Archive for the ‘Bed and Breakfast’ Category

A Beautiful Plantation for a Better Way to Stay on our Wedding Anniversary

July 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse

At the insistence of our BFFs, Joe and Vickie, we booked a room at the beautiful Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi for our wedding anniversary trip.  We knew we were in for something special when we drove up and saw the impressive Greek Revival Mansion sitting on the hill overlooking the town surrounded by huge old trees draped in Spanish Moss. 

We checked in and were immediately greeted by Hal who went to great lengths to make sure we knew how to use the TV remotes and where the best places to eat in town were.  To be honest, Hal was one of the reason this place is great.  Every time I saw him, he was smiling.  Hal always went out of his way to say Hi and greet us.  At one point we were loading up the car for the day and he offered to get us a bag of ice for our cooler.  Score one for the BnB.  That is not something you ever see at a hotel.

The Inn’s property is just amazing with incredible gardens that go on forever.  That is one of my musts for a B&B …beautiful gardens.  I think when people come to stay at a Bed & Breakfast or in this case an Inn, they expect to be surrounded by beauty.  It doesn’t matter whether the BnB is a an old historic house or a trendy bungalow, people want amazing gardens.  Monmouth Plantation did not disappoint.  Both Tom and I wandered for hours through rose gardens with angels keeping watch, and over walking bridges that provided safe passage from fountained duck ponds.  The walking paths seemed to lead to every part of the property… even an old cemetery.

Hotels often talk about service with a smile but let’s be honest, that is just marketing speak to try and get you to book a room with them.  A BnB or an Inn lives customer service.  It is what we do every day for every one.  We don’t just talk customer service, we live and breath it every moment just like our friend Hal does in Natchez.

Hotels are sometimes beautiful stately properties but just as often dingy buildings along the side of the highway.  B&Bs are almost never anything but amazing properties with the owners taking great pride in every detail of your stay all the way down to the flowers out your window.

These are the things that distinguish us from them or a Bed & Breakfast from a hotel.

That is why we say that we are a Better Way to Stay.  The hospitality industry should be about providing gracious, courteous service to every guest that walks through the door.  At a B&B or an Inn every person is treated special and with personalized attention.  When was the last time you can say that about the big chain hotel on the highway?

So next time you are looking for someplace to stay, chose a Better Way to Stay.  Choose a B&B or an Inn.

Water Fountain

Walking Bridge

There is no place like home…or the BnB

July 1st, 2011 by carriagehouse

The Bug

Tom and I ran away for a few days to Natchez, Miss to celebrate our anniversary.  Technically, our wedding anniversary is this Sunday (July 3rd) but this is a busy holiday weekend in BnB land so we took off a few days early.  We are back in Jefferson now and although it is great to go off for vacation.  It is even better to be home.

Already my phone is lighting up with texts from friends checking to make sure we are back.  We will get together this weekend with everyone to catch up on the news of the town and here all of the latest goings on.  It seems that it was a very active week for Jefferson this week.  I can’t wait to hear all of the details.

Dixie and The Bug are both back home as well.  They loved their new boarding place in Marshall but were overjoyed to see us come and pick them up this afternoon.  The Bug literally jumped for joy, she was so happy to see us.  They both got baths and had a lot of play time in the yard.  They were so cute sporting their July 4th bandannas at pick up.  All of the proper dogs will be wearing one this weekend.  

As I write, they are both fast asleep at my feet but if I get up to go anywhere they follow me.  It will take a few days before they let me out of their sight again.

I will post some pictures and musings on the trip over the next few days.  My favorite photographer, Tom, is still post processing all of the photos from our vacation.  He took some really awesome ones and even I dabbled with the camera a little bit. 

The photo above was not one of his.  That one was taken in the car on my phone of a very happy Bug who wanted to climb over the seat and get into my lap for the ride home.  It is a bit blurry but the car was bumping along a country road.

Stay tuned.  More to come.

Today’s Fare at Jefferson’s Farmers Market

June 17th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Fruit and vegetables

 Jefferson’s Farmers Market will be open today from 4pm to sundown. Here is a partial list of what you will find there today.

Tomatoes (OMG! I love farm fresh maters!)
Peaches (On Sunday’s menu)
Blueberries (I am freezing these for winter!)
Locally produced honey (Get rid of those allergies!)
Homemade jams (Ever had Mayhaw Jelly? No…then you don’t know what you are missing.)
Fresh herbs (Boy, are these wonderful for cooking. You never knew plants could add so much to a meal!)
Grass-fed Beef (Steaks make a great Father’s Day gift!)
Natural pet foods and treats (Dixie and The Bug are big fans and they deliver for free to Jefferson!)

T Bone Walker Blues Festival at Music City Texas

June 16th, 2011 by carriagehouse

T-Bone Walker

5th Annual T-Bone Walker Blues Fest
June 17-18, 2011, Linden, Texas

Music City Texas Theater in Linden, Texas is hosting the 5th Annual T-Bone Walker Blues Fest – June 17 & 18. The festival is being presented by MetroPCS and other key sponsors: Don Henley, Linden Economic Development Corporation, MidSouth Engine & Machine, the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast, and the Linden Drug Company. The event will bring in 16 top blues artists from across the nation, including a stellar lineup of Texan headliners – Johnny Winter, Zac Harmon, Guitar Shorty, Malford Milligan, Diddley Squat, and Emily Elbert. The 5th annual festival is a fundraiser for two Linden non-profit corporations: Music City Texas Theater, a music venue, and the Fairview Community Center which offers free literacy and computer training to the community.

This two-day, two-stage festival is a living memorial to the music icon that was a primary influence to most postwar blues guitarists and early rock and roll greats. T-Bone Walker’s most enduring legacy was taking the guitar from a rhythm instrument to a lead instrument in a band. Honored by his peers by membership in the Blues Heritage Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was first, and foremost, a loving father, a humanitarian, and a friend to so many.

Friday, June 17 will feature a Free outdoor concert focused on students learning about the Blues. The Pleasant Hill Quilting Group will present the history of the Underground Railroad Quilt Code; followed by the 20 year-old rising jazz star – Emily Elbert. Emily won the 2007 Texas Music Project Texas 10 Under 20 contest with a scholarship to the Boston Berklee School of Music. The free concert also presents Malford Milligan and Guitar Shorty. Guitar Shorty performed with T-Bone Walker in his youth, and is a multi-recipient of honors from the Blues Music Awards. Milligan headed the dynamic band – Storyville – and was with the Stephen Bruton-Delbert McClinton performance in the 2008 blues fest.

David “Honeyboy” Edwards is an icon in the world of Blues. A member of the Blues Heritage Hall of Fame, multi-honoree as Blues Acoustic Artist of the Year and multi-Grammy winner, “Honeyboy” represents the best of traditional blues.

The simple mention of Johnny Winter conjures up images Woodstock. Known for his prodigious guitar virtuosity, everyone in the music business has a Johnny Winter Story and he remains a true crowd pleaser.
Zac Harmon won The Blues Foundation’s 2004 International Blues Challenge as “best unsigned blues band.” Since then there’s been no looking back appearances at US festivals and international tours to Canada and France.
Like a bare knuckled boxer, Guitar Shorty strikes with his blistering, physical guitar playing and his fierce vocals, connecting directly with body and soul. This multi-winner of Blues awards always finds his way into the audience during his performance.

The lineup is rounded out by a stellar group of regional blues bands that includes a number of International Blues Competition bands: The Bluebirds (Shreveport), Buddy Flett (Shreveport), Malford Milligan (Austin), Diddley Squat (Marshall), Emily Elbert (Boston), Dorothy Ellis (Norman, OK), 19th Street Red (New Orleans), Bruton & Price Swingmasters Revue (Fort Worth), and Kayla Reeves (Honey Grove).
The festival will also feature a Guitar Hero Competition for the younger set.

For Times and Ticket Information: or call 903-756-7774.

July 4th Celebration at Mayberry on the Bayou

June 15th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Fourth of July 



Enjoy a fresh slice of Norman Rockwell as the 19th anniversary edition of “Jefferson Salutes America” fires off its trademark “Fireworks Fantazmagoria” as the grand finale on Monday, July 4 over Jefferson’s historic Big Cypress Bayou and turning basin. The fireworks display – during which some $12,000 in pyrotechnic charges will be fired off over the river’s natural amphitheatre, caps off an evening of live music and family fun reminiscent of an idyllic America.

The evening starts off at approximately 5:00 p.m. in downtown Jefferson’s Otstott Park, corner of Lafayette and Vale Streets, with children’s games and a decorated bike and tricycle parade around the bandstand. Entrants will be vying for prizes and all children in the parade will receive a ribbon.

A pie and cake auction benefiting the purchase of children’s books for Jefferson’s Carnegie Library will have bidders fighting over dozens of confectionery delights produced by Jefferson and Marion County’s finest cooks. The popular bidding war produces bragging rights for the best baker and has historically raised thousand of dollars each year for the library, one of only five such Carnegie’s in the State of Texas still used as a public reading facility.

The Shreveport Municipal Concert Band returns to the Otstott Park Gazebo for a rousing set of patriotic music that echoes throughout downtown Jefferson. Complete with a variety of flag-waving standards from John Phillip Sousa, the evening’s live entertainment is the perfect set-up to the two-block march down to the riverfront for the fireworks.

Just prior to dark, the thousands on hand for the fireworks display will witness the thrilling finish of the “Quacker State 500” – a down-stream race of 500 plastic ducks that will net one lucky winner the grand prize of $500 cash and an assortment of prizes for those duck sponsors whose entrants finish near the front. The rubber duckies can be sponsored for $5 each and proceeds benefit Jefferson’s youth sports. Duck sponsorships are sold ahead of time but entries are always welcome at the park prior to the race’s start.

The “Fireworks Fantazmagoria” will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. over Jefferson’s Big Cypress Bayou.

This event is FREE to the public and the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast still has rooms available for this family friendly event.  Call us today at 903-665-9511  to book your holiday weekend room.

For additional information, contact:

Marion County Chamber of & Visitor Information Center
101 N. Polk
Jefferson, TX 75657
888-GO RELAX or (903) 665-2672.

Summer Savings at the Carriage House B&B

May 19th, 2011 by carriagehouse



Want to know what summer specials we have here at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast?  Then Check out my @constantcontact newsletter.

It’s a Bug’s Life!

May 13th, 2011 by carriagehouse

The Bug  
I stood there and proudly surveyed my work…piles of sorted laundry.  With a sense of accomplishment, I gazed at my piles, whites and unmentionables, dark colored clothes, The Bug, towels, light colored cloths.  My head snapped back…The Bug.  Gleefully and with joyful purpose, the puppy was busy scattering my piles. Grrr!  I angrily stomped my foot and sternly said “OUT” and pointed in an arbitrary direction.   Not to be out done, The Bug grabs one of Tom’s smelliest socks and takes off for the door to our quarters.  She quickly pops the door open with her snout and merrily takes off through the main house. 

Let the games begin!

What happened next was the Carriage House’s version of the 2011 Puppy Olympics with all of the usual events, Track and Field (The Bug), Cross Country (The Bug), the High Jump (The Bug), Gymnastics (me).  Into the dining room we went, with the Bug in front and me in a not so hot pursuit.  Under the tables, around the server, through the chairs and then into the parlor.  The Bug defiantly stops between two guests sitting in the parlor and grins at me from ear to pointy ear with a twinkle of mischief in her eye.  A gentleman, who had been trying to quietly enjoy his morning coffee,  reaches over and tries to grab The Bug, the sock, anything, but comes up with only air.

I, however, have the advantage.  She has to get past me to get back into the dining room and then into the back of the house.  She tries to dart past me.  My reflexes kick in and I grab at her.  I am able to get one finger around her collar.  Game over.   I get the sock from her mouth and then escort her back to our quarters embarrassed that I had disturbed our guests perfect morning peace.

It is not easy raising a puppy in a Bed & Breakfast.  The Bug wants a life with no limits and I want a room with no toys scattered.  She wants free reign of the property and I don’t want her in the guests room.  She wants the freedom to do what she wants, when she wants, and I don’t want her underfoot when the guests are checking in.  We can both be stubborn but I have wisdom and cunning over her.  She has speed and agility over me.

It is not a that tough of an existence for her though.  She has a large piece of property to play on and plenty of squirrels to chase.  Every day, new friends check in and they always have a willing hand to scrunch an ear or rub a belly.

It is the end of another busy day.  All of our guests have checked in and are out enjoying their evenings.  Breakfast has been prepped and the morning table has been set.  Dixie and The Bug have been out for their evening walk and had their dinner.  Tom and I are finally settling in for the night.

Tom sits down in his recliner and without any encouragement, The Bug jumps in next to him.  She nuzzles up close and gazes at him with heavy lidded, sleepy eyes. 

It is a Bug’s Life!

A Bed and Breakfast for All…Even the Hummingbirds

May 11th, 2011 by carriagehouse

   Hummingbird at Feeders   

The Carriage House Bed and Breakfast’s very own crazy Italian Chef Tom, also known as our crazy photographer Tom, spent hours over the last few days trying to capture a hummingbird at one of our five feeders.  It was quite a spectacle to see the big guy dressed all in red (hummers like the color red) trying to sit perfectly still to get the money shot. What do you think?  I think he did pretty good!

Hummingbird at Feeders

Hummingbird at Feeders

Hummingbird at Feeders


If you love photography as much as Tom does, then check out our upcoming Photography Weekend, June 10th through 12th held here at the Carriage House B&B in Jefferson Texas.  This weekend is geared for photographers of all skill levels and for photographers interested in outdoors/ nature photography and architectural photography.  For more information check out our website or call us at 903-665-9511.  We have only a few spots left!

Do You Have a Pain in the Gas?

April 18th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Do you have a pain in the gas?  I do!

This morning on the news, one of the TV reporters for the morning show stated that gas had topped $4 a gallon now in 6 different states.  With gas prices so high, we thought we would do our part to help.

So how about this for a swift kick in the gas.  Our 2nd Quarter promotion is all about helping you pay for the gas out here to the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast.  Here is the deal.  The Carriage House B&B is offering a $25 gas card for a group of four adults traveling in one car and staying a minimum of two weekday nights in two rooms.

Because the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast is so close to all the downtown shops and attractions, you will be able to reduce your carbon footprint even further by being able to walk wherever you want to go. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Enjoy your “Kick in the Gas”

A Better Way to Stay on my Birthday

February 23rd, 2011 by carriagehouse

This past weekend, I celebrated another birthday.  It seems to happen once a year no matter what.  I actually don’t mind getting older.  Life is just a series of adventures and a birthday just signals that another year of exciting activity on this crazy journey is about to begin.  Who could hate that?

My wonderful husband always takes me on a weekend getaway trip for my birthday.   We can do this because I am a February baby and February is still the low season around here in Jefferson.  I can’t reciprocate the favor because Tom is an Easter baby and family obligations require us to go back to Dallas and spend the Easter weekend with our families.  By the way, Tom really is an Easter baby.  He really was born on Easter Sunday.  Some babies come by stork.  Tom came by the Easter Bunny.

This year, Tom took me to Hot Springs, Arkansas for my birthday.  It was a wonderful!  It was two and a half days of relaxation and fun.  I loved it!  We went to the Quapaw on Bath House Row and not only had a bath both Friday and Saturday but we both enjoyed a deep tissue massage which just felt incredible.  We hiked up in the mountains and Tom, the photographer, got some amazing shots of a beautiful waterfall.  After all of the hard work that we put in week in and week out here at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast, we had earned this treat.

We also put our money where our mouths are.  I know that we preach about how there is a Better Way to Stay and encourage every one to try a Bed & Breakfast at least once.  We always stay at a B&B when we travel for fun.  We know that we are going to be treated so much better then we would at a hotel or a motel.  We know that the innkeepers are really going to care that we enjoy our stay and they will do everything they can to make us comfortable.  You don’t usually get that at a Holiday Inn or a Marriott.   We know that the breakfasts are going to be amazing and the house no matter whether it is a historic home or a brand new structure will be both beautiful and relaxing.

Jefferson is the B&B capital of East Texas and is second only to Fredricksburg in the number of B&Bs.  Next time you come to East Texas, give a Bed & Breakfast a try.  In fact, give the Carriage House a try.  I promise.  You will be hooked.

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