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Bed & Breakfast For Vets: A Better Way To Stay
Many of our military members serve because they feel compelled to help others, push themselves beyond what they thought was originally possible, and do something bigger than themselves. Our service members log tremendous hours away from their family members and many organizations are recognizing the sacrifices and want to say thank you to these military members and families. One of these programs is the Better Way to Stay’s B&B for Vets.
B&B for Vet's program provides veterans a night's escape at participating Bed and Breakfasts across the US and Canada. Some friends serving aboard Camp Pendleton asked if we would accompany them to the Inn at Playa del Rey for some rest and relaxation and I jumped at the opportunity to get away for a dual vacation and undercover mission to look into this program.
How welcoming to have twenty-four hours alone with my spouse, away from the demands of the Marine Corps and family commitments. We drove an hour and a half drive towards Los Angeles from Camp Pendleton and were able to carry on a conversation without being interrupted by one of our children, which hasn’t happened in a long time. In fact, I can’t think of the last time we were alone – just the two of us – for more than a few hours. This getaway provided the perfect opportunity to tune into each other’s thoughts and needs. We discussed retirement dates, life after the Corps, and how each other were feeling about what was going on in the world. Before we knew it, we arrived at the Inn.
We finally arrived at our destination where a craftsman style Bed and Breakfast awaited. The smells of homemade breads and confectioneries greeted us, along with the smiling staff. We were given a tour of the Inn and were informed about the wonderful home cooked meals, complimentary wine hour, and the location of fresh baked goodies at any hour of the night.
A clean and quaint room awaited us with a comfortable bed and feather duvet, along with two homemade chocolate chip cookies and a hand written note, Welcome… We are so happy to have you! Enjoy your night, signed by the staff at the Inn. What a way to set the tone. We didn’t feel like we were imposing, we truly felt welcome at the Inn at Playa del Rey. To our delight, our friends received an upgraded room with fireplace and a bottle of champagne as an anniversary present.
We dined that evening at McCormick and Schmicks, where they too were honoring veterans with a selection of complementary entrees of a special dining menu. It included items varying from Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Beef Medallions & Scampi Style Shrimp, Cedar Planked or Grilled Salmon and more. It seemed like most veterans within a forty mile radius of the restaurant set out to dine for the evening; we were glad we had reservations. On the way out, we discovered that the restaurant had provided meals to more than 1,400 Veterans; more than two-thirds of the restaurant’s patrons that night. That’s pretty extraordinary.
We also discovered that the Inn at Playa Del Rey donated 13 of their 22 rooms and sent out special discounted offers to the 200 people who called and couldn’t get reservations. I truly believe that the majority of Americans love our country and are grateful for the sacrifices made by the armed forces and their families. This Marine Corps family has endured multiple deployments and we found the B&B for Vets Program and dining out at McCormick & Schmicks truly amazing… so, on behalf of all participants in the programs, we would like to thank all of those who have served our nation, in your own way, be it military service, or by participating in a veterans program, or passing on a military discount, we thank you.
Kristine Schellhaas is the founder of USMC Life;and is a finalist in the 2013 Military Spouse of the Year program. She has spent 16 years together with her Marine; they have two children, several duty stations, and a wealth of life experiences to rely upon. Kristine has endured four wartime deployments, been involved in many volunteer programs, clubs, and more. She founded the website USMC Life in 2009 and launched Semper Feisty Radio in 2012.