Historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

| March 15, 2009 |

Just completed a week-long business trip to Washington DC’s Embassy Row/Dupont Circle area, followed by two wonderful days in Colonial Williamsburg with Ms. Nuala Galbari, the Institute’s VP Aviation, and Dr. David Justis, the Institute’s Medical Director. Both are highly accomplished individuals in many fields, quite in addition to their work in the Aviation sector and their support of the aims of the Institute.

We managed to discuss some business, especially on the forwarding into the industry of the Flight Butler as a provider of exclusive service, as well as a resource for preventive, supportive and emergency medical care. But most of the brief time together was spent being introduced to this great historic corner of the United States, home to the first settlement, Jamestown, the surrender of the British at Yorktown (Nuala and David were decent enough not to rub it in), and the crafting of the Declaration of Independence in Colonial Williamsburg itself.

Re-enactments of battles and reconstructed villages are common in the area.

We enjoyed a very pleasant tea followed by dinner at the Williamsburg Inn with additional guest Mr. Gregory Stringfield (an astute financial broker and friend). Both Gregory and David have the honor of being the only individuals whom I have challenged, to solve the riddle that follows. David started strongly, talking of Boolean algebra and when it looked like he might find the answer first, Greg charged through and pipped him at the post. A remarkable feat, given that it took them both all of ten minutes to push through the only answer. The riddle goes like this: If you are stuck in a dungeon with two exits and wish to leave, you may ask just one single question (not a two-part question) of the two guards standing by the doors in order to discover which door leads out. The problem being that one of the men always lies and the other always tells the truth, and you do not know which of them is given to mendacity.

What one question can you ask that will guarantee your exit through the right door?

We also took the opportunity to stay with and consult the owners, Troy and Theresa Stavens, of a boutique hotel, The Inn at Warner Hall. The plantation was established in 1642 by Augustine Warner, great-great-grandfather of President George Washington, an ancestor of General Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general, and great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II. We will return to provide some butler training for their staff.

The current buildings are just over a century old (that's pretty old by American standards) are superbly renovated and a real pleasure to stay in, with no road or airplane traffic to intrude on the tranquility.

All photographs courtesy of Dr. David Justis

Tags: Boutique hotel, Butler training, Colonial Williamsburg, consulting, Flight Butler, history

Category: Blog, Butler training, Consulting, The Butler Way, Travels

About the Author (Author Profile)

Steven Ferry is chairman of the International Institute of Modern Butlers and the author of bestsellers "Butlers & Household Managers 21st Century Professionals" and "Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators." He also trains and consults for the profession around the world.

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