Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Who, Me???

There's a thief amongst us!

Sandy, our official meet and greet mascot has made many friends over the years here at Sandlake Country Inn. While not allowed in any guest areas, Sandy still is able to make many friends who look forward to seeing her each visit. Well, maybe not one couple who just left! After packing up their car to leave, they decided to take a little tour of the Cottage. When we got back into the parking area we noticed that their car door was open and laying on the ground outside the door was an empty restaurant food container on the ground. Our not so little "vacuum cleaner" who will eat anything found the leftover cake on the seat of their car and helped herself!! Hey, I guess she figures that anything in her reach is fair game. Fortunately, our guests had a great sense of humor about their loss. Don't worry, we'll give them some extra Sandlake Country Inn cookies on their next visit to make up for it.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Earth Day and Being Green

Thanks to Al Gore and his movie An Inconvenient Truth, going "green" is now mainstream. We have been using green practices for many years here at Sandlake Country Inn, but now with the help of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild's partnership with the group Sustainable Travel International, we'll be able to promote ourselves as a certified Green Establishment! We are currently in the process of certification. Be careful of those businesses who are "green washing"! That's the practice of just claiming they're green but are not able to provide proof.

Going "Green" doesn't have to mean that you can't enjoy luxury! In fact, most of our guests over the years have no idea that when they stay with us we are a "green" property.

Since we purchased the inn 7 years ago, we have made a commitment of our business practices to promote the sustainability of our planet's natural resources. Here are a few things we have done to help
  • Compost
  • Recycle
  • Buy locally when possible
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products with all natural ingredients
  • Use durable products instead of throw away
  • Use e-mail for most all business communications
  • All bubble baths & lotions are environmentally chemicals, all natural products
  • Purchase our lotions & bubble bath in bulk & provide each guests room with reusable glass containers instead of disposable travel bottles
  • When an appliance breaks, we've replaced it with an energy efficient appliance.
  • Purchased a TerraPass for each of our vehicles to eliminate it's carbon footprint
  • Replaced light bulbs whenever possible with florescent or LED blubs
  • Encourage our guests to reuse their towels if they feel comfortable doing so
  • Reusable grocery bags when shopping (Costco has great ones 3 in a pack for $4.00)
We will soon make Green Tags available to our guests who want to help mitigate the carbon footprint of their trip. Sustainable Travel International is providing U.S.-based Green Tags from the portfolio of activities managed by the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. BEF is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping stabilize our rapidly changing climate by providing high-quality, Green-e certified renewable energy certificates they call Green Tags. BEF operates projects that meet strict eligibility and performance criteria based on national standards.

We'll keep you up to date in future postings how the certification process is going and when we will start offering the Green Tags.


Sunday, April 20, 2008


This morning we woke up to snow! It always seems strange to me that it would snow on the beach. It was all melted by midday. I don't know about all of you, but I'm ready for some sunshine.

As many of you know, we have an abundance of wildlife in the area. Every couple of weeks Ron goes to the spring where our drinking water comes from. We keep the location of the spring a secret. It's quite a distance from the inn and is located on Nature Conservancy land. Our water is as pure as you're ever going to find. This area is an old growth forest and while there, Ron sensed he was being watch. He looked up and staring down at him from only about 20 feet away was a huge great western owl. Those birds are about 2 feet tall. He heard some chirping and looked in another direction to find another one! The chirping he heard must have been the babies and here was the Mom & Dad. They weren't nervous that he was there, just curious. What an amazing place we live!


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Plan Ahead for Mother's Day

Mother's Day, May 11th is fast approaching. Think about giving that special Mother in your life one of our Sandlake Country Inn Gift Certificates. They make a great gift and what Mother wouldn't enjoy being pampered with breakfast delivered!

This Mother's Day will be the first time in about 30 years I'll be able to spend with my Mother. Today we spent the afternoon with the moving truck, moving her near us. We found a lovely retirement community in Tillamook where the staff and residents have been so kind and are welcoming her with open arms. We know it's been a difficult transition, but are thankful to have her now living near us.

Whatever you do for your Mother, remember to make her feel special!


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sandlake Country Inn & Hummingbirds

It's great to be back home from the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild Conference. As soon as I got back here to Sandlake Country Inn, I heard that familiar sound......whoosh....the sound of those happy hummingbirds. After our terrible December wind storm, we couldn't find a hummingbird anywhere. The past couple of years they've been staying here all winter, but with the hurricane force winds we got in December they must have been blown far away from here. All of a sudden our little friends came back to eat our special hummingbird food. Then they must have told all their friends, because the number of hummingbirds around here are astounding this spring! They especially love the huge camillia "tree" which is now blooming. This "tree" is over 100 years old and is nearly as tall as our 2 story farm house. Especially in the afternoon you can hear the hummers buzzing all in the "tree". It's amazing!

Spring is starting to finally arrive. The bluebells are blooming and the lilacs are just about ready. I don't know about you, but I'm really ready for some sunny warmer weather. We've been working in the yard and have a new cedar arbor with a bench in the back yard so that the old native roses have another place to show off their splendor. They have one bloom all year and usually bloom late June & early July. Be sure to plan a visit!


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beautiful Mt. Hood

It's the last night of the OBBG (Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild) conference and I'm ready to head home in the morning. We had a great Brewer's Dinner tonight at the Full Sail Brewery in Mt. Hood. Yes, even innkeepers can cut loose sometimes! This is also my last night at the Old Parkdale Inn which has a lovely view of Mt. Hood. Today the sun was shining and the Mt. was breathtaking. I enjoyed it much more than the snow we woke up to yesterday morning.

Ron has been holding down the fort at the inn while I was away. What he doesn't know yet is that at the conference, I won a free night from a professional innsitter. Now we'll have to play a couple night getaway in the next couple of months.

I was delighted to see a lovely couple who stayed with us a couple years ago who now own their own inn and are attending the conference. It's always great to see people go for their dreams. It's a lot of work, but nothing worthwhile is easy. Congratulations to them!


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Innkeeper Conferences

Just last week Ron & I attended the PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) annual conference for innkeepers. This year it was at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. Ok, so now you're not feeling sorry for us having to sit through all of those workshops! We did play "hookie" on Thursday and had fun meeting up with some old friends at Disney's California Adventure. Now I remember why Disneyland is for kids...we adults are totally exhausted by the end of the night. Both Ron and I woke up the next morning feeling like a truck hit us. But it was worth it.

This is the first time we have spent any time back in Southern California since we moved from there in July of 2001. We loved reconnecting with friends, but let me tell you, we LOVE Oregon! After the first day there we felt like our senses were overloaded. Too many people, too many cars, too much noise, and sorry parents, but too many children!

We love living on the Oregon Coast, but frankly, we really were missing some great ethnic food. We found a wonderful little Thai hole in the wall restaurant. Here's a word of warning...when you leave Oregon and go to an authentic Thai restaurant, medium spice is not what you're used to! Our next ethnic find was a Peruvian restaurant called Inca Anaheim. If you've never experienced Peruvian food, it's wonderful. It also reminded me of how much I want to travel to Peru. It's on my top 10 list of places I want to visit.

This week, Ron stays at the inn and I'm off to Hood River for the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild conference. I'm really looking forward to meeting some of my favorite Oregon innkeepers and learn about what's new in Oregon innkeeping. Each year I can't wait to hear some of the amazing stories from Debbie Dersham of Eagle Rock Lodge. She and her husband Randy have a beautiful bed and breakfast right on the McKenzie River. Every summer they do an amazing amount of weddings on their property and after hearing all her stories it reminds me why we won't ever do weddings here at Sandlake! Maybe I'll be sharing some of those stories with you this week.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

We've Gone High Tech

Welcome to Sandlake Country Inn's new Blog! You can visit our blog any time to see what's new at the Inn and special events in the area.

Since the Sandlake area still has no dsl or high speed cable we've gone to satellite for our internet. We still love that we're in a location to get away from it all, but for those of you who just can't survive without your laptops you can now get complimentary wi-fi in all of our rooms. The speeds we're currently getting are not lightening fast, but hey, we're lucky to get any at all! Since the satellite needs a clear southern path and we have a lot of trees to the south, it's been pretty tricky to set it all up.

Our Newest Romantic Package: CHEESE FONDUE FOR TWO - Perfect for a chilly night or when you don't want to stop for dinner before your arrival. Everything you need for a romantic light dinner for two. Cheese fondue, cubed artisan bread from a local bakery and sliced Oregon apples. Please note: Fondue contains alcohol. Please order at least 24 hours in advance. $35.00