Happy Little Cottages By The Sea

Cottage Charm, Coastal Calm

February 2009

Happy Snowbirds!

Two of our favorite winter guests, Dick and Jane from Bethany Beach , Delaware ( note the t shirt!) enjoying a February winter day on Tybee. They were on the deck at Marlin Monroe’s- one of our favorite restaurants – on the deck over looking the ocean… makes you wish you were right there with them doesn’t it!
When you go, be sure to enjoy the very yummy fish tacos! This is the restaurant where I had the Paula Deen sighting!

Our first mermaid sighting of the year!

We are always interested in Mermaid Sightings from all over. This was sent to me by one of our regular guests- there are several cities around the country that have public art like our Tybee Turtle Tour. Norfolk, VA and Beaufort, SC are two cities that had mermaid public art all over their towns. I believe this one is from Norfolk, I sure hope it wasn’t from Beaufort since that’s only an hour away from me and that means I’d be this frozen as well! Enjoy!

The saga of my travels thru Technology over the years…

I’ve been staying with my parents in Florida the past two weeks. My step dad has had some medical challenges and we have since found my mom as well. I’m the only one in the family in a place where I can be here with them, yet still keep my business going. Fortunately I’m lucky enough to have a team of people ( our mermaid pod) who work with us and handle all our operational needs with the cottages and guests, so I can be working remotely with the reservations and marketing . My friend, Susan Jacobs who is taking a mini sabbatical from her career is staying at Dutton Waller and also jumped in and be a true help to all. Thank you team!!!
I caught a glance of myself in the mirror this week while waiting at yet another doctor’s office. I had my cell phone in one hand, my blackberry in the other, my day timer on my lap and my boat bag at my feet with papers. My Marriott friends who I’ve been reconnecting with via http://www.facebook.com/ will totally appreciate this….. a big part of our job in sales was travel out of the office which is why the company completely equipped us with the tools we needed to communicate while out of the office. Over 20 years ago, my boss at the time- Kevin Patterson- made sure we had exactly what we needed if a customer wanted to talk to us while out of the office. Kevin who was the man brave enough to ask the first President Bush and Bill Marriott for a job. He was in the military and working the White House- one of the young marines who was there for all the ceremonies and gatherings. He happened to help Mrs. Marriott at a White House function, she told her husband he should find that nice young man a job and before you know it , Kevin made sure that the President and the Marriotts had connected and when he finished his tour with the marines was working for Marriott! Sorry- long story but I loved that about Kevin!
ANYWAY- Kevin was the one that had us install the original car phones that remained attached in your car. He also made sure we all had pagers so our customers could page us, then we could run to our cars and return the calls from our car phone. Yes younger people reading this blog, that’s how we used to do it in the olden days! Of course as technology improved we moved up to cell phones, computers, then lap tops, and of course the original blue Blackberries. I left my Marriott career two years ago but I’m sure they all have iPhones now. I still love my Blackberry and carry the older model that has actually keys for each letter and the screen is big enough so I can see everything without squinting. When I purchased it a year ago, none of the stores carried this, you have to go on line to buy one… I realize this is like using a computer before Microsoft Windows, but I gotta say , for what I need, I love it.. I just googled Blackberry Older version to see if I could find a picture to down load and found there are pages devoted to people like me who love their older blackberries!!! I need to take great care of my little one because she is becoming an antique and hard to find.


I laughed when I saw myself in the mirror at the doctors office because for years when I traveled the country and world, this was how I worked. Airports, taxis, lobbies of customers while waiting. There was one trip from Palm Springs to LAX where my wonderful “brother and sister “friends from Marriott, Steve Conklin, Judy Stern and I ( someone else was driving) all were on our phones and blackberries the entire drive taking care of our customers. We laughed when we all realized this, but this is the complete norm for traveling and working business people. The great part about all that training is I’m completely able to work any place where I am planted. I had a guest yesterday tell me they knew I was out of town helping my parents and I was very quick to say ( maybe a bit too quick and I’m sorry for that) that me being out of town has nothing to do with the business. What I should have said is all of the above, that my wonderful years of Marriott training and traveling has enabled me to be any place , any time and carry on work. It’s just how we do things !!
Thank you again to my team for carrying on and thank you Marriott for training me how to work remote!

Angels walking among us on earth

Having now spent going on two weeks in Southwest Florida, I have made some very interesting observations. The area my parents are staying is called Port Charlotte. We are very close to a very charming little historic town called Punta Gorda and also close to Boca Grande. I hope the next visit to explore and visit both as my parents health allows but right now our days are spent in doctors offices, hospitals, pharmacies and the daily walk or two around the block.
We are in the land of older people. This entire area is geared around older people, their care and their lives. I have been completely amazed time and time again on how this area caters to and makes their living off of older folks. And even more amazed at how incredibly pleasant, nice, cheerful and helpful these people are in their work to help you. I realize this is their business be they doctors or grocery stores, but there is a true degree of caring here that absolutely amazes me…
My step dad needed a walker. Still not sure why doctors back north didn’t put him on one, but the Florida doctor ( and my sister) insisted this happen and what a tremendous difference this has made in his mobility. There is a reason why you use a walker. Doesn’t matter if you look old using it, it enables you to get around and that enables you to have a better life and that’s what it’s all about. When I went to the place that provides walkers, I met one of those angels on earth. There were a few people ahead of me, 80 years old was the youngest I would guess. Sienna Rose ( she had renamed herself) who worked in the store was so patient and gentle with each one, making sure she repeated herself so they understood ( not like they were children, but like they needed help with this over load of info) When it came time for me, she treated me the exact same way. I’m certainly not a child, but the amount of info she needed to tell me, medicaid,medicare, prescriptions, costs – it just goes on and on and on… She set me up with exactly what my dad needed, including little skis that go on the front of the walker so it glides when he walks over carpet. Yes it cost extra, but they work and you know what- enables him to move around…
I have such respect for these people, be it the doctors offices that are kind and helpful, the pharmacy who tells you exactly what you need to know ( pill management tools is another entire industry….. but completely needed) to the people at Mr. Marvin’s who cut hair and trim nails. Not to mention Pete’s where they serve early bird specials daily , know everyone’s name who walks in the door ( they’ll know our names before we’re done here) and even more important, know to ask how so and so is doing, if they need anything, and always hug the older folks sitting by themselves before they leave. Sometimes human contact, a touch on the arm, hug around the waist is the whole reason they come to Petes… ( it isn’t the food…..) They all want to take care of their older clients but they understand they have become a little family here.
My dad got his hair cut at Mr. Marvin’s . Mr. Marvin has moved back to South Carolina but his shop and name lives on. Barbara the Barber cut his hair. She loves her clients, she loves her orchids and she just loves life. She does a great job and if you ever are in this area, for a treat stop by the shop! She’ll be very excited to see herself on the blog!
I’ve said for a couple of years now I’m looking for my old person home. I’ve found the destination in Tybee I do believe, but Mermaid Manor could not be that home. Too many steps. There are ways to adjust that by installing a lift ( and I’ve actually kept space in the back yard to do just that) but right now , if you are old, you’d have a hard time visiting me. I do believe that Tybee and Savannah are great communities to be old. We have not only old people living here, but families and all ages. We have a large community with lots of things to do even if you aren’t mobile. Keeping your mind active is extremely important. Most of all we have the island mentality of taking care of each other and as I saw at Pete’s restaurant, that may be the most important necessity of all…
Home soon back to the island , my dogs and my little world!

Look at my beautiful orchids!!!



What a different orchids make to a room! Still in Florida, the sun has come out and it’s beautiful outside. My parents vacation rental needs some “mermaid cottage fluffing” and what is better then fresh flowers! Orchids are sold EVERYWHERE down here! In Walmart, in Costco, on the street corners, farmers markets and the prices are tremendous. I purchased 4 for what one or maybe two would have cost me back home. Look how gorgeous and look how they brighten the rooms!

When I come back the later part of March to take my folks back home, I’m hitting the orchid farms located south of here… one of the street corner sellers slipped and told me that’s where they buy the flowers!