February is Romance Month

Anytime during the month of February, enjoy a Romance Package created by you for you and your loved one.

A Romance Package

Intentional Living Couples Retreat

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INTENTIONAL LIVING COUPLES RETREAT

Weekend of  November 18, 2016

During our Saturday 4-hour Intentional Living Workshop you will explore yourself and your relationship with hands on exercises and thought provoking material. The program will help you discover deeper meaning and appreciation for your significant other and the life you lead together. This is not a lecture or counseling session. It will be a fun day of learning and application that will teach you how to live life by choice and not by chance!

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About the Workshop Trainer – Certified Coach Donna Kunde

Donna Kunde is a woman of faith, wife, mom and retired Soldier whose passion is helping people find purpose and meaning in life. What she teaches are tried and true methods that can apply to any relationship. Donna’s training as a licensed and certified coach, speaker and teacher on the John Maxwell Team coupled with her military background makes her the perfect facilitator to help both military and nonmilitary couples cherish the now and embrace the future. She will help you figure out what’s most important to you and teach you how to keep what you value as your top priority. You will leave this intimate retreat feeling focused, refreshed and ready to live life on purpose!

Packages include:

  • Complete half day workshop with full color Intentional Living workbook for each participant
  • Two copies of the book Intentional Living by John C. Maxwell along with a digital copy (first 3 chapters) of the book emailed so you can start reading right away!
  • Right Life Balance Assessment to find out how balanced your current life is plus tips to add balance
  • Pre-Workshop bonus session: Harmony: How to make permanent change to bring inner peace and a
    more harmonious life (must book and pay by Nov 11 to qualify)
  • One or two Night stay at the Inn including a Luxurious Gift Basket and Delicious Gourmet Breakfasts
  • Fruit & Cheese tray at check in
  • Romantic Candlelight Dinner for 2 with intimate Marriage Vow Renewal Ceremony
  • Breakfast Bonus Session on Sunday morning
  • Light Refreshments throughout the training including fresh roasted coffee

Prices start at $350 per couple – Only 4 rooms available for overnight packages

Email The Grey Swan Inn for Complete Details!

info@greyswaninn.com

Payment Plans Available

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Just for Father’s Day

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Spend Father’s Day weekend at The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast with your favorite father…..

We can help you set up an itinerary including things he likes to do OR to try something on his bucket list…. skydiving, zipline?  Perhaps a little bit more relaxing looking for gems at a nearby gem mine.

When making your reservation, be sure to ask for the Father’s Day package which will include a hand-thrown coffee mug made by local potter, Carmela Picone and a sampling of Jim’s coffee (roasted on site) to enjoy when he returns home!

Give us a call:  434-292-3199

For The Brides

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For The Brides

Come visit us in historic Blackstone, VA and tour The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast.  Call us at 434-292-3199 for your tour reservation.

Romantic Photo Shoot

Our vintage inn can be the lovely backdrop for your bridal photographs.  Hourly rates apply.  Dressing room may be available for an additional amount.

3 Night Stay at The Grey Swan Inn

“Day One – Friends are Forever”

Imagine spending an afternoon and evening relaxing and creating wonderful memories with the women who will be with you on your special day.

When you arrive in the early afternoon, we will help you unload your vehicle and let you just unwind for a little bit while enjoying beverages of your choice.  We’ll provide the non-alcoholic drinks and a few light gourmet snacks.

Dinner and Bachelorette Party – This can be prearranged in a private room at one of our local restaurants, or enjoyed in our private dining room & parlors for small groups.   Mrs. Innkeeper can help with referrals for caterers, local entertainment, and party specialties based on your individual tastes.

“Day Two – Spa (Ahhh!)”

Sleep in and enjoy coffee service delivered to your room.  A full gourmet breakfast will be ready whenever you like and catered to your likes.

Today you will probably be conferring with your wedding planner for last minute details for your wedding.  This may also be the time to have your manicures and pedicures completed.  We can refer you to local shops who may be available to come to the Inn for your spa (aahhh) treatments.

Lunch/Early Afternoon Nibbles – surprise your friends with gifts from you while served a gourmet box lunch or tea sandwiches and lemonade served either in our dining room or on our front porch.

Respite (aka nap time) – soothing music and herbal eye pillows will give you time to re-center,

Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner – Traditionally the rehearsal dinner is planned by the groom’s family.  Be sure to check with your wedding planner.

Return to the Inn for a good night’s sleep.

“Your Wedding Day”

Wake up and enjoy coffee service delivered to your rooms as early as you like!

You will be busy today, so we will help you with a stress-free breakfast – your choice of continental or a full service meal at a time best for you.

Your hairstylist, make-up specialist, and photographer may arrive as early as you need them here.

Lunch – Depending on the time of your wedding, you can decide on nibbles or have a more substantial meal catered from one of our local restaurants.

“First Day as Mr. & Mrs.”

Sleep in and enjoy coffee and breakfast service in your room.  Check out extended until Noon.

Contact us for prices and the fine print:   434-292-3199 or info@greyswaninn.com

The Gratitude Jar Project

Gratitude…. November is a good month to start a gratitude jar and there have been many posts on social media referring to just that.   So with a quart jar, pen, and slips of colored paper, we began.  This project grew much larger than expected and we had to move to a much larger container.  Fortunately, Christine likes to keep items around the inn for “just in case” moments like this!

Each day, a new fill in the blank gratitude statement has been posted.  Many people have responded and the larger jar has been filled up.

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Do you have ghosts at The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast?

And our standard answer is…….”Would you like for there to be?????”

 

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Jim and I have never seen, smell, felt, or heard the presence of a ghost but the grandson of the original owner once asked us “Have you met him yet?”  Of course, we then had to know more.  He shared that someone had died in the house on the second floor and his spirit was seen walking in the second floor hallway by several family members.

Another local visitor came to inn to see the previous innkeeper and could smell blueberry muffins baking.  She was so pleased for the treat of muffins during her visit, but the innkeeper said she was not baking nor had she recently. Where did that smell come from and why did only that visitor experience the smell?

Our last incident (that we’re aware of) is a guest said she felt the presence of a child spirit in her room that seemed to be attracted to a piece of furniture which is a family piece.  The spirit would come and go at will.  Curious, isn’t it?!

 

An Apple a Day…..

An apple a day....

An apple a day….

Fall brings memories of apple dishes… beginning with fried apples for breakfast using Yellow Transparent apples, aka Pippin.  My father would bring home the apples from a neighbor and early the next morning, Mother would fry these in a bit of bacon fat, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  These would be served with fried eggs, bacon, and toast.

Apple crisps was another family favorite and here is the link for you to try.

Veterans – Thank you for your service!!

It’s not just once a year that we are thankful, but it’s once a year that we and other Bed and Breakfasts around the US offer an extra savings to veterans.  November 11th is Veteran’s Day and veterans can stay free in at least one room of the select inns.

Here’s the link to find listings for a nice get-away:

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www.bandbsforvets.org   (keep checking back with this website as more listings are being added daily!)

Kathleen Panek, innkeeper in Shinston, WV at The Gilliam House Bed and Breakfast was the creator of this yearly event.  Thanks, Kathleen!

 

2015 – Championnats du Monde Route Fan Logement

Pour nos amis francophones:

Looking l’Hébergement pour les Championnats du Monde Route 2015 à Richmond à partir de Septembre 19-27, 2015? Sérums Logement à prime juin à Richmond, Fait envisager de Rester à The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast à Blackstone, VA, Une petite ville du sud de la Virginie, de la population 3600.

The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast est prêt à prendre vos réservations d’hébergement maintenant!

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Chacune des cinq chambres ont leurs propres salles de bains privées, Internet sans fil gratuit, un parking privé et un délicieux petit déjeuner, le Inn est à 50 miles de Richmond – une distance très entraîné pour les fans se rendant à regarder les courses à venir! Notre café est torréfié sur place et il ya un grand choix de thés parmi lesquelles choisir. Le petit déjeuner est servi 06:30-09h00 et varie quotidiennement. Vos exigences alimentaires particulières sont considérés avec un préavis y compris végétalien, faible teneur en sel et riche en protéines. En service de café de suite est disponible en équipement de add-on. Soyez sûr de vérifier notre autre add-on des équipements – les fruits et plateau de fromages est très populaire auprès de nos clients!

Pendant que vous êtes dans le sud de la Virginie, prenez le temps d’explorer notre région – l’histoire abonde! Blackstone peut servir de hub pour visiter les musées, parcs d’État, et des sites historiques. Apportez vos vélos et profiter State Park High Bridge de Burkeville à Pamplin, se arrêtant dans Farmville à vous promener en ville et prendre une bouchée à manger. Sandy River Adventure Park, Lucky Gem Mine Lacs, No Limits Sky Diving ou le lac Phoenix (plongée sous-marine du lac) sont quelques-unes des activités disponibles dans la région. Caves à vins sont à 60 miles de Blackstone, VA. Charlottesville, à notre nord, a vignobles et propose des visites de quatre de nos dernières maisons présidents américains.

Venez regarder les courses et d’explorer le sud de la Virginie – nous appeler ou nous envoyer un courriel pour aider à personnaliser votre séjour!

Des tarifs spéciaux sont disponibles – ne oubliez pas de mentionner que vous êtes ici pour les Championnats du Monde Route 2015 lors de vos réservations!

434-292-3199

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The Road World Championships Fan Lodging

Are you looking for lodging for the 2015 Road World Championships in Richmond from September 19-27, 2015?  Lodging will be at a premium in Richmond, so consider staying at The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast in Blackstone, VA, a small southern Virginia town, population 3600.

The Grey Swan Inn Bed and Breakfast is ready to take your lodging reservations now!

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Each of the five guest rooms have their own private baths, free wireless internet, private parking and delicious breakfasts, the Inn is 50 miles from Richmond – a very drivable distance for fans traveling to watch the upcoming races!  Our coffee is roasted on site and there is a large selection of teas from which to choose.  Breakfast is served between 6:30 am and 9:00 am and varies daily.  Your special dietary requirements are considered with advance notice including vegan, low salt, and high protein.  En suite coffee service is available as an add-on amenity.  Be sure to check our other add-on amenities – the fruit and cheese tray is very popular with our guests!

While you are in southern Virginia, take some time to explore our region – history abounds!  Blackstone can serve as your hub to visit museums, state parks, and historical sites.  Bring your bicycles and enjoy High Bridge State Park from Burkeville to Pamplin, stopping in Farmville to enjoy walking about town and grabbing a bite to eat.  Sandy River Adventure Park, Lucky Lakes Gem Mine, No Limits Sky Diving or Lake Phoenix (scuba diving lake) are just a few of the activities available in the area.  Wineries are within 60 miles from Blackstone, VA.  Charlottesville, to our north, has wineries and offers tours of four of our past US presidents’  homes.

Come watch the races and explore southern Virginia – call or email us to help customize your stay!

Special rates are available – be sure to mention that you are here for the 2015 Road World Championships when making your reservations!

434-292-3199

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Cinco de Mayo

Guests can enjoy breakfast on May 5, 2015 with have a Mexican flair!

Book Room 3 for 5/5/15 and enjoy dinner at Acapulco’s Restaurant on us! ($20 gift certificate)

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February – A Month for Love

Just wanted to talk about one of the things we love – Music!

Over a year ago, we discovered Concerts in Your Home……….CIYHlogo

What a find!!!!  Another innkeeper told us about this site and we have been enjoying concerts almost monthly since then.  And you don’t have to be an inn to offer concerts in your home… this website matches up hosts with musicians.  For the hosts, it’s a great way to offer music to friends and family in a home setting and it gives the musicians a smaller venue on their way between other venues.

The musicians who have been to play music for our friends and guests since October 2012 have been awesome!!  Here’s the list with links to each musician’s website.  Take a look, click on their website and sample their music!

October 2012 – Jeff Miller

December 2012 – Adler & Hearne

January 2013 – Allie Farris

February 2013 – Jessica Campbell & Sara Beth Geoghegan

March 2013 – Christopher Mark Jones

April 2013 – Avi Wisnia

May 2013 – Spook Handy

May 2013 – Orion Freeman

July 2013 – Bill & Eli Perras

September 2013 – Neely

October 2013 – Jeff Miller

November 2013 – Aaron Gilmartin

January 2014 – Rob Lytle

March 2014:  Rupert Wates

May 2014:  Buzz Cason

June 2014: Craig Bickhardt

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

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Just a Little Bit of Snow….  that’s all it takes to make a snowman, but it’s not enough to make a snow angel.   Cold, cold, cold days in January and perfect for warming up in front of our fireplace

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with a good book… bring your own, or borrow one of ours.  Then add a cup of Jim’s fresh roasted coffee… today’s roast is a fair trade, organic Samantra Wahana Natural medium roast.   Don’t do the coffee thing, then there’s a selection of Stash label teas and, of course, hot cocoa with a generous helping of whipped cream!

Thanksgiving by the Numbers

How does your Thanksgiving compare?

A Ghost at the Grey Swan?

Do you believe in ghosts?

One of our previous guests sure does!  We once had a guest that told us that there is a little girl who stands by the dresser in Room 4.  We did a test to see if she was really there and put a small hair bow on the dresser.  Lo and behold, it did not move an inch by the next day!  But who knows?  Perhaps Room 4 is indeed home to a ghost!

What do you think?

Simple Tricks to Make Your Life Just a Little Bit Easier :)

Have you ever seen something and thought to yourself “why on earth didn’t I think of that?!”  I know I have!  Here are just a few tips & tricks to make your life just  a little simpler!

1. When serving a crowd, cut a circle in the center (place a small bowl on the cake and trace around it). Then cut the outer ring into slices. You’ll have nice square pieces that fit on a plate, instead of long wedges that drop off the edge. You can cut the small round middle into pieces too!   (From Woman’s Day magazine)

2. When you paint a room, fill a small jar (preferably with a plastic top) with extra paint.  Keep it for when you need to do small paint touch ups.   (From Real Simple magazine)

3. When packing for a trip, use a small piece of plastic wrap for your  shampoo, conditioner, and body wash bottles to prevent them from leaking in your suitcase.  Instead of wasting countless ziploc bags, simply unscrew the cap, place a piece  of plastic wrap over the mouth of the bottle, and screw the cap back on!  (From SelectStudyAbroad.com)

4. Have you ever  driven yourself crazy trying to put nails in  the wall to hang a frame? Don’t they always seem to be just a little off?  Well, simply place  a piece of tape between the holes on the back of the frame, remove the tape, place on the wall  (use a  level if needed), and drill holes at the end of  the tape!  (From I Heart  Nap Time)

5. Worried that your card will get separated from the actual gift?  Never fear!  A clever way to avoid this is to cut the wrapping paper several inches larger than the amount needed to wrap the item. Fold paper in half, pattern side in.  Fold top layer of paper back partially creating a pocket of desired depth; press to crease.  Wrap and tape presents as you normally would, keeping the pocket fold in place. Decorate the pocket with ribbon, cord, or other trim, and then pop the card into the “envelope” you just created!  (From Martha Stewart)

Happy First Day of Fall!

Today is the first day of fall!  Although I’m sure it’s not quite time to break out the sweaters and scarves, it’s the start of one of the most beautiful seasons in Virginia!

Are you looking for a fun fall activity for the family?  Visit http://www.virginia.org/fall/ for resources such as a Fall Foliage Report, Leaf Colors, and a search engine to find a Fall Event or Activity in Virginia.

Also, don’t forget that the State Fair of Virginia is from September 27 to October 6!  Visit http://www.statefairva.org/ for more information.

Happy Fall!

A beautiful fall tree in Colonial Williamsburg

44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival

44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival

Don’t miss Blackstone’s 44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival from September 14th to 15th! The hours are 10 AM to 5 PM each day. The event will include lots of vendors, including food, crafts, and gift items. There will also be a parade and lots of fun for the kids!

SACT’s Newest Play: The Odd Couple!

Mark your calendars for August 23rd, 24th, & 25th, as well as September 6th, 7th,  & 8th!  Southside Area Community Theater (SACT) will be performing “The Odd Couple.”  Shows on Friday & Saturday will be at 7 PM; Sunday shows are at 2 PM.  Tickets are $15.  Check Facebook for more information.

Make sure you come out and see our very own Mr. Innkeeper, Jim Hasbrouck, play Oscar in the show!

See you there!

Apple Cranberry Crisp

apple cranberry crispWhile this is listed as a dessert, we’ve served this as a starter fruit course with whipped cream on top. This recipe also adapts very well using Splenda and Splenda brown sugar replacement. If using sweeter apples, reduce sugar to taste.

3 c. chopped tart apples
2 c. raw cranberries (or 3/4 c dried cranberries)
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 c. quick oats
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1 stick butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
Spread apples and cranberries in bottom of a buttered 2-quart casserole dish, or 5 8 oz ramekins.Spread sugars, oats and nuts over apples and cranberries. Top evenly with butter pieces.

Bake for 55-65 minutes at 325 degrees.

Variations: substitute rhubarb, dried or fresh blueberries, or blackberries for the cranberries. Mixed apples and pears with raisins will also work well.

Harvest Apple Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups chopped apples (Granny Smith or other tart apple)
Place sugar and apples in bowl and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Add the following:
2 eggs, beaten
1 c. oil
1 t. vanilla
2 c. flour, plain
2 t. baking soda
2 T. cinnamon (it’s a lot but that’s what makes it so good)
1 c. chopped nuts

Spread into greased 9×13 inch pan and bake 1 hour at 350 degrees. Top with Cream Cheese Frosting, or dust with powdered sugar, or eat plain.

Cream Cheese Frosting
3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Mix together until smooth.

Add-On Amenities

These extras help our guests make the most of their central Virginia getaways.

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  • NEW ADD-ON – Deluxe En Suite Breakfast ($35): Couples will enjoy having an exclusive breakfast service that is only available in our King Suite.  This intimate Breakfast includes table for two with linen service set up in our room with fresh flowers, specialty morning beverages (Mimosas are available upon request), fresh roasted coffee or one of our finer breakfast teas of choice, a fruit course and entree.  This personalized breakfast service can be delivered between 6:30 am and 9:00 am.  This deluxe service may be added at time of reservation only.
  • Designer Fruit and Cheese Tray ($30): A variety of seasonal fruits and cheeses for two served with breads or crackers
  • Chilled Sparkling Cider or Juice with custom etched stemmed souvenir glasses ($35) Service for 2. Red or white wine may be substituted for the cider at no additional charge.
  • Custom Floral Arrangement (starting at $40): Speak with innkeepers about customizing your order
  • Muffins to Go ($12): Home baked muffins to take home
  • En Suite Coffee Service ($6): available for all rooms
  • White Silk Rose Petals ($15): available for all rooms
  • Celebration Balloon ($8): available for all rooms
  • Celebration Cake for Two ($30): Surprise the love of your life with a cake for two that is topped with a crystal pair of swans. A gift box for the swans is available to take home at check-out.
  • Romance Package ($80): A romantic stay at our bed and breakfast can be enhanced with our Romance Package.

cake for two

What We Served for Breakfast!

What We Served for Breakfast!

We served up a delicious Croissant French Toast topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. Bacon, a breakfast essential, was served on the side. What a great start to a beautiful Saturday morning!

Summer Pup-Sicles for Your Furry Friend

You may have stocked up on frozen summertime treats for you and your family, but what about Fido?  Here’s a simple, fun recipe for frozen “pup-sicles” for your favorite pooch!  It’s so easy you could even have young children help!  I know our dog, Chelsea, would just love these treats!

Frozen Pup-Sicles

2 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth/stock
2/3 cup water
Small rawhide sticks

Mix the water and broth together, then  pour into popsicle trays.  Put the trays in the freezer; add a rawhide stick about halfway through freezing.  Serve cold on a hot day for a refreshing treat!

ImageOur pretty dog, Chelsea 🙂

Blackstone’s Hometown Jams – First Concert of the Season

Blackstone’s Hometown Jams – First Concert of the Season

Be sure to check out Blackstone’s Hometown Jams tomorrow from 7 PM  to 10 PM!  The concert will feature live entertainment from SOUTHBOUND!  Admission is $5 for ages 13 years & up and $3 for children ages 3 to 12 or those with a military ID.  Click on the link above for a PDF version of the Hometown Jams flyer!

Also make sure you  stop by the ornament table and say hello to Christine & Jim!  We’ll be selling the newest collectible ornament commemorating Blackstone’s 125th Anniversary!  They are $20 and will look beautiful hanging on your tree in December!

Have a safe & happy weekend!

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