Archive for the ‘Bed and Breakfast’ Category

TheInnkeeper.com On Location – Key West

June 15th, 2010 by Mariah

The Southernmost Hotel, Key West

I had the pleasure of staying at The Southernmost Hotel June 7-9, as part of a Sex and the City 2 inspired Girlfriend Getaway. This was my third trip to Key West, and as usual I was not disappointed. We took the ferry out of Ft. Myers, which was wonderful as always. The ferry dock is on the North end of Duval, so being that the hotel was on the opposite end we took a taxi to avoid a mile long walk in 95 degree heat. The southern end of Duval is much quieter and upscale, if there is such a thing in Key West.

Upon arriving we were promptly greeted by a very nice gentleman named Edgar who helped us with our bags (and would continue to help us throughout our stay). My first impression of the hotel was a good one: clean, friendly staff, and beautiful grounds. We arrived early due to the ferry and our room was not yet available, however they did offer to secure our luggage while we went for lunch.

After lunch we were escorted by Edgar to our room, which honestly exceeded my expectations. The room was very large with two double beds, a flat screen TV, and a gigantic bathroom with walk in shower. In my experience even hotel rooms that claim they fit four adults, usually do so uncomfortably. That was definitely not the case at The Southernmost. The four of us fit comfortably… with room to spare.

There were two pool areas in the immediate vicinity, with a beach and another pool available for use right across the street at the sister property “Southernmost On The Beach”, which is available for all guests at the Southernmost Hotel to use. There was also a darling Bar and Grill right on the beach – and the food was excellent.

Two new places we found on this trip to Key West that I want to highlight are Dante’s and The Afterdeck at Louie’s Backyard. First off Dante’s… you could not get much better value for your money in Key West. Dante’s is an outside Restaurant and Bar that sits on the edge of a giant pool and waterfall. The pool is for guests of the Marina and Restaurant, with a $50 minimum at the tables near the pool. I cannot stress enough how much fun we had here. And yes, you can eat…and drink in the pool. We actually ended up spending two of our three days here as it was a great way to stay cool and still have a great time. Prices were cheaper then average for Key West, the salads range from $6.99 – $10.99, and were among the biggest I have ever seen. A special thanks to our waiters John and Paul, who could not have been any more accommodating. Their stories kept us entertained for hours, and their bar tending skills kept our glasses full. You guys rock!

The Afterdeck at Louie’s Backyard was one of the most romantic, enchanting places I have ever seen. Not just in Key West, but anywhere. Louie’s Backyard is a beautiful historic home that has been turned into an extremely upscale restaurant. Ask any of the locals about it and they all tell you the same thing…it’s over priced and overrated. The Bar out back however, now that’s another story. The Afterdeck is, as the name gives away, a deck on the back of the house. Oceanfront would be a huge understatement as this bar is actually Oceantop. That’s right, it sits right on top of the ocean. Add the beautiful water views with the fact that there are no real lights, just tabletop candles and clear rope lighting… and you have my new favorite place in Key West. It will truly take your breath away.

I always look forward to our next trip to Key West. If you have any gems or hideaways in Key West that you have found in your travels, please email me at Denee@TheInnkeeper.com so we can make sure to try them out on our next trip down south.

Denee MacDonald

TheInnkeeper.com On Location

The Southernmost Hotel

Key West, Fl

June 7-9, 2010


Man Believed To Be On Drugs Mistakes Home For Bed & Breakfast

June 14th, 2010 by Mariah

Man Believed To Be On Drugs Mistakes Home For Bed & Breakfast

State Police said a man who appeared to be on drugs allegedly mistook a home for a Bed & Breakfast. The couple living at a home on Foot Hills Road, who said they did not want to be identified, were in their front yard spending time with relatives. One of the relatives went inside the home and said she found a credit card on the stairs.

 

State Police identified the owner of the credit card as Walker Bruce, 45, of Middletown. Bruce was in the bedroom of the house. Bruce said a taxi dropped him off at the home, which he believed was a Bed & Breakfast, police said. Bruce told State Police he left his credit card on the stairs for payment.

 

The residents at the home said Bruce was polite, but appeared very disoriented. Police said they suspected Bruce may have been under the influence of drugs. He was arrested, charged with third degree burglary, and taken to Middlesex Clinic, Essex, to be examined.

 

Police said there was no sign of forced entry, and nothing was taken from the home.

June 13, 2010

By NICK CAITO & JENN BERNSTEIN, The Hartford Courant & Fox CT

 

Lets be thankful this “guest” didn’t find his way into any of our homes. Do you have a priceless story about an unusual guest? Email them to Denee@TheInnkeeper.com for a chance to have your story and property featured on our blog!

Beach Getaway Checklist

June 13th, 2010 by Mariah

Monday June 21 marks the offical first day of summer. In many places however, the summer heat is already very much upon us. Chances are no matter where you live, you will be hitting the beach at some point this summer season. We have put together a few lists of the must-have’s for your beach getaway. Don’t forget that many of our B&B properties are beach front and are the perfect way to extended your summer vacation.

Beach Vacation Must Have’s

The Basics:

Sarong/ Pareo
Flip Flops/ Sandals/ Crocs
Beach Bag/ Dry Bag
Lots of swimsuits
Waterproof hair accessories
Quick Dry Shorts
Anklets/ Toe Rings

Essential Beach Bag Booty:

A sheet/ Beach blanket/ Large towel
Cover-ups/ Loose, light weight shirts
Wide brimmed hats
Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
Small amount of cash
Disposable waterproof camera
Small spray bottle of white vinegar
Water
Bandana
Sunglasses

Extra Beach Bag Booty:

Mask and snorkel (fins optional)
Bug spray (depending on the area)
Inflatable or pop-up playthings
Picnic lunch
Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
Folding lightweight beach chairs
Boogie board or similar
Aqua shoes
Umbrella or portable pop-up cabana

Beach Bag Booty For The Kids:

A pail and shovel
Beach ball, water wings, other inflatable toys
Snacks like fresh or dried fruit
Portable kid sized tents

Share Your Favorite Beach With Other Beach Lovers

Of all the beaches you’ve visited which do you think is the Best Beach in the World? Tell us where it is and what you love about it. Is it a great walking or tanning beach? Has something special happened to you on YOUR beach? A proposal, a wedding, maybe you met a special person. Write to us and tell us all about, and make sure to include you favorite Bed and Breakfast near your beach!

Do Not Let The Oil Spill Affect Your Bookings!

June 12th, 2010 by Mariah

If you own a Bed and Breakfast or Boutique Hotel along the Gulf Coast, you are probably a little concerned about what will become of your beaches following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. And you are not the only ones, millions of travelers are wondering the same thing. On top of everything else, now you also have to worry about this summer’s bookings.

But fear not: the fate of your summer bookings has not yet been sealed. According to a survey commissioned by the Beaches of South Walton, there is still hope for Gulf Coast owners. When we got our hands on this data it really gave us hope, so we wanted to share the info with you.

  • Most repeat Gulf Coast visitors have not discarded their plans of returning this summer. Of the travelers who visited the Gulf Coast in 2009, 62% plan to return again this year. And perhaps even more reassuringly, only 5% excluded the beaches of South Walton explicitly because of the oil spill.
  • As for the first timers, well they might just be waiting a little bit longer before booking – and this should be no surprise. Last-minute bookings have been a trend in travel for quite some time now. About 46% of the travelers planning to come to the area have not yet made their reservations.
  • Let’s say the worst case scenario happens and the oil does reach the beaches. Approximately 30-40% of the Gulf Coast travelers still plan to visit even if the beaches are affected.

Based on the results of this survey, your odds of filling your calendar this summer are still pretty good. Still, you need to take a proactive approach in securing bookings.
 

 

Here’s how:

Post current photographs of your beaches. Although we typically do not advocate date stamps on the photos for your listings, now might be the time. Prove to travelers that the beaches are still as pristine as ever.Promote the surrounding area. The beach may be a huge attraction (and likely half the reason you bought your Inn), but think about all the other fun things to do in your area. When you receive an inquiry, be sure to talk up the restaurants, shopping, your community pool, amusement parks, and any other activities available to your guests. This information should also be prominently displayed in your listing.Solicit reviews. If you have guest staying in your Bed and Breakfast now, it’s more important than ever to get reviews from actual guests who can attest to the condition of the beaches and all of the other entertainment options in the area. Offer specials. While we’re always advocates of holding out for the best price, now is the time to really consider offering incentives to your prospective guests. The last-minute nature of these bookings may make the market more competitive. While you don’t have to give away the farm, offering extras like beach service, 7th night free or discount attraction tickets can make the difference to an on-the-fence traveler. Perhaps you already offer these types of specials but haven’t updated your listing to reflect it. It’s your job to make your property and the area as appealing as possible. If you would like to take advantage of our “Specials and Events” Add-On, please contact us at Denee@TheInnkeeper.com, and we will set that option up for your listing today!Your best approach is to stay proactive. Reach out to past guests, update your listings, and be thorough with your communications to possible guests. Although you can’t control the results of the oil spill, there are plenty of ways to take control of your bookings this summer.

NEWSLETTER FROM THE SHERWOOD FOREST B&B

June 11th, 2010 by Mariah

News from The Forest

Memorial Day has come and gone, and for us that heralds the beginning of our summer season. It’s been an awesome May with warm temperatures, and yes, you can swim in Lake Michigan. Our hip and groovy pool is heated and ready for a dip—our friendly secret agent pool painter (Mr. Art) touched up the mural and it’s beautiful. The days are getting longer as we head toward the summer solstice, so we hope you’ll be able to make it for a visit soon to enjoy this delightful time of year. We had a bit of fun this week, the local NPR station out of Grand Rapids…WGVU interviewed us on Shelly Irwin’s Morning Show. One of her venues called”View From the Dunes”. We were interviewed by Jon Helmrich about the B & B, talked about current events we catalogue in our monthly newsletter, recipes and well about how fun and relaxing it is to own and operate a bed and breakfast. We had a great conversation…Thanks Jon and Shelly! 

Sherwood Forest B&B

Phone: (800) 838-1246

Toll Free: 269-857-1246

938 Center Street

Saugatuck, MI. 49453

USA

   

 

Specials and Events…

 

Sherwood Forest Cottage (pet friendly)

Our Cottage is getting booked up for the summer, but here’s what we have left: June 9-11 ($165 a night, 3-night minimum), and August 14-20 & 21-27. It goes for $1250 for the week and sleeps up to 5 people, has a full kitchen, washer/dryer, pool privileges, and is only 1/2 block from Lake Michigan and the public beach. And of course, there is still nightly availability for this spring and fall, and yes it’s pet friendly.

Sherwood Forest Picnic Baskets

Venture forth from Sherwood Forest with your own basket of goodies this summer. The picnic includes a fine selection of Italian meats, cheeses, and baguettes, along with fresh fruit and sweets to make your afternoon rendezvous complete. To wet your whistle, choose from spritzers or bottled water (vegetarian selection also available). Price: $55 for two.

Melt Your Stress Away

Upon arrival, you’ll find a beautiful wine and cheese basket with a bouquet of fresh flowers. During your visit, you’ll each experience a soothing massage in a style suited just for you and a $30 voucher good toward a romantic dinner at a fine restaurant. Upon your departure (which we’re sure you’ll want to delay as long as possible before returning to the real world), a gift from us: a compact disc of relaxing music and an illustrated guide to massage. The cost for this R&R is $165 with one massage; $235 with two massages (does not include room rate).

Shopping Specials

We’ve teamed up with 10 retail stores to offer you some great discounts and promotions in Saugatuck/Douglas, including clothing, food/drink, and art–what a great way to explore some of the distinctive shops this area has to offer.

Gift Certificates

Give the most amazing gift on the planet. Imagine receiving a gift certificate from Sherwood Forest B&B! After the recipient jumps up and down and hugs that special someone, he or she will rush to the phone to book a room at Sherwood Forest (just gotta have that fireplace/Jacuzzi suite).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s what’s happening in and around the area…

 

 

Bed & Breakfast and Brewery

Looking for a weekend getaway involving brewing your own batch of beer? Sherwood Forest is offering a unique weekend package that includes a 2-night stay plus access to Saugatuck Brewing Company’s brew-on-site facilities. SBC will provide the recipes, from light to dark, with more than 70 different recipes available. They’ll also provide the ingredients and professional brewing equipment as well as the expertise to take you through the brewing process. You’ll brew at least 11 gallons of beer (sixty 22oz. bottles). If 11 gallons of beer is more than you need, bring a friend or two and split the batch. It takes 3-4 hours to brew your batch and you return in 2 weeks to bottle and sample your beer, which takes about 2 hours, or you can have them bottle it and pick it up later (an extra $20). The cost runs from $512 to $695 depending on the time of year and the room. For more info, call Keith or Sue at 800-838-1246.

Bed & Breakfast, Dinner, and Off-Broadway Theater

Sherwood Forest has this to offer: 2 nights at Sherwood Forest B&B, dinner for two at either Chequers in Saugatuck, a British-style pub offering English favorites, or Restaurant Toulouse, a French-American restaurant with warm French provincial ambiance, and 2 tickets to the Mason Street Warehouse, where you’ll experience professional off-Broadway theater. The line up for this season is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (June 25-July 18), Dixie’s Tupperware Party (July 21-August 1), The Marvelous Wonderettes (August 6-22), and The Nuclear Family (August 25-29). Package prices range from $249 to $569. To book this, call Keith or Sue at 800-838-1246.

Bed & Breakfast and Charter Boat Fishing

Looking for the ultimate experience in Saugatuck fishing charters? Sherwood Forest B&B is offering an extraordinary package that includes some awesome lodging plus some great fishing with Best Chance Charters, Saugatuck, Michigan’s premiere fishing experts. For years, the Saugatuck port has provided some of the best salmon, trout, perch, and walleye fishing within the Great Lakes region. Whether you’re a novice who wants special attention or an experienced angler who is looking for more of a hands-on trip, their professional staff is prepared to help make your Saugatuck fishing charter experience a highlight of your visit. Here are the details: you’ll get 1 or 2 nights at Sherwood Forest B&B plus a fishing trip on Lake Michigan and some awesome bragging rights when you return home. The cost runs from $608 to $985, depending on the time of year and the room. For more info or to book this package, call Keith or Sue at 800-838-1246.

Bed and Breakfast and Arnold Palmer Golf

Spend a couple of nights at Sherwood Forest, and we’ll arrange for you to play at The Ravines, an Arnold Palmer signature championship golf course, a sweeping, 18-stanza epic, where nature meets sport in ways you simply must witness to believe. Here’s what you get: a 2-night stay at Sherwood Forest, 18 holes of golf for two (with a cart) with a guaranteed tee time at The Ravines, and some great dinner recommendations so you don’t have to do the hit and miss thing (cost ranges from $404-$645). To book this package, call us at 800-838-1246.

Waterfront Film Festival

From June 10-13, head to Saugatuck for the coolest event of the year: the Waterfront Film Festival. With close to 60 films (ranging from shorts, documentaries, comedies, and dramas), seminars, and panel discussions with experienced film industry veterans, it promises to be a great event. The annual free flick is on June 10 and starts with a street party at 7 p.m. on Water Street, followed at dusk with an outdoor screening of a soon-to-be-named film. For more info, call 269-857-8351.

More Movies

It’s Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the Saugatuck Douglas District Library in Douglas. On June 3: It Should Happen To You with Jack Lemmon and Judy Holiday; June 17: The Apartment with Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLean; and July 1: Moonstruck with Cher and Nicolas Cage.

Still More Movies

Film Studies at the Red Barn

Local Douglas resident and film concept developer John Hardy will introduce each film and lead a brief discussion afterward during the Red Barn Film Studies. June 1: Lawrence of Arabia–1962 Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn; June 8: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels-1988 Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly; June 15: Casino Royale–David Niven, Ursula Andress, Woody Allen, Peter Sellers and Orson Welles; June 22: Auntie Mame-1958 Rosalind Russell, Peggy Cass, Coral Browne and Pippa Scott; June 29: Rebel Without a Cause–1955 James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo; July 6: Giant-1956- Dinner and a Movie Night at The Red Barn Theater–Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean; July 13: To Be Or Not To Be-1942 Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Carole Lombard; July 20: Kiss Me Kate-1953 Ann Miller, Bob Fosse, Carol Haney; July 27: To Kill a Mockingbird-1962 Gregory Peck, Brock Peters, John Megna, Phillip Alford, Mary Badham, Robert Duvall; August 3: Dr. Zhivago-1965 Dinner and a Movie Night at The Red Barn Theater, Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Alec Guinness, Rod Steiger; August 10: Rock Around the Clock-1956; August 17: Cabaret-1972,Michael York, Liza Minnelli; August 24: Sunset Boulevard-1950 William Holden, Gloria Swanson; August 31: The Lady Vanishes-1938, Margaret Lockwood, Dame Mae Whitty, Michael Redgrave; September 7: Fiddler On The Roof-1971,Dinner and a Movie Night at The Red Barn Theater, Israeli actor Topol, Norma Crane; September 14: High Noon-1952 Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges; September 21: Gypsy-1962,Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood; September 28: Moby Dick -1956,Gregory Peck; All screenings are at 6:30 p.m. For more info, call 269-857-5300.

Farmers’ Market

The Green Market is at the SCA from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. every Friday starting June 11 until October 8. There will also be the Monday Market (July 5-August 30) from 3-7 p.m. where local farmers and growers will bring fresh produce, flowers, and perennials, plus homemade jams, jellies and baked goods to the SCA. For more info, call 269-857-2399.

Wineries

Head out to Fenn Valley Winery on June 26 for their Wine Fest from 1-5 p.m. where once again they’ll kick off the beginning of summer as they open their cellars for wine tasting, ethnic foods, and live music. Then on July 17, enjoy Blues in the Vineyard—bring a picnic basket and your lawn chair and park it for a day of live blues, starts at 2:30 p.m. For more info, call 269-857-2396.

More Theater

Hope Summer Repertory Theatre will present Into The Woods from June 18-July 31 at the DeWitt Theatre in Holland. Stephen Sondheim draws from the classic tales of Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Ridinghood, and Rapunzel, weaving their stories together in this intricate grown-up version. Then its I Do! I Do! from June 25-August 10 at the Knickerbocker Theatre in Holland, which follows a young couple from the bliss and uncertainty of the wedding night, through parenthood, mid-life crisis, and growing old together in the early 20th Century. Then The Last Night of Ballyhoo will run from August 2-13 at the Knickerbocker. This comedy is set in Atlanta on the day of the Gone with the Wind premiere in the pre-WWII era. A Year With Frog and Toad will run from August 2-13 at the Knickerbocker. These two well-loved characters from Arnold Lobel’s books will take you on a musical journey through the joy and sharing of the simple pleasures of friendship. For more info, call 616-395-7890.

 

Theatre

The Red Barn Players present Neil Simon’s comedy/mystery Rumors on June 17-20 and July 2-3. Several affluent couples gather in the posh suburban residence of a couple for a dinner party celebrating their host’s 10th anniversary. When they arrive, they discover there are no servants, the hostess is missing, and the host – the deputy mayor of New York City – has shot himself through the earlobe. Comic complications arise when, given everyone’s upper class status, they decide they need to do everything possible to conceal the evening’s events from the local police and the media. Then for one night only on June 25 at 8 p.m. the fantastic Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company visits the historic Red Barn Theater and presents The Tempest by William Shakespeare. The Jewish Theater of Grand Rapids returns to the Red Barn Theater on July 16 and 18 with the musical Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah! Seven angels plays host to a musical revue based on Allan Sherman’s endearing collection of song parodies. For more info, call 269-857- 5300.

10 Summer Travel Tips

June 5th, 2010 by Mariah

To go along with our Summer Specials Blog, here are 10 Summer Travel Tips to help your getaway go smoothly. Even if you have the best of intentions when planning your trip, there are a few major things everyone should remember before heading out on a summer road trip.

 

 

 

1. Tend to your tires. Exchange your winter tires for summer or all-season tires. Winter tires wear out quickly on dry, hot pavement; switching them early will keep them in optimum shape for next year, not to mention improve your car’s handling during the summer months.

Check your tire pressure — and check it often. With every passing month, the average tire loses about a pound of air pressure. Proper tire inflation is critical to achieving the best possible contact between the tire and the road and avoiding blowouts and tread separation. Most cars have a decal mounted in their driver doorjamb that lists the correct tire pressures depending on tire size and vehicle load. Properly inflated tires will also improve fuel economy, particularly important if you’re doing lots of high-speed driving on a long family vacation.

 

2. Stay on top of your fluids. If you’ve fallen behind on maintenance, get your car’s oil changed before you hit the road. Keep in mind that any of today’s oils, including 5W-30, 10W-30 or 10W-40 grades, are multiviscous, and get a bit thinner the hotter it gets outside, thereby increasing the chance that the engine might not get the proper lubrication (it’s the opposite in winter). Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will list the manufacturer’s oil recommendations for different climates. If you have a dealership or local garage perform the oil change, ask the manager what type and viscosity of oil they are putting into your vehicle. Consider changing it to a compound that’s slightly thicker if you’re going to be driving in extreme temperatures. While the hood is up, check the coolant/antifreeze mixture inside your vehicle’s radiator. The ideal ratio of coolant to water is 50-to-50 for optimal temperature regulation in both cold weather and hot. You can check this with a simple and inexpensive antifreeze tester, which you can find at all auto parts stores.

 

3. Give the rest of your car a once-over. Inspect the belts and hoses. In modern cars, they are designed to last a long time, but still have the potential to fail. Before summer begins, have the belts and hoses inspected by a mechanic. And if your car is at least a couple of years old and you’re not sure when they were last replaced, consider having them changed, especially before setting out on a long road trip.

Inspect the wiper blades. The life expectancy of a wiper blade is just one year, and wipers often get dried out or chewed up during a hard winter. If yours are not making full contact with the windshield, replace them. Also, keep an eye on your windshield washer fluid reservoir, which you can top off in less time than it takes to fill your tank with gas.

Finally, check the battery. Extreme heat and cold put additional strain on an automobile battery, particularly older ones. If yours is more than 3 years old, have it tested at a certified automotive repair facility. If you don’t know how old it is, think about replacing it. This may seem like an unnecessary expense — especially for those on tight budgets — but trust us, it’s better than trying to find a replacement battery while you’re stuck on the side of the road with three screaming kids.

 

4. Prepare an emergency kit for your car. Here’s what we recommend carrying in a safe, secure part of your trunk or cargo area:

a. A flashlight, flares and a first-aid kit

b. Jumper cables

c. A mat or blanket to protect your clothing in the event that you need to change a tire or reach debris that might be lodged underneath your vehicle

d. Extra clothes and gloves

e. Paper towels

f. Extra washer fluid

g. Nonperishable food

h. Jug of water

i. Basic tools (wrenches, ratchet/socket set, screwdrivers, pliers or Vise-Grips, etc.)

Many of these items are available (often prepackaged) at auto parts stores or major department stores. Also, keep the phone number for your emergency roadside assistance program, if you have one, in a convenient location.

 

5. Pack smart. Many of us are guilty of taking everything but the bathtub with us on road trips — stuffing our vehicles to the roof with pillows, coolers, suitcases, CDs, etc. — to the detriment of the vehicle’s comfort, handling and outward visibility. Our advice: bring only what’s necessary.

In the days before you leave, then, make a list of what you’ll need on your trip, and pack as many of those things ahead of time as possible instead of throwing everything in the car in a panic at the last minute. Ask yourself: do you have to bring shampoo when it will be provided by your hotel? Can you afford to eat some meals along the way instead of packing up the entire pantry? Do you really need to bring eight pairs of shorts when you’ll have access to Grandma’s washer/dryer?

That said, we do recommend packing a small cooler with bottled water, crackers, cereal bars, fruit, etc., to keep you and your family hydrated and hunger-free. Replenish these supplies at gas stations or rest stops. Try to avoid salty foods and sodas, as they can actually make you thirstier. And don’t stuff yourself when you eat; food comas at 70 miles per hour are not good, to say the least.

 

 

6. Load smart. Once you’ve decided what to bring, don’t pack items so high that they completely block your outward vision. Don’t bury items that you may need to access at a rest stop. If possible, even out your load from side to side, and if you’re hauling something in a pickup or SUV, try to keep the heaviest items as close to the center of the vehicle as possible for optimal handling.

7. Avoid fatigue. Drowsy driving is one of the leading causes of highway accidents. There are a few measures you can take to avoid getting tired on the road. Make absolutely sure you get a good night’s rest before spending a long time behind the wheel. Be mindful of caffeine; a short-term coffee buzz will be followed by a lull, and it’s all but impossible to sustain one’s energy for hours on end. Switch drivers every hour or two if you can. If you find yourself getting tired, by all means pull over at a safe spot, switch on your hazard lights and rest for a few minutes. Finally, stop often. Some people complain about having small bladders, but frequent bathroom stops actually help lower the risk of freeway fatigue. Besides, you never know what cool trinkets, local vittles and photo ops may be waiting for you in those random small towns you might otherwise skip over.

 

8. Tow, tow, tow your boat (or any trailer) with safety in mind. Keep it slow, keep it smooth. When towing, everything you do while driving needs to be done at significantly reduced speed when compared to driving without a trailer. Smoothness and caution are paramount to successful trailering, including accelerating, turning, changing lanes and especially braking. Plan all maneuvers well ahead of time and be especially cautious when towing a slab-sided trailer in windy conditions. Also, familiarize yourself with trailering-specific traffic laws and heed reduced speed limits.

 

 

9. Take the scenic route. Life really is about the journey, so for Pete’s sake, have some fun on your trip. If you’re particularly confident in your navigator (or navigation system), consider taking the more picturesque side roads instead of broad, mind-numbing interstates that may be packed with big rigs and holiday travelers. Pad your trip with extra time so that you can stop at historical landmarks, soak in the beauty of natural landmarks or enjoy a picnic.

 

10. Be nice. While the high costs of gasoline may keep some families off the road this year, you’ll probably encounter quite a few fellow road-trippers anyway. But consider this: you’re tired, they’re tired, and highway driving (especially with little ones) can shorten our collective fuses, making road rage all too common on our interstates. Some words to the wise: be nice. Use your signals. Let faster drivers pass. Don’t tailgate. Be patient with trucks and vacationing families in RVs. They have a right to the road, too, and if we all can just learn to get along, the road can be an awfully fun place to spend time.

Summer Specials

June 4th, 2010 by Mariah

Summer is a great time to hit the road for an adventure in travel. Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns can be a great place to relax after a full day of fun in the sun. Here are a few of our favorite Summer Specials that our Bed and Breakfast members are currently offering!

 

 

 

Gramercy Mansion in Baltimore, MD

 

Last Minute Special

Book any available room after 3 p.m. on the day prior to check-in and take 50% off the regular rate for a mid-week stay or 30% off for a Friday or Saturday night stay. Corporate & government rates available Monday – Thursday for our business travelers (single occupancy only – call for details). All Gramercy rooms have telephone and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Fax and copier services also available.

 

 

Wild West Horseback Riding

In the mood for adventure? Make your stay at Gramercy unforgettable by traversing the trails of Patapsco State Park on horseback! Tie up your horse at the hitching posts at Woodstock Inn and enjoy lunch on us! (Your choice of soup or salad, sandwich & fountain soda.) Jump back on your horse for a ride back to Misty Manor Riding Stable to conclude a truly memorable day. The Wild West Horseback Riding Adventure will take about 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Riding experience and equipment not required. By reservation only, 48 hour advance notice required. Package cost: $175 per person. Package charges are additional and do not include the room rate. Add 6% sales tax.

 

Seduction Basket-Dinner for Two

Enjoy an extraordinary culinary experience delivered in a beautiful flower-enhanced basket by Sascha’s Catering! Menu includes delicious sampling of hors devours, selection of beef or salmon Wellington or stuffed chicken breast and a delectable variety of deserts served with a bottle of red or white wine. Call for a complete menu… Dinner basket must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance: $175. Package charges are additional and do not include the room rate. Add 6% sales tax.

 

 

 

 

 

The Captain Stannard House in Westbrook, CT

 

Good Life All About Me Package

Run away for a relaxing stay in one of our tempting guest rooms. Take the train, we’ll pick you up. Enjoy a delicious candlelit 2/course breakfast in our warm & inviting Dining Room. Then, off to shop. We have coupon vouchers for two premium outlets within minutes of the Inn. On to a wine tour and tasting at Chamard Vineyards ~ be sure to sample their award-winning Chardonnay. Return in anticipation of a full hour massage in the privacy of your room. 2/nts.. an all about you blissful day. Give us a call when you’re ready. We look forward to welcoming you to our secret garden, your home away from home. Massage $100/hr in addition to your room.

All Inclusive Wedding Package

Congratulations! Come to us. The Captain Stannard House is a romantic, historic Inn in quaint Westbrook on the CT shoreline ~ one block from the beach. We will provide a stress-free special day that you will never forget. The Inn will be yours ~ lodging (all nine guest rooms) ~ our beautiful Great Room & Captain’s Room ~ our 80′x16′ South Porch ~ and so much more… please visit our website: www.stannardhouse.com for complete details for our 2/hour all inclusive wedding package. Please call the Inn at 860.399.4634 for your personal tour & consultation or for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, NC

 

Flannel Nightshirts Reunion

Is any clothing more cozy than a flannel nightshirt from days of old? Is any lodging more cozy than a log cabin tucked in a pine forest with a real fireplace and a real kitchen? Is anything more fun than a girls reunion? When you bring those three things together you have a post-college sorority type “girls night in” reunion party sure to provide relaxation and plenty of hoots and hollers. We provide the embroidered flannel nightshirts to commemorate the party, fluffy slippers, Raspberry Hill, dining room, 4 beds, 2 bedrooms, a loft and a couch, 2 bathrooms, some oldies but goodies, yes even 3 pizzas and a case of beer or 6 bottles of North Carolina wine, a mountain farmer storyteller to scare the bejesus out of you, a bluegrass group the next night to square things off, and then we toss in a Farm-Opoly game the third night the winner of the farm gets to take home, and Mast Farm Inn Coffee Mugs stuffed with kisses for the other winners from the weekend. This three day “girls night out” extravaganza for 4-7 ladies (depending exclusively on your capability to rough it for 7, or not at all, for 4), does not include breakfast at the inn (the cabin has a full kitchen and dining room), is available for booking for any three consecutive days and nights, in or out of season, excluding holidays, where check-in is on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday after 2:00PM. You can offer your friends this reunion package and seem uppity or go Dutch treat. Sometimes uppity works. Especially if you want the master bedroom and bath rather than having to pull straws. He, he, he… This offer can only be purchased here at this all inclusive, taxes and gratuities included, special package price. Round up the ladies for a memorable once in a lifetime, and well-deserved few days of high-jinx. A $2470 Value for $1970.

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