Saturday, January 21, 2017

The Next Chapter

Ready for Retirement "For Real" This Time...

When we told friends and family that we were going to buy a former bed & breakfast building, remodel it, open it, and run it as a small Boutique Bed & Breakfast, many of them (quite frankly) thought we were crazy (but at least they didn't all say it to our faces... ha)!

With Jeff getting ready for retirement from Anheuser-Busch after 27 years, we thought it would be fun to run a business together for 3 to 5 years (or at least until our friends began to retire).  Okay, read into this "Chris thought it would be fun for her and Jeff to run a business together for 3 to 5 years."  Jeff agreed, and our adventure as "Innkeepers" began.

Building up the business from scratch, gutting and remodeling a large portion of the property, learning about zoning, wastewater treatment facilities, SEO, social media, reservation systems, etc., was a large learning curve, but one we found challenging (and we have always loved a good challenge).  We had worked together similarly early on in our marriage, when we started the St. Louis Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a childhood friend in 1986.  That too, was fun and challenging.  We did some research and decided to become "Aspiring Innkeepers" with the state Bed & Breakfast association.  We met a great group of folks with Bed & Breakfast Inns of Missouri (BBIM), and they have been wonderful mentors along the way.  We opened the business, became certified and approved as a Missouri Bed & Breakfast, and away we went, serving travelers to our area.

All of that being said, we are now approaching our fourth season as Innkeepers.  We have had a blast hosting people from all over the world; providing some R&R to weary travelers; giving recommendations on activities, wineries, and restaurants, and meeting amazingly fun people.  In fact, many of our repeat guests are now considered treasured friends.  We've just received another consecutive year's "Certificate of Excellence" from Trip Advisor, thanks to the generous reviews by our guests.  That could not have been accomplished, however, without the culinary expertise of Chef John Richardson, who is like family to us.  He consistently brought unique, tasty, and farm-fresh menu items to our guests, while providing them with cooking tips along the way.  John stayed with us for almost three full seasons until he took a great position at Montelle Winery.  Jeff, who always was our weekday cook, picked up John's weekend Chef duties and finished up our third season in fabulous style.

So, we've decided as we begin year four that we've accomplished what we set out to do and we are now ready to find new owners who want to take the business to the next level.  With our oldest son getting engaged, both our children living out of town, an aging parent, and our friends now retiring, we're now ready to pass on to the next phase of our lives.  We are going to continue providing the best service possible until we find new owners who are ready for this to be the new adventure in their lives. 

Do you know someone who would make great new owners and Innkeepers?  If so, please pass this on to them.

In the meantime, we'll look forward to seeing our return guests and meeting new ones along the way!

To view the listing, click on the link below.  We are selling the business as a total "turn key" opportunity. 

http://www.mlsfinder.com/mo_maris/kw_886/index.cfm?action=listing_detail&property_id=16000228&searchkey=c74ca6ca-9904-b4d4-693e-7223d115e4cf

Friday, January 6, 2017

Winter in Wine Country

A lot of people often ask, "what is there to do in wine country in the winter?"

The answer is... A LOT!

Wineries --
The majority of the wineries in Historic Missouri Wine Country are open, with indoor seating, many with fireplaces and several with food.  You can also catch a "pop-up dinner" at Montelle Winery on select nights, special events at Noboleis, Mount Pleasant, and Chandler Hill, or just stop in for a glass of wine and bring your own food to Sugar Creek.  There is always something going on at these fine places.



Hiking --
A hike in the winter is often said to be the best time of year.  With the foliage gone, it is easy to see wildlife, landscape formations, and a beauty that isn't always visible.  You can find some great hikes off of Highway 94 at the Lewis & Clark Trail, Klondike Park, Lost Valley Trail, Matson Hill Park, or just walk the Katy Trail between Defiance and Weldon Spring to see some beauty.



Historic Sites --
Everyone knows the story of Daniel Boone, don't they?  If not, drive out to the historic Daniel Boone Home, now a St. Charles County Park.  There you can tour the home, visit Boonefield village, and learn about a piece of pioneer history.  History can be found a short drive away on beautiful Main Street in St. Charles, one of the sites of the Lewis & Clark adventure. 



Of course, there are also plenty of quaint B & B's in the area from Defiance to Augusta if you'd like to experience more than a day.  Don't let the winter keep you at home when there is so much to do just a short drive away from the city.  There's always plenty to do in Historic Missouri Wine Country!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The 2016 Holiday Season in Historic Missouri Wine Country

The Holiday Season is Approaching in Historic Missouri Wine Country!

Wanting something to do during November and December?  There's a lot to choose from in the beautiful rolling hills between Defiance and Augusta.

November:

Specialty Dinners --

Montelle Winery has private pairing dinners that are unique as well as delicious. Call to inquire.
Wine Country Gardens offers several seatings for a Thanksgiving Day feast. Reservations required.
The Silly Goose always has something different and unique on their menu. Eat Southern - yum.

Shopping --

Gallery Augusta regularly gets in unique furnishings as well as art work.
The Robin's Nest in Defiance has just decorated for the holidays and there are many gift items for everyone on your list.
Frisella's Nursery offers gifts that are for the house or garden.  Stop by to find some real gems.

Defiance Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - Saturday, November 26th at Vera Jacobsen Park (next to the Trail Smokehouse) at 4:30 pm.


December:

Friday December 2nd -
Augusta Christmas Walk
Stroll around historic Augusta, shop, and dine amid streets lined with luminaries
Daniel Boone Home Candlelight Christmas Walk
Enjoy a guided tour of the Boone Home and explore the Boonesfield Village complete with period characters all amid the glow of candlelight. The Daniel Boone Home is now one of St. Charles County's fabulous parks.

Saturday December 3rd -
Defiance Christmas Festival:
- Dashing Through Defiance 5k Run.  Get registered through Fleet Feet.
- Breakfast Buffet at The Defiance Roadhouse Restaurant.
- Annual Defiance Christmas & Pet Parade at noon.
- Wine Country Market with vendors in the Mason's Lot in Defiance.
- Fun happenings at Sugar Creek Winery and Frisella's Nursery
- Yellow Farmhouse Winery end-of-season chocolate, wine, salsa, beer & fun evening.
- Daniel Boone Home Candlelight Christmas Walk

Friday December 9th -
Augusta Christmas Walk
Stroll around historic Augusta, shop, and dine amid streets lined with luminaries
Daniel Boone Home Candlelight Christmas Walk
Enjoy a guided tour of the Boone Home and explore the Boonesfield Village complete with period characters all amid the glow of candlelight.

Saturday December 10th -
Daniel Boone Home Candlelight Christmas Walk

Don't miss out on all the fun!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Autumn in Wine Country

If you wonder why we haven't been on top of our blog lately, it's because Autumn in Historic Missouri Wine Country "busy season" actually begins for us around the first week of September. We've been busy sharing with our guests all there is to do in our beautiful region.

There is something very magical about driving down the winding roads in St. Charles County, especially Highway 94.  Dotted with quaint wineries, micro breweries, restaurants, antique stores, "pick-your-own farms", river outfitters, boutique shops, a distillery, the Katy Trail, and picturesque landscape amid the changing colors, it is an escape just a short drive outside of St. Louis County.

Scenic Drive by Augusta as seen from Montelle Winery
  
And after the trees change color, the scene below shows the Autumn beauty of the region

Trees changing behind the vineyards at Noboleis Winery
 
View through the vineyards

Whether you are able to take a road trip for a day or spend a little more time in Historic Missouri Wine Country, it's like you are a world away from the city.  A Wine Country Getaway is Closer Than You Think!


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Dog Days of Summer on the Katy Trail

You've gotta love the changing seasons and temperatures of Missouri.  You've heard that saying, "if you don't like the weather in Missouri, just stick around.  It'll change four times in a matter of hours!"

So today we went from a cool summer morning, to hurricane-force winds and torrential downpours, to a hot and humid afternoon that leaves puddles off your skin like a kid with a melting ice cream cone!

Through it all, I've watched groups of steadfast Katy Trail Bikers keep powering through, with and without raingear, with and without layers of bike clothes, and with and without mud stripes up their backs.  Here at the Inn we've had our share of bicyclists and we've had to hose people down, cool people down, and send people in the right direction when lost.  The part I usually dislike is sending a bicyclist to a different lodging facility because they didn't plan ahead.

Many lodging facilities (B & B's, Inns, Guest Houses, etc.) on the trail just aren't set up for "walk-ins."  It's best to always plan ahead and make reservations where you are wanting to stop.  I know, for many of you that takes the "adventure factor" out of the adventure!  But there's nothing worse than being caught in a horrendous severe thunderstorm, only to ride up to what you feel is a place of refuge, only to find it as a place of "refuse", because they operate by reservations only.  Over the past three years that we've been in operation, we've found various notes stuck to the front door that read, "went next door for a cold beer and will check in after a few hours."  Those notes were usually found a day or two later after we were away on a trip ourselves!

We are avid bicyclists and can be found on our days or hours off riding the Katy Trail ourselves.  Do yourself a favor and plan ahead for your lodging when riding the trail.  You'll be glad you did!

We're sending a "Shout Out" to these lodging facilities who really treated us royally along the trail:
The Alpenhorn Guest House in Hermann, The Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, The Frederick Hotel in Boonville, and The Bothwell Hotel in Sedalia.









Tuesday, June 7, 2016

2017 Solar Eclipse Here in Defiance

Spectacular Solar Eclipse Will Be Seen Here in Defiance August

If you would like to see a once-in-a-lifetime event, August 21, 2017 is the date to come out to Historic Missouri Wine Country and see a total solar eclipse around 1:00 p.m. CST.






Yes, the Defiance and Augusta Missouri areas will be in the direct path of this wonderful event.  Make plans to come out to experience the 2017 Solar Eclipse!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wine Country Fest June 17-19 2016

Father's Day Weekend has it all in Defiance


The Defiance Merchants Association has put together a fun-filled weekend over Fathers Day that is sure to have something to please everyone!  For more details or to register for some events go to:
WineCountryFest.com 


The weekend kicks off with Dancing in Defiance at Sugar Creek Winery.
Advanced Tickets can be purchased online for this evening of music & dancing above the Missouri River Valley in Historic Missouri Wine Country.


On Saturday, two events will be happening both in town and along the Katy Trail.  The Wine Country Market will be held in Masons Park, and the bicycle Pedal Poker Run will provide a fun 6.5 mile leisure ride along the Katy Trail, beginning at Wine Country Gardens, stopping at select locations, and ending at the Trail Smokehouse.








Sunday, Father's Day, wraps up the Fest with a second Day of the Wine Country Market, as well as a BBQ Competition at Chandler Hill Winery.






Admission to the BBQ competition is free for spectators, but competitors need to register online at ChandlerHillVineyards.com


Come on out to Historic Missouri Wine Country to enjoy Father's Day weekend!