We truly appreciate all of our guests whether it is
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their first or fifteenth time here, young or old, from Asheville or Australia. However, we especially appreciate all of you that have taken the time to post a review on TripAdvisor, bedandbreakfast.com or any of the other sites on which we are listed. Some business owners have told me they live in fear of the disgruntled customer weilding a connected keyboard. You have made it a pleasure to hear we have a new review. The vast majority of reviews have been very positive and have helped many B&B browsers make the decision to stay with us. The few reviews that have expressed a disappointment have all been a learning experience and helped us raise our standards a little higher.
TripAdvisor recently sent us their Hall of Fame award in recognition for earning their Certificate of Excellence for all five years they have issued it. They state it is "a prestigious award that can only be earned through consistently great reviews of your business published on the world's largest travel site". Now I am not so naive to think this does not include a little self promotion of TripAdvisor itself. (Even though when I graduated HS and was informed that I was included in the book "Who's Who in the Class of 1971" I convinced my parents to spend 50 bucks on the book only to discover I had about two lines in very fine print just like the other million kids that convinced their parents to buy the book) Regardless, we are very proud of all the reviews! Thank you so much.
New Guests in our Camellia
If you have visited our website lately you may have seen this picture by guest Ronnie Gillian of our Bluebirds and read how we enjoy seeing them return the same as seeing guests return. The other picture is of baby Cardinals, our "New Guests!" which we enjoyed also. The bright red father made his nesting plans known to us first. Cardinals are quite territorial and this particular male took the job of running off anything that looked like another cardinal extremely seriously. He would see his reflection in my truck's rear window and attack it for hours. In between actual collisions he would sit on my cargo rack and poop. Then he would attack my side window and poop and then my mirror and poop. I finally covered the whole truck cab with a tarp. He then started attacking the mirrors on Jodee's VW. This all started before Jodee and I went to Florida. While we were gone the truck was totally exposed for two weeks. When I got home it looked like a guano covered rock off the coast of Galapagos.
Shortly after that we found the nest in the Camellia bush right by the front porch. A few days ago I heard all this squawking over there and sure enough they were fledging. All the babies were gone except for one lone peep-peep that we finally spotted on the ground. Failure to launch, he headed back up to the nest! Then mom and dad came and "encouraged" him to launch again. This time he made it to the porch. Up on the railing he swayed like a drunken sailor then off he flew. Another new guest has come and gone.
The Asheville Outlets Mall Opens Just Down the Road
Photography by Mark File, Click picture for more info
The sleepy, outdated Biltmore Square Mall that was just a couple of mile up Brevard Road has been converted into the new
Asheville Outlets Mall. They spent months taking the old roofs off, adding space, remodeling, re-landscaping while everyone speculated about which brand names would be going in. My buddies were all hoping for a Bass Pro Shop. With great anticipation it opened May 1st with about 50 stores. No Bass Pro but a huge Field and Stream will be opening soon. There will eventually be about 75 stores. It is hard for me to get too excited, I am just not much of a shopper. One of my favorite cliches, "I've got underwear older than you" does apply to me. But it really is a very pleasant open-air shopping village with a store for just about everything. If someone in your family is a shopper maybe they can head to the Outlet Mall while you go sink a line, ride a trail, or sit on the deck.
Houses, Tables, and a Fire-ring
I just can't keep up with Jodee's creative dabbling these days. Last fall she took a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and came home with a box full of custom made ceramic tiles. Before I got around to building a couple of tables out of them she was on a jag making whimsical pottery houses. Now she's taking a class for Plates and Platters. To my credit, I did manage to dry up the area down by the creek, build a fire-ring and get some grass to grow. It may be a good place for guest to make smores when it gets cool again.