If you’ve ever stayed with us at the Kalamazoo House B&B, you probably noticed that the Breakfast Room (at the front of this big house) is a fair distance from the kitchen (which was added on to the BACK of the house).
If you haven’t been here, this picture will help illustrate. The breakfast room is at the end of the Main Hall, around to the right. The kitchen stove is probably three times that distance back behind where this picture was taken.
Yesterday morning, as I was making what felt like the 53rd round trip to the kitchen during breakfast service, I wondered — not for the first time — just how far I walk on a busy morning. I vowed — also not for the first time — to get a pedometer and find out.
As I deposited dirty dishes at the dishwasher, the epiphany: “There’s probably an app for that!” And sure enough, there are many. I chose one called Free Pedometer GPS+, downloaded it to my iPhone, quickly did the small amount of required set-up, stuck my phone in my back pocket and continued the regular routine.
Unfortunately, I learned a hard lesson the first morning. Since the pedometer is on my phone, if I take a phone call and then LEAVE THE PHONE SITTING ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER, even my fancy smartphone with its fancy pedometer app can’t figure out how many steps I’ve taken. Okay. Point taken. You must actually carry the thing with you.
This morning, on a busy New Year’s Eve morning, I was ready for the real test. I figured it was cheating to include my commute to work, so I didn’t even turn on the pedometer until I had walked the 30 or steps from our apartment in the Carriage House to the kitchen. I wouldn’t want to be accused of padding the total!
So for the next 4 hours or so, I ignored the pedometer and went about business as usual. I set up the coffee station on the hall table, checked the tables in the Breakfast Room, and set up another table or two in the Parlor. I lit the fire in the Breakfast Room and the candles on the tables. I prepared the fruit course, and carried trays.
As our guests came down — all 17 of them over a 2 hour period — I chatted with them and discussed what each of them had selected for breakfast. I made countless trips back to the kitchen to fetch juice and let Chef Terry know special requests for toasts and breakfast meats, and then again to carry plates to the tables. I refreshed coffees and teas, and checked to make sure guests enjoyed their breakfasts. As each group finished, I collected dirty dishes and glasses, cleaned placemats, and reset the tables.
Back in the kitchen when guests were finished, I did my share (along with Terry and our helper Alison) of getting the dishes washed and dried and put away, and the kitchen cleaned. I also logged some time on the computer checking emails and Facebook and helping guests with plans for the day, which of course wouldn’t add even one step to the distance total.
It’s 11:15 am. We’re not actually quite finished yet with cleaning the kitchen, and there are still some guests lingering long over coffee so their table isn’t totally cleaned up, but I had to check the pedometer to see where I stood. Ready for the results?
248 calories burned
Not bad, huh? All without leaving the house. And keep in mind this doesn’t even include stairs, since all this has been done on the first floor. I haven’t been upstairs yet to check on room refreshes, or to ready our final room for check-in this afternoon. Since this is a 4-story house (including the basement) and our apartment is on the 2nd floor of the Carriage House behind the main house, I usually log plenty of steps up and down in the course of a day, too.
Inn-keeping is a great gig, for so many reasons. I never even considered, when we bought the Kalamazoo House B&B 5-1/2 years ago, that one of those reasons would be the amount of exercise I’d get just doing the “breakfast” part of “Bed and Breakfast”.