Archive for the ‘summer vacation’ Category

Texas Sounds International Country Music Awards

July 9th, 2014 by carriagehouse

Country music artists from nine nations will come to Jefferson, Texas this summer to perform in concert as well as compete for the title of Texas Sounds International Country Music Performer of the Year. Produced by East Texas Performing Arts, Inc. (ETPA), top country music bands and solo artists from Australia, Canada, France, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S. will perform in concerts daily.

In August 2012 ETPA was part of a two weekend theatre, music and art event. Last year ETPA produced a nine day theatre and music festival that included the musical Bye Bye Birdie, two one-act dramas, and music from Richard Bowden and John Early, Lacie Carpenter, Shane Mathews, and Sarah Griffin. For 2014, ETPA is expanding to four weekends with top international country musicians.

Event producer and ETPA board member Preston Taylor explained, “I started searching the web for unusual acts and ran across a band called East Texas. They play rockabilly and western swing and advertise as being from the Deep South… of Australia. Their home, Adelaide, is at the very southern edge of the Australian continent, truly the world’s Deep South. We wrote them a tongue-in-cheek email with several reasons why a country band called East Texas should play in Jefferson. I also cited several reasons why it might not be a slam-dunk idea, starting with, we can’t pay you.

After more email and several telephone calls, they decided to come and perform! This success sparked our energies and we started inviting top country artists from around the world. So far, eight have said yes. We are legitimately an international event, right here in little old Jefferson. The possibilities for next year and beyond are limitless and as with most good things in life, it all began with East Texas.”

Musical groups already committed include:

East Texas BandAustralia
Dynamic rockabilly and western swing with a highly polished 50’s flavor.

Karen Lee BattenCanada
2003 – Beat out over 16,000 competitors to be in the top 11 Canadian Idol
2004 thru 2006 – British Columbia Female Vocalist of the Year

Spain’s most popular country artist, with a hard acoustic rhythm all his own.
Reverbnation ranked #1 in Spain and featured in Route 66 Magazine

Sarah Lacy DoleUnited Kingdom
The UK’s fastest rising star, Sarah has shared the stage with Chip Taylor (Angel in the Morning), Al Perkins (The Band, The Eagles, Bob Dylan), Gail Davies (the first female record producer in country music), and many more.

Britta T. Switzerland
Has recorded two albums in Nashville, joined with Glen Frey of the Eagles and performed at the renowned
Montreux Festival. Britta has toured in Ireland, France, Sweden, and Italy.

Chrissie Rossouw IIISouth Africa
South Africa’s top female country artist, having released albums in Afrikaans and English, Chrissie is coming to Jefferson for her first U.S. performance.

Pure, sweet acoustic country sounds from Sweden. Every note is a delight. Great voices, original lyrics and wonderful instrumentation make this a group not to be missed.

Jenna McDanielTemple, TX
Featured trending artist on Reverbnation from Temple, Texas.

Jillian KohrNashville, TN
Intensity and an exorbitant personality from Nashville.

Negotiation continues with 40 more acts from 18 nations. For more information please call ETPA at 925-497-3915.

All concerts are at the Jefferson Visitor Center, 305 E. Austin St. Tickets are $15 for an individual concert. Special discount packages for multiple concerts are available. For lineup updates and performance times, please visit the ETPA website.

Video of Haunting and Mysterious Caddo Lake

January 5th, 2012 by carriagehouse

So the video creating kick is still going on here at The Carriage House Bed and Breakfast.  Yesterday I created a video of the New Year’s Eve Ball at Jefferson’s Carnegie Library.  Today, I spent all morning working on a video showcasing the beautiful and ethereal Caddo Lake.    I hope y’all enjoy all of the amazing photography!!

New Gator Park in Uncertain Texas

August 8th, 2011 by carriagehouse

Gator (1)


Gator (2)


This past weekend, we had the honor of hosting my mom and niece here at the Carriage House B&B.  It is always nice to have family come visit us.  We love getting the chance to catch up with them and the chance to play tourist here in Jefferson.

I think the biggest thrill for us all this weekend was going to Captain Ron’s Gator Park in Uncertain, Texas.  Captain Ron is a dear friend of ours and he gave us a grand tour of his new gator park and petting zoo Friday afternoon.  If you are thinking that you don’t remember this place last time you were here, it is because it just  opened a few weeks ago.  We will be recommending this place from this point on.  This is one of those experiences that you can only get here in the swamps.

The petting zoo is full of unusual and unique varieties of chickens, goats, turtles, pigs, and birds.  But the biggest thrill of all is the gigantic pond teaming with alligators.

Captain Ron held off on feeding them until we got there.  As soon as these primitive beasts saw the chicken on the bamboo pole, the water came alive.  It was obvious that the large gator was the alpha male of the pond.  He tried his best to keep the others away from the feeding area and only a few of the brave and nearly as large gators even dared to come close.  We all stood in awe as these large beasts jumped straight up and out of the water to snatch the chicken right off of the pole.

Since the show, Swamp People, started airing on TV, we have had several people come out to Jefferson and want the “Swamp People” experience.    You do not have to run all the way down to Louisiana’s bayou country to have a Swamp People vacation.  Caddo Lake is a one tank getaway from most of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.  

I will get everything set up for you.  We will send you deep into the dark and mystical swamps in a go devil in search of gators in the wild and get you up close, and personal to a gator feeding on chickens.  At the end of the day, we will send you to a restaurant where you can sit under Bald Cypress trees draped in Spanish Moss and eat some fried gator.  By the end of the weekend, you will be able to say “Choot ’em,Liz”, and smile at the memories.

Give me a call at 903-665-9511 to book your Swamp People vacation.


Having Fun Playing with the Photographer’s Camera

July 2nd, 2011 by carriagehouse

   Tom the Photographer

So while we were in Natchez, Mississippi, I grabbed Tom’s camera and played photographer for a while.  I had been toying with the idea of taking up photography for sometime and wanted to see what it was like being on the other side of the lens. 

It is a lot harder then it looks.

My college sweetheart was a photographer whose name was also Tom.  Apparently today, he is on the Dallas Morning News photography staff and his work has earned him a Pulitzer Prize amongst manyother awards.  I obviously didn’t marry that Tom but later met a different photographer by the name of Tom and married him.  It is clear that I have a type that I am attracted.  Tom’s who carry cameras.  I have spent my entire adult life around photography and can compose a shot as good as any one but I can’t shoot the picture.  I don’t know the mechanics of a camera. 

So this week while in Natchez, I picked up Tom’s camera and took my first photo.  I would love your honest feedback.  How did I do?  Let me know on our Facebook page

Crepe MyrtleWater TowerWater Tower

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

Weekend Entertainment for Jefferson Texas May 26-30 2011

May 26th, 2011 by carriagehouse

MAY 26-30, 2011 – Memorial Day Weekend


* “FLY-IN”
Saturday, May 28 @ 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Location: Cypress River Airport, Hwy 134 East
Plane rides available
Information: (903) 665-7311

Monday, May 30 @ 10:00 a.m.
Location: Oakwood Cemetery, North Alley St.
Speaker: John Allen
Bring a lawn chair
Information: (903) 665-2701

Monday, May 30 @ 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Location: Enoch’s Stomp, 871 Ferguson Rd (CR-4312) Harleton, TX
* * Enoch’s South African Barn Stomp, Pig Roast, live music featuring “Dag Nabbit”
Menu: Spit Vark: South African style – slow roasted whole pig, Afrikaner Sausage,
Pap en Sous – South African style Frits with vegetable topping
Rooster Koeke: Bread rolls cooked over fire
Mixed green salad
Koekstruif and via: Trifle with custard for dessert
Tickets & information: Maria (903) 240-1587 or

Thursday, May 26: “Dennis Hogan” (Country) @ 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Friday, May 27: Karaoke @ 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.
Saturday, May 28: “Doctor Doctor” (Classic Rock N’Roll) @ 9:00 p.m.-1:00 a.m.
(903) 665-7121

Saturday, May 28 @ 8:00 p.m.-12:00 midnight
Location: The Sandwich Shop, 123 W. Austin
(903) 601-2211

Location: Pine Hill Nursing & Rehabilitation, 1307 MLK
Each Monday in May @ 6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.
Prizes & refreshments
(903) 472-8416

200 Bayou St.
Saturdays @ 10:00 a.m., 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Tuesdays-Saturdays @ 12:00 noon & 2:00 p.m.
Sunday & Monday: Closed
(Weather permitting)
(903) 665-2222

Historical tours of Jefferson by horse & carriage and Mule Drawn Wagon
Specializing in weddings
Friday-Sunday, May 27-29
(Weather permitting)
Groups and special events available by appointment
Departs from corner of Austin & Market (across from the Jefferson Historical Museum)
(903) 926-8216
Call for reservations or “just stop by”

Friday & Saturday, May 27-28 @ 8:00 p.m.
Departure location: Corner of Austin &Vale St.
(903) 665-6289

122 E. Austin
Bicycles, Trikes, Tandems, Surreys & more
Additional rental by appointment
(903) 926-5167

Saturday, May 28 @ 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (Day Excursions)
8:00 p.m. – Free Ghost Stories
9:00 p.m. – Ghost Train
(903) 665-6400 or (866) 398-2038

112 W. Lafayette
Fridays & Saturdays @ 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
(903) 240-6180
Call for additional tours

403 N. Walnut
Friday & Saturday, May 27-28 @ 3:00 p.m.
(903) 665-7888
Call for reservations

409 S. Alley
Daily @ 11:00 a.m.
(903) 665-8000
Reservations required

401 Soda St.
Saturday, May 21 @ 1:00 p.m.
(903) 665-3938; (903) 665-8518 or (214) 725-6232
Call for reservations & additional tour dates and times

405 Moseley
Saturday, May 21 @ 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 @ 11:00 a.m.
(903) 665-8018
Call to confirm tour

211 W. Austin
Tours: Monday-Friday @ 2:00 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday @ 1:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.
(903) 665-2513
Call to confirm tour times

223 W. Austin
Open daily: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
(903) 665-2775

359 P.R. 5730 & Hwy 729
Open: Sunday-Friday (Closed: Saturday)
(903) 665-2238
Reservations required

Tuesday-Friday @ 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 10:00 a.m, 12:00 noon, 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m.
Pontoon Boat tours at any time with prior reservation
Location: Shady Glade Marina, 510 Cypress Drive, Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-2238
Call for reservations & additional tours

Location: Johnson’s Ranch in Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-3213
Call for reservations

Personalized Tours of Caddo Lake
Uncertain, TX
(903) 789-3384 or (903) 679-9138
Call for reservations

Uncertain, TX
(888) 325-5459 or (903) 789-2101
OPEN: Tuesday-Saturday
Closed: Sunday & Monday
Call for reservations

301 W. Lafayette
Monday-Thursday @ 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Friday @ 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday @ 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Closed: Sunday
(903) 665-8911
Free internet access

Tips to Beat the Summer Heat!

June 7th, 2010 by

It is hot! There is no other way to describe it. Summer came early this year, and I feel like we have been cheated out of spring. Especially since we had to endure such a cold and wet winter. I promised myself back in January that I would not complain about the heat this summer but…
The Dallas Morning News printed a story recently titled “8 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat“. Well here is my own version but with a Jefferson twist.
  • Go swimming at the Lake O’ the Pines. This lake is known for it’s beauty and great fishing. There are also some great beaches around the dam. On these hot summer days, a quick dip in an old fashioned swimming hole will do just the thing in cooling you down.
  • Take a boat ride down the Big Cypress Bayou or Caddo Lake. The amazing scenery and the comfortable breeze coming off of the water will cool you off in a hurry. Both the Bayou Tours and the Caddo Lake tours leave daily at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, and 4pm.
  • Grab a frozen Margarita at Auntie Skinners. Once you cooled off with your frozen refreshment, you can go about your outdoor adventures again.
  • Enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine in the patio at Glory Dayz. This retro 50’s diner is cool and it is cool.
  • Go hunting for ghosts…at night. The temperatures drop at night so the dark is the perfect time to go looking for some of Jefferson’s friendly spirits.
  • Take a train ride. Feel the breeze as it rustles through your hair and cools you down. The Historic Jefferson Railway has tours at 2.30pm, 4.30 pm and the ghost train leaves at 9pm.
  • Stay at the Carriage House. No need to wonder or worry about your A/C here. All of our units have recently been serviced so that they are operating at the peak of their performance. We also have guest fridge that is stocked with cold sodas and water.


So you see, there really is no reason to complain about the heat this summer and now you have eight good reasons to come to Jefferson.

Pet Friendly Bed and Breakfast

May 20th, 2010 by

Did you know that the Carriage House is a pet friendly bed and breakfast. It is! So if you can’t leave your best friend behind when you take your summer vacation, come stay with Dixie at the Carriage House.
There is a $50 non-refundable pet deposit which is still cheaper than boarding your furry friend. All we ask while you are here is to have fun and clean up after your pet. Most types of pets are welcome but call if you are unsure.
You and your four legged friend can stay in any of the rooms located in the carriage house behind the main house. Dixie gets to keep the main house to herself. So when making your reservation, look for availability in the Ruth Lester Room, Allen Urquhart Room, Diamond Bessie Room, Ladybird Cottage, or the Jay Gould Room. In fact, most of our furry guests prefer the Jay Gould room since it has it’s own yard.
If you have any questions about our pet policy or need any assistance please give us a call at 1-866-785-0192. We look forward to seeing you and your best friend this summer!
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