That would be... Paris, Texas!
For the final night of our Fall Road Trip, it seemed fitting that we stay in a place as awesome as Paris! After 21 nights in different hotels, motels and B&Bs, it seemed like we deserved a little Paris treatment... even if in name only.
No Louvre or fine French cuisine in our Paris, but we did have an Eiffel Tower. Some would claim there's no comparison with this 65-ft replica, but hey, what about that mighty awesome cowboy hat!
Actually, I was really looking forward to seeing the thing. I even packed my boots and a French beret when prepping for our trip. I knew we would reach Paris on my sister's birthday and I wanted to text her a special photo greeting. After all, she had been so kind to do the same for my birthday 6 months earlier, when she was in Paris, France. Again, let's not compare.
The Ledger Home
We considered ourselves pretty lucky to come across such a lovely place to stay, since Old Magnolia is the only B&B in Paris!
The home was built by The BF Ledger Family in 1871 and sits on a landscaped hill overlooking Clarksville Avenue. At one time the home was much larger, but Mr. Ledger made a few bad investment choices and had to downsize... which means they removed part of the house!
The Red Doors
We parked in back and by the time we reached the front doors, our hostess Debbie was there to greet us.
The original screened door was a reminder of the days before air-conditioning. And the "L" etched in the glass was a reminder that this was once a real home with a family.
What's that smell?
Sometimes you have to put up with a whole history of odors when you stay in 100 year old hotels or homes.
Click But the smell that greeted us, was coming from the kitchen. Debbie apologized for greeting us with an apron. "I was just finishing up the cinnamon rolls!" No complaints about that smell!
Debbie scurried off to check the rolls and we took in some of the wonderful details from stained glass to arched woodwork.
Debbie returned and took us upstairs. She explained how the staircase had once been more grand, before the Ledgers removed part of the house. I couldn't quite picture what she meant...
Door to Nowhere
...until we reached a small landing and I saw the blocked doorway.
I guess the door once lead to another room, but now opened to the air! It wasn't as dangerous as I first thought, since there was a railing to catch you from falling to the ground.
The Magnolia Room
We had our pick of 3 guest rooms, since we were the only guests. We chose The Magnolia Room which is on the front of the house, with its own bathroom and sitting room.
It was comfy, clean and jam packed with decor. Even Debbie chuckled as she removed a pretty little bed tray with china cups and shoved it under the bed to get it out of the way. She and her sister own and run the B&B and Debbie said it was her sister who went crazy with all the decorating. Debbie said it was the cooking that she loved.
Everything One Could Need
Let me say again, this place was spotless. I have cringed at historic hotels packed with doodads and lace that collect dust. I can't imagine how long it must take to clean this house with all the knickknacks.
In the bathroom we had 2 tubs (one was a Whirlpool) and a corner shelf full of shower products. There were wall shelves with china and glass, as well as numerous breakables on the tank lid. I smiled at the retro plush toilet seat cover and the tiny glass bell by the tub. Could I ring for service?
More Doodads in the Sitting Room
Our Room With a View
We had a nice view from our guest room windows of this lovely, white home across the street. It may be a funeral home now, but I liked the image of big lawn, columns & veranda.
I liked imagining the "across the street neighbors" helping one another, back in 1916, when Paris was nearly destroyed by a city fire. These two homes were some of the few that survived.
Paris closes down early on Sunday night, so Don and I struggled to find one open Mexican restaurant. We had a quick feast and drove out for one more glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, all aglow in colored lights.
We returned to the big house to find our bed turned down for the evening. Debbie had added a teddy bear holding a bag of homemade brownies. Once again it was like staying at Grandma's... although Debbie is about my age. What a treat!
Rainy Monday Morning
We had a wonderful night's sleep with the sound of rain and thunder. In the morning, I think I heard pigeons cooing on the window sill.
We headed down at 8 and shared the dining room table with numerous pumpkin and fall flower arrangements. While Debbie bustled in and out of the kitchen, Don and I sipped a little coffee with our cinnamon rolls and studied our surroundings.
Who Needs Fall Decor?
We hardly needed the distraction of decoration with the beautiful wood and glass all around us. The glowing yellow & green stained glass window had a story, about a wild neighbor boy and a bb gun. The corner fireplace was a piece of art, with carved mantel and ceramic tile.
And the hefty, built in china cabinet, was like nothing I've ever seen. Debbie explained that it opened like a garage door, with counter weights.
Debbie pulled off a fabulous feast, despite the fact she'd been up half the night... due to severe weather alerts. (Hosts are always on duty) We were served the "house juice" and a dish of fresh berries accented with mint and toasted oats.
There were sweet & white potatoes, seasoned, then grilled and drizzled with sauce. And yummy veggie frittata, biscuit, bacon and fresh tomato and sprouts! Don claimed this was his favorite breakfast on our 22 day trip!
The fact that I will remember this sweet, sherbet-colored house at all, is amazing. My brain was so clogged and exhausted from absorbing 22 days of trips details, I hardly wanted to look, smell or taste anything.
But our stay was peaceful, cozy and comfy and that made us relax enough to take more in.
I will definitely remember Debbie's gracious hosting and her delicious food! We never met her sister, (who was coming in that day) but I will remember all her personal touches from scarecrows to mini Eiffel Towers. The contrasting decor of old and new, made sense for a town that owned an Eiffel tower sporting a cowboy hat!
So let me just say, I will remember that we stayed in Paris!
Our B&B stay had all the snazzy glitter of France and all the homey warmth of Texas!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!