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Archive for February, 2012

Mardis Gras Came to Asheville on Sunday

February 20th, 2012 by abedofroses

Mardis Gras Reveler

A happy Reveler in full headdress

Asheville got a jump on Fat Tuesday yesterday with a fabulous Mardis Gras Parade featuring wild glittery, feathery costumes, funky floats and a real Royal Wedding! King Hobbit and Queen Tamra, the king and queen of the procession actually did get married at a ceremony at Pack’s Tavern right before the parade and rode in full glory atop a wedding cake float through the streets of Asheville. A chilly drizzle didn’t put a damper on the party. Spirits were high and the colorful crazy costumes really highlighted how creative folks in Asheville are.

The Wedding Float

The King and Queen on their wedding float kiss to the crowd’s delight

Many revelers formed “krewes” ahead of time along themes that inspired their costumes and several “krewes” participated, with everything from the Gypsy Bar Krewe and the Oo La La’s Bawdy Bridesmaids to the Wicked Geishas. The word krewe (pronounced “crew”) dates to the early 19th century according to the organizers’ website and has become the most common term for a New Orleans Carnival organization.

The Asheville Mardis Grasis an annual event hosted by an all volunteer “social aid and pleasure club”. Their aim is to be the southeast’s premier costuming event and they are well on their way. Several thousand spectators lined the parade route and the exuberance was contagious! The music and dancing wound from Wall Street to Battery Park, up Haywood and down Page Ave back to Battery Park and afterwards ended at the Pack Tavern for the Mardis Gras Ball featuring music by Snake Oil Medicine Show.

Costumed people gather for the parade

All sort of costumed people and creative props gathered to join the parade

Asheville definitely knows how to have good clean, irreverent fun! Join us next year for Mardis Gras in the Mountains!

See our gallery for more photos.

Where do innkeepers stay when they go on vacation? A Better Way to Stay!*

February 6th, 2012 by abedofroses


Bougainvillea surrounded our little deck

Staying at B&Bs over the years was a key factor in our deciding to become innkeepers, but we also love going to the Caribbean for a winter break. Hotels and time-shares are the norm on island vacations and something a little different takes time and a little research to discover. We just returned from a relaxing, idyllic trip to St. Martin and we found a place this year that offered the more personal touch we look forward to in our B&B stays. Françoise and Yves Hamel-Camaïeu live on the French side of the island in the Cul de Sac, a remote corner of the island. After winding your way up and down hills and around corners, with glimpses of mountains plunging to the ocean between roofs, you come to their home at the end of the road.

The Bay at the Cul de Sac

The Bay at the French Cul de Sac

They rent only one studio out of their house and you are greeted at the gate by their dog “Moose” and Moses the cat. Françoise leads you to around the side of the house to your private little deck surrounded by a white picket fence and dripping with Bougainvillea. The newly renovated apartment is ultra modern inside and dotted with bright, bold island oil paintings. The couple frame art and run a gallery in Marigot. Although breakfast is not included, like it is at a bed and breakfast, Françoise did leave us a fresh baguette, with little ramequins of apple butter and jam, 2 eggs and some slices of watermelon for our first breakfast on the island. Breakfast on the deck every morning was a delight. A little pot of sugar hanging from a tree drew bright yellow sugar birds to our breakfast nook every day. The little birds were busy constructing a nest of island cotton and twigs in the Bougainvillea above the clothes line. Only the beach could lure us away from our little retreat! That, and the wonderful French restaurants. Next year we hope to spend more time with our charming hosts!

Birds feeding

A Sugar bird and friend visit us for breakfast


*A Better Way to Stay is the Professional Association of Innkeepers International campaign to educate the public about the benefits of staying at B&Bs and inns when traveling for pleasure or for business.