Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Sure Sign of Spring……….

Grand Magnolia Tree............

Last week when I walked home from downtown, you could hardly see this house behind this magnificent Magnolia tree. Now, even though most of the pedals are on the ground, it’s still a beautiful sight. Situated across from the common, it’s always been my favorite tree, although better in their yard as I wouldn’t want to be the one doing all the raking. While it is the state tree of Mississippi, it certainly does well in these parts too. Just a bit backward, as it flowers first, sheds the flowers, and then it gets its leaves. Another import from China, but an annual outdoor splendor here each April..........

Friday, April 24, 2009

Going to the Red Sox/Yankee game today

Not me, but these Georgia boys are off to the game..........
and of course, rooting for the right team!
The Red Sox had a dry spell right after opening day, but now they seem to have found their mojo and are having a bit of a winning streak. Not to jinx them or anything, but we hope they continue doing whatever they are doing as they need a lot of games in the winning column to catch up and take first place in the division. The Yankees come into town today and while they aren’t doing much better, maybe even worse, the rivalry between the two teams is legendary and always makes for great entertainment. And, of course, everyone on the east coast will be watching all weekend for sure……… except Donald, who will be elsewhere, looking at model trains. Where are his priorities?
The New York Yankees–Boston Red Sox rivalry is one of the oldest and fiercest rivalries in American professional sports. For more than 100 years, Major League Baseball's Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees of the American League have been intense rivals. Historically, the Yankees have had far more success. However, since the Red Sox' victory over the Yankees in seven games in the 2004 American League Championship Series, the rivalry has changed to a different direction, as the Red Sox have won two World Series since that time.

Post Game 1:
Well, it took 11 innings, but a walk off, out of the park, home run by Kevin Youkilis clinched the win.
Red Sox 5, Yankees 4..........
Post Game 2:
Red Sox 16, Yankees 11 (in 9 innings, but a long one: 4 1/2 hours long)
And so far, no one behaving badly....... Hope it continues.
Post Game 3
Red Sox sweep the Yankees in the final game.
Red Sox 4, Yankees 1.....
"Sometimes it's not just good things, but extraordinary things.
Ellsbury's steal of home with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning came against Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte. "
Now it's on to Cleveland..........

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Window Box competition………

Spring has arrived and it’s always a race to see who in the neighborhood gets their window boxes planted first. While mine won’t be as spectacular as some of the ones up and down Winter Street, they usually have the distinction of being ahead of the pack. Maybe not contest winning; but don’t you think we are off to a pretty start? Granted, you have to like pansies, pansies or pansies, as it’s still too chilly in New England to plant much else, although, I did sneak some daffodils in the middle of each window box.
Not one to get her hands dirty, Ada cheated a bit and brought her window boxes over to Marblehead Gardens. They have a deal too good to be true. If you buy the flowers and a bag of dirt there, they plant them for $10. Of course, Donald agrees this is a real bargain as well, especially when he doesn’t have to get his hands dirty either… Now, who do we get to water them eveyday?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ghost Gathering...........................

GhoStock 7, a paranormal enthusiasts' convention, kicked off in Salem yesterday. In addition to hearing lectures by everyone from our own local witch Christian Day to Chris Fleming from the Biography Channel's "Dead Famous," visitors will be poking around the Witch City to see what they can sense all weekend long.

Hosted by Patrick Burns of Tru TV and Court TVs investigative series "Haunting Evidence", GhoStock is taking place in Salem, Massachusetts, for the first time this year. The first six GhoStock conventions have taken place in Savannah, Georgia. This move creates a new adventure for fans of GhoStock and other people with an interest in the paranormal. As always, the event will be hosted by Patrick Burns, who is the founder and director of the Ghost Hounds Paranormal Network and was recently featured on TruTV's Haunting Evidence. Guests include such notables in the paranormal field as Dave Schrader from Darkness at the Edge of Town radio, Keith Age from Spooked! TV, and Fiona Broome, author and psychic medium. The keynote speaker will be John Zaffis, a noted authority on demonic and malevolent hauntings.

The highlight of GhoStock, though, is the opportunity to participate in an actual paranormal investigation. Guests are divided into small teams and will conduct private investigations throughout Salem. They will then review their evidence and present their findings during the conference. And..... the Amelia Payson House has two guests that will not miss a moment of the hunt. Then sleeping, of course, with one eye open!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

On your mark, get set, their off………………

A Massachusetts holiday, Patriots Day, April 20th, commemorates the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord; the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. And to thousand’s of residents, visitors, runners, and the rest of the Country and the World, it is also known as Boston Marathon Day. And this year, it is the 113th running of this 26-mile route that starts in sleepy Hopkinton, Massachusetts and finishes in downtown Boston.

The BAA (Boston Athletic Association) was established in 1887 and has had the mission of managing sporting events and promoting a healthy lifestyle, but no event is more famous, worldwide, than the Boston Marathon. And no runner connected to this event has more name recognition than Bill Rogers, who certainly help popularize the sport of marathon running in the 70’s. He’s also won it four times between 1975 and 1980 and he plans to be on the starting line once again. While he broke many course records back in his day, Monday he is “running for the fun of it”; being cheered on by at least a half million fans lining the route, encouraging all the 26,000 plus runners to keep on going. (Fact: Bill Rogers has as many running miles logged in as I have on my mini-van, 125,000. That's amazing!)

In my other life, before the B&B, Don and I ran the Boston Marathon. Always weekend runners, we seriously trained for a year and were so excited just to be in that line, (although, way in the back of course) as that gun went off and 10,000 plus runners slowly moved pass the starting line. Good to go for most of the route, even at “heartbreak hill”, until Donald got a blister and we had to stop about 20 miles into the route. Just the same, we will always have fond memories of the day, pain and all. Of course, Ada was just glad she was not the one to stop first, and Donald has never been able to live it down……….

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Parents, Cousins, Aunts and Uncles visit Salem from Belgium

Folks from Belgium are our first guests of the 25th season....
We should have known, it's like riding a bike and you never forget. Our first day back in the B&B saddle proved to run seamlessly. Ada, who is always ready for any malfunction, rechecking her list more than twice that even Santa would be proud. Donald was happily in his kitchen, Master Brewer of the tea & coffee; so important to the success of every breakfast. Although our guests spoke perfect English, Donald enjoyed practicing his French, accents and all. Given our guests were spending most of their week in Massachusetts, our Boston accents were a topic of conversation for sure, poking fun at the "pak your ca", and chowda.......... We all decided, who needs r's anyway..........

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Celebrating 25 Years of Fun!

The Roberts' are back from their Western hiatus and are excited to be
Celebrating their 25th Year with the B&B.
Open the doors. Let the fun begin!
Ok, where did the time go? Could it have been a just a dream? Well, if it is, we certainly wouldn’t be surprised after hearing thousand’s of guest’s say that this is a business they have always dreamed of operating. All I know is, that if it is a dream, it’s been full of wonderful people, some characters, and a lot of good times; where visitors become friends for life in the process………..

A labor of love, life at the B&B has had many rewards and only a few disappointments. The ability to work side by side (or upstairs from) your spouse, and the short commute to work each morning from the third floor to the kitchen, are just a few of the perks that running a B&B provides. While long days are the norm, each one is as different as the guests that visit and leave that special footprint in our memory. People always query about the high maintenance guest, expecting tales of horror, but for sure they are far and few between. Usually, most of the off day stories are “this old house issues”, especially when comfort amenities fail to work or outside forces beyond our control cause interruptions in our perfect world. Looking back, these moments make for some funny tales, but, we won’t tell.

While the length of our journey is considered a milestone in the industry, we couldn’t imagine doing anything different; a do over for sure. Now, even though we have reached retirement status, we look forward to future years at the B&B, one at a time, and all the people we are yet to meet. It’s a lifestyle we have come to love and we truly appreciate all the wonderful and faithful guests that have contributed to our 25-year success.

And We Thank You,
Ada May & Donald Roberts

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

RED SOX OPENING DAY.....The boys of summer are back!

Amid the backdrop of a giant American flag hanging above the Green Monster, Fenway Park spectators were riveted by the pregame ceremonies of Opening Day, the highlight of which was new Hall of Famer Jim Rice driving a golf cart in from left field with Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy riding alongside. After a stirring hand from the crowd, Kennedy was greeted with a handshake from Red Sox manager Terry Francona. They then moved toward the mound, where Kennedy threw a ceremonial first pitch to Rice. And then another. A do over, sort of...........
There were some other unique aspects to the festivities. When the Red Sox players were announced during pregame introductions, each one emerged though the crowd, walking through the grandstand aisles between sections 15 and 25. This gave fans a chance to exchange high fives or handshakes with the likes of Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis and John Smoltz as they walked by. The presentation of colors was made by representatives of all five branches of the United States armed forces. The national anthem was performed by maestro Keith Lockhart and members of the Boston Pops along with the Tanglewood Festival chorus.
At the conclusion, there was a flyover performed by four F-15 tactical fighter jets from the 104th fighter jets from the 104th fighter wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard.
Johnny Pesky, the Red Sox icon who had his No. 6 retired last September, then grabbed a microphone and roared "Play Ball" to the delight of the packed house.
The action carried right over into the early portion of the game, with Red Sox ace Josh Beckett registering two strikeouts in the top of the first and Dustin Pedroia, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, drilling a solo homer into the Monster Seats in the bottom of the inning. While not lucky enough to be there, all this was caught on TV, and in the end, they beat the Rays 5-3. A good start, and a little retribution after a disappointing end to last season's 7th game loss in the playoffs to those Devils...........

Dustin rounds the bases after his home run...............

Sunday, April 5, 2009

At Epcot with Commodore Dave.........

Commodore Dave, Ada May & Donald at Epcot.....
Check out our 25th Anniversary Disney buttons......... Although, I never thought Donald would put it on, he was a good sport and enjoyed the special attention we received from all the Disney cast members and other Disney World visitors during our stay. This year Disney's slogan is "Celebrate the Magic", so if you are having a birthday or anniversary, they are going all out to help you celebrate. While it's been about a decade since we've been to Disney, there were so many changes and new places to see and explore, but visitor hopitality is still there number one priority and we certainly appreicated all the attention to detail from the themed resorts, and all the perfectly manicured grounds. At Epcot, they were hosting a "Festival of the the Flowers" so everywhere, spring was in the air. And making it extra special, we caught up with Salem's own Dave Butler who works at Disney. When he's not driving the Salem Trolley in Salem, he's navigating the transportation boats, coincidently called the "Friendship" fleet, between resorts to the International Gateway of Epcot. Doesn't he look so smart in his uniform.