Each year, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season and, for me, the season of counting my blessings in all areas of my life, big and small. A few weeks ago, our 3 grown boys came home for a combination Thanksgiving/Christmas family celebration. With our son Dylan living here, Shane in CA and Zach in CO, these family reunions are precious and few. Everyone enjoyed playing with Dylan and Maegan’s girls- our three beautiful granddaughters, boating to Jesse’s On The Bay restaurant, and winding up the weekend with a Chinese feast, our family’s favorite food, at Dylan and Maegan’s home. Our newest granddaughter, Francis, is now 9 months old with a delightful smile for everyone all the time! Ann Alice is 2-1/2 and quickly outgrowing the baby stage. It’s hard to believe that we moved here in 2017 to spend more time with our first grandchild, Bea, now almost 6 and in kindergarten!
Jim and I are so thankful we made the decision to move away from our home in Charlotte where we raised our family, to become full-time resident-owner innkeepers at Jubilee Suites, our luxury bed & breakfast in Fairhope, AL. Jim retired after we moved here and it has been a wonderful time in our lives working together and hosting guests from all over the world. We’ve finished most of Jubilee Suites’ renovations after updating the tile in 6 bathrooms this year. We also purchased a golf cart this year which makes it easy for us to ferry guests around town or take them up and down the path to our 200′ beach on Mobile Bay. Jim and I also enjoy taking it out in the evening to any of our favorite restaurants in Fairhope.
After retiring, Jim has become an even greater partner in the business, and after 40 years of marriage this year, continues to be my rock and my steady life companion. Guests love the way he prepares breakfast, offering a unique menu each day, baking several loaves of sourdough bread each day, and always trying out new recipes to please our guests. We’ve had so many requests for his dishes, we’ve put several recipes on our website. Let us know if you try any of them!
This last year, we were pleased to host several small business retreats here at Jubilee Suites. We love to see the transformation that happens when a team has an entire weekend to work and play together to strengthen relationships, tackle critical business issues together without distractions, enjoy our food, catch up on their sleep, and wake up to glorious views of the water… it’s what Jim and I love most about being hosts. We were thrilled to host the Say It Southern group for their second year here, and also Jim’s Naval Academy buddies who’ve come each year since we opened. We’d love to be on your shortlist to host your intimate gathering at Jubilee Suites in 2024.
Our hospitality team here at Jubilee Suites continues to make me so proud. I give them lots of credit for the flood of 5-star reviews we regularly receive. They work very hard together to make sure every suite is immaculate before a guest checks in and that each guest wants for nothing while they’re here. It truly warms my heart to see the genuine hospitality they reflect towards each other and our guests. I see them pitch in all the time without being asked when a guest needs a hand with a bag or with directions. Owning a bed & breakfast has been a long-time dream of mine and our team is making it feel like a dream come true.
Most of all, I’m thankful for all our guests this year. I hope they know how much we enjoyed meeting every one of them and learning more about the world outside our own. One of the reasons Jim and I love to travel is the opportunity to experience different people and their views, food, and cultures. At Jubilee Suites, our lively discussions around the breakfast table or our firepit are often just like that, a cultural experience we get to host in our bed & breakfast every day.
Thank you to each one of you for gracing our lives this year. I hope your 2023 has been wonderful. I hope you’ll use this season to write down all the things you’re grateful for right now. And I hope you can plan a time in 2024 to get away from the hustle of life for some well-deserved downtime. We’ll be here to welcome you.
Dana and Jim Maloney