3-day weekend: Share your best & worst experiences

This is a preliminary question that I'm asking around to get ideas for a more formal survey... so... if you're reading this blog, and you'd like to help, please let me know! You can write to me directly (and anonymously) through this form
My Bed & Breakfast will open at the end of the summer, and I want to make it the best experience possible for my guests. If you have a moment, please post a reply:

What are the best and worst things about taking a long-weekend vacation? (whether at a B&B or standard hotel or wherever)

If you have any specific comments about a Bed & Breakfast, that's cool too. Thanks.
•••••••••• http://mockingbirdacres.com ••••••••••
Mockingbird Acres is a lace-doily and antique-free B&B

The style is decidedly contemporary. We want to attract people from late 20's to early 60's who just want to escape and relax. The ideal vibe would be "staying at the home of a friend of a friend".

Each cottage will have a full bathroom, private of course. (1 cottage will be finished by September, but we plan to have only 3 in total)

Also, each cottage has its own microwave, coffeepot, fridge. Each is a free-standing building, with a bedroom, bathroom, livingroom w/kitchenette, and a private porch. We're on 10 acres so there's plenty of privacy. There will also be wireless internet access available: I certainly couldn't live without it, wouldn't expect my guests to either.

The main house/building will have a commercial kitchen and full-service restaurant. We plan to open the restaurant to the public in the evenings on weekends only.
Like I said, I want this to be the most awesome 3-day weekend getaway. The perfect vacation is a different thing for different people.... so what's YOURS!?

It's day 2 of "Too

It's day 2 of "Too cold to go to Prospect & repair fence. " Going to a *real* restaurant for b-day tonight!

what a long, cold day.

what a long, cold day. everything we do takes much longer than we anticipate. at least science podcasts make driving less boring

A list of to-do lists

JoAnna hereby extends her apologies for not posting more, but begs forgiveness since there's so much to do! I've decided to put up a few of my to-do lists here so you'll either have pity on me ...or so you'll come visit us and help!


  • Driveway
    dig the 12-foot wide path
    lay the rock
  • Electricity
    rent the pole
    dig hole for the PVC line
    bury the ground wire
    run the wires
  • Water
    get the water company to dig under the street and put the meter on our side of the street
    get a trench dug to get water to our property line
    dig another trench to get water to the building site
  • Propane
    arrange for an account
    get the tank delivered
    get something that I can cook on
    get something that will make us warm when camping out in the shed (NOTE: more on this later!)
VERY important to-do list:
  • Fix fencing
    replace major holes with new fence & additional poles
    fix minor holes with repair wire
    cut up dead trees that have crushed fence
  • Reinforce Shed
    put plastic over side window
    build a ramp to the side door
    figure out how to close/latch side door
    repair shed's barn-door hinge
    fill in assorted holes
    get glass cut for big window & replace it
  • figure out what goes where
    pick trees to cut down
    select trees to leave alone
    choose locations for fruit trees
  • select a style for the main house
    factor in cost of building
    figure out most eco-efficient energy/water resources
    find out if there's any financial incentives for solar/wind/etc.
Gardening prep to-do list:
  • fix up the pond
    cut the pine tree down
    scoop up the pine needles
  • test the soil
    find a decent soil-testing kit
  • build a spacing grid
    build a frame
    staple on some chicken wire
  • build a soil-sifter
    build a frame
    staple on some hardware cloth
  • build a potting bench
    pick out some salvage lumber
    build legs & cross-supports
    build a box to hold giant loads of good dirt
    sift out some dirt
  • build some seedling flats
    pick out MORE salvage lumber
  • schedule plantings
    Last Frost: April 20th
    First Frost: October 8th
Marketing to-do
  • Website
    more writing & more pictures
    search engines: always a work in progress
  • Network with other Bed & Breakfast owners
  • join the Bed & Breakfast associations
  • Make local connections
    bake some cookies & brownies for bribes
    introduce myself to Pulaski & Prospect business owners
Stuff i don't want to forget to do:
  • put rocks along edge of pond to create an edge
  • order some ladybugs and mantids
  • build birdhouses
  • dig out a root cellar

Today I learned:
there's no such thing as a little too much sherry in the Brasilian Bean Stew.

Things are looking up.

I met with the engineer from the electric company today to learn about getting power. His name was Bobby. That's Bob or Bobby number 5. There's:

Bobby Watkins - owns the property to the east, has goats and sheep on pasture there
Bob Bryant - Real Estate Agent from Pulaski, showed us 2 properties back a while ago
Bob McKeown - Real Estate Agent - met with him and that was the end
Bobby Something - Owner of The Restaurant Barn, sells new and refurb restaurant equipment
Bobby Pigg - Engineering Designer for Pulaski Electric

I'm not sure if I'll ever get used to the fact that everyone here is so helpful and patient with me. And everyone actually seems to enjoy their occupations. We discussed the options for getting power to our homesite for nearly 90 minutes. He even offered to return in the case that I change my mind on the location of the TSP (temporary service pole).

Yesterday, JoAnna and I replaced a long span of fencing on the northwest corner of the property. As usual, the first few attempts are slow-going, but we figure out better ways to do things and then pick up speed. We also added a ramp to the pedestrian entry of the shed which was about 24 inches above grade. The big barn doors are too heavy to mess with them every time we want in or out.

The Shed is Empty

Technically, it's not empty because I put all of our tools and stuff in there once it was clear of the rotten wood piles. The termites have been working on that wood for so long that the pieces from of the bottom of the piles were completely disintegrating as I picked them up. Dragging them out to the junk pile worked best, which was probably easier on me anyway. I'm looking forward to doing some real work now - work that doesn't require a dust mask.

Today I learned... sometimes you can shovel wood.

Emptying the Shed

I met with David Thurman this morning to get an estimate for having a driveway put in as well as having some other excavation-type work done. He seems to know exactly what we need, and it is going to be expensive. In order to access the upper level of our property - which is where we want to build everything - we basically need to run the driveway along the entire 3-acre north slope, about 600 feet. At least adding this feature will increase the value of the property. We really have no choice other than building a funiculare, which is like a train with a one track mind.

Once the meeting was over, I worked to empty the shed of the "lumber" that has been sitting in there for who knows how long - at least 25 years. We believe the lumber may have been cut from trees from the property, as it is all unusual widths and lengths. Unfortunately, time has taken its toll and the wood was not well stored, so a combination of bugs and dry rot and wet rot have rendered most of the wood unusable - even for firewood. But we want to use the shed for important things, so it must be emptied first. Here is a picture of the pile that has been stacked outside...

...and here is the mostly-emptied shed...

The worst part of this work is that I know I will have to move this stuff again someday, either into a burn-pile or a dumpster. Some of it may be salvaged for building a chicken coop or other outbuilding, but nothing fancy.

OK, my dog Render says it is time to end this blog post, so until next time...