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Prospect Hill B&B
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Come fly with us on a hot summer day...

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We may live in an old house.... and we may make our living providing the experience of staying overnight in an historic home. But, sometimes, nothing beats modern technology.  Thanks to Austin Ramsey of Kingsport we now have a couple of drone videos of our property.  Here's the one we shot at high noon (not the greatest time!!) on a warm sunny summer day recently

First off, drones are cool. Unlike the "bots" that fight to the death on a new TV show this summer (made of sturdy metal and designed to cut things up), drones are really pretty flimsy plastic, especially their blades. Yes, they will cut both grass--and your arm--if you get in the way. However, they remind me more of an actual bird's structure (light but well-engineered). 

Austin expertly unpacked his (almost new) machine, put on the rotors, hooked me up with glasses so I could see what he was seeing on the operator's screen and off we went!  As you can see in the video below, you get a whole new perspective on places you've seen many times before!  We also made some still shots so we can carefully assess the health and sturdiness of our 4 chimneys.

Really, this was a fantastically cool project. And now we can share the finish edit, compliments of Austin, with you.

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Wedding has come out with some 2015 trends. Here are several we at Prospect Hill can easily duplicate for you.

Says  From table runners to decorative wreaths, garlands, and more, we’re seeing greenery emerge from the sidelines and into the spotlight. It’s versatile, and provides an Old World look that’s so chic right now. In this same vein, we’re betting on animal topiaries becoming a hot decor item in the New Year.

Prospect Hill version: Use boxwood and yew to fill in your bouquets and bring greenery to your party decor. Available locally. Shady Grove Gardens has other forms of greenery available (from miniature to branch sizes) to give you that “Old World romance” look.

Astilbe (feathery plant)

From WeddingWire.Com:  We’ve already started to see this feather-like flower everywhere this year, and expect to see even more of it in 2015. We’ve seen it solo or as an accent in bouquets, and love the variety of hues – deep red, light purple, pink, and white.  Also available from local grower  in Vilas, NC has them--very feathery and romantic.

Marquee Lights

What a bright idea! Whether they’re spelling out words like “Love” or the couple’s names, these vintage-style marquee lights are popping up all over reception décor.

Prospect Hill version: we’ll make a very large board with the word “love” spelled out in bright lights and a background of black (or other color) chalkboard paint so your friends can write well wishes. $100 (4x8-feet) and you can take it home. $90 for a 4x4-foot size.

Miniature Wedding Cakes, Sweets

Here’s the trend:  Instead of or in addition to featuring a multi-tiered wedding cake, couples are also serving several smaller cakes to offer a wide variety of flavors. We’ve even seen a cake displayed on each reception table for an extra-sweet touch.
Innkeeper Judy can make most flavors in an 8-inch cake. Buy as many as you like. $35/cake (serves 10-12 each).

Frugal Gourmet Catering makes numerous bite-size dessert treats. They arrive in cake papers and require no cutting. Order one smaller cake just for cutting

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These photos go with my blog about easy, interesting wedding themes. The sunflowers provide a lot of bang for their cost. They make the set up both "rustic"/rural but sophisticated.  Photo on righ with pink and gold ribbon on a chair back is an example of how to "fancy up" for a Bohemian theme wedding.  These streamers--made from ribbon or cut/ripped/torn fabric are knotted onto the chair back but could be attached to low-hanging tree branches, the wires holding over-patio lights or the wedding gazebo itself.  For a "gypsy feel," use patterned fabric in a variety of bright, but mismatched patterns.
Destination & Elopement Weddings
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Wedding Inspiration:  Big Ideas at a Budget-Friendly Price (1) 1000 Wishes (2) Artsy (3) Boho/Bohemian.  All are casual and all are easily do-able at Prospect Hill:
1) Wish Wedding Theme - Are you ready to fold 1000 origami paper cranes?  Do them in romantic, colorful paper then attach them to strings (indoor use)  or netting hung from the gazebo for a beautiful backdrop–make’s an all-flower backdrop look boring.

2) Artsy wedding - hand paint your candle holders and anything else that you’re using–from cloth napkins and program covers to table runners and vases. Be abstract, be wild, whimsical or childlike. Retro/geometric is OK, too.  Don’t do it if craft projects you crazy or you don't have to finish weeks ahead.

3) Our favorite of the week is BOHO or Bohemian: The inspiration wedbsite says:
"Despite the fact that a Boho wedding theme is relatively inexpensive, it’s become super popular. The great thing about this theme is that anything goes. You can wear a vintage dress you found at the thrift store and the wedding will be just as breathtaking as if you wore a $1500 gown. Decorations are created out of whatever you have on hand."

My thought is BECAUSE this theme can be relatively inexpensive, it can be hugely popular and do-able.  Yes, the great thing is that anything goes.

One idea is to use ribbons shimmering in the breeze as a theme. Cut lengths of ribbon or stips of ripped/frayed fabric are stylishly tied to a chair.  Hang them from the gazebo, trees, bushes, fence line or patio's overhead lights.  Use a lace tablecloth, borrowed from Grandma or purchased at the Thrift Shop.  Mismatched China of Boone will rent you vintage china. (Expect to spend at least $5 or more per person for this.)  Alternatively, use the inn’s white china and do everything else up around it. Use patterned vintage sheets or chenille bedspreads as table cloths and buffet table cloths. Buy bandanas cheaply use as napkins and tell the guests to take them home.  Paisley hankies come in at 29 cents each!
Remember:   everything old can be new again (for your guests and your wedding).

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You simply can't beat a wonderful morning in summer with low humidity, bright sun, rich (growing) grass and my camera in hand before breakfast is served.  Today we made our "always famous" (and our thanks to Southern Living magazine) Brown Sugar and Oatmeal Pancakes. Tomorrow:  Cranberry Stuffed French Toast.  Special diets are being accommodated, too. Photos show the lawn where guests will enjoy fireworks on July 5th. Come join us (two rooms remain).
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Here are some wonderful summer photos of the inn. When the sun's out the green really 'pops.'
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The term "bed-and-breakfast" is no longer code for teddy bears, floral bedspreads and doilies.

There are nearly as many types of bed and breakfast properties and businesses as there are innkeeper/owners.  The Wall Street Journal in 2013 ran an article about people turning historic homes into high end B&Bs, the top 10% of the market. 

LINK to referenced article:

In reading this nearly year-old article in light of the fact my property is now for sale (yes, I’m one of the older ones wanting to retire), I am heartened. We have done A LOT of the things the high-end properties do to enhance their market share.  These items belong to the inn and ready for the new innkeepers to use to their benefit and for the enjoyment of their guests.

What follows is where I’ve excerpted parts of the original article and added my view of the topic.
The excerpted parts of the article are shown in BLUE TYPE.

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Book our cottage in the woods for up to 6 persons for July 4 & 5 and pay only $125 for July 4. Free fireworks viewed from the inn lawn (with snacks) also included. Rooms available for this weekend at the inn, starting on Saturday night.  Go to RESERVATIONS.     We expect stunning weather this weekend. It's a great time to be in the mountains!

GREAT WAY TO CELEBRATE - Visit Prospect Hill and get a discount.   Through June 30 we are offering a very special deal:  In honor of our house's 125th birthday, YOU pay $125 plus tax for any room, or $125/night (2 night min.) at our cottage. See the SPECIALS area of our online booking pages to snag your savings. Savings are up to  $64/night!  Tell me, do YOU like incentive programs at bed and breakfasts?  (B&B discounts)?
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