If you couldn’t tell from the somewhat premature pink and red store displays, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Luckily though, you have enough time to start making plans for you and your significant other. Maybe you already have an idea in mind—a bouquet of roses, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, or a fuzzy little teddy bear that croons, “I love you.” Sure, these are all sweet sentiments, but why not do something different this year? That’s where we come in! Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles is here to spark, re-kindle, and fire up the romance this Valentine’s Day, so don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy a temporary escape and memories to last a lifetime.
Need more convincing? Well then, here are 3 reasons to visit Cape Charles for Valentine’s Day:
Whether you’re planning to reserve a room for Valentine’s Day, or you’re surprising your sweetie pie with a gift certificate for a future Bay Haven inn of Cape Charles vacation, you can rest assured that romance will find you on Virginia's Eastern Shore.
I am sure I am not alone when I say I am so OVER all of this spam from retail merchants bombarding my inbox, each day offering promises of the better deal or perfect gift! Who knows what the real price or value really is and even better if your loved one will like it, or will it fit! So Jim and I are doing what we like to call the perfect gift! We are gifting each other time away together! We will be visiting two B&B’s this holiday season and it got me to thinking…this is the perfect idea for other couples! Don’t waste time and money searching for something they may not like or do not need…give the gift of your time together.
As I was noodling this idea I reached out to Amy Hager today, the guru of all things B&B in Virginia, and she gave some great ideas for the perfect way to "gift" an InnVirginia gift card. “Your grandparents will be able to take time to go see the sights in Williamsburg or treat your boss to a weekend getaway to the Eastern Shore. Maybe a sibling that just had a baby would enjoy an InnVirginia gift card and a little babysitting for a “kid free” weekend. I really can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t be able to find a place to stay and enjoy their vacation. (you could even give one to your pet as we have over 30 pet friendly properties on InnVirginia.com)!” I think there a few days left to get a gift card in hand before the holidays if you visit https://www.innvirginia.com/productcart.php?viewproductid=47&sentfrom=todaysdeal I sent out two gift cards today with a great info packet about the Eastern Shore, I can almost imagine their excitement Christmas morning when they open that gift!
This year has been a great year for us as we have met so many wonderful people from all over Virginia, the United States and the world. We are always happy to have those loyal B&Ber’s who have been to many Bed and Breakfasts or Inns and I was amazed at how many “virgin” B&Ber’s we had as guests this year. So many are curious what is a B&B thing is all about. Last year at an Inn Keepers conference I asked Tim Wilson, the king guru of all things B&B nationally, as he works for BedandBreakfast.com (also a great place to get gift cards) what makes the B&B experience unique from a travelers perspective. This is what he had to say “B&B and inn-type properties offer tremendous value. What many travelers may not realize is that when staying at a B&B, the room rate not only includes the room, but it also includes a homemade breakfast made fresh each day, free parking, free wi-fi, complimentary refreshments, local/expert advice from your innkeeper, and often times, a top-shelf experience that is tailored to each guest’s personal interests. Travelers can’t find that at the vast majority of hotels without being nickel and dimed for each added amenity.” It was pretty neat to get this insight from a guy who spends his days observing and measuring why travelers make the choices they do.
So here is what I have to say…check a few people off your list with a gift of a B&B gift card and sit back, open a glass of wine and make a toast to your holiday shopping being complete!
Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles signature sweet potato biscuits with Virginia Country Ham
We were so excited recently to find that we had been recognized among several other wondeful Virginia B&B's for our notable breakfasts. Jim Jim the Baker man was particularly happy since he is the baker in the family! He took an original Thomas Jefferson Recipe and combined it with a eastern shore natives recipe, Susie Mapp and added a Bay Haven Inn tweak or two and Wahlah! The biscuits are a two-bite sized golden orange biscuit, finished with a brush of butter, filled with the finest Virginia Edwards ham and then the real choice begins...which of Tammy's homemade jams do you add? Ginger Fig, Peach Pepper or perhaps a combo of all three Pepper Peach and Fig! Of course you can be a purist and enjoy them just as they are, either way you will be wanting more before you leave the Bay Haven Inn!
The BHI is partnering with the Northampton Chamber of Commerce are hosting a “It’s Five O’Clock Now” ribbon cutting Thursday, May 23rd on the porch of the inn to officially kick off "peak" season in Cape Charles, a quaint coastal town nestled off the shore of the Chesapeake Bay. If you are reading this and are in town put your flips flops and Hawaiian shirt on and …come on by!
As Inn Keepers Jim and I are bracing ourselves for what we hope to be a productive and exciting season. Spring has been very steady and we have already met many wonderfully kind and interesting people. Many have left their footprints in the sandy beach of Cape Charles and are planning a return visit!
We have planted our vegetable and herb gardens steps from our kitchen so that we can serve the freshest produce to our guests. We continue to develop, practice and sample (tough job :-) new recipes and have definitely found some guest favorites already!
We sure hope will be able to see some of our friends and family as “guests” this summer to enjoy our “little piece of paradise” (as our most recent guests called it) and we hope to make new friends as guests enjoy a relaxing escape at the Bay Haven Inn.
As we celebrated Mother's Day this past weekend we were surrounded by wonderful friends and family including my sisters, nieces and cousins who are all wonderful mothers. But as I looked around I reflected that two very important mothers to Jim and I were not there. Moma was at home sick, those who know mom know that if she missed a celebration she was really feeling rotten! I do hope she kicks this funk soon. I sure missed her smiling face, the sound of her laughter and of course her mac n' cheese and fruit salad :-), but at the end of the picnic I knew I could call her on the way home.
Jim also misses his Mamma dearly, her smile, listening ear and of course her deviled eggs :-) but he did not have the same opportunity as I did to call her on the way home. It still seems like yesterday that Miss Polly's Sunday evening calls came in or her postcards arrived from her travels. I miss her...and my heart hurts for Jim as I know how much he misses her everyday. As we listen to the the many birds chatter here on the Eastern Shore we smile and know as we sit on the porch on Tazewell Ave that a certained winged angel is looking over us.
Miss Polly at the Davidson Farm in Tennessee. GO HOKIES!
Moma in Action....helping us find the house thru the jungle!
Anchors Away! What a great surprise to find the Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles featured in my national sorority, Alpha Sigma Tau, magazine, The Anchor that just came out. I have such incredible memories of my time at Radford University as a sorority member. I learned so many things that impact my life today as an Inn Keeper, how to build and keep meaningful relationships, the ins and outs of proper etiquette and gracious southern hospitality, organizational and leadership skills, the importance of getting involved and giving to your community and of course how to host a great party!
This year I was able to go back to Radford and celebrate AST's 60th anniversary on campus. It was as if we had never left, the sorority still gathers great woman with loving open hearts and hands ready to make a difference in their community. As I reflected on this when returning home I recalled our mission as a sorority.
To foster intellectual, cultural, ethical and social development
To instill a commitment to lifelong leadership
To develop women who enrich the lives of others
To promote an environment of shared understanding and respect for values, expectations and goals
To sustain relationships that transcend the collegiate experience
WOW! I was amazed, how many things in this world actually do what they say they are going to do? So today, I say thank you Alpha Sigma Tau for helping me to become the woman I am today and for the amazing women I have met along the way, you helped form who I am and I am grateful! This article has already connected me with new sisters from near and far....a true gift that keeps on giving!
This was our BONUS when relocating to Cape Charles....Alpha Lambda, AST sister Beth Davis just three doors down! We love seeing her and Mason on their daily walks to the park! Second bonus...Beth introduced me to yet another sorority sister who lives in this small town, Cela Burge, who I simply ADORE!
Foodie Friday March 22, 2013
This week we had requests from several guests for gluten free meals, prompting this weeks Foodie Friday topic. We haven’t had this request yet but we had some great recipes in our arsenal and asked other Cape Charles B&B’s what they offer. With that I set off to research with my new favorite tool…Pinterest!
And a Foodie Friday offering was born! Don’t these bacon wrapped eggcups look delicious? And they are super simple. Take a mini muffin tin and line the edges with a half piece of bacon (you can also do this in a regular size tin) and fill with egg mixture which includes egg beaters, egg whites, add milk if the guest is not dairy free. Then you can get creative and add your favorite spices, I use dry mustard, paprika, salt pepper and fresh herbs, but you could easily make it southwestern by adding those seasonings and red or green pepper… have fun with it and GET CREATIVE! The key to meeting any special dietary need is make it attractive and make sure the guest doesn’t feel their meal is different than everyone else’s…who wouldn’t want to eat this? Have your favorite gluten free recipe? Please share it on the Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles Pinterest page. Happy Foodie Friday from the Bay Haven Inn of Cape Charles!
Oh how we all love Food and we certainly love Fridays! So I decided to combine these two great loves and try and put out a Foodie Friday Blog! One of the great things about running a bed and breakfast is trying out new recipes or creating new concoctions. And one of the greatest things about my partner in crime and loving husband is his understanding of my love for Peanut Butter, Bananas and Chocolate!
Even knowing this, I was surprised yesterday as I came down for breakfast, we had no guests so it was an experiment day, I was greeted with the most wonderful aroma of waffles. But something was different about these waffles they had a beautiful color and could it be I smelled Peanut Butter? Yes! Today’s creation was a lovely peanut butter and banana waffle with mini chocolate chips melted on top, it was wonderful. But as we ate the dish we brainstormed on what would possibly make it better? Ganache…yes a chocolate sauce poured over the waffle just before service, garnished with fresh fruit and wahlah…a guest breakfast was born.
This weekend we shared it with our guests, who are thinking of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, specifically, Cape Charles as a wedding location, and they LOVED it! Bonus!
The sweetest part of the story is that Jim actually made ganache for the first dinner that he prepared for me…it was love at first bite as I tasted those triple chocolate brownies!
The next day we ended up taking the brownies along on a picnic, as we fell in love under the beautiful cherry blossom trees in our nations capital at the National Cherry Blossom Festival (with a few hundred thousand of our closest friends). In fact that picnic was around this same time of year 8 years ago, who would ever imagined that day that we would have been blessed to be able to realize this amazing dream of opening our on Bed and Breakfast….incredible!
So what is your Foodie Friday thought to share?
This week was quite an adventure for many who call the Chesapeake Bay region home! Wednesday, March 6th, while the rest of the eastern seaboard was getting hit with a snowstorm, the eastern shore and Hampton Rhoads area was taken by the surprise of a tremendous wind and rain event.
As I sat in my office Wednesday late afternoon, I noticed that the wind gusts seemed a bit stronger than normal but brushed it off to those great trade winds we get here on the shore. Soon there after, Jim called and said he thought he might be stuck on the VA Beach side for the night as he had just discovered the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (CBBT) http://www.cbbt.com/ was closed to ALL vehicles.
The CBBT staff are very good at identifying treat conditions so we are used to a level 1 or 2 restriction, meaning tractor trailers or trailers etc…but we had yet to experience this level of restriction and it came, as weather does, unexpectedly. Jim decided to hangout for a while to see how things progressed and we hung up with promises to stay in touch. Well, then the Bay Haven Inn phone started ringing for guests who were stuck on this side of the CBBT looking for a place to stay in Cape Charles, makes sense!.
The first group was two sisters from VA Beach on their way home from the Philadelphia Flower show, delightful woman and what a treat for me as I got to hear about the amazing show! Jim called back and said it looked like it was going to be an all-nighter so he reached out to my dear niece Jamie and her family (thanks Matthew, Jamie, Maddie and Noah, Uncle Jim felt so welcomed and cared for!) As the evening progressed the phone calls continued and by 10pm we were a full house and I felt like I soon was going to need to offer couch space! I felt so badly for the travelers but knew the Cape Charles B&B community and hotels were providing a warm bed and hot breakfast to as many as we could accommodate.
The adventure continued when I went up to our quarters to rest for the night. As I got to the third floor I noticed it was particularly drafty and cool and the ole’ gals windows were ah’ rattling! As I attempted to close our bedroom door I noticed there was quite a force of wind pressure and I could not close the door…. hummm and then I stepped to the left and my hair and PJ’s were blowing in the wind! Our skylight had taken sail and was no longer in place and air was blowing in steadily through the screen. I just started to laugh…and wondered what in the world can I possible do to fix this? I quickly determined that there was nothing I could do except prepare the area in case rain came in throughout the night (I was amazed that had not already happened), I hated to worry Jim but I thought he might have a temporary solution that had not occurred to me, he agreed that what I had done would have to hold until we could get someone in to repair. Amazingly I slept without problem (just a bit chilly J) and arose ready to feed the masses! As always in this business you have the opportunity to meet wonderful and unique people, on this occasion we were kindred spirits as we were all under the protection of this “haven” we call home, even without a skylight!
This past weekend Jim and I awoke with excitement as we looked out the window we realized were blessed with a beautiful blanket of white snow. We grinned at each other and he headed outside with the camera. You see we have been trying to "replicate" the photo on our History page from what we guess is to be the 1920's photo of the house when James and Alyce Wilson lived here. Less me in a long coat I think it is a pretty good replica! Did I mention today it was 75 degrees and I worked in the gardens all day! Oh the joy of the wonderful seasons of weather on the shore...so incredible. We are BLESSED!