Wake up and mentally tally the bookings for the month. Take a few happy snooze moments as the Funky Cat is fully booked. Pet and feed Nefertiti. Prepare dining room for breakfast: café au lait, Evangeline’s calas, and Elijah’s freshly delivered beignets. Check in with Nat to see if she needs any help and that she has all the foodstuffs she needs. Go for a jog, shower, and pull on a sundress.
Pop in the office to check on future reservations and answer emails. Update hotel’s accounts. Thank departing guests for visiting after settling their accounts. Think up some new promotional activities.
Clear breakfast away. Admire Nat’s newest Doc Martens and discuss where to find an end table and a sideboard to upcycle for the lounge.
Meet with Sage to talk Instagram strategy and check follower numbers. Choose photos from last week’s shoot to post. Set time for tonight’s tarot reading. Make guest’s lunches with Nat: BBQ oyster po’ boys and salad.
Meet Evangeline for culinary coaching. Today’s subject: shopping for the freshest crawfish at the market, and troubleshooting making étouffée so that it becomes one of the Funky Cat’s signature dishes. Also, look up tips on photographing food for social media pictures.
Introduce the cemetery tour guide to the guests and send them on their way with a big smile.
Eat a late lunch with Sam: chicken salad with boiled eggs. Discuss future possibilities for the guesthouse. Notice that the color of his shirt brings out his eyes, but resist complimenting him. Re-focus on the Funky Cat and business matters.
Check to see that all rooms are spotless after Nat’s housekeeping rounds. Pay particular attention to tops of the doorframes and bathrooms. Fluff pillows. Greet new guests and communicate dinner menu and time. Note food allergies and seating preferences.
Pick up pecan pie for tonight’s dessert from Elijah. Confirm number of guests for tomorrow’s beignet order. Discuss opening of new restaurant in town and potential cross-promotional activities over coffee.
Make étouffée with Nat under Evangeline’s supervision. Do a little dance in the kitchen because it looks perfect. Keep an eye out for any late guests.
Shower again. It’s hot in the kitchen and the scent of all the spices soaks into hair and skin. Sink fingers into Nefertiti’s thick, white fur and close eyes for a moment of calm. Change into new satin dress and twirl in front of the mirror.
Dinner of gumbo followed by picture-perfect étouffée and rice with guests and friends, lively conversation about the day’s cemetery tour. Finish dinner with cheese, and a dessert of pecan pie with pistachio ice cream. Tarot card readings for the guests. Afterwards, enjoy a brandy milk punch while listening to live jazz with Elijah on piano, Sam on saxophone, Nat on vocals. Last bits of tidying in the kitchen.
One last cuddle with Nefertiti, imprint the image of Sam on his saxophone on memory, and then a deep, dreamless sleep.