had neither. People seemed to always be in a hurry, moving quickly from place to place with a total lack of courtesy or consideration for those around them. There was a bar on every corner, everyone was in a hurry, and people shouted or yelled at each other with hurtful tones.
We had been exploring areas around the country looking for the perfect Bed and Breakfast to purchase and had told each other repeatedly “don’t fall in love with a house”. There are so many notions about the romance of innkeeping. We knew we were reinventing ourselves and wanted to keep our heads in the rational world. Our search took us to Colorado and Utah, New York. and Vermont. We thought we wanted to be in a ski area in the mountains. That was romantic thinking, on our part, coming from Florida… Things just didn’t work out the way we thought they should.
Then, we made our first trip to Americus. It was Halloween weekend. The first thing we noticed was that there was a church on every corner, as opposed to a bar. People smiled and waved with all five fingers. In the grocery store, a person would just say “Hi. How y’all doin’?” and actually wait for an answer. It was like the old favorite television show “Cheers”, everyone wanted to know our names, and everyone seemed genuinely glad to meet us.
The folks who owned the inn at the time were open, friendly, kind. and honest. And, although their vision of Bed and Breakfast was different from ours, they had done the major renovations and started the business. We did fall in love - with Americus, with the people, and with the house. Time felt different here. It seemed magical. We decided to make Americus our home.
Fast forward to the present time, we still feel the magic. We still do not have a smart phone (so please do not text us) or a Lexus. We believe in the importance of genuine interpersonal interaction. We consider each of our guests a gift, an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life for the better. And, they, in turn, have truly enriched our lives.
Susan and Kim