Let it snow; let it snow; let it snow

This weekend was Presidents’ Day Weekend, which is always a busy weekend since some people have Monday off from work. We had several couples and during the day on Sunday, it began to snow. But it did not hamper anyone’s spirits and no one had to worry about driving. Everyone (except for one couple) stayed over Sunday nightt, walked around downtown, and enjoyed a beautiful day! One couple drove off for the day but didn’t have any problem getting back. Ralph had shoveled the driveway, even during the snow storm, so people could get in and out easily.

Then today everyone checked out. The sun came out and it was an incredible beautiful bright and sunny day, the way it often is after a snow storm.

But — in Virginia — the snow MELTS quickly. That’s what is so very special for me about living here. I’m used to awful New York winters. And, as a child in Missouri, I was used to cold and windy winters with drifting snow.

Here in Virginia, even in the worse of winters, it feels to me so much different from the Northeast or the Midwest. The reason is that it usually doesn’t take very long for the snow to melt. It’s beautiful for a day or two (or longer, if it’s a rough winter everywhere). Then the sun shines for days and it melts.

So . . . let it snow! Let it snow; let it snow. But Spring is almost here, my favorite season!

LOVE IN THE AIR

Even though it’s our slow season of the year, we had a few couples this weekend celebrating their relationship — an anniversary, a getaway from work, a night to attend the Shakespeare  theater and enjoy a wonderful dinner at Zynodoa, a dinner at Emilio’s and a concert at The Mockingbird.  There’s just so much to do here in Staunton — so many wonderful restaurants and live entertainment in many of the restaurants downtown and, of course, The Blackfriars’ Playhouse (Shakespeare’s indoor theater).  Staunton has the world’s only historically-correct re-creation of this theater!  People come from literally all over the world to attend plays here — and they are performed in much the same way as they were in Shakespeare’s time.  That’s the idea:  to be true to how William Shakespeare envisioned his plays to be performed.

The weather has been wonderful this weekend, even though it was cold.  The ample sunshine makes all the difference.

We have long-term guests in one of our suites and also in one of our vacation rental houses.  They’re here working for a local international company and are really enjoying all that Staunton offers.

I’m looking forward to Spring but as long as the sun keeps shining most of the time, I also enjoy Winter here in this beautiful Shenandoah Valley.

Safe and happy travels to all!

Wishing our guests the very best,

Carolyn, Innkeeper at The Staunton Choral Gardens B&B

Absolutely Beautiful Winter So Far

We are so fortunate in the Shenandoah Valley (at least our part of the Valley) because our weather is better than most places. We have four seasons . . . but Winter is not bad!! All of the seasons are beautiful here. Today was filled with sunshine, and it was a clear crispy day.

Did you know that, in this area, we have the largest antique mall on the East Coast? It’s just wonderful. You need to allow at least an entire afternoon but you’re better off to spend the day at this antique mall. And we have a booth there too! I just opened it!!

The mall is set up like a little town with street names. Our main booth is on the corner of 3rd Street and Main Street. We also have a showcase with small items which is located near the front of the store and actually in between the entrances to the men’s and women’s restrooms. Talk about an ideal location.

I’ve been having a lot of fun setting up my booth and showcase. Since we have so many properties which are part of the B&B, we’ve purchased a lot of different items of furniture and dishes and antiques of all kinds. Some we’re using at our properties; some we are not. So I decided to open an antique booth and sell the things we aren’t using.

In Downtown Staunton, we also have several antique dealers! And there are many other shops as well. Downtown Staunton is lively, friendly, and easy to walk around. In fact, just park your car all weekend at our B&B and you can walk to everything. There’s a FREE trolley also.

But if you do want to get in your car and drive around the area, you may want to check out The Factory Antique Mall.  Be sure to look for our booth, called Innkeeper’s Antiques on the corner of 3rd Street and Main Street in the mall.

Travel safely,

Carolyn

More Weddings!

What a busy October we had! It’s always our busiest month at the B&B. I’m so glad we have our vacation rental houses, also. They were booked most of the month, back-to-back with guests.

Last weekend, we had two weddings. A wonderful couple had their wedding on 11/11/11 and their ceremony was at 11:00. Then on Sunday, we had another wedding and it was probably our last outside wedding for the year. The bride chose fall colors and the few leaves dotting the ground added to her color scheme. We had two wedding cakes — a larger one with orange icing (her request) and a smaller one which was all white with white flowers around the cake on the cake plate. The table centerpiece for the reception was a variety of flowers in yellows and oranges with a touch of deep red. It consisted of pale salmon-colored roses, yellow lilies, yellow daisies, and some white accent flowers and greenery. You can see lots of photos if you click on the Wedding Page and then scroll down to see the links for some of our wedding photos. I make a special webpage for each of our guests’ weddings and some of them are displayed. Click on the top one, and that’s the most recent. You’ll see all the fall colors!!

Happy travels to all as you travel though our beautiful state of Virginia.

Carolyn
Innkeeper
The Staunton Choral Gardens B&B

A REALLY SPECIAL WEDDING DAY

It’s been an awfully busy last couple of weeks. We have had so many different things going on, but I want to focus on a lovely couple’s wedding which took place at our B&B yesterday. In fact, you can see lots of photos of their special wedding. (I make a wedding webpage for our wedding couples.) Click on the link for weddings and elopements, which is on our home page, and this wedding appears on that page at the top of the list of weddings.

I’d been speaking with the bride for a couple of months and enjoyed slowly getting to know her. I never spoke to the groom. When I met them, she was very much the sweet and delightful woman I thought she’d be (only more so) and — surprise! — the groom was charming and witty! I expected him to be shy, for some reason. I guess because I had never spoken to him.

They are a wonderful match for each other. I can really see how their personalities complement each other. And their friends were just like them. I think we have NEVER had such a nice group! Each and every guest was courteous and nice. Each was warm and friendly. Each was considerate and charming. Mostly they were friends of the bride, and it’s easy to see why they are all friends. Each and every one was so very nice. Most of the bride’s women friends were nurses. Well, every woman I’ve ever met who is a nurse was a wonderful person. I guess, in general at least, that’s the type of person who chooses that career.

Sometimes weddings are very tiring but I have to say that even though it was a lot of work, especially since it was a good-size wedding (around 30 or so), I didn’t feel as tired as I might have because the guests were so nice.

As Innkeepers, it’s an interesting point that when you have guests who are charming and kind, you don’t feel as tired. Well, it was a very busy weekend and, thankfully, we could have the ceremony outside which is what the bride really wanted. It was actually wonderful weather even though we half expected it to rain all day. It wasn’t even humid. It was perfect.  Everyone gathered in the lower garden and the wedding was performed there.   We had the reception inside which was nice also. I think everyone was more comfortable so they could sit if they wanted to and just mingle comfortably. Sometimes that’s not as easy outside when you’re all dressed up.

It will be wonderful to see our wedding couple one day down the road . . . maybe on an anniversary! That’s always special for us!!  Who knows — maybe even their friends might come back and visit Staunton again. For most of them, I think it was their first time here.  If they come again, they’ll be surprised at how much there is to do in Downtown Staunton.  I hope they spent enough time downtown to get a little idea of some of the wonderful things this special little town offers. Most of them, I’m afraid though, didn’t get to spend time downtown since they were really only here for the wedding.  Most of their time was spend with us — but that was great, too.  The bride booked all the rooms in the Main Inn and also The Carriage House and The Suites Building.  She and her husband came to town a few days early and stayed out at The Farmhouse.  Quite a few additional guests arrived just for the ceremony.  We had a wonderful Wedding Breakfast for them with twenty guests in all.  We had three tables set up so everyone could have breakfast together.  It really was quite nice.

I feel as if they all had a wonderful time and I hope we’ll be fortunate enough to see some of them again.  We’ll get them tickets for the theater and tell them all about the wineries. Maybe they’ll want to visit the art galleries or antique shops downtown. I know they’ll enjoy our wonderful downtown restaurants.  They can also head out in the country and go to caves, up on the Parkway, or out to Andre Viette’s, just to name a few choices.  I also always suggest guests visit The Frontier Culture Museum.  It’s a great place to spend a couple of hours.  Every time I go there, it feels like a different experience.   It’s fun wandering through the “homesteads” and listening to the guides’ first person accounts of what life is like for them (in the houses, from the 1600’s and 1700’s, brought over and reconstructed here!).   More and more is happening out there — and now we even have the African Village!   There’s just a lot to do . . . .

We wish the MOST happy travels, throughout their life together, to our wedding couple!

Carolyn, Innkeeper
The Staunton Choral Gardens Bed and Breakfast

LOTS TO DO IN STAUNTON . . . and Wonderful Friends Getting Together!!!

I shall try to remember to always put a link in my blog for the Staunton Visitors’ Center very informative list of events. They send me an e-mail every Thursday. There is just SO MUCH always happening in Staunton. Here is the link: http://www.visitstaunton.com/stauntonontap.htm.

I hope this will be helpful to everyone.

It’s amazing how much there is to do in this little town. It is simply WONDERFUL!

Some people are regular guests who travel back and forth from South to North or vice versa. One such guest stayed here last night, and I must say that we particularly enjoy seeing Pete and Sufi (man and dog) when they travel through several times a year. Sufi is this adorable very fluffy medium-sized dog. She is gentle and sweet. It’s really cute to see them drive off in Pete’s little sports car with Sufi sitting right beside him in the front seat! They left this morning for New York. We’ll see them again in mid-October as they head back to Georgia. It really is very special for us to have repeat guests! These two — man and dog — have been coming and going for several years now.

Four charming women checked into one of our vacation rental houses this afternoon. What a wonderful thing they do!! Every single year they get together, coming from different parts of the country, and spend an extra-long weekend together. This is their first time in Staunton, I believe. I think they said they’ve been doing this for 17 years!! What a special thing to do. They are the same age and two of them have been friends since grade school. The other two were also in their same class but apparently they moved into the town a little later on. Anyway, all these years, they’ve been getting together. What a great book that would make! They’ve attended each other’s weddings and other special events, they said. But the time they spend together each year is very important to them. Many of us don’t even get to do that with our families on such a regular basis so I think this is simply wonderful. I hope they’re going to have an especially GREAT time! I feel confident that they will here in Staunton. Our “Craftsman House” is going to be perfect for them. They can sit on the front porch, or the back porch, or out on the patio. They were surprised at how large the bedrooms are, so that will be nice for them also. They really are large in this house! I’m certain they are also going to enjoy so many wonderful things about Staunton.

Safe travels for all our guests arriving tomorrow!
Carolyn
The Staunton Choral Gardens B&B

Wonderful Guests From Germany

We had a charming couple stop by late yesterday afternoon. They are from Germany and had been camping. I think they were looking forward to a wonderful hot shower and a big breakfast so they decided to find a B&B. I’m glad they found us.

They decided they’d like eggs as the main course so I did our spinach and cream cheese omelet for the main course. Maja asked what else was in the omelet so she could make it at home. I told her I use a little Half and Half along with the cream cheese to make it creamy and also a little cold water to make it fluffy.

After breakfast they wanted to see more of downtown. Yesterday they had actually taken both of the Downtown Staunton tours. She’s an architect, and she raved about the buildings here! She thinks Staunton looks very European, she said. Anyway, the two tours are the free walking tour and also the guided trolley/walking tour. I’m so glad they enjoyed both of them! Every time I go on one, it’s a wonderful experience — and each time I learn something new about the history of the downtown.

Today they were going to spend time visiting all the different stores and shops in downtown. It was a rainy this morning when they set off to walk around downtown. They just shrugged it off and said it was a good day for visiting all the shops.

Happy travels!
Carolyn
The Staunton Choral Gardens B&B

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