Sunday, July 31, 2011

Orchard House...not your typical B&B

On my way back from the excursion to Chattanooga, I had occasion to stay at a very different B & B.

I mean that in the absolute best of ways. Orchard House is a wonderful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The rooms were charming, clean, and tastefully decorated. I tend to avoid B & B stays because I find that most have overwhelming Victorian décor…much too busy for my tastes, and Orchard House was just what the décor doctor ordered. I chose the Whitman room for my stay, which I found to be incredibly comfortable. The bed wrapped it’s arms around me like a cloud. The linens were soft yet crisp. The bathroom was immaculately clean and modern, complete with Gilchrist and Soames products.
Interesting conversation was at the top of the order during wine and cheese hour with the wonderful proprietors, Don and Andrew. And talk about a fabulous breakfast? Try hot corn cakes served with hot pure maple syrup, perfectly done brown sugar bacon, a heaping bowl of fresh strawberries, cold fresh orange juice and hot coffee. The food is heavy on natural locally and on-site grown products, and the quality shows. Andrew also makes some killer jams in his kitchen, and I managed to take away a jar of what is sure to be a blue ribbon winner at the Ohio State Fair this year…Carrot Cake Jam. My elderly mother has managed to down the whole jar…she thinks it is just this side of heaven!

Orchard House is located on a working farm, with everything from chickens and rabbits to pigs and llamas.  So you can take a walk through the farmland, meet all the animals, even gather eggs if you so desire.  Don and Andrew will be happy to show you around and answer your questions. 

My only regret was that I had to check out early when a possible appointment in Columbus became a reality and I had to quickly pack and be on my way. You can be assured that I will be visiting Don and Andrew at Orchard House again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I have been lax, I must admit it...

It has been an entire month since I posted. That is bad even for me. Admittedly, I spent two and a half of those weeks transporting my daughter back and forth to work daily and to the grocery store while her van was temporarily “out of commission.” Since this was on top of my own work schedule and daily commutes, and since Jim wasn’t available to help, I got little else done. Transportation runs ended last Tuesday night.
This was followed by the push to get everything packed and ready for the annual trip to Chattanooga, or more correctly East Ridge, for Liberty Con 24. For those of you that are uninformed about such doings, Liberty Con is a sci-fi convention. Yes, I said sci-fi convention. No, I don’t put on Klingon makeup or masks. No, I don’t dress up like Princess Leia or Obi-Wan Kenobi. No, I don’t adorn myself with pounds of chain maille or wear tight skimpy items of clothing, or tape, or Saran Wrap designed to shock the observer.

I am what is known as a mundane to those who do dress up for the occasion. Truth be told, I have a group of friends, also “mundanes” who love sci-fi books and attend several conventions each year. I’d like to say we get actively involved in the scheduled activities, but other than attending an occasional panel discussion with authors we like, we tend to spend our time visit with each other in a venue most people have never experienced.
One of the highlights of the convention is the Baen Publishing slide show. Toni Weisskopf, the head of Baen Publishing, gathers the minions and we all sit around as she does a power point presentation of all the cover art for the upcoming book releases. Cover art is quite popular with sci-fi fans, and there are some truly talented artists producing work for Baen books.
This year, we were particularly bold in that we ventured out to a restaurant we had previously avoided due to the somewhat shabby appearance. Turns out, the restaurant is owned by the sister of a restaurant owner down Atlanta way that some of my mundane friends frequent. So we bravely entered the doors of Portofino. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food. They served both Greek and Italian. I had a really tasty lasagna. We will definitely make a return appearance next year…if the con is held there.
Seems there are a few difficulties with the hotel and upcoming renovations. When we left the convention, no contract had been signed for next year. Normally we have our rooms reserved before we leave. I guess we’ll have to keep an eye on the Liberty Con site to see if any information is forthcoming.
All things considered, we had a great time!