Archive for Activities

Settling in at the Inn

I’ve always told my children, “Life is an Adventure!”  To start a new adventure or career can be exciting and scary at the same time.  Even though you know your making the right move, it’s that stepping-off-the-ledge kind of feeling.   I think most of us have been through it several times in our lives.

Moving to Mountain City, TN from Canon City, CO,  has been such a blessing.   From the beginning of this crazy concept to leave the world of mining behind to become an Innkeeper, I received much encouragement, moral support and the occasional gentle nudge when needed, from my children, siblings, friends and even co-workers, (who promised to come visit.  I’m holding you all to that!)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Since arriving I have received the warmest of welcomes from the good people of Mountain City and sometimes a lesson in the “proper pronunciation” of words.  I think it’s a geographical thing.   It’s been fun to explore my new surrounding, from the uniqueness of this large house with all it’s nooks and crannies, the history of the families that have lived here to the town with it’s restaurants, shops, attractions,  mountains, and nearby Watauga Lake and spreading out further to N. Carolina and Virginia with all their wonderful towns, scenery and attractions.  Seems there’s always something new to see and do.

My side-kick at the Inn, is my dog Tomas, he adjusted rather quickly into his role of official “Inn-dog”, always greeting guest at the door and sometimes he seems to want to be the one to show them around.   Although he’s considered a “large” dog, don’t let his size worry you, he’s very friendly and loves people.     I’ve had several guest want to take him home and one couple offered to trade me their teenagers for him… No, not a good trade!

We stay pretty busy, Tomas chases the squirrels and takes lots of naps while I chase after everything that needs attended to and wish I could take a nap.


Here’s to life’s new adventures!




We love last minute guests, but….

Just the other night (a Sunday night, in fact), we had no new arrivals scheduled, and those who were scheduled to check in had done so. So….. we went to dinner in Boone, NC, about 25 minutes away.Dusk at shingle style Victorian inn

Nice dinner. While returning home, and with only  12 minutes from turning into our driveway someone from Central Florida called and wanted a room for the night.  “Where are you?” I asked.  “In your driveway,” they said.   Since we had a room I said “Sit tight; we’ll be there in 12 minutes.”

When we got there, guess what?  They had gone.  Guess we weren’t  worth waiting 12 minutes. I also suppose that they were offended that we were not right there, ready to answer the doorbell when they strolled into town.

Let me tell you a truth or two.  Innkeepers work 18 hours a day 7 days a week UNLESS they manage to get off the property for some free time.  We don’t have relatives willing to “guard” the door (for free)  when we take a few hours away, so we pick the least busy time (no arrivals scheduled), lock the doors and go.  Sometimes, the “escape” is scheduled and our coats are on but a “walk in” phones to announce they are 5-10 minutes out. Or they just show up. So, off go the coats and our car keys go back on the hook. Dinner is created from our pantry and our refrigerator and we cheerfully greet those last minute guests at the door.  They are none-the-wiser that they almost missed us.

Some do miss us.  We are NOT mind readers!  And we also wonder how someone can drive all the way from Orlando and NOT know they need a room prior to “right this minute.”  We are magicians and manage many wonderful things, but manning a 24/7 front desk isn’t one of them. As a small property, we simply cannot PAY someone to sit and wait for hypothetical guests.  I’m sure nobody wants their room rates to go up $35 just to pay for someone “on call.”

We also cannot see our way clear to NEVER having time away. We are also betting that “spontaneous travelers,” −if they work in “corporate” America−would have a cow if someone asked THEM to give up THEIR dinner hour or their “date night” every day of the week (and weekends, too).

So, let’s find the mid ground between over planning and finding yourself in my empty parking lot.  IF you know you are headed our way (or toward any B&B for that matter), call ahead!  We’ll work out being 100% ready for you when you roll into town, and yes, we’ll have the lights on!

Overnight French Toast Recipe | McCormick

Sweet and fruity, Overnight French Toast makes a delicious addition to your brunch or breakfast table.  We usually do the alternate version–with apples.

Source: Overnight French Toast Recipe | McCormick

Our Butts Were Dragging

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was working very hard this winter clearing a list of renovation and repair tasks around the inn. So was Robert. Frankly, our butts were dragging.
Then we had a bright idea!  Maybe we need to get away from WORK for a few days. Read More→

Wedding Trends: Greenery, Feathery, Small Cakes and Bright Lights


Says  From table runners to decorative wreaths, garlands, and more, we’re seeing greenery emerge from the sidelines and into the spotlight. It’s versatile, and provides an Old World look that’s so chic right now. In this same vein, we’re betting on animal topiaries becoming a hot decor item in the New Year.

Prospect Hill version: Use boxwood and yew to fill in your bouquets and bring greenery to your party decor. Available locally. Shady Grove Gardens has other forms of greenery available (from miniature to branch sizes) to give you that “Old World romance” look.

Astilbe (feathery plant)

From WeddingWire.Com:  We’ve already started to see this feather-like flower everywhere this year, and expect to see even more of it in 2015. We’ve seen it solo or as an accent in bouquets, and love the variety of hues – deep red, light purple, pink, and white.  Also available from local grower Shady Grove Gardens–very feathery and romantic.'Love'in Lights

Marquee Lights

What a bright idea! Whether they’re spelling out words like “Love” or the couple’s names, these vintage-style marquee lights are popping up all over reception décor.

Prospect Hill version: we’ll make a very large board with the word “love” spelled out in bright lights and a background of black (or other color) chalkboard paint so your friends can write well wishes. $100 (4×8-feet) and you can take it home. $90 for a 4×4-foot size.

One Bite Desserts

Miniature Wedding Cakes, Sweets

Here’s the trend:  Instead of or in addition to featuring a multi-tiered wedding cake, couples are also serving several smaller cakes to offer a wide variety of flavors. We’ve even seen a cake displayed on each reception table for an extra-sweet touch.

Innkeeper Judy can make most flavors in an 8-inch cake. Buy as many as you like. $35/cake (serves 10-12 each)
Frugal Gourmet Catering makes numerous bite-size dessert treats. They arrive in cake papers and require no cutting. Order one smaller cake just for cutting and another for freezing for “next year.”