Now that more and more people are getting vaccinated and there is finally a clear pathway out of this pandemic, we will periodically check in with different Niagara-on-the-Lake residents to see how COVID-19 has affected their lives – and what their hopes and dreams are for when things return to normal.
Jolanta Janny Kudlats says the one thing she has missed most during the pandemic is the yearly sun vacation she takes during the winter months with her husband Howard.
“We are not snowbirds, because I like winter,” says Kudlats, “but we always take a couple of weeks somewhere, (the) Caribbean, Florida, California, or Arizona,” noting that they have friends everywhere.
Kudlats and her husband own a bed and breakfast, Historic Lyons House, in Old Town, but when the pandemic first hit they were forced to temporarily close down.
“At the beginning it was (a) shock, because the pandemic was happening and they closed the border,” says Kudlats, “‘What are we going to do, we cannot operate (a) bed and breakfast,’ but then we said, ‘This is not bad. We have a break,’ and we have enjoyed that break.”
Kudlats and her husband started the bed and breakfast 19 years ago.
“We just felt that it was time to retire and try a bed and breakfast. We both like hospitality, we both love to cook and entertain and so we tried. That was a five-year plan and after five years we extended the plan for five more years, and after 10 years we said, ‘Let’s just forget the plan.' ”
It’s this same mentality Kudlats says has gotten her through the pandemic. “Why make plans (any more)? You make plans and tomorrow they’re up in the air, so just go with the flow.”
Still, Kudlats dreams of the days she and Howard can welcome guests, and most of all their American friends, once again.
“I’d like to see them, I’d like to go to the Shaw with them to talk about the performances and sit in the garden and drink some rosé. That would be nice.”