We had a good year at Cobble House Bed & Breakfast in 2015 and welcomed many more new guests from around the world, as well as ones who had stayed with us before. Our designated charity for 2015 was the local branch of the BC SPCA as the organization was celebrating its 120th year with their Million Acts of Kindness campaign. The campaign was a big success and also included the one-millionth adoption for the organization. Thanks to our guests we were able to make a donation of $300 to the Cowichan & District branch, (along with a bag of old towels!) In addition, one of our guests in July made a direct online donation to commemorate their stay with us, and some Dutch guests left a direct donation as well, and we are so thankful that we had this support! Life is still so busy that it just hasn’t seemed the right time to bring new dogs into our family, but we really do miss having some canine kids.
We did have numerous animal visitors of the non-domesticated variety this year. I haven’t seen so much wildlife on the property in years. It started with a group of 4 elk, 3 females and a juvenile, crossing our driveway as our Dutch guests were at the breakfast table one morning. A few weeks later I walked into our Heron guestroom only to see a bear stand up and peek through the window. When I ran to get the air horn to chase it away I thought I saw it on the back lawn, but that turned out to be bear number two! A female elk and a youngster showed up on the back lawn a few weeks after that when my sister and brother-in-law stopped by for a visit. Next we saw a family of 5 raccoons running across the lawn. We know raccoons live around us, but rarely see them and continue to be very careful in not leaving any food sources for them or any other wildlife around the house. The last major wildlife sighting was another group of elk, which this time included a bull elk and a couple of females. It’s such a privilege to live where we do on Vancouver Island and to have these opportunities to see the animals in their natural surroundings.
The weather was incredible this year with a never-ending summer it seemed. The dryness was pretty scary though. Hand and drip-irrigation watering was the norm, and the lawn was completely brown, but the rain has since made up for that. The upside was an incredible crop of tomatoes, the best we’ve ever had by far, and I handed them out wherever I could and many made it to our breakfast table of course! So much nicer than store bought tomatoes!
We are now closed until the first weekend in March and are very excited to welcome The Red Chair at the beginning of that month. The Red Chair is a plain wooden chair that has become a symbol of B&B hospitality on its trip around North America. It is visiting Canada for the very first time and being welcomed in BC by members of BC Innkeepers, the provincial B&B association of which I am a life-time member. Watch for Red’s adventures when it arrives at Cobble House!
Our designated charity for 2016 will be the Trans Canada Trail. With Canada celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2017, the goal is to complete the TCT by then. It is now 80% complete and our annual donation will go towards that goal next year. One of our favorite places in the Cowichan Valley is the Kinsol Trestle on the Trans Canada Trail. The “Countdown to Connection” is July 1, 2017.
We hope all of our guests are enjoying a wonderful holiday season with family and friends and wish you a safe, happy and healthy 2016!