March 2015

Vol 8, Issue 2

Doug & Jodee Sellers
     If you are like us I am sure you are ready for spring to get here and stay. Despite the bitter cold at times we were busier than expected this winter. We still managed to get through our "to do list" pretty well from painting rooms to adding ceramic tile baseboards to some baths.  We put in new "old" wainscoting in the Outer Banks room.  I must say that the crackle paint is quite the challenge.  Sometimes it is harder to make things look old than it is to make them look new.  The last couple of weeks the weather tempted us back outside.  Among other things we spread about 130 bales of pine straw.  
    One of the most exciting updates has nothing
Photo by Donald Weiser
to do with our efforts.  Jodee saw our first white squirrel at the base of our drive about 6 weeks ago.  She saw another one a couple of weeks later, in the snow with a big nut in its mouth.  I was quite jealous.  Then I saw one on the way out of the neighborhood.  We knew there was a large population in Brevard where they have a white squirrel festival each year but we have never heard of anyone seeing them around here.  A little research did reveal white squirrels have been identified in several other location around the country but they are still very rare.  So the next photo contest is the most challenging yet with only one winner.  The first guest to turn in a picture of our white squirrel in a scene that definitely shows to be in our neighborhood  gets a free night.  
Sierra Nevada Brewery and Taproom Changes the Beer Scene

     Tony Kiss,the Carolina Beer Guy, said

The Beer Temple?

it well, "Sierra's new Taproom and Restaurant is unlike any craft brew attraction around here."  It is practically our neighbor, only 5 miles down Brevard Road then left on Old Fanning Bridge road for a couple of miles. It seems closer since there isn't much between here and there. The brewery opened for tours last year and the taproom opened just this month.  So Jodee and I planned a visit to both last week.  As soon as we hit the round-about in the middle of nowhere and headed up their landscaped drive it was obvious this was not a struggling operation.  From the solar panels in the parking lot to the many copper covered beer kettles it is all a very tasteful work of art.  Tony called it the beer temple but maybe the "Biltmore Estate" of breweries would be a better local description.  

     The restaurant itself is worth the trip,

The Fried Chicken Donut Sandwich

offering a mouth-watering lineup of high-end pub grub like the Fried Chicken and Doughnut Sandwich (which our waiter said had become a local favorite) to healthier choices like Fire Roasted Carrots or Wild Mushrooms.  And of course plenty of beer choices.  It seats 400 and is decorated with massive wood planks, copper everywhere and heavy duty metalwork.  We arrived a bit early for lunch on a drizzling, chilly March, Thursday with few other guests there. By the time lunch was over the place was humming and nearly 3/4 full.   The employees were all friendly, knowledgeable and seemed to be proud to be there.  We have heard that week end nights are already packed and I am sure will only get busier. 

    I could not say enough good things about

Jodee tasting

the tour.  Jodee and I are not big beer connoisseurs but it held our interest for the entire 90 minutes.   It is an intriguing human success story. There are only 12 people to a tour.  It starts with a Hollywood  quality video of the history and philosophy of Ken Grossman, his friends and employees. You see the complex process from start to finish with the latest equipment (but covered in old copper) and finish with a more than generous tasting of a large selection of their product.  We highly recommend the experience, just be sure to book well in advance.  Click on any of the photos to visit their website.  

Lisa and Lisa Give Glass Blowing Try #2
     Last year the Asheville Glass Center offered us two, beginning classes in Off Hand Glassblowing at their school in the River Arts district.   Jodee passed the invitations on to our loyal and very deserving employees, Lisa Webb and Lisa Cutshall.  They were thrilled to have the opportunity. Back at work they showed us the beautiful, stemless wine glasses each produced and were excited to tell us about what fun they had.  However, they admitted with the furnace, the flames and blowing into molten glass at 2300 degress at the end of a rod, it was a bit intimidating.  Evidently not too intimidating for them to accept the invitations again this year.  Earlier this month they made striking paperweights with clear glass encasing swirls of multi colored glass they created by rolling the glass in various coloring agents . They were much more comfortable around the equipment and the teacher and seemed to enjoy the experience even more.  
     The Asheville Glass Center opened in 2009 at the Phil Mechanic Studios in Asheville's River Arts District. In March of 2011 they expanded into a new location at the nearby Roberts Street Studios and now have a Hot Shop and Cold Shop, in addition to the flameworking studio. According to their website they provide instruction and equipment rental in off-hand glassblowing, cold working and flameworking in both soft glass and borosilicate. Classes range from 1/2 hour for $60 to a full weekend of intensive training for $375. They have amazingly talented artist that have taught and exhibited throughout the world.  It has to be one of the most unique things to do when visiting Asheville and you have a momento to take home.  Click on the paperweights to visit their website.  
Mom Tells Kids To Go To Your Room and Start Your Homework!
     This falls under "Our Favorite Guest Quotes".  Jodee was recently taking a reservation from a mother whose daughter was abougt to celebrate a first anniversary. The generous mother was booking a four night stay for the couple to celebrate in the Wildflower Room, one of our most romantic rooms with its large, two person, whirlpool tub.  As Jodee was reviewing the details of the reservation she told the mother the total for the four night stay.  There was a bit of an astounded pause till she asked, "I thought it was only $150 a night".   Then Jodee explained that $150 is the winter rate for this room but the reservation is after April when we go back to our standard rate.  
     That is when the woman exclaimed, " Well go ahead and book it, but I better get a grandchild out of this! ".  So through her stifled giggles Jodee asked her, "Can I tell them that?".    The mom immediately replied, "You sure can, soon as they get there!!!".  


Doug & Jodee Sellers           

Bent Creek Lodge
Remember Bent Creek Lodge Gift Certificates make great gifts and they are now available for purchase on our website.