Hellllloooooooooo, Susan here from the San Juan Island Inn Collection, which includes the Tucker House Inn & Harrison House Suites and Coho Restaurant. Whew! It’s been a while since I’ve uttered these words. This was how I opened each of my videos showing folks around the island back when my husband Glenn and I were the innkeepers here at the Collection from 2016-2018. I’m excited to share that we’re back and happy to be welcoming guests once again!
So, what’s the story, you ask? Well, Glenn, our dog Porter, and myself have returned to Friday Harbor to join this most amazing hospitality team once again. But wait! Where did we disappear to between then and now? I know, I know, I’m getting to that. Let’s start a new paragraph.
Picture it: it’s 2018. My husband, who had attempted retirement before and failed, decides he’s ready. So, we leave San Juan Island to check out Meridian, Idaho. The city looks cool – it’s a ‘burb of Boise and it seems like a fun, clean place. Let’s call Penske Truck Rental and book a moving date, please! We arrived in Meridian and for ten months we totally enjoyed ourselves. Glenn embraced retirement to my surprise. Me, I unpacked my old theatrical busker character, Red Girl, and hit the Saturday market each weekend in downtown Boise. What a blast! Idaho folks embraced her, and we really enjoyed the downtown scene each Saturday through the spring and summer. Glenn has always been Red Girl’s handler, so he was by my side to ensure no eyeball poking or cotton candy hand wiping happened to Red Girl. Now I imagine you might be asking, “What the heck is Red Girl?”
Red Girl is a human statue I created when we retired for the first time in Chattanooga, Tennessee. In 2013. Did you catch that? Retired in 2013. This is too funny for me to think about too much. Long story short, she was a blast of a character and always enjoyed hitting the streets and entertaining the crowds. So we revived her and that was our Idaho stint for ten months.
But neither Idaho, nor retirement, were for us long term. On the road again, we decided to accept a position in Mesa, Arizona, at a five-star RV resort where we were co-managers at a lovely park, filled with friendly folks who were freshly retired and looking for a good time. Well, there were good times all right. We had happy hours every day with live bands, dancing, pickleball tournaments, tennis tournaments, motorcycle clubs, hiking groups, card tournaments…I could go on and on. When you see the words “active 55 and over community,” well, these folks mean it. During the time we were there, we purchased a home in Queen Creek, Arizona, and decided to retire…again.
We so enjoyed the life of retirement in our new community. It consisted of 21 parks, 2 pools, and had a total of 2,147 homes. We were finally fitting into retirement quite nicely.
Then February 2020 arrived and life as we knew it began to change and change fast. The bustling city scene came to a sudden halt, schools closed, friends started working from home, and the whole world became surreal in my experience.
We felt blessed to be in our new home, but something seemed to be missing from it now that we were spending so much time there. We had been working with North Phoenix Rescue, trying to adopt a puppy after our beloved Korbel and Socket both had made their journey over the rainbow bridge. We felt it was time to add another happy heart into our home. Cue the arrival of Porter, a 13-week-old Airedale Terrier who truly fit into our pack like a comfortable pair of pajamas. I must add that we also rescued a cat 15 months prior. Seems like I’ve taken on a bit of a cat’s personality with this, forgetting the cat…interesting. Finnegan is a card and the four of us are now one medium-sized happy family.
Together, we all made it through a challenging time unscathed, I guess you can say. We truly feel blessed and continue to count our blessings each day.
Then, one 116-degree day last August, we heard the ring of our cell phone. I picked it up to hear our dear friend Anna Maria de Freitas on the line. Over the past three-and-a-half years, we have always kept in touch with Dave and Anna Maria, the owners of the San Juan Island Inn Collection, spending Canadian Thanksgiving with them wherever we were. We consider them our besties. So, when we heard that the Collection was losing their innkeeper and would we consider returning to our old position? Well, it was like the stars aligned. Everything made sense. It did not take us long to decide and call Penske to book another moving truck. Sound familiar? Oh, and that retirement, well, I’m sure we will get back to that project one day. For now, let’s have fun!
Friday Harbor always felt like a comfort zone to us and it still does. I say this with love and affection, but things haven’t changed much here, and the familiarity is quite a relief. Porter loves his new position as Director of Pet Relations here on property and Finnegan, well, he’s a cat – give him a box and he is home. Glenn is in his glory taking on his old innkeeping tasks and I’m feeling pretty darn good myself. I can’t wait to start vlogging again throughout the island and sharing bits and pieces about this amazing corner of the country.
We feel we have hit the life lottery with good friends, a fantastic team, and a little heaven on earth. We look forward to welcoming you to the island. Meanwhile, take care, everyone, and be happy and laugh often.