Sunday, May 28, 2017

Remembering Andersonville on Memorial Day

Andersonville  - A History Lesson. 
For those of you unfamiliar with Andersonville, it was the most infamous Civil War Prison.  It is now home to the Andersonville National Historic Site and National Cemetery.

Following the end of the Civil War, the burying ground for Andersonville prison was designated a national cemetery on July 26, 1865.  The 12,920 men who died at the prison camp are buried in the cemetery.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR),   an organization of Union veterans, established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress and  placed on the last Monday in May.  It was at that time that Memorial Day was expanded to honor all those who have died in all American wars.

Since 1899 monuments and memorials have been placed at Andersonville to remember the men who suffered and died here, as well as American POWs from other conflicts.

Please click on the top photo and scroll through the monuments honoring our fallen American brothers and sisters.

Please take a few moments to honor the ultimate sacrifice made by these brave men and women. 
Wishing you a peace-filled Memorial Day.

Susan and Kim

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Daytripping from Americus around Memorial Day

Memorial Day - A perfect time to visit Americus and Andersonville National Historic Site.
I had read that all 50 State flags would be raised at Andersonville National Historic Site
and decided to drive over to see them.
Unfortunately for me, there was not enough breeze to get photos of every flag flying.
However, I did get a few good shots.
The flags are around the perimeter of the parking area at the welcome center.
I wish I could have gotten a better look at all of the flags
because I definitely had never seen some of them before.
How many of them do you recognize?
I attempted to get every state represented.
Have you found your state flag?
Do you see any new ones for you?
If you watch The Big Bang Theory on television,
does this remind you of Sheldon and Amy
doing their "Fun With Flags" show?
I was thinking about that
the entire time I was attempting
to capture each and every state flag.
Along the road in the National Cemetery area,
they have raised the "Avenue of Flags"
comprised of 200 full size American flags.  It is really a sight to behold.
Thank you for allowing me to share the pre-Memorial Day commemoration  activities at Andersonville National Historic Site.  Wouldn't you love to see this for yourself in person?  We do have availability for Memorial Day weekend and would be happy to host your visit.
Hope to see you soon,

Sunday, May 7, 2017

A week in the life of an innkeeper

People often ask what life is like for an innkeeper.  Some people see it as “fun”, whereas, others see it as “a lot of work”.  After a very busy week of fun and work, allow me to share what a great week this has been.

As innkeepers, we are always sharing our home with complete strangers.  By the time they leave, if we are lucky, we have made some new friends.  If we are super lucky, those new friends choose to return to the Americus Garden Inn.

In the beginning of the week, we hosted a couple of lovely business women who opted for something different and unique rather than a chain hotel.   What a difference it is to “come home” after work to an 1847 elegant lady.

Georgia Southwestern State University held commencement activities this week.  Congratulations to Lori Anne on completing the Nurse Practitioner Program!  All the way from Germany and Sweden, Ollie’s family came to see him receive his Business degree.   Stuart and Susan, Ollie’s parents, stayed with us several years ago when Ollie enrolled at GSW.  This time we also had the pleasure of meeting his Swedish girlfriend, Lovisa. 

Celebrating 56 years of matrimony, Bob and Ruth returned to see us after several years away.   They are a remarkable couple and we had really missed seeing them.  Thank you for allowing us to help you celebrate.

One of our favorite couples, Carrie and Mike, have been visiting Americus for a special getaway twice a year for several years.  In the fall, they celebrate their anniversary and birthdays.  In the spring, they just enjoy getting away from home and visiting the local attractions.  They especially love Monroe’s hot dogs and Kim loves when they come because they always bring home a “scrambled dog” for him when they go.  Pat’s Place is another venue they always visit.

Maureen and her Mom Margaret were here as part of Mom’s 78th birthday celebration.  Maureen is a novelist and they were both absolutely delightful guests.  We love when Moms and daughters come here to enjoy some special time together.

Tim and Sheryl were attending a conference at Lake Blackshear and drove the 25 minutes to stay with us.  Neill and Robin were attending a Rotary event here in Americus and we were so happy they chose our B&B.

Jimmy Carter was teaching Sunday School, so, Jill came all the way from the coast (she lives in NY and California so any coast will be correct).   She is a screenwriter and has written for David Letterman, Saturday Night Live and many others.  Oh, and she is a Harvard graduate!  She was so interesting and funny.  Wish we had had more time.

And, last, but not least, our new special friends, Nanc and Ron.  They stayed with us last Christmas for three nights and came back to enjoy another visit.  Nanc is working on a very special book highlighting events from World War II.   She inherited a treasure trove of letters written during that time to and from family members and is working tirelessly to honor their memories.

Although it was a lot of work to prepare for and entertain our guests, the sheer joy of meeting such wonderful people and enjoying great company was worth every second.  And, best of all, I was truly blessed to get my quota of hugs this week.

I've got to get back to work, but, thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn blog.  Hope to see you in person, soon.  I'd love a hug!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Watermelon Soup - a refreshing treat

I can't believe that it is April already!  Where did March go? 

The weather has been so unusual this year that the plants are either  way ahead or way behind.  Most of our blueberries froze when we had 2 days of below freezing temperatures and about half of our azaleas have freeze damage.

Local blueberries that survived the weather have already been available for purchase, so, I wasn't surprised to see some watermelons in the store.   I bought one.

Unfortunately, it was quite a disappointment.   So, what do you do with an under par watermelon?  I remembered that I had a recipe, somewhere, for watermelon soup.  
 The last time I made it, everyone commented how "refreshing" it was.  I just had to find the recipe.

Thank goodness, I had shared it right here on our blog.  It is incredibly simple to make.   Cut up some watermelon and put it in the blender with some honey, ginger, fresh mint, fresh lime juice and apple juice.  Blend for just a second or two.  Let the flavors meld for a little while in the fridge.  Serve plain or with a dollop of yogurt.  I chose to pipe the yogurt into a heart shape and added a strawberry and fresh mint leaf for garnish. 

Thanks for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast blog.  We hope you'll come stay with us, soon.


Chilled Watermelon Soup (from Southern Living July 2003)
The recipe says it yields 4 cups of soup - when I made it, it came out to 3 cups of soup)
  • 4 cups seeded watermelon cubes
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Process first 5 ingredients and honey, if desired, in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill 1 hour. Serve in individual bowls with a dollop of yogurt.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Daytripping From Americus - An Artful Day at Pasaquan

We visited Pasaquan several years ago.  It was only open one day a month, 8 months a year.   The paint was faded and peeling.  But, even in disrepair,  it was an awe-inspiring place.
Created by Eddie Owens Martin, also known as St. EOM, (1908 - 1986) in Buena Vista, Georgia (about 35 - 40 minutes from Americus),  Pasaquan is described as a "visionary art environment".
Eddie Owens Martin lived a very interesting life.  He was born in Glen Alta, Georgia to sharecropper parents in 1908.   At the age of 14, he ran away to New York City where he had the opportunity to visit art museums and cultural institutions that inspired his future art designs.
Following his mothers death and the inheritance of his mother's home in Buena Vista, he returned to live permanently in Georgia in 1957.
Pasaquan reflects St. EOM's vision of the future.
St. EOM worked for almost 30 years creating this incredible art environment.
In 2014, the Kohler Foundation partnered with the Pasaquan Preservation Society to restore the artwork to its former glory.  
In the photo above and below, you can see the before and after shots of some of the work from Pasaquan.
 After 2 years of restoration work, the Kohler Foundation gifted Pasaquan to Columbus State University.
Reopened to the public in October 2016, CNN hailed Pasaquan as "one of the 16 intriguing things to see and do in the U.S. in 2016."
One of our guests, Michelle Clotfelter, shared these great photos from a recent trip to Pasaquan.
She and her sister, Lisa, regularly visit the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast for some sisterly time together without children or husbands, a girlfriends' getaway.
After visiting Pasaquan, on our recommendation, they visited Five Points Berries Winery in nearby Mauk, about 15 - 20 minute drive.
With advance notice, you can visit Five Points Berries to try all 6 of their delicious blueberry wines.  From sweet to dry, the wines are 100% blueberry wine, not blueberry flavored grape wine.  And, they have no added sulphites.
Pasaquan is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It is closed the months of July and December.
Admission price is:  $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for students
Hope you enjoyed Michelle's photos as much as I did.

Thank you so much for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.  We hope to see you in person, soon.