Saturday, March 29, 2014

Flat Stanley & Springing Forward For The Season

It has been a long, very cold winter, but the first signs of spring are hitting Serenity Hilltop. The forsythia tree is starting to bloom, and daffodils are popping up randomly all over the property. Scott is making a huge effort to start all of our flowers and garden plants from seeds, and the art studio shed is full of his little babies.

Scott & Amanda tend to the baby plants. 
Some updates are also going on at Serenity House. A new kitchen faucet was installed, all of the carpets have been steam cleaned, and the railings on the front of the house are getting a refurbishing. That northern side of the house takes a beating each year, so some replacing and painting needs to happen every once in a while.

Scott with the railings torn down and ready for sturdy supports and a fresh paint job.
Safety first!!
We will also be adding a hummingbird feeder on the main level balcony this season. They arrive by the hundreds every year, and we hope that will attract them to Serenity House and give guests a chance to see the whole variety of fairy-like creatures up close and personal. By the way, did any of you find the fairy hidden in the guest house during the 2013 season?

Last week we had the honor of a visit from Flat Stanley. He came to us via the Holly Academy in Michigan (and our great-niece Sage), and he helped Scott all over the yard. He thought spreading out a truckload of fresh garden soil was a big job!

WOW! Stanley hopes we save him some summer tomatoes.

Caring for a huge piece of property and a guest house is a big job.
Stanley was impressed with the laundry and yard work.

Stanley thought the view was amazing. We agree!
We sent him back to Michigan with many a story to tell about life in the Ozark Mountains. Sage was happy that he had as good a time on his visit with us as she always does. We're only sorry we didn't have time to take him to Turpentine Creek to see BamBam's huge new habitat. Maybe next year.

Stanley also had a chance to meet the famous Kimba
and hear about Book 3 in the Cats in the Mirror series.
He promised not the share any spoilers.
She promised not to eat him.
Eureka Springs has a fantastic season ahead. You can check out the Chamber of Commerce calendar here and see what events look like your cup of tea. The weekend of April 26th is open, and that is the annual Yards and Yards of Yardsales event. Seriously, there are hundreds of them around town--not to mention the normal array of antique shops. If you love looking for that perfect find, that's your weekend to come to town.

May in Eureka Springs brings all kinds of art festival and gallery strolls. It's a perfect time to enjoy all of the unique artist that call our town home. We have the weekend of the 10th and the weekend of the 24th still open.

Memorial Day Weekend and the July 4th Weekend are still available here at Serenity Hilltop, but the rest of spring is filling up fast. There's only one weekend left open in June! Give us a call to plan your 2014 trip. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones!

Facebook has made it nearly impossible for us to use it as a form of communication. Only about 3% of those who follow us actually see any given post--unless we pay to boost it. Meg promises to use this blog more during the year, so this will be the best place to follow for updates and special offers. Our goal is to post twice a month.

If you tweet, join us at SerenityHilltop or follow Meg on her author twitter account at MegWelchDendler.

We hope you have a warm and wonderful weekend!








Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is it Spring yet?

It is hard to imagine it, but Spring is right around the corner. We have already started preparations here with cleaning up the flower beds and sorting the seeds that will grow in our greenhouse and be planted to make Serenity Hilltop beautiful in just a few weeks. Winter boredom has also caused Scott to come up with a few projects that he didn't quite expect. If you remember our "Lorax" tree stump from the last two years, you'll notice a big change now. Because rocks had grown up inside of it, we couldn't take the tree down any farther than this. Scott felt it could be put to better use, so...

A chainsaw and a chisel later, and Scott made us a nice initialized welcome stump.
Most of this crazy winter in Eureka Springs it has been so cold that we haven't been able to do much but hibernate and wait for the season to start, but that hasn't stopped the inquires and bookings for 2014. We have added a listing at Flipkey this year, so a lot of new faces will be on the scene this season. If you know of a time that you want to visit, don't wait to be in touch. We have already had several inquires for Bikes, Blues, & BBQ Weekend in September!

We had enough snow this year to actually do some sledding. That's rare around here, and Scott took full advantage.



We hope the rest of your winter is not too snowy and very safe and that you'll be joining us this season in Eureka Springs.

And PS -- For those of you who follow Meg's writing and books, both "Why Kimba Saved The World" and "Vacation Hiro" were honored with Silver Mom's Choice Awards for excellence in products for children. Very exciting! You can read more about it here at Meg's writing blog.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Merry Christmas From Serenity Hilltop Retreat

It has been an exciting December here in Eureka Springs and up at Serenity Hilltop Retreat. The same winter storm that caused trouble across the US hit us hard. We saw 9 inches of snow in Eureka Springs, which is apocalyptic around here. Schools were closed for over a week, and everyone just hunkered down to avoid the freezing temperatures and icy roads.

9 inches of snow blanket Serenity Hilltop
Snowy Serenity
 But now the weather has warmed to more normal winter levels, and we are looking forward to only a dusting of snow for Christmas to greet our holiday guests.

Merry Christmas in Serenity House
Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care
 As we close out our second season, we are so grateful for all of the guests who have stayed in Serenity House or simply come to attend a wedding or reunion. We hope to see many of you again in 2014, and we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year filled with blessings, much joy, and mountaintops of serenity.

Scott and Meg Dendler

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Thank You

We are so grateful for everyone who has joined us at Serenity Hilltop Retreat over the last two seasons. We literally could not do it without you!

You can read our latest newsletter here http://t.co/a0W3ii7aEO

There are still some openings over the holidays and some fun things going on around town. We'd love to have you come for a visit year round!

From today's newsletter:

We are open year round, so off-season rates begin December 1 and last through the end of February. It's pretty quiet around here, but if you are looking for a place to tuck in with friends and family we would love to have you join us. The house is full for Christmas, but we still have openings around Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. We are also still open for the December 6th Christmas parade and historic home tours downtown that weekend. The Great Passion Play is having a lights display for the first time this year that should be amazing, and the Historical Museum is holding the "largest Christmas snow village and train exhibit in the South" until December 22. 


We hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends and family and love.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ah, Summer!

Despite some torrential rains and some epic flooding in town, we have had a glorious summer here at Serenity Hilltop. For those of you who have been following the creation of our arbor area, here are the most recent photos. It has gone from a bare hilltop to a fantastic photo spot. We are getting so excited to see our fall brides enjoy it all.




It is mighty hard to keep up on a blog during our busiest months, but we have loved getting to know all of our summer guests. Great reviews have been coming in and lovely notes are left in our guest book. Here's just one.

"This vacation home was so clean, comfortable, relaxing, with wonderful views we don't get to see at home. Thank you for all the information provided and your wonderful hospitality! The beds are fantastic and the jet tub upstairs was nice for achy muscles after climbing to the cave! My children really enjoyed the cave, rocks, and the animal check list you provided. Thanks so much for everything. Will definitely stay again and will recommend to friends. Eureka Springs is such a cute little town!" 7/24/13

We still have this weekend (Aug. 23-25) open for the VW weekend, so call now if you fancy a parade of new and classic VW vans and bugs. They take over the town!

Fall weekends are booked up through mid-November, except for October 11-13 (grab it while you can), but we are open during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Santa arrives and the Tour of Homes downtown take place December 6-8, so that's a great weekend to come on down to Eureka Springs before the cold weather takes over. You can always check our calendar here or just give us a call at 479-363-6017.

We hope you enjoy your last days of summer!





Friday, June 21, 2013

Blue Spring Heritage Center

As newbies to Eureka Springs, Scott and I try to get out and do one or two "touristy" things each month. That way, when our guests at Serenity Hilltop Retreat ask for our opinion, we have educated responses to share. This weekend, we drove a bit outside of town to visit the Blue Spring Heritage Center.

Meg on the bridge at Blue Spring with water rushing under her. 

Blue Spring
 
This beautiful location is built around a natural spring that gushes out 38 million gallons of water each day, which ultimately ends up feeding into the White River. Your tour starts with a video about the history of the area and a small museum with artifacts from the town and Blue Spring. Besides more modern events involving the Civil War, bottling water for sale, and using the force of the water for a mill, Blue Spring was also the site of prehistoric human activity and was a stop-over on the Trail of Tears. Currently, divers from Aquatic Cave Xploration are learning more about where the water comes from. They have reached a depth of 210 feet.

Downstream from Blue Spring flowing toward the White River.

The bluff shelter, where artifacts have been found dating back 10,000 years.
This area is on the National Register of Historic Places.

There is an entrance fee ($9.25 for adults), but Scott and I spent over an hour there enjoying the flowers and the walkways. There are many stairs and ramps involved in getting down to the spring, but I did notice a wheelchair off to one side for guests who might need it. We are looking forward to going back in the fall when the leaves are changing. It will be a whole different kind of beautiful then!

Lucy, a Canadian Goose orphan being raised on site.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Beautiful Spring Day!


Well spring has finally sprung here in Eureka Springs.  I was finally motivated to take some nice photos of the waterfall and surrounding area.  Hopefully we are past the potential for freezing temperatures because we   don't have coats and hats small enough for all the plants we planted this year.  :)


Caring for the yard is a fun experience here because it is so expansive that it seems like we start on one section and work through all the other sections of the yard and then we just have to start over again. April and May showers have brought flowers and long, growing grass apparently.  :)


The views are still spectacular and gloriously green.  The leaves have come in on all the trees.  Just walking outside I am often struck by how beautiful, fresh, and clean the air is here.  Come on out to Serenity Hilltop Retreat to experience it all.