Archive for January, 2009

ThuJan200929

Why Choose a Bed & Breakfast?

 

Why choose a Bed and Breakfast?

 

Simple answer, because every one is different. Each is a unique and personal expression of the owner/innkeeper’s commitment to the dedication of sharing of one’s home and grounds is the last and greatest form of hospitality.

 

When someone calls and I hear that they only need a place to sleep, I refer them to the motel. I ask questions like: “Do you want to stay in a place, like the Katy House, that will add great memories of your get-a-away?” Want to know where to eat, where to hike, where to shop? Innkeepers are active members of their communities, and are up to date with the area and the activities around them. Smithville is a wonderful small Texas town and we are actively involved here. “Where should we go to dinner for our anniversary?” I’ll give you a different answer to the question than the manager of a local motel.

 

When calling a B&B, you should ask the following questions:

1.                 Do the guest’s rooms have private baths?

2.                 What type of breakfast is served? (Full, or croissants and juice)

3.                 Is smoking allowed?

4.                 Is there adequate parking?

5.                 Can you prepare breakfast for guests with certain food allergies or vegetarian restrictions?

6.                 Are there pets on the property if you have allergies to cats or dogs?

7.                 Is there free Wi-Fi available? (if that is important)

8.                 Are you a member of Hospitality Accommodations of Texas?

 

If making reservations on line, these questions should be answered on the web site.

 

A Bed and Breakfast can be a wonderful part of your get-a-way. Every room is different; you won’t find a “cookie-cutter” bunch of rooms. Years ago, people were worried about the cleanliness and décor of the rooms. The B&B as an institution has become the first line of hospitality. You can see the rooms and read reviews written by other guests. 

 

There is only one state Bed and Breakfast Association in Texas. All members have been inspected and approved, all having met certain standards: Hospitality Accommodations of Texas. It can be found on the web at www.HAT.org . If you choose a HAT property you won’t be disappointed. The Katy House has been a proud member since 1996.

 

Bruce and I welcome guests, show them around and then they are on their own. We might not see them till breakfast, or we may see them when they come into the dining room for tea or coffee. Cookies are baked each afternoon, and the cookie jar in the parlor is a busy place late at night. We live on the third floor of the home, along with Buddy and William, (two Welsh Corgis). We’re always available if anyone needs anything.

 

We’ll have the coffee ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


SunJan200925

Adventures in Inn-Sitting at the Katy House

 
 We have known Bruce and Sallie for some time, staying at the Katy House Bed & Breakfast, while playing “pioneers” on our 21 acres of woods and getting it ready for retirement, just outside of Smithville. One morning, at breakfast, I heard my big mouth saying in response to their comments on closing the Katy House while on a 2 week vacation, “Why don’t you let Sharron and I run the place while you are gone?” 

 

From having been guests, I envisioned nothing to do after the breakfast dishes
were done but to sit around watching movies provided for guests and eating copious amounts of free chocolate chip cookies and sipping coffee or lemonade.

 

Well, they took us up on the offer, and after returning from their trip to Canada, two things happened.  One, I realized that there was more to running a bed and breakfast business than it appeared. We finished watching our first movie 4 days before they returned and didn’t start the second one knowing we would never finish it. And two, Sallie, in her diplomatic way, suggested that in the future we would be paid a salary but no more free cookies. OK, so I happen to like chocolate chip cookies.  Is that some crime??

 

Anyway, we have been Inn sitters for the Katy House for the past 4 years and have enjoyed almost every minute of it…except when Bruce shows up and tries to help.  (Just kidding, Bruce!)

We can’t wait till they call us to Inn Sit again!

Al and Sharron

 

 

 


TueJan200913

In Smithville TX Bird Watching is Big

Bird Watching in Smithville, TX

Although we have bird feeders in our garden, here at the Katy House Bed & Breakfast, the birds love all the sunflower blooms and other blooming plants.  To see a large number of different species, I head to the state park. We are lucky to have two state parks nearby. Buescher State Park is three miles from Katy House, and Bastrop State Park is 13 miles away.  The Bastrop County Audubon Society is an active group. See the link below, showing the many species found in our parks.  http://www.bastropcountyaudubon.org/checklist.htm

Bastrop-Buescher State Parks Christmas Bird Count A Huge Success

The Bastrop-Buescher State Parks CBC was held on Thursday, January 1, 2009. There were nearly 50 counters, which is a record. There were 120 species counted, which is the second highest count. Highlights included the Least Grebe and all three Kingfisher species.

 

 


FriJan20099

Katy House Guests See Brad Pitt in Smithville, TX

The movie “The Tree of Life,” staring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, was being filmed about eight blocks from the Katy House B&B and two of our guests decided to walk over to the filming site to see if they could see Brad. These two young adults had been antique shopping all day in Round Top and Warrenton, but found the energy to check out the filming. As their moms sat on the front porch enjoying wine, the girls returned, very excited. They had been allowed to walk down the street between “takes” and saw Brad on a bike, not 50 feet from them. It made their day!

After they left the next day, I found the following entry in the guest book in their room:

 

April 6, 2008
Dear Sallie & Bruce,
            Thanks for the fabulous Katy House “Pitt” stop on the way to antique shopping in Warrenton and Round Top. It was a “Pitty” the rain fell the first day of our visit. We acquired a bottomless “Pitt” of memories when the “Pitt” bull sheriff almost arrested our dis-“Pitt”-able daughters for attempting to photograph Brad Pitt. The photos of Brad, however, caused all of our hearts to pal-“Pitt”-tate!
            We had such fun celebrating our 5th Anniversary at the Katy House while drinking wine on the Katy House porch among Sallie’s gorgeous “Pitt”unias.
            Thanks for an ever so much more exciting trip than one to “Pitt”sburg! This shall be a wonderful memory on our “Tree of Life”.
                                    Love and Hugs,
                                    J.G, M.G., S.A, and N.B.
                                    Seattle, WA, Corpus Christi, and New Braunfels