After the Rains!
I was glad to learn that the Farm/B&B, located northeast of Dallas was open after recent Texas flooding. However the tree house I'd seen pictured was booked. I called to chat with Gwen, who owns the farm with her husband Mike. She offered up their second tree house, Bare Creek Hollow. "It's not officially open yet, but we could put you up there if you like."
It was muggy and hot when we arrived at 3. It was questionable whether we could drive the car on the recently flooded dirt road. We managed to get close enough and hauled our stuff up the winding, wood ramp. My cowboy boots came in very handy for hiking down to the creek for more photos, later.
The Other Side
From the creek there was a better view of the fun side of the tree house, with upper and lower porches. The photos look a little like Dorothy's house lifting up in a cyclone. It felt a lot sturdier than the floating images.
Mosquitoes were swarming, so it was nice to step inside. The air-conditioner seemed to be struggling a bit, but we were pretty delighted with the interior. Numerous windows made the place feel spacious and airy. If weather had permitted, we could have opened all the windows and really enjoyed being up in the trees. However, we did enjoy the fun of two trees intruding our space! One was growing right up through the floor.
The funny staircase to the upper guest room and bath, was also a divider between the tiny kitchen and sitting area. Nobody ever said tree houses are safe and the staircase added a little adventure to our stay. It got a little iffy at the top and one careless step from the guest room to the bathroom, could have given me more interesting stories to tell!
Mike Brought Breakfast and Stories
There were still things to complete and fix and he apologized for the sluggish a.c. Lucky for Mike and Gwen that we were pretty laid back guests and able to relax, even though the thermostat read 81 degrees.
At the top of the stairs we found a sweet little room with a brightly decorated iron bed. The sliding "barn door" to the bath, also held a ladder leading up to a tiny sleeping loft. The bathroom was pleasant. It smelled of lavender soaps and scrubs and the antique mirror made it hard for me to see my wrinkles. The view from the window in the shower made me feel like I was standing up in a tree during a summer rain!
I have to chuckle at these heavenly photos. I could barely sit long enough for the camera to snap, before running inside to escape the buzzing skeeters! It's easier to enjoy the dense, green world that surrounded the porch... in the photos! I can only imagine how lovely that rocking chair would be during a cool, dry season.
After a little slathering of bug spray, it was time to explore. There was a duck pond and a purple hen house, with it's own little chandelier. There was also a pair of friendly dogs who followed us everywhere. Fred was happy to pose in the lavender.
The Odd Stuff
Wandering the trails and dirt roads, it was hard to figure out what was decoration or art or just discarded stuff. I'm all for the odd and whimsical, but it was perplexing to see a punching bag in the Zen garden. And the legless chair with wings was the strangest of all. I wasn't sure if the metal wires that held the chair were strong enough to hold me, so I just gave my camera bag a ride. The fallen unicorn with the broken horn, was odd. I noticed that Fred the Dog seemed confused and afraid when he began barking at a large plastic deer leaning against a tree.
Near the larger lavender field there was more fun-clutter that fit the term shabby chic a little better. I appreciate weathered wood and rusty metal when they're resting in wildflowers. The large gold frame in the grass offered a view of the silo, which is also the office and gift shop. A few platform stages and scattered chairs and tables reminded me that it's not always so quiet at the farm.
We did get to peek at the other two B&B offerings on the farm. The trailer was decorated inside with more vintage oddities. We were excited to see the "Majestic Oak Treehouse" before guests arrived. There were actually 3 spaces connected by bridges. A huge tree trunk was in the center of the living space. The bedroom was more like a hanging platform with screens that could be rolled up. What a hoot!
And The Lavender!
The main field doesn't really cover that much area, but it was lovely in the evening light. I sprayed up and went out the next morning before 7 to wander before the heat. That was much nicer. I could enjoy the lavender smell without sweating!
Our tree house wasn't exactly rustic, since we had a flat screen TV and a cushy lounge chair. There was no internet, but there was a mighty fine charging station, set up in an old built-in telephone nook! And there was a good fan over the bed which helped us get to sleep until the a.c. for some reason kicked in, sometime in the wee hours.
After a little morning walk with my two dog buddies, we checked out with Gwen in the silo office. She was very apologetic about our a.c. and gave us a big discount. She was bustling around the office getting ready for the Lavender Festival, which was a few days away. It was a little hard to imagine the farm with lots of people.
There's a part of me that wants to go back with my own tools and imagination and do some rearranging. Hmmm?
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!