I can’t say when the thought of opening my own bed and breakfast first came to me. It could have been early my marriage because Roger, my husband, knows everything about how to restore, repair, and maintain old buildings. Or maybe I got the idea during college when, to keep that feeling of family around, I started cooking for friends and catering for strangers. Or it might have been when I lived in a big, upstate Victorian with seven young ladies, who quickly became a family.
Do we build our dreams on our childhood experiences? If so, that’s when this dream began. Growing up, my house was chaotic, loud, busy, hectic, and wonderful. There was always something cooking on the stove or in the oven. Friends never knocked, just walked in and joined the crazy. Luckily, Roger’s childhood home was similar. Big families are great teachers.
My parents, Jean and Duane, set the hospitality bar high. They were experts at entertaining because they loved having company. Everyone who came to their home was treated like family. From an early age, we learned the magic that good food, beautiful décor, fresh flowers, and candle lit tables could provide. And there was always laughter, much laughter.
Over the past forty years, Roger and I have worked together. Roger restored historic buildings and created beautiful spaces for communities and families to gather, and I continued to plan and execute any number of events from church socials, and weddings, to rock concerts and celebrity presentations. It has made for good practice.
Building the dream wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for our children. Years ago, our son Matt found the perfect property and moth-balled it. Over time, he seized every opportunity to salvage kitchen appliances, cabinets, and high-end fixtures and furnishings. Our daughter Meg has kept our accounting in order, spear-headed our website, supported our vision, and made several trips halfway across the country to keep us on track. It takes supportive family and friends. We are blessed with both.
A good friend once told me, “Don’t hesitate when opportunity comes.” It took time for the stars to align for this family adventure, yet here we are, launching a lifelong dream. It’s been a year since we took that deep breath and jumped in feet first. We’ve had great help from the City of Genoa, our neighbors, our subcontractors, and our financial supporters. And we are excited to open our completely remodeled home, to guests from near and far, in hopes of making many friends, and dreams of calling them family.
Located in the small town of Genoa, Illinois, our home features three fully remodeled guest rooms, new bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen, a cozy library, and a room for relaxing next to a fireplace. Additional niceties include, private parking; home brewed specialty teas; full breakfast, with home baked goods, fresh fruit and a special entrée; fresh baked cookies and milk; robes; luxurious linens; as well as locally made chocolate truffles. All this is within a short stroll to the award winning local winery and restaurants. Explore our local forest preserves, biking and walking paths and our seasonal farmers market.