As we came off the ferry we looked at accomodations in the area. We were both tired from a long trip through Quebec and Labrador. We just needed a place to shower, do laundry and rest for a day before exploring this beautiful island. I also had a blog to write and it had been a busy week! Lol!
We saw a place called the Genevieve Bay Inn not far from the ferry dock. We had planned to go to the Viking Village first which was the other way but decided that a small detour was required. So glad we did. What we found was a jewel on a rock with an interesting history and wonderful people.
When we arrived we were greeted by Donna the owner with all the warmth and enthusiasm that Newfoundland is famous for. She was actually showing another couple (from Ontario) sites to see in the northern part of Newfoundland. Eventually we got our own map. Lol! We registered and went around to the side of the building to unload our stuff and that’s when I realized that this was an old school. How creative!!
We got to our room and was greeted with a comfortable room apparently in what used to be the kindergarten rooms in the school. Our bathroom door was the boys bathroom door! Lol! Such rebels we are, it was perfect!
All over the hotel on the walls in the hallway, in the rooms are inspirational messages. I just loved that. I appreciate things and places that inspire me and remind me of the blessings life has to give!
When we checked in a delicious smell met us and we knew as our tummies rumbled we would have to taste that. A beautiful little restaurant sitting beside the office with a down home feel!
I loved the coffee bar as you know how I am about coffee. I could grab a coffee anytime!! With a complimentary breakfast offered in the morning it is a wonderful place to start your day! Donna introduced us to Cloudberries or as they are called here bakedapples. We had heard people mention bakedapples and being from Ontario a baked apple is a baked apple with brown sugar and butter. This was a berry. She gave us some bakedapple jam for our toast and a small container of bakedapple butter to take with us. The taste is different with a tartness to it. It is very good!
The touch of the little desks in the corner remind you of the history.
Chatting with Donna and her husband Wilfred, who I met one morning at the coffee bar, they told me a little of how this public school was transformed into this quaint little country inn.
St Genevieve Public School was built in 1972 to teach the children of St Barbe and Plum Point from grades Kindergarten to Grade 6. In 2001 it was closed when a new all grade school (K – 12) was built in Plum Point.
In 2003 Wilfred and Donna Doyle purchased the school and opened the bar side of what now is an Inn, Thirsty’s. Being in the auditorium part of the school the bar side is huge and I believe is the largest bar on the island. Opening Dec 31 2003 for their first New Years celebration.
An interesting side note and personal connection. Both of their children attended the school as well as Wilf. His mother also had been the janitor of the school for many years.
In 2015 some workmen stopped by for a drink. Wondering what was in the rest of the building they were told nothing but old classrooms, desks and chalkboards. The school board had left everything when they moved. He suggested that if they had 14 rooms he would rent them for the summer. Donna called her husband who was working in a mine in Central Newfoundland at the time and told him of her conversation with the workmen. It sounded like a big job but if she wanted to take that on he was more than willing to stand behind her. They called a friend who was a carpenter and he stopped in and took the contract. With Wilf working away from home the rooms were not completed until June of 2016. It was then they changed the name to the Genevieve Bay Inn. You can see the love and dedication that they put into building, their home away from home. Even the outside has a cozy place to sit and relax!
We so enjoyed our stay we had to stay another day!
Next time you are in St Barbe make this one of your must stops! You will be so glad you did! Tell them Chipmunk sent you!!
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventure!
See you soon!