Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beer

Would you believe that as we blast out of 2009 beer ruled in Asheville North Carolina? Our fair city garnered serious accolades in the beer department trouncing a much larger contender Portland, Oregon.
Congratulations to Asheville’s rapidly growing beer scene! There are soon to be 10 breweries in the county. Asheville earned the top ranking in Imbibe magazine’s Internet poll of the “Best Craft Beer City in America." Asheville took first place with over 55% of the votes. We didn't stop there. Asheville also won the East Coast title for Beer City U.S.A.

Further, Asheville entrepreneurial spirit kicked it up a notch with Asheville Brews Cruise www.brewscruise.com. Once, offering only three local breweries on its tour bus they have now added a downtown walking tour and included a brewery in Black Mountain.

Lest any of our interested guests here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com desire a very awesome opportunity for some fun think about attending the Annual Winter Warmer Beer Fest. There will be about 20 participating breweries & tickets are now on sale for this well loved and exceptionally well attended event.
This year's host will be the Haywood Park Grand Ballroom on Saturday,
January 23 2010. Tickets are $37.00 each and ticket holders will be treated to beer samples & music as only Asheville can roll out. Food will be catered by Lobster Shack thelobstertrap.biz/ For more information on the tour visit www.brewscruise.com/beerfest or call 828-545-5181



Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls




Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

New Year

The proximity of Christmas to New Year's has always been problematic for me. Merry making seems to go with less stress and more fun when it is partitioned out a little better. These two holidays falling within 6 days of each other seems to take the wind out of the sails...My sails anyway. Now, let's face it despite the obvious "meaning of the season" there is an enormous amount of work to do at Christmastime. Let's, for argument sake, say that in these recessionary times, you cut back for Christmas 2009 or perhaps in the loss of employment or decline of business you just sent cards. Well, those little tidbits of love and news sent to everyone take time.
So does the decorating and baking that provides such delight to the palate of each visitor in the days running up to Christmas.
Ok, the family arrives, the sparkly and oh so glittery presents are arranged under the tree and in short order on Christmas morning look like a bomb has gone off with paper, ribbons, tissue paper and the like carpeting the floor, church is attended, the games are watched, the meal, made with care and much planning, is chowed up leaving the area of the dining room table looking something like an indigenous locust landing and then with fond memories in the heart of all the participants--- the event is blessedly completed.

Before recovery can even be anticipated no less planned into the schedule what with returning that which didn't work for the gift recipients, laundering the sheets and returning the beds ready for the next company....Well, you guessed it...Here comes New Year's Eve!
May the force be with you and if all the festivities have left you tired and less than celebratory, you can hide out with us a while here At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com. We promise not to tell a soul you're here.

Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Monday, December 28, 2009

Asheville Winery Tour

Now guests staying here with us At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com can reserve a spot on the just beginning North Carolina Wineries & Vineyards tour www.travelsinwinetours.com.

We have had some guests take this tour and they were duly impressed. The tour is escourted by a Certified Sommelier and you are provided access to behind the scenes visits to 3 Wineries and tasting fees. Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view of the vineyard to support what I am most sure you will find a very fun & informative day.
The tour company runs from Wednesday thru Sunday by appointment only at this time of the year.
We will be glad to make all the arrangements during your stay with us.
Happy New Year folks!


Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Asheville Dining

Our bed and breakfast, At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com is blessedly situated in the historic neighborhood. The key word here is neighborhood. Neighborhood is such a lovely, cozy term. It has a safe connotation. It also, in our case, has one absolutely fantastic restaurant and best of all you can walk there from our home in 5 minutes.

Allow me to introduce Nine Mile. Now, before I start waxing poetic about Nine Mile I must tell you that my love affair with this now favorite haunt began with a broken heart. Before this excellent fare came into being this location housed Piper's. It was a fun, eclectic coffee house and sandwich shoppe owned by a woman I came to know and liked very much during her tenure in that space.
I do not take well to change and was in mourning when said establishment closed. Nine Mile www.ninemileasheville.com is so awesome I had no recourse but to become a convert.
The cuisine is fresh, inspired by the caribbean soul and so tasty it makes your toes curl. Frankly,the food is fresh, excellent, cost controlled and the atmosphere is hip and fun but that is not all. The staff, cook and everyone encountered there really lets you know they value your business and that is special & rare in today's marketplace. In our recent snow storm they bellied up to the bar and all came to work. They provided our guests with not only full tummies but a wonderful neighborhood environment to boot.
So, I still miss Piper's but man am I glad there is a place in my neighborhood the caliber of Nine Mile. Long may they reign!


Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Asheville Snow

Gary and I have owned At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com for 10 1/2 years now.
We thought, regarding the weather here in Asheville, we had experienced it all.
We were so wrong!
Beginning in earnest on Friday morning Asheville began the transformation into a winter wonderland. The magic of watching our beloved city become a magical place of trees coated in soft, lacy white continued through Friday and some of Saturday and when it finished--- there was more than a foot (18 inches in some places) of powdery, wonderful snow & the real fun began.

I had no idea my neighbors were so creative. Why, I was outside enjoying the hushed quiet peace that snow falling creates when I looked up to find my neighbor cross country (well, ok, cross Asheville) skiing. We laughed and off he went. The children of our historic neighborhood provided the most laughter though as they pursued the zest of living in a snowy wonderland with the careless abandon that only children can bring.
Now, the residents of Asheville, as I mentioned earlier, are not at all used to this amount of snow fall all in in one fell swoop and this created an opportunity for "car and driving follies." Folks without four wheel drive should likely have avoided the use of their vehicles but without fail they drove anyway. Do you remember back in your childhood those very fun instruments of destruction called bumper cars? Well, it was more or less a redo of that type of motion in front of our inn as the intrepid residents of our fair city sought to prove that they too can drive in winter like conditions.

I did notice something interesting though. Many of us were without power, many of us had car issues or required "digging out" help, some were slipping and falling but all of us seemed not only blissfully happy but unfailingly helpful of our fellow travelers. Folks without power were invited in to stay with folks that were still on the grid. When the cars ended up skidding or had to be dug out several neighborhood residents were on hand to help.
When a walk ended up in a less than graceful landing by our fellow citizens, well, we all helped them up and made sure they were ok.
In short, a wonderful time was had by all.
It is still only 19 in Asheville this a.m. and if it stays down the snow will remain. It is beautiful and if you think some of this "pixie dust" might be good for your soul, come and see us here at the inn www.cumberlandfalls.com We may even have a white Christmas!

Merry Christmas to All,




Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Gifts in Asheville, N.C.

Today is December 21 and the clock is ticking big time. Likely, for the procratinators among us, today the realization that it will soon be Christmas landed. Today however, is likely not the first time you realized that these are very difficult economic times. In today's culture there is expectation at Christmas of tangible, wrapped up and tied with sparkling ribbons kinds of gifts. I too, have traveled the highways and byways of our town, Asheville, N.C. www.cumberlandfalls.com,in search of a gift or two. Today, I suggest to you gifts of another kind. Several years back a friend of mine spoke of these kinds of gifts. I never forgot the talk. So now, to all my friends out there I pay it forward.

Christmas Gifts of a More Lasting Kind:

Offer a smile to someone who might need it more than you know. It counts double if you really don't feel like smiling that day. Take a moment to tell someone you value them and why. It breeds happiness in both the giver and the receiver.

Look for an opportunity to do an act of kindness that no one knows about but you and your maker. The next time you stop for coffee or a sandwich look around you and make a mindful choice to pay for another diner's meal or take a moment to open the door for a caregiver pushing a wheelchair. It's hard to push a wheelchair, hold your purse and open the door too.

Make a moment in life easier for someone else. This can be as simple as choosing not to be difficult in a situation where you have a right to be & just letting it pass. Likely, it is not all that important anyway. Isn't it refreshing when anyone really tries to go out of their way and supercede their responsibility to make your life easier? How grateful we are when that happens. It can be as simple as opening a door at the post office for someone you see burdened with packages or not being disagreeable with a service person who has not performed as you had hoped.

Take a moment at the end of each day to be grateful for your circumstances. Some days may not be as you hoped. Illness,financial burdens, caring for elderly and the time crunch all of us deal with daily can take it's toll on our emotional outlook. There is always something to be grateful for and most of us don't have to look all that hard to find it.

Pray. I nearly didn't put this down due to the controversy religion sometimes generates. In nearly everyone's life there is something that is a source of pain, dismay, or possibly even desperation. Many of these things we are powerless to deal with ourselves. We cannot fix them & despite our most valiant & consistent efforts, we remain unable to effect change. God is not powerless. Prayer offers a sense of peace,hope and the feeling that though we cannot be effective in a situation, God can.

Now, I mentioned earlier my friend who talked with me about these types of gifts. She provided a much longer list but frankly, it was a bit daunting. I think I will start small and perhaps, over time, all these things could become a good habit. Now, if this stuff caught on "wouldn't it be loverly?"

Merry Christmas and May your New Year be filled with opportunities to offer gifts of a more lasting kind.






Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Asheville Walking Food Tour

Asheville has so much going for it not the least of which is the innovative, some would say inspired cuisine located in this Western North Carolina town. Entrepreneurs from the East coast, West coast and all parts in between have settled in this vibrant art hub to do some creating of their own: on a plate!

Chris Ortwein has captured a way to introduce some of the best of the best to those traveling to Asheville. Now, if a guest is staying here with us At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com for a week or ten days, it is easy for us to really give them a real feel for all the culinary delights Asheville has to offer. That period of time provides guests sufficient time to enjoy the varied food offerings Asheville excels in. Some of our guests don't stay that long though and this tour is their ticket to discovery.

Chris runs culinary tours in different parts of Asheville. Downtown and Biltmore Village area are both excellent as well as completely different in scope each covering the restaurants in their area. The tour goers meet up with Chris,the tour host and together they set off on foot to the restaurants on the docket for that day. Each of these establishments are eagerly awaiting each groups arrival and treat them to some tasty treat representative of the vision of food that particular establishment showcases. It is a fantastic way to see the area in which the tour takes place as well as meet others who have also traveled to Asheville and lastly to see the inside of each of these food palaces, actually experience their vision of food and see if it jives with some place you might like to return to later that evening or on another visit to Asheville. Further, Asheville is a walking city and after all those tasty treats, suffice to say that getting a little exercise would not be a bad idea at all.

Join Chris for the tour. www.ashevillefoodtours.com. Gary and I did it and I assure you...You won't be sorry. We had a ton of fun, met some very cool restauranteurs, talked to some interesting folks (both local and imports) and again realized, as we do frequently, how lucky we are to live in this fun, spot on, hip locale. So,come on, what are you waiting for....Chow's on.


Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Monday, December 14, 2009

Asheville Inn At Christmas

Asheville is a solidly bed and breakfast kind of place. The historic neighborhood being so close to downtown really sort of ordained that being the case. No matter who you are, there is a bed and breakfast in Asheville to cater exactly to your type.

From the Victorian mansions and Georgian palaces to the Arts and Craft structures; Asheville has it all.
As night follows day, so it stands to reason that as all the homes are vastly different so to are their innkeepers.
We have representatives of nearly every occupation one can think of in the innkeeping community of Asheville. Just a few examples would include a developer of a communication system used by the coaches in the NFL, lawyers,legal secretary, therapists,radiology tech,nurses,realtors and of course a sorcerer and Indian chief. Well, ok, the last two are exaggerations but you get the point!
A hotel is a very different experience in hospitality than a bed and breakfast. Your innkeeper will know your name, identify exactly what your hopes for your vacation are and begin their mission to help you achieve those hopes. The innkeeper has a service soul and owns their livlihood in a similar manner to that of a mother bear over her cub. Her love for her home extends to all that enter it.
So, in these days of hard times at Black rock and maybe you could do with a little warm fuzzy. Check out a bed and breakfast. Support small business at the same time.
Coming to you from Patti At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn www.cumberlandfalls.com with a warm wish for your Merriest Christmas ever!





Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Friday, December 11, 2009

Blue Ridge Parkway Part 3

In previous blogs I have talked about the Blue Ridge Parkway's history, construction & the people and communities that fought so hard for it. This is likely the most important and final piece (for right now anyway) on the parkway.

When asked about the allure of our beloved parkway and what draws them to it most folks say it is the long range views;85-95% of those polled in fact. The nature hikers, bikers and runners of this great region can access these vistas as they glide over hill and dale in a very up close and personal way- but far more folks enjoy the beauty of these mountains on overlooks and in their car as they meander the roads of the parkway.

There is a potential peril in our midst now. Asheville has truly come into its own. People are coming out of the woodwork to move here for the climate, the unparalleled vistas and in general, our quality of life. This has brought with it a previously unseen increase in home construction to Western North Carolina in the last decade.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is atypical in that it stretches for 469 miles through two states but it's average width is but 800 feet. When folks stop on an overlook or view property from the comfort of their car, most of the land they see is owned by someone else.

The thrust to protect that asset is trying to build support for a state measure that would provide 75 million dollars to protect land along the road.
Educational material is being provided to developers of these land areas in an effort to inform them and capitalize our efforts to keep this area scenic. No one is against development and in these hard economic times everyone understands the need for it and the jobs and opportunities it brings but anything other than considered, smart development will result in killing the golden goose. I hope we are mindful of that as we continue the ongoing debate on how to best serve the needs of our region.


Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Decorations

Christmas is an inspired time of the year right? There's a home crying for Christmas decorations, a tree to put up, special "holiday glitter" clothing to wear to the parties of the season...Why, some people even decorate the bathrooms of their homes so there will be "no holiday stone" left unturned.

The Christmas (and all the days leading up to it) table whether for treasured family members or to host a group of friends also needs attention.
I have the perfect idea for that. Now, hold on to your hats because some of you will come to this thought with trepidation, fear of failure and angst but I assure you, once you do it you will appreciate the suggestion. Your Christmas decorations will be the talk of the town and the envy of your friends.
I have to credit the idea I am about to pass on to an Asheville, N.C. Gingerbread Tour I am currently participating in . Several of the area bed and breakfasts comprising Asheville Legendary Inns came up with an idea to use gingerbread houses to illustrate a story. This year, the selected story is Twas The Night Before Christmas, but I digress. In order to add a fun thing to said tour we decided to provide the ticket holders with a "gingerbread demonstration."
Now, I thought as the group mentioned that most wonderful idea, "Who was going to do that?" Then I saw their eyes upon ME. "Oh God, are they kidding?" said my inner voice. "Don't worry, they have kits" they said as their parting salvo. I immediately donned my coat, gloves and courage and proceeded to get said kit.

Much to my surprise, the kits are delightfully easy and to say this makes a glorious and more importantly, long lasting Christmas decoration, is to sell it short.
Once completed it's uses are many: Creatively lighting it with a tea candle and releasing a wonderful, home spun aroma, Christmas decoration for the holiday table it can be surrounded with greens & other sparkly items as part of a grand centerpiece. It will bring delighted responses from your friends as well as their wonderment as to how you created such a beauty. Mum's the word. I won't tell them if you don't.
May all your Christmas decorations be this bright!

Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homeless

Jorge Munoz is a Colombian immigrant and obtained his legal residency in the United States of America in 1987. That however, is not his story.

His real story culminates in the dark hours of the night when at about 9:30 p.m., after working a full time job of his own, Jorge arrives,just like a knight in medieval times, only mounted in a white truck rather than on a white horse. He carries with him hot food, coffee or hot chocolate. Jorge Munoz and his family have been doing this for more than four years every day and he estimates he has delivered more than 70,000 meals.

His operation runs flawlessly. Jorge rises at 5:00 a.m. to drive his bus route returning to his home more than 12 hours later. Jackson Heights, N.Y. has a corner that Jorge has taken on as his own. The unemployed and hungry he has been helping count on him to arrive and he does not disappoint. He and his family are funding this operation, donating out of need not abundance. With the current economic downturn, numbers are increasing. He or his sister deliver food of some kind every night. There are no "days of rest" for Jorge because he knows that people will go hungry if he does not arrive.

His salary and family savings supply the food, his heart supplies the mercy and his hands are God's hands. He did not win CNN's Hero award but Columbia, his place of birth and America, now his home, can point to Jorge Munoz with pride


Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Nursing in Action

Tomorrow is December 1 and I am of the old school where one is accustomed to postponing thoughts of Christmas until after Thanksgiving. In my previous career of Nursing, I worked many Christmas's & while I always felt guilty for being away from home and hearth, I always felt useful too. Nursing offers a unique opportunity to invest in others in a way that few other jobs do.

The following story is kudos for a fellow nurse and a look at how she turned her own health crisis into an opportunity for many.

Faith Coleman, a nurse pratitioner, found herself well educated, in a well paying job that she loved when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Despite the fact that she had worked in the health care industry, she did not have personal health insurance. That fact became an eye opener for her after her diagnosis.

Every day as a nurse we are provided opportunity. Opportunity to educated, help, heal, make a difference. Faith took the opportunity of having kidney cancer, which she described as "one of the best things that ever happened to me" to make a difference for others.

While Faith, due to her own economic situation and home ownership was able to mortgage her home providing $35,000 needed for her cancer care it did not escape her notice that most uninsured people do not have this resource.

After, her treatment and recovery, she approached a local physician in Bunnell, Fl with 60 years experience in treating the indigent population. Together, they established the Flagler County Free Clinic opening its doors in February 2005. With a staff entirely composed of volunteers, in a building donated by Dr.s for available use on the weekends they see patients on the first and third weekends of each month providing help for the uninsured. Local imaging services provide ancillary back up with donated CAT Scans and radiology assistance. Funded by private contributions and supported by many community organizations like Rotary and private physician free service, they have provided hope and care to many.
Faith Coleman used her second chance well.

Patti and Gary Wiles
Innkeepers