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A Better Way to Stay With Your Pets

April 20th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Dixie and Alien  

A few weeks ago, Tom and I broke away for a few days and went up to Hot Springs, AR.  Hot Springs is one of my favorite places to visit and it is just a quick 2.5 hour drive away from here.  How can you not love a place that calls itself Spa City?  And yes, I do take one of their famous baths every time I go there.

Like so many people, I love to travel with my two dogs (Dixie and her sidekick, The Bug).  Our first Golden Retriever, Samantha, hated riding in the car.  Dixie tolerates it and The Bug hangs out the window giddy with excitement the whole time (she can tolerate speeds up to 40 mph).  In fact, The Bug goes everywhere with me.  She loves a trip to Walmart.  She thinks hanging out in the Lowes parking lot is a blast and I will save the incident at the bank yesterday for another day.  Hint: they were out of dog biscuits.

No matter where we stay, I try and learn something new about this crazy profession of  innkeeping.  There are lessons to be learned at every type of lodging establishment.  Just because I run a B&B, doesn’t mean that hotels don’t have a few hints and tricks to show me. 

This trip, we stayed at a famous hotel in downtown Hot Springs that claimed to be pet friendly.  I say they claimed to be pet friendly because they were not that pet “friendly”.  What I learned is that  just because you accept your guest’s pets doesn’t mean you are pet friendly. 

When we checked in, we received a list of dog rules that we had to sign and agree to for our visit.  Some made sense such as you have to pick up after your pet.  We have this very same rule here at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast and try and help our guests by providing complimentary waste bags.  I left Dixie’s and The Bug’s poop bags at home by mistake. It was like pulling teeth at the hotel to get them to let me have some trash bags to use. We ended up at a pet store and buying some to use during our stay.

Others seemed a little strict like you can not leave your pet  in their room unattended for any amount of time.  I understand this rule.  We struggle with this at our B&B but feel our guests know their dogs better then we do.  Our guests know what there dogs can endure and would not let their dogs or another guest get uncomfortable.  In our case, we brought Dixie’s nest and The Bugs crate so that they had their beds with them in the room.  We wanted the girls to be comfortable and feel secure in this strange place.  This rule made it very hard for us to enjoy our vacation.  How do we go out to dinner if we can not leave the girls alone in our hotel room?

In case you are not aware, our innkeeping trade organization, the Professional Association of Innkeepers or PAII (pronounced pie -how can you not love a group whose name is a dessert) has been running a marketing campaign this year called A Better Way to Stay.  This campaign’s focus is to show the traveling public that there are places better than a hotel.  That a Bed & Breakfast or Inn is often times the Better Way to Stay.  One of the things that makes the Carriage House B&B a Better Way to Stay is that we don’t just accept pets.  We are pet friendly.

Here at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast, we want ALL of our guests to feel welcome.  We have room packages that are designed to help our two legged guests unwind and get romantic such as the Naughty and Nice package and the Love and Devotion package.  These two people packages help our two legged guests enhance their Carriage House B&B experience and make their visit at our Bed & Breakfast a Better Way to  Stay.  We also have a Pampered Pooch package to help our cold wet nose and four legged friends feel comfortable and have a Better Way to Stay.  You love a massage.  They love a massage.  You love a day at the spa.  They love a day at the spa.  You unwind and decompress.  They unwind and decompress.  Like I said, it is a Better Way to  Stay.

By the way, we did have a blast in Hot Springs!  Dixie, The Bug, and I went hiking back in the National Park every day we were there.  It was awesome.  I have no idea how many miles we went each day but the girls were no problem in the evening.  They were exhausted!  Dixie, the Golden Retriever, is a bit like an over loaded 18 wheeler.  She would have to kick it in low gear to get up the mountains but went into free fall on the way down.  The Bug is more like a sports car.  She only had one speed…90 mph.

2011 Spring Photography Weekend at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson, Texas

January 17th, 2011 by carriagehouse

All of the planning is done and we are finally ready to announce the agenda for the 2011 Spring Photography Weekend at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast in Jefferson, Texas.  Just like before, it will be an action packed weekend full of adventure, fun and photo opps.  The Jefferson and Caddo Lake area provide some of the most target rich environments in Texas and are a photographers dream.  Spring will be a perfect time of year with the new leaves and the spring blooms.  Call us today at 903-665-9511 to reserve your spot.

We have a made a few changes to the program this year.  We have partnered with two other bed and breakfasts in Jefferson so that more people can attend this photography weekend.  Both the Benefield House and the Hale House will be helping us out this weekend and have made their rooms available to participants.   Both of these homes are exceptionally beautiful and provide the same high quality service that you have come to expect from the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast

We have also added a photo contest.  After the weekend is over, participants will be able to add their pictures to the Photography Weekend page on our website and invite their friends, family, and photo club buddies to vote on their favorite photo.  The winner receives a trophy to show off to everyone.

Please call us today at 903-665-9511 to book your spot.  Space is very limited and just like last time we will sell out the weekend very quickly.

2010 Fall Photography Weekend

October 18th, 2010 by carriagehouse

Austin Street and the Post Office

Picture of Austin Street at Sunrise

The 2010 Fall Photography Weekend is only a month away.  If you haven’t made your reservation yet, you need to.  We only have two spots left and these won’t be around for long.  We have suppressed online bookings for this weekend, so please call us at 903-665-9511 for your reservation.

The Photography Weekend is perfect for photographers of all skill levels and equipment.  We will have folks coming who will be taking pictures on a point and shoot and others that have all of the professional equipment.   If you simply enjoy snapping pictures, you will enjoy this weekend.

This weekend is about you and you having fun.  We start out Friday night with a social hour sponsored by Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards.  Gerald Jones, owner of the winery, will be hosting a wine tasting and facilitating a Texas Wine 101 discussion with all of the weekend participants.  If you have never tasted a Texas wine, then this will be a real treat for you. We will  have Hors D’oeuvres provided by Donna’s Catering so be sure and leave some room after dinner.

Saturday morning, we will take everyone out for a photo walk through the Historic Riverfront District.  Many of the buildings and the homes pre-date the civil war and have been restored to their antebellum grandeur.  We will get everyone out for the morning light so our photographers can catch these beautiful structures in all of their magnificent glory.

Of course, everyone comes to a bed and breakfast for the breakfast and we will get everyone back in plenty of time to enjoy this gourmet  meal.  We will post the weekend menu on our Facebook page the week before.  After breakfast, the afternoon is for play.  Jefferson is home to many fine dress shops such as Fashion and Art Revival, antique stores, gift shops and more.  Christmas will be right around the corner so this will be a perfect time to start or finish your Christmas shopping.

Late in the afternoon, we will caravan out to Caddo Lake for a sunset boat tour of the swamps.  If you have never been to Caddo Lake then you are missing one of the true wonders of  Texas.  If Mother Nature cooperates, then all of the winter birds should have already arrived at the lake and we should get some great wildlife photography.  Finally, we close out the evening at Glory Days restaurant for Fried Fish and Gumbo.

We will be announcing the dates of the 2011 Photography Weekends sometime in the next week.  We are busy planning the agendas and scheduling the events.  Stay tuned for more information!

 

 

More Summer Fun

May 18th, 2010 by Skyla Grimes

If you are still not convinced that Jefferson is a great place to spend your summer, then here is a some more exciting activities to do while you are here.

Jefferson is known for it’s fantastic shopping. We have everything from prized antiques, to wonderful clothing boutiques, to vintage metal lawn furniture. Everyone that comes to Jefferson must make a stop at the Jefferson General Store. It is an event all in it’s self.

Jefferson is also known for it’s romantic side. Many people come to Jefferson for their weddings and honeymoons. Being amongst these old homes and brick lined streets makes you long for a simpler more romantic time. Take a carriage ride into the historic district and be transported to a sweeter and gentler time.
We have some fantastic summer specials on our website. Call us or check us out online.

The Transformation Begins

November 17th, 2009 by Skyla Grimes

I have been threatening this since the day we moved in. I have talked about it and planned for it. I have mentioned it to others to gain their approval. I have described it in detail and gotten bids on it. The time for talk has passed. It began this week.

I am writing about the remodeling of the Ladybird Cottage (f/k/a the Garden Cottage). The paint was yellowing and was badly stained in areas. The carpet was worn and dingy. The quilt was threadbare and had holes in the pillow cases. Several of our guest complained about a musty odor in that room. The Ladybird Cottage was dark and uninviting.

I had enough of this gloomy and dank room and so the transformation begins!

We are having all of the walls painted a bright white and the trim painted a cheerful green. The dingy dark carpet is coming out tomorrow 11/18 and a Swedish Maple laminate is being installed. On December 1, I will be going back to McKinney to pick up a brand new handmade quilt for the bed. I have only seen the quilt in pieces but I have had it described to me as “happy”. I have purchased a new bed skirt and other new linens for the room. By time I am finished, the room will no longer be dark and dreary but bright and cheerful.

I was able to get such a great price on the laminate that I am also having the Diamond Bessie room (f/k/a the Scarlett Room) done as well. The carpet in that room is stained and filthy. It also needs to be stretched and re-cut. After the holidays, I will be purchasing new curtains and linens for that room and getting rid of the matchy-matchy bed in a bag look that it has right now.

Stay tuned for my next post where I will talk about the garden restoration project.

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