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Posts Tagged ‘Innkeeper stories’

Tree Falls on Owner’s Quarters: This Innkeeper is Counting Her Blessings This New Year’s Day

January 1st, 2013 by abedofroses

Tree Damage_0003

A large tree fell on our owner’s quarters

The deafeningly loud crash and flash of light that woke us from our sleep in the middle of Christmas night was definitely not Santa and his sleigh landing on the roof! High winds and rain conspired with insects that had done their damage hidden from view to crack a giant pine tree in our neighbor’s yard and hurl it across the alley onto the roof over our bed. Miraculously the power lines behind our owner’s quarters broke the fall so that only a large branch punctured our roof rather than the entire tree trunk. Stunned and groggy from an abbreviated night’s sleep we ventured out into the rain to find out what happened and take stock of the damage. It was almost 5AM by that time and we had a house full of guests to serve breakfast to. So with half the power out we lit candles, figured out what was working and what wasn’t and came up with a plan for breakfast for 8 over the stove that didn’t require the ovens. This was a first- cooking by the light of a flashlight! We managed to pull it off before the power company shut us down completely to remove the tree. Electricians, appliance repair people, insurance adjusters and roofers are still being dealt with, but we’re back in full operation and incredibly grateful to be alive. After a season of things breaking, a sick kitty that has required a months worth of treatment on the heels of Bill’s October hospitalization it would be easy to get overwhelmed and feel like life is just responding to one crisis after another. I must admit I indulged in a bit of self-pity. But this New Year’s Eve we chose to take stock of all of the challenges we did meet and all the things we accomplished this year. We truly have had a great year.

Antique sconces now light up our goodies

Antique sconces now light up our goodies

Besides meeting the challenges of breakfast under duress the other day and operating the inn with one innkeeper down in October, we’ve met all of our little challenges with success as well. A broken CD player that I put totally out of its misery when it tried to steal my favorite Christmas CDs, pushed us to finally go digital with our sound system for the inn. I had always wanted to find the time to research systems and hook the sound up to our computer, but now I was forced to do it! I couldn’t be happier with our new Sonos system, operating by WiFi to wireless speakers. Business has been up since last year too. December was our busiest yet with lots and lots of people taking advantage of our Biltmore Candlelight Evening Package. This past year I was elected to the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association Executive Committee  (ABBA) as Secretary, a post I’ve been enjoying and have just been re-elected to. After numerous production delays, we finally succeeded in replacing all of our robes at the inn with new, plush hunter green ones. Table and bed linens have been upgraded and we’ve added a “new” antique carpet and comfy chair to the parlor as well as a reproduction Victorian lamp to the foyer. We upgraded the Turret Suite, changing the carpet and adding a Tiffany lamp and 2 antique chairs. We painted and got new wicker furniture for our cozy front porch as well (see our improvements!) We started the year off by lighting up the kitchen! We added several recessed lights to brighten up our work-space and installed the antique sconces that we brought with us from Boston over the antique buffet where we serve afternoon tea and goodies. And we ended the year with a beautiful and incredibly life-like new 9 foot Christmas Tree from Balsam Hill to match the outstanding garlands we got from them last year. We definitely dressed up the inn for the holidays! As we go into the New Year we hired painters come in this week and re-paint all the guest rooms. We just chose new plush carpeting that will then be installed in the Oliver Davis and Carolyn Gray rooms. And then we will take a well-deserved vacation in St. Martin! We look forward to returning rested and so gratefully alive to a freshly painted and improved inn to start the season again. Happy New Year!

New Acquisitions at A Bed of Roses B&B – This is No Movie Set!

June 24th, 2012 by abedofroses

Tiffany Lamp

A Tiffany-style lamp shines in the window

Most of our guests probably think that the way a B&B looks, inside and out, is pretty much static, like a movie set. After all, there are all those photographs on the website. You might think an interior designer came in and Voila! Done! In actuality our inn is changing all of the time, and we’re pretty excited about some of the new changes! Serendipity has been busily at work for months now. A trip to see my sister last January led to a fun day in Salisbury and a great find in an antique shop. We weren’t looking for a wicker couch for the front porch but there it was! Of course, once we put it in place it needed a wicker chair, then a table, then new outdoor rugs with a nice blue patterned border, then another table….

Wicker furniture on the front porch

A new wicker couch led to more porch improvements

Our next shopping adventure came with an email and a new friend. Montford is a wonderful neighborhood to live in and we have a very active neighborhood association complete with an email list-serve. Lost dogs, Greenway clean-up notices, updates on the Montford Players Shakespeare Company all come through the list-serve along with public meeting notices and advice on roofers and window repair. A neighbor we had not met posted a notice that he was downsizing and needed to sell many belongings. When the list included French antiques our ears pricked up! Mario had moved from France via Philips Exeter Academy where he taught Spanish and French. He did indeed have a nice collection of French antiques, but not ones we could use. We did find two chairs with pressed leather seats that were perfect for the Turret Suite, though. After much debate and measuring we returned the next day.

Richly detailed carpet

Richly detailed Kashmar carpet

We decided that a Kashmar carpet would fit in the front parlor and add warmth and rich detail to the room. But I loved the carpet that was there already! What to do. More measuring and yes! It looks like it was always meant to be in the Turret Suite! Back to the parlor. All that rich detail was beautiful, but the floral patterned chair clashed painfully. Alas, Sasha had already shredded the corner of it, so it was history and a solid burgundy chair was put in its place.

And back to the Turret Suite…a window shade crashed down on the cut crystal table lamp, breaking it. There was no way to duplicate the lamp, but it turned into an opportunity to put a new Tiffany Lamp in its place that shines in the window visible from the street. Perfect. Then, while we were online searching for the broken lamp we found one that now graces our front table as well. Victorian ladies hold up a beaded shade and illuminates our guest book. Just like a movie set. Voila!

A Victorian lamp illuminates our guest book

A Bed of Roses Featured in OutreachNC magazine

August 22nd, 2011 by abedofroses

Life as innkeepers

Life as Innkeepers...Three couples share their stories and delicious gourmet recipes

In July one of our guests revealed herself to be the editor of OutreachNC magazine, Carrie Frye. One of her writers had come up with the idea of publishing an article about baby boomers who have decided to become innkeepers. Carrie asked if she could interview us for the article and we were thrilled. The article came out in their August issue. We were one of three inns featured. All three inns were from different parts of the state and represented different stages and styles of inn ownership. We were the rookies, having only owned A Bed of Roses for a year. One couple opened their inn 11 years ago and currently live off-site. The other couple became innkeepers 4 years ago. I’ve always said, no two B&Bs are alike. That’s one of the things that makes staying at an inn a thousand times more interesting than going to a chain hotel!

Carrie, the editor, was a delightful guest and was quite taken with our cats Nadia and Sasha. She sent us lots of photos that I promise to post! In the her editor’s notebook blog from August 4th, Carrie revealed that she successfully reproduced our Orange Stuffed French Toast recipe! The recipe appears in the article as well as on our blog’s recipe section.

Read the article here, OutreachNC Article. I hope you enjoy it!

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