Letter from the Innkeepers Spring 2005

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Dear Friends,

It’s drizzled and it’s frizzled too, this Spring. We’ve had just about a little bit of everything, beginning with 80-degree days in March and now snow the morning of April 12th. We went up Mt. Grizzly a few days ago looking for some wildflowers and instead almost got stuck in the snow. Hattie’s head was the only thing left of her once she left the trail, our dear brown snow angel.

As the roots of our 2004 expansion have sunk deeper on both sides of East Main Street, we’ve made a decision about how we want to be known, eliminating the word “cottage” from our lexicon altogether. Know us now, please, as Anne Hathaway’s B&B and Garden Suites. The reason for this change was not so much truth in advertising (our house is simply not a cottage), nor an effort to cover up the fact that there really are two cottages across the street that are ours. It just seemed that we were spending endless minutes on the phone explaining to people that we really weren’t exactly a cottage, that they wouldn’t have one of their own, that the cottages didn’t have any common space and so on. So now we’re calling them what they are. Please come see.

Color continues to make inroads at Anne Hathaway’s with the addition of a faint yellow wash to the Currie room in the B&B as well as plum carpeting in the hallway, stairway and Will’s Study. For those whose serenity has been disturbed by the creakiness endemic to our nearly century-old house, we promise a sounder sleep. Light has been another theme this winter, as we’ve installed wonderful reading lights over every bed in the Garden Suites, and a “sun tunnel” in the Viola suite, which used to be Orlando.

A new iris garden is taking shape curbside at the Garden Suites, with the inspiration, collaboration, and donation of our devoted guest Richard Shore, a well-known man of the iris in the Bay Area.

For you B&Bers who have had to haul your luggage over the gravel, we’ve got good news. A paved driveway and walkway ensure a smooth ride all the way now, and a sensational new garden space that will soon be blooming forth with something, we’re not sure what yet.

The glory of OSF sparkles this season with a positively awesome Richard III, the debut of By the Waters of Babylon (do you remember “Handler?”), riotous Room Service and now August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Such a feast it is. Catherine Coulson and Armando Duran, for whom “Babylon” was written, perform to the edges of their own and your experience, packing new ballast into all our suitcases. Catherine will be joining us for breakfast from time to time. Shaw’s Philanderer is a period piece, period. If you are in the mood for elegant language, lavish production and slavish devotion to the forms of a time long gone, do not miss it.

Don’t forget the Britt, dear friends, for its efforts as the Valley’s impresario are waiting in the wings to thoroughly entertain you. Tony Bennett. B.B. King. The Kingston Trio. Randy Travis. And many others. Try a night in Jacksonville when you need a different sort of entertainment. We’ll pack your picnic for you.

It’s our delight to report that advance reservations are brisk. We’ve had to turn people away or convince them to change their tickets. Our rates remain among the most reasonable in town, and our breakfasts, tea treats and after-theatre fare among the best. Check our Super Specials at www.ashlandbandb.com.

As we write this, David is back in the East with his Mum on the farm, visiting old haunts and colleagues in Washington on the Hill and the World Bank, and then a spot check on Our Daughter the Organic Farmer in North Carolina. When you come, we’ll have much to report. And we know you will too.

This comes with our gratitude for your support and loyalty and hopes that if you haven’t been back lately, you will be soon.

Deedie and David Runkel