Friday, February 23, 2018

Day Tripping in Americus - Oak Grove Cemetery Camellias

I took a quick stroll over to Oak Grove Cemetery, just 1/4 mile from our door, to see which camellias are in bloom.  It would appear that they all are!  So please just click on the first photo and enjoy the tour of all the beauty right here in Americus.

I hope you enjoyed all these beautiful camellias.  Come visit us and see them for yourself.  And, of course, plan a visit to Massee Lane Gardens, home of the American Camellia Society, about a half hour drive from here.

We'd love to host your stay here in Americus at the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Hope to see you soon.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast Awarded 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award

Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast Awarded 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award

I feel like one of those people on one of those award shows who doesn’t know who they should thank first.  This is the ninth time in twelve years that we have been recognized as one of the best B&Bs in the country by TripAdvisor with a Travelers’ Choice Award.  These awards are based upon the opinions of millions of travelers who share their voices and their experiences.   I feel incredibly humbled and blessed.

Before I express appreciation for all the supporting cast that help us create a memorable experience here in Americus, I’d like to share some of my thoughts about Americus, in general.

What sets Americus apart, makes it different from anywhere else you might visit?  Located a short distance from Americus is Andersonville, the most infamous Civil War prison site.  A symbol of despair and hopelessness, and a reminder of America’s past.  To the west, just a short distance from Americus is Plains, home of our 39th President, Jimmy Carter.  President Carter embodies the idea of sharing the word of God by teaching Sunday School several Sundays a month in Plains at Maranatha Baptist Church and through the incredible work around the world led by the Carter Center.  Right here in Americus, Habitat for Humanity International was born, a symbol of God’s love, hope and service to others.  The Global Village and Discovery Center exemplifies the work done around the globe providing decent housing for those in need.  People in Americus truly care.

My first big “thank you” goes out to the community as a whole.  Thank you for welcoming our guests as friends as they wander through our residential and business neighborhoods.  Your kindness and courtesy make everyone feel welcome.

To the Americus Welcome Center, thank you for providing guidance and information for all who visit Americus.  You are very often their first impression of Americus and we appreciate all you do.

To the National Historic Sites, employees, and volunteers, thank you for sharing your expertise and helping to make every minute count as our guests explore and learn about our area’s history.

To the restaurants that feed our guests, thank you for providing delicious meals and great service to our guests.   Since we only serve breakfast, we depend on you to take care of the rest.  For those who want a fine dining experience, Rosemary & Thyme always delivers a wonderful meal.  The Station, overwhelmingly, is our guests’ favorite.  Little Brother’s Bistro is a favorite for lunch.  City Grill and Roman Oven are great for lunch and dinner.  1800 Mexican and La Hacienda are open during those off hours and we really appreciate both.  And, I can’t forget The Fish House, Monroe’s Hot Dogs, or Pat’s Place.  We have guests who love each and every one of you.  Thank you for what you do.  Finally, we would be lost without Ruby Tuesday because they are open when everything else is closed.  Thank you.

To the great downtown shops, thank you for providing a fun and inviting shopping experience for our visitors.  An extra special “thank you” to The Maze.  Everyone loves you.

To President and Mrs. Carter and the entire congregation of Maranatha Baptist Church, thank you for opening your Church and your hearts to whoever might choose to attend Sunday School and worship.  The opportunity to hear President Carter share God’s love is truly a blessing.  Speaking of Plains, a huge thank you goes to Plain Peanuts for their incredible peanut butter ice cream.  That is truly a highlight of every guest’s visit to Plains.

So, please join me in a round of applause for everyone who contributes to the amazing experience that is #myAmericus.


Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year's Day Musings from Americus Garden Inn

As I say “hello” to 2018, my heart overflows with the love and friendship we have enjoyed over the last few weeks.  Although it has been the busiest December in all our 15 years of innkeeping, it has been the most enjoyable.

We are often asked, what is there to do in Americus?  I truly believe that the magic of Americus is in the “being” in the moment versus the “doing”.  Allow me to elaborate by sharing some of our own experiences with our wonderful guests.

Three very special ladies, Amanda, Keyshonda, and Joanna, all celebrate December birthdays.  They chose to stay with us at the Americus Garden Inn for their girlfriends' getaway, even though they were attending a concert in Albany, about an hour away.  What a joy it was to see them celebrate their friendship, sisterhood, and life, away from the cares of their families and children.  You could see how much they love each other and really enjoy being together.

Mike and Lynn have stayed with us before and decided to stay a little longer for this visit.  Lynn homeschools their children, and they were enjoying some much-needed adult time while their kids were away at Christmas camp.

This is the second Christmas we had the pleasure of Ron and Nanc’s company for a 3-day visit.  Nanc has been working on a WWII book about her Uncle Tim.  The day she was born, was the day her family received notice that her uncle’s plane had been shot down.  She is honoring him by learning everything possible about him and those around him from that time.  She actually found the location of the downed plane, in Greece, and recently arranged for a service at sea honoring all those lost.  Coming to our home was an emotional respite for her.

Larry and Ellen stayed with us for their ninth visit.  At this point, they truly are like family.  They have an RV in Florida and their permanent residence is in North Carolina.  We get to see them on their way to and from North Carolina.   They recently moved into a retirement community with lots of activities and great food.  We’re learning about possible options for when we start thinking about the next chapter of our own lives.

Susanne and Ingo came all the way from Germany to our area to visit Richland Rum to add the artisan rum to their rum collection.  They were absolutely delightful guests.  The conversations we have with our international guests are always enlightening.  Wish they could have stayed longer than one night, but, they were on their way to visit friends in Ocala. Florida.

Joan and Larry live quite a distance away from each other.  Americus was a midway point, a perfect meeting spot for a 3-day romantic getaway.   It was Larry’s first B&B and I believe that it will not be his last.  Although he usually would choose the Waffle House for breakfast, he was pleasantly surprised that he enjoyed what I prepared for them.   Larry likes raisin bread, Joan likes tea.  So, for their last morning, I decided to make them a special bread incorporating both – English tea bread, made with English breakfast tea and raisins.  I really do try to make people happy.

What do all these guests have in common?  They came to our home to just “be” here.  To spend time here.  To allow us to open our home and our hearts.  I feel blessed.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Life in Americus

You may or may not know this.  This month marks our 15th Anniversary as the innkeepers and owners of the Americus Garden Inn Bed and Breakfast.  It’s hard to believe that 15 years have gone by.

So many people ask us how we decided to become innkeepers and, more pointedly, how did we end up in Americus, Georgia.  As the Christmas season is the season of nostalgia, I decided to share some of our first impressions of Americus.

We were living in Tampa, Florida.  It seemed everyone had a Lexus and a cell phone.  We had neither.  People seemed to always be in a hurry, moving quickly from place to place with a total lack of courtesy or consideration for those around them.  There was a bar on every corner,  everyone was in a hurry, and people shouted or yelled at each other with hurtful tones.

We had been exploring areas around the country looking for the perfect Bed and Breakfast to purchase and had told each other repeatedly “don’t fall in love with a house”.  There are so many notions about the romance of innkeeping.  We knew we were reinventing ourselves and wanted to keep our heads in the rational world.  Our search took us to Colorado and Utah, New York. and Vermont.  We thought we wanted to be in a ski area in the mountains.  That was romantic thinking, on our part, coming from Florida…  Things just didn’t work out the way we thought they should.

Then, we made our first trip to Americus.  It was Halloween weekend.  The first thing we noticed was that there was a church on every corner, as opposed to a bar.  People smiled and waved with all five fingers.  In the grocery store, a person would just say “Hi.  How y’all doin’?” and actually wait for an answer.  It was like the old favorite television show “Cheers”, everyone wanted to know our names, and everyone seemed genuinely glad to meet us.

The folks who owned the inn at the time were open, friendly, kind. and honest.  And, although their vision of Bed and Breakfast was different from ours, they had done the major renovations and started the business.  We did fall in love -  with Americus, with the people, and with the house.  Time felt different here.  It seemed magical.  We decided to make Americus our home.

Fast forward to the present time, we still feel the magic.  We still do not have a smart phone (so please do not text us) or a Lexus.  We believe in the importance of genuine interpersonal interaction.  We consider each of our guests a gift, an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life for the better.   And, they, in turn, have truly enriched our lives.

Merry Christmas!

Susan and Kim

Sunday, December 3, 2017

DayTripping in Americus - Oak Grove Cemetery Autumn Colors

The perfect place in Americus to see the true colors of the season is Oak Grove Cemetery located just a short stroll from our home.  Between the changing leaves and the camellias, it is absolutely beautiful to see this time of year.  Please allow me to take you on a quick tour.  No words necessary.  Just click on the first photo and allow yourself to enjoy the photos of fall foliage and camellias.  I just took all these photos, so, if you visit soon, you can see it for yourself!

Thank you so much for visiting the Americus Garden Inn Bed & Breakfast blog.  We appreciate your virtual visit and would love to host your next visit to our area.