Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘inns’

Welcome to Mississippi

Photo courtesy P. Rickrode

So, we’re coming up on two years now since we made the big cross-country move and relocated to Mississippi. Innkeeping has been rewarding and challenging and . . . a real learning experience that will forever change the way I stay at hotels, motels, and/or B & B’s in the future. (more…)

Read Full Post »

table set for dinnerLast Sunday was one of the most challenging days we’ve had here at Casa Baer. We’ve been very, very busy, which is a good thing. Saturday night we had a full house; someone in every room. That means fourteen for breakfast Sunday morning. The table was set, the casserole was ready to pop in the oven, the coffee was ready to perk. Everything set for the perfect morning at the inn. (more…)

Read Full Post »

So here’s part two of the virtual tour of the house that Leona built.

If you’ll recall, we left off in the awesome entry hallway downstairs that separates the front door from the back door. Let’s all go upstairs and take a peek into a few of the guest rooms.

Our first stop will be the Tara Room. I should let you know that currently all of the rooms are named after Gone With the Wind characters or houses, which are characters in their own right. However, we will probably be changing the names at some point in the future. We’re shooting for a more Mississippi themed house and Gone With the Wind was not set in Vicksburg or anywhere in Mississippi, although it is an epic Southern based media phenomenon.

So, back to the Tara Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

 

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room has a lovely queen-sized 4-poster bed, a sparkling Austrian crystal chandelier, and a non-working fireplace. It has it’s own private bath and sits toward the back of the home.

Next we’ll visit the Rhett Room:

Rhett 2

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Rhett 3

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room has a queen-sized canopy bed as well as a day bed, however, in just a couple of weeks, a 4-poster twin bed will replace the daybed. It also has a non-working fireplace. It shares a bathroom with the Pineapple Room. The bathroom is across the hall because both the Rhett and the Pineapple rooms are in the oldest part of the home, the side that has no plumbing on either the first or the second floors. These are the largest guest rooms in the house.

Next, we’ll visit the Pineapple Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 2

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 3

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Pineapple 4

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room is also on the older side of the home and has floor-to-ceiling windows on two walls. It has a king-size bed and, for now, the 4-poster twin bed that will be moved into the Rhett room, when we pick up the full-sized 4-poster bed we just purchased for this room. Like the other three rooms we’ve visited, it has a non-working fireplace. This room is usually allocated to brides for their use before wedding ceremonies conducted at the home, since it is so spacious and has lots of light from the four windows.

Take a peek back down the upstairs hallway as we go back across to the newer side of the home to the Bonnie Blue Room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Those cabinets on the left are built in and original to the home.

Let’s step into the Bonnie Blue Room, my favorite guest room:

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

This room, situated in the front of the house, has an impressive king-size bed and a small sitting area in the sunny bay window. This room was Lazarus and Leona’s bedroom when they occupied the home in the late 1870’s. It has a private bathroom, obviously added at some point after the home was originally constructed, and a lovely Austrian crystal chandelier. This is the only guest room upstairs that does not have an original fireplace. We believe it is covered up by built-in cabinets and shelving, added in the 1970’s when the entire home housed law offices and a law library in the current ballroom.

There are two more guest rooms, but it was difficult to photograph them since the lighting is not very good in those rooms at this point. We are upgrading our website and have a local photographer coming to take some professional shots so I’ll post those at some point in the future.

There is an upstairs porch on the back side, shown below, and a balcony in the front of the house, but you’ll have to experience that for yourself when you visit.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

Original photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015.

So that’s the end of our tour today. I hope you enjoyed this second glimpse of my new home. But, I hope even more that you’ll book a reservation to come experience the ambiance and grandeur for yourself. The front porch swing is a lovely place to sit and sip a glass of wine in the evenings.

So, what did you think? Which room do you want to stay in when you visit? Have a favorite? Any suggestions for re-naming the rooms? We’re trying to go with names and themes associated with Mississippi and it’s history. I’d love to hear your suggestions. I’ll even award a $10 Amazon gift card for any suggestions we decide to use.

As, always, thanks for visiting and your continued support.

Word of the Day:  Azimuth

Fun Fact About Me: I’ve never been fond of cats. (Sorry CJ.)

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Read Full Post »

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Photo courtesy Baer House Inn

Here it is – my new abode! Come on in, take a look around. While you explore, I’ll share some of the history of the home. Let’s start in the ballroom:

Baer House parlor

The Baer House was constructed in 1870 by Leona and Lazarus Baer from an existing site with a brick structure dating prior to 1850. Most of the original house was destroyed during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863. Leona Baer (formerly Bloom) began reconstruction with the goal of building a Victorian home guaranteed to impress with elaborate woodwork in the Eastlake architectural style, made popular by Charles L. Eastlake in the 1870’s and common among the elite in New York.

If you’ll turn around, you can see the other end of this large room, which is where guests enjoy a hearty breakfast, complete with a variety of hot dishes, juice, fresh fruit, homemade breads, hot black coffee, and made-to-order specialty dishes.

Baer House dining room

Back to the home’s construction. Leona Baer, was quite the revolutionary woman, insisting on overseeing every aspect of the home’s design and monitoring it’s construction. She was very forward-thinking for her generation, insisting that the kitchen be inside the home (an unheard of idea at that time) and that there be privies on the first and second floors. That’s right, this home sports a two-story outhouse. Don’t believe me? You’ll have to make a reservation and check this out yourself. The structure is still standing and still attached to the house. Makes for interesting conversation among tour guests.

Let’s step into the hallway for this next portion.

Baer House hallway

The head-turner here is, obviously, the grand staircase, complete with solid walnut balustrade. Notice the floors? They were painstakingly constructed of black walnut and American chestnut, highly sought after for it’s durability and rot resistance. Yes, the chandelier is quite impressive as well, as are the crown moldings and ceiling medallions. However, what is spectacular about this floor is that it is irreplaceable since the entire American chestnut population in Mississippi was wiped out by the blight around the turn of the 20th century.

Up those stairs are 6 guest rooms, 4 with private baths, 2 with a shared bath. Most have either a King or Queen bed, 2 are mini suites. The upstairs, while still quite grand, does not boast the fancy trimmings of the downstairs. You see, Leona believed that the family, children in particular, should not socialize with guests until they reached a proper age, thus the need for upstairs privies. Until such time, children were to remain upstairs and out of sight. There are still 14-foot doors with glass transomes up there, but they are plain, not decorated with the fancy Eastlake trimmings. After all, family does not need to dwell among such lavishness; luxury is visible only to esteemed guests.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Perhaps next week, I’ll treat you to some photos of the guest rooms and share some more of the fascinating history, including mysterious activity that happens in certain areas of the home. For now, this was a smattering of the fanciness of my new digs. I might also tell you about some of the goings-ons (that sounds weird) here in Vicksburg. Yes, stuff happens even in the heat. I know, I was shocked, too.

How have you been managing the summer heat? Have you traveled anywhere fun this month? What cool old houses have you visited? Curious people want to know.

 

Word of the Day: Xerostomia

Fun fact about me: I’ve yet to find a dishwasher that removes egg from anything.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2015. Photos courtesy TripAdvisor.com and Google Images.

Read Full Post »

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

The human brain is an amazing thing. We have the ability to process tremendous amounts of information in a single second. Our synapses fire at incredible speeds for very long periods of time. It’s a wonder we don’t get dizzy with all of the information pouring into us and through us, triggering rapid-fire bursts of energy under our skin. But, what amazes me the most is the persuasive power of suggestion.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

We’ve heard the expression we “will” ourselves not to do something. It is our will that prevents us from getting sick. Or vice versa, the power of suggestion can in fact make us sick. How many times have we traveled on a plane or in some other vehicle with close quarters and some kid or obnoxious adult is coughing and hacking without the decency to cover their mouth? Haven’t we all said, at least once in our lives, “I’ll probably be sick now?” That’s right, we “will” ourselves into illness. We’ve made the suggestion to our ever-powerful mind, and it happens just so.

That my friends is the power of suggestion. That is how trends become fads and fads become crazes. Someone “suggests” something and we all jump on the bandwagon. Someone in Hollyweirdwood decided to shock the world by wearing a see-through dress.  Now, everyone who’s anyone is wearing see through clothing because it’s all the rage. Someone suggested it, someone else pondered on it and voila, it’s a new trend. Not long ago I blogged about eating fads and the new trendiness of having food allergies. Someone with an honest to goodness gluten allergy got sick and tired of nobody believing them so they riled up the social media sites with their symptoms and bang – everyone’s gluten intolerant because they happen to have similar symptoms. That’s the power of suggestion.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

This persuasive tendency in our minds is very real and very reliable. Above I said that people can “will” themselves into being sick. Same works in reverse. Ever heard the expression, “where there’s a will, there’s a way?” That’s the power of suggestion my friends. We suggest that something may be possible and suddenly it happens. That’s how I became a writer. Someone from my past suggested that I write down one of the crazy tales spinning around in my head. I pondered that idea and look at me now, I’m writing books.

The power of suggestion has actually had a profound effect on my life very recently; life-changing in fact. If you follow my blog, you know that my house is for sale, which obviously means that I am moving, and you’ve seen my most recent post about the obstacle blocking the path I chose from the fork in my road. Well, it seems that that obstacle has been removed and I am once again cruising down the road to my future.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Here’s how it all started; my husband and I have been trying to move out of California for many years now, but something has always prevented us from doing so. I’ll not go into detail, but suffice it to say that the things preventing our move were huge and much more important at the time than us moving East. We decided at the end of last year that we would try again. We traveled to North Carolina (the State we’d decided on many years ago) to look at houses and check out the employment market. While we were there an opportunity presented itself to us and we sort of checked into it on a whim. That whim got us to thinking, which lead to suggesting that perhaps we choose another path; one not in North Carolina. Here’s where the power of suggestion changed our lives – that suggestion is going to happen very, very soon.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

We are going to be the owners of a Bed & Breakfast!

That’s right, we’ll be innkeepers. The power of suggestion has transformed our lives dramatically. Neither my husband nor I had ever talked about owning or operating an inn, yet here we are, about to be innkeepers. (It should be noted that we both have experience doing this kind of work and in the hospitality and food industry.)

While we were looking at houses in North Carolina back in November, we can upon a really cute old farmhouse for sale. Even though it was out of our price range, we decided to check it out – on a whim. It was operating as a bed and breakfast, but only had 4 guest rooms. It was way too expensive to consider buying for a private home, but did not provide enough income opportunities (with only 4 rentable rooms) to make ends meet as a business. But, that got us to thinking – why not look into buying an inn? That way we’d have built in jobs when we purchase our new home. Sort of, killing two birds with one stone.

That’s all I’m going to say for now, because a couple of little pieces still need to fall into place to complete the big picture, but I’m fairly confident that in a week or two there’ll be an announcement with all the details. There is a clue in this post, however.

And that my friends, is how the power of suggestion can change a life.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Tell me dear readers, how has the power of suggestion had an impact on your life? Have you ever willed yourself sick? Or not sick? Have you ever stayed in a bed and breakfast inn? If so, what was your favorite part?

Word of the day: Rya

Fun fact about me: I worked at a bed & breakfast one summer a number of years ago. I enjoyed it.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2015. Images and photos courtesy Google Images.

 

Read Full Post »