Archive for January, 2011

Walk Wilmington

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

We are blessed with some great nearby places to amble, trot, jog, march, parade, saunter, meander, patrol or traipse. Not to mention hike. Wilmington NC Riverwalk

Start by heading west four blocks from Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast and get on downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk. It’s been growing, segment-by-segment, during the nine years we’ve been here and is now over a mile long. The ultimate goal is a 1.5 mile stroll between the two Cape Fear River bridges. The great thing about the Riverwalk, or one of the great things, is that you can hop on and off all day as you visit fun shops, French bistros, ice cream shoppes and some of our town’s best restaurants. And, you can’t find a more romantic after-dinner promenade.

Maybe you’d enjoy wandering among mausoleums, ornate monuments, ancient dogwoods, colorful camellias and tantalizing hints to Wilmington’s history. All 165 acres of Oakdale Cemetery, chartered in 1852, are open to human and canine perambulation. Wind your way around the Civil War soldiers’ monument, the mass grave of 1862 yellow fever epidemic victims and the monument of Nance Martin. She died on a ship near Cuba in 1857 and her body was preserved in a cask of rum until she was returned to Wilmington. That’s my kind of transition from this world to the next!

Just a mile south of Camellia Cottage you can shuffle with the alligators. Well…not really, but you may spy one cruising among the bald cypresses or sleeping on the bank at Greenfield Lake Park. Trek the 4.5 mile trail around the lake while taking in one of the most beautiful, natural settings smack dab in the middle of an urban area. In the spring, glide among thousands of beautiful azalea bushes covered with a billion blooms. Besides the gators and turtles, it’s also a birder’s paradise. There’s also a kayak and canoe concession if you get tired of traipsing around.

A little farther afield, try the trails at Carolina Beach State Park, which wind through several coastal ecosystems featuring relict sand dunes, river beaches, pocosins (don’t you love that word?) and three unique limesink ponds. Tread gently among the park’s Venus flytraps and other carnivorous plants. Did you know the flytraps are native to the area surrounding Wilmington and no where else in the world?

A few miles past the state park is Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, with almost six miles of pristine beach for you to canter along. Here you can become one with the ocean away from all the crowds. Make sure to also shamble along the 1.1 mile Basin Trail where you can enjoy the sound-side flora and fauna, as well as the concrete bunker that was home to the famous Fort Fisher Hermit for many years. And, don’t forget to locomote around the Civil War earthen fort at Fort Fisher and learn about the war-changing battle that was fought there in 1865.

Happy trails to you until we meet again!

3 More Myths

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Myth #4. “The innkeepers eat the same three-course breakfasts that the guests eat every morning at the Camellia Cottage bed and Breakfast.”

Ha! Peanut butter and jelly on crackers is our standard fare—even while we’re serving you oatmeal raisin pancakes, stuffed French toast or cheesy mixed berry strata.

Myth #5.  “Most B &Bs close during the winter so the owners can bask in the sun for a couple months on the Riviera, or at least a couple days at Myrtle Beach.”

Actually, we’re open every day of the off-season unless we briefly close while redecorating or updating your room—so that our guests and the paint fumes are never in the same place at the same time! Other than that, we’d love to see you here any time of the year.

Myth #6.  “There are going to be weird people sitting across from me at the breakfast table and I might actually have to be coherent enough to converse with them.”

Although we can’t guarantee the most stimulating conversation of your life, we have witnessed (and sometimes participated in) absolutely fascinating interactions among our guests. Many thank us for the opportunity to meet and learn from people that they wouldn’t otherwise bump into. Some have discovered friends or distant relatives in common and others have gone out to dinner together and made new, lifelong friends. On the other hand, if a romantic breakfast alone with your loved one in your room is what you crave, we are glad to make that happen, too.

3 Myths About Bed and Breakfasts

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

1.  “There is no privacy, the musty old innkeeper will drone on and on and on about somebody’s grandfather’s nephew’s daughter who once slept here”

Actually, we do realize that you have come to spend time with each other and not for a history lesson.  However, if you’d like to sit around and chat over a glass of wine or at breakfast, we’re happy to do that. 

2.  “Breakfast is served at 7a.m.  on the dot.  Be at the table or go hungry.”

Actually, at Camellia Cottage Bed & Breakfast, breakfast is served anytime between 8 and 9:30.  Hot coffee and tea with real cream are available well before that.  So, relax, sleep in or awaken with the sun, whatever suits you!

3.  “All of our furniture are priceless antiques and you will be severely punished for actually sitting on anything”.

Actually, we encourage curling up on sofas with a good book in your room, the communal living room or front porch, having a picnic in bed or napping in the hammock.  You’re on vacation after all!

Stay tuned for 3 more myths…….

Four-Legged Innkeeper

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Those of you who have stayed with us know that the 75 pounds of dog attached to the wagging tail that greets you upon your arrival at Camellia Cottage Bed and Breakfast is our fellow innkeeper, Sparky. This giant shedding machine and all around good guy wandered into our lives eight years ago and we have been trying to integrate him into our B&B business plan ever since.

Although the most important task listed in his job description is guest management, we have tried him out in a variety of critical B&B functions…without great success. We asked him to carry guest luggage up the stairs but he claimed that he does not possess opposable thumbs. He had a brief stint as the breakfast chef but we noticed that the stove was not the right height to optimize his culinary skills. We put him in charge of security but robbers looked too much like late-arriving guests to him. We made him the dish washer but we never licked the saliva residue problem.

Oh, well. The good news is that he is the best darn greeter of both human and canine guests an inn could ever have and he recently passed his annual performance evaluation with flying colors and a woof of delight!