Archive for the ‘Greensboro Bed and Breakfast’ Category

Three Things Your Innkeeper Wants to Know

March 6th, 2014 by Judy Horn

Questions

A bed & breakfast is a more personal setting than a hotel, so don’t be surprised if the innkeeper asks you a few questions that a hotel doesn’t ask. Guests who provide a little information about their trip make it possible for their innkeeper to better anticipate and serve their needs.

Here are three things your innkeeper wants to know:

1. The reason you’re in town – Are you in town for a relaxing, schedule-free getaway? Or, are you seeing a play, speaking at a conference, shopping for furniture, meeting business clients, or attending a wedding? If you are in town for a specific event, you’ll probably be adhering to a schedule, possibly needing breakfast at a specific time. Remember, too, that innkeepers love sharing tips about their city, so give them a chance! Tell them where you’re headed and they can probably recommend good restaurants nearby or offer tips about parking at the venue you will be visiting.

2. How you will be arriving – Here in Greensboro, it’s possible you might fly into one of several regional airports. If you mention which airport you’re using, your innkeeper will be able to give you a realistic drive time and may also share tips on available ground transportation options. Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad Airport is just 15 minutes from the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is 1 hour, 15 minutes away; Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport is 1 hour, 30 minutes away.  Arriving at our inn by taxi? We’ll be sure to tell you to inform the driver to take the driveway to our guest entrance in the back. That way you won’t have to drag your luggage up our long front sidewalk!

3. Food allergies and preferences – If you or a traveling companion cannot eat certain foods, are on a special diet, or know of foods that you’d prefer not to see on your breakfast plate, mention these in advance. Don’t be shy about expressing your wishes. Innkeepers work very hard to ensure that the breakfasts they serve are delicious and appealing. They often are very willing to accommodate a variety of special diets, but doing so may require a little advance research and shopping. Giving the innkeeper advance notice of your preferences helps him or her best serve your needs.

How can we make your stay at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast more enjoyable? Don’t hesitate to tell us!

What’s a “Piedmont?”

February 27th, 2014 by Judy Horn

piedmontmap

The piedmont (shaded area) extends along the eastern U.S.

You can’t be in the Greensboro area long before you hear and see the word “piedmont.” Pronounced “peed-mont,” you’ll hear it on every local TV weather report and see it as part of the names of many local businesses. Greensboro is in the heart of the piedmont, North Carolina’s most densely populated section. The “Piedmont Triad” (or simply the Triad) refers to the three city area of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point.

The word was new to me when I arrived in central North Carolina. “Piedmont” must have been one of those geographic words that they didn’t dwell on back in Missouri, where I grew up. My teachers must have been discussing the Mississippi River basin while North Carolinians were pondering the piedmont.

Here’s what I have since learned: The piedmont is a plateau region located in the eastern United States between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains. It’s not exclusive to North Carolina but stretches from New Jersey to central Alabama. Geographically, the piedmont has gently rolling terrain often broken by hills or low mountain ridges. There are a few low mountain ranges and peaks found in the North Carolina piedmont, such as Pilot Mountain near the town of Mt. Airy.

The piedmont occupies about 35 percent of North Carolina. (To the east, taking up about 45 percent of the state, is the coastal plain. To the west, occupying the remaining 20 percent, are the foothills and mountains.)

Of the three regions, the mountains are the coldest part of the state with the greatest snow accumulations and mildest summers. The coastal plain has the mildest weather with its climate influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The ocean has less influence on the piedmont, which has hotter summers and colder winters than the coast.

You now have a working understanding of the piedmont! To learn more about all the things to see, do and enjoy about the North Carolina piedmont, visit http://www.visitnc.com/piedmont. Better yet, come visit. You’ll find the best in piedmont hospitality at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast in Greensboro, NC.

Blandwood: The Oldest Standing Example of Italianate Architecture in the U.S.

February 21st, 2014 by Judy Horn

When Reverend Sidney Bumpass built the home that is now the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast, a visitor would find few homes in the immediate area. One home, however, was only a third of a mile away, and it was already more than 50 years old when Sidney and Frances Bumpass moved into their home in 1847. That house, known as Blandwood, still exists today and is a national historic landmark that is open for tours.

Blandwood Mansion

Blandwood Mansion, considered the the oldest standing example of Italianate architecture in the United States.

Originally Blandwood was a simple two-story farmhouse constructed by Charles Bland. The earliest part of the home was completed in 1795. The house was later purchased by North Carolina Governor John Motley Morehead. In 1844, toward the end of the governor’s term in office, he commissioned renowned architect Alexander Jackson Davis of New York to build significant additions to the house in the Italianate style. A central tower, stucco walls and symmetrical flanking dependencies were added. The additions were completed in 1846.

Today, Blandwood is considered the oldest standing example of Italianate architecture in the United States. The restored mansion operates as a museum and provides visitors a look into 19th century art, architecture, furnishings, and landscape. Some of the Morehead’s furnishings are on display.

Vistors to the mansion learn interesting aspects of the homes architecture as well as information about the governor and the Morehead family. Morehead earned the nickname “the father of Modern North Carolina” and was a strong supporter of statewide rail and water transportation systems; free public schools; and more humane treatment of deaf and blind children, prisoners, and the mentally ill.

While we are not certain, it seems highly likely that Frances Bumpass and her family were acquainted with their neighbors, the Moreheads.

To learn more about this treasure of architectural and historical significance, take a look at this video created by Preservation Greensboro Incorporated, the non-profit organization that operates Blandwood. Tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. An admission fee is charged. Guests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn can receive a discount coupon that offers one free admission with a paid adult admission (valid during 2014).

Etiquette at a Bed & Breakfast

January 23rd, 2014 by Judy Horn

Place setting

First-time guests staying at a B&B sometimes are a little unsure what is considered proper. My best advice: Use your common sense. If you’re still unsure, ask the innkeeper. Even if you’re afraid you may be asking a silly question, this is the time to remember that there are no dumb questions and ASK! Chances are good someone else previously has asked the innkeeper the same question.

This video is a helpful guide to B&B etiquette. It gives good tips about booking and ensuring that your dietary needs are met. The video also discusses noise concerns.

At the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast, we are fortunate that none of our guest rooms share common walls. And, since the house was built in 1847, the walls are quite thick. That typically translates to quiet rooms, even when we have a full house.  It’s one of thing many of our guests appreciate and comment on. They like not hearing a bunch of party goers laughing and giggling as they stroll down the hallway outside their hotel room at the wee hours of the night. If you happen to be a night owl and are likely to return to your B&B guest room late or simply like to stay up into the early hours, I recommend asking the innkeeper if you have concerns about noise. Depending upon the date of your stay, you may learn that not all the guest rooms are occupied, thus reducing the likelihood of disturbing others.

Enjoy the video. I’ll discuss more considerations about staying at a B&B in future blog posts. Please stay tuned!

Is a B&B Right for You?

January 15th, 2014 by Judy Horn

B&B Sign

If you have never stayed at a Bed & Breakfast, you might wonder if a B&B is right for you. If so, you may find this independently produced video helpful in making your decision.

The two most valuable tips in this video are to:
1) Book your room once your travel plans are stable, and
2) Contact the B&B with any questions you may have prior to booking.

Before phoning the innkeeper, check the inn’s website. Good websites have an abundance of information including photos of the guest rooms and clearly stated policies. You can usually determine if an inn accepts children and/or pets in a matter of minutes by checking their website. If the website doesn’t answer all your questions, pick up the phone. Innkeepers are happy to provide details about their guest rooms, describe the inn in general, and clarify any policy concerns.  They also can give you advice about nearby restaurants and attractions.

One observation I would add about this video: The dining room shots are taken at extremely large inns. Many B&Bs throughout the United States have five or fewer guest rooms.  At the Troy-Bumpas Inn, we have three guest rooms, so the largest number of guests you’ll ever see in our dining room is eight! The video remarks that the prospect of meeting fellow travelers is a benefit of staying at a B&B. It’s a great way to meet other people and find out what sights they have seen. But don’t let the prospect of a communal breakfast table stop you from booking! Most B&Bs, including the Troy-Bumpas Inn, can easily seat guests at separate tables if they wish to dine on their own.  Guests need only ask!

I’ll discuss other considerations of staying at a B&B in future blog posts. Please stay tuned!

When is a Toboggan Not a Toboggan?

January 6th, 2014 by Judy Horn

tobogganWhen is a toboggan not a toboggan? When it’s on your head. If that sounds confusing, let me explain.

To me, the word “toboggan” has always meant “sled.” If you search Google Images for “toboggan,” you’ll see what I mean. Pictures of long, narrow wooden sleds used for coasting downhill over the snow will appear. Toboggans typically curve upward and backward at the front.

So you can imagine my confusion as a transplant to North Carolina when I started hearing the word “toboggan” used to refer to a knit pull-on hat. I’m not alone. One of our recent guests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast (who had also recently moved to the region) described her utter bewilderment when teachers at her child’s school said that all students going on an upcoming field trip should be sure to pack a toboggan. How, she wondered, were dozens of wooden toboggans going to fit onto the bus?

I’m told you’re most likely to hear “toboggan” used to describe a knit cap in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The origin of this usage is uncertain, but it seems likely that knit hats worn while tobogganing were “toboggan caps.” At some point the word cap was dropped… and the rest is history.

So, the next time you head out into the cold, think of us here in North Carolina and grab your toboggan – it will keep you warm.

.

Great Fun — The Greensboro Grasshoppers

July 21st, 2013 by Judy Horn

Greensboro Grasshoppers TM

Baseball has a long history in North Carolina. In 1862, captured Union soldiers played baseball while in a prisoner of war camp in Salisbury, NC. Trivia buffs may recall that Babe Ruth hit his first homerun at an exhibition game in Fayetteville, NC, in 1914. And present day North Carolina is home to eight minor league baseball teams.

Thanks to the movie Bull Durham, possibly the best known of North Carolina’s farm teams is the Durham Bulls, a Triple A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The names of the other NC minor league teams may not be as familiar, but they certainly are colorful: the Ashville Tourists, the Burlington Royals, the Carolina Mudcats, the Hickory Crawdads, the Kannapolis Intimidators, and the Winston-Salem Dash. Here in Greensboro, the home team is the Greensboro Grasshoppers, a class A affiliate of the Miami Marlins and part of the South Atlantic League.

The Grasshoppers play their games at NewBridge Bank Park, 408 Bellemeade St. Greensboro, a beautiful, modern stadium within walking distance of the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast. The ballpark opened in 2005 and cost $21.5 million to build. The red brick stadium seats up to 7,499 including 5,300 chair-back seats. Parking is available immediately around the stadium.

Greensboro Grasshopper games are among the best attended in the minors. Minor league baseball games have all the excitement of major league games, but with added fun and at a much lower ticket cost than the majors. Tickets, available online and at the stadium, typically are $6 to $9 each. Pre-game autographs are encouraged. There’s a kid-safe play area for children, private grandstand box seating, plenty of concessions, lawn seating and picnic areas, and special promotions like Thirsty Thursdays (when beer is bargain priced), Family Fundays, Money Off Mondays, and Bingo nights. Every Friday and Saturday when the team is in town, a spectacular fireworks show signals the end of the game.  (A common question at the Troy-Bumpas Inn’s breakfast table on weekends during the baseball season is about what all the booms were about!)

If you’ve never been to a minor league baseball game, add this as another reason to visit Greensboro. We’ll be sure to provide great accommodations at the Troy-Bumpas Inn B&B. To learn more about the Greensboro Grasshoppers, visit their official website.

2013 Bryan Series Subscription Tickets on Sale

July 13th, 2013 by Judy Horn

 

BRYANSERIES2013Since 2002, Guilford College in Greensboro, NC, has presented the Bryan Series, an amazing speaker program featuring well known figures in the arts, humanities and public affairs. Past speakers have included Nobel Prize laureates, former U.S. Secretaries and State, winners of MacArthur Fellowships and Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards.

Speakers in the 2013 Series will be Robert Gates on Oct. 29, 2013; Robert Ballard on Nov. 19, 2013; Itzhak Perlman on Feb. 13, 2014; Elizabeth Alexander on March 4, 2014; and Lara Logan and Steve Kroft on April 8, 2014. Events start at 7:30 p.m. and last approximately 80 minutes.

 

The Bryan Series events are presented in the 2,400-seat War Memorial Auditorium, 1921 West Lee Street, which is part of the Greensboro Coliseum Complex.

 

The War Memorial is a short 2.2 mile drive from the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast, making the inn a great location for out-of-town guests to stay when attending the series. We have been honored to have several subscription holders stay at the inn during past seasons. Conversations at the breakfast table the morning after each event are always interesting as guests share and discuss what they heard!

 

The Bryan Series has frequently sold out quickly during the subscription ticket sale, which is currently underway. Subscriptions can be purchased online at www.bryanseries.guilford.edu or by calling 336-316-2852 to request a ticket order form. Cost of the 2013-14 subscription series is $195 each.

Tips for Shopping in the Furniture Capital

October 23rd, 2012 by Judy Horn

Here is Greensboro, we are fortunate to live about 20 minutes from the “Home Furnishings Capital of the World.” The enormous multitude of furniture retailers in and around High Point, NC, makes it easy to find places to buy home furnishings.  (For a great list of High Point area stores, visit the High Point  Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://highpoint.org/cvb/.)

The largest of these stores is Furnitureland South in Jamestown, NC. Famous for the gigantic chest of drawers in front, Furnitureland South has 1.3 million square feet of showrooms spread throughout three buildings. Merchandise from about 1,500 manufacturers is displayed in room settings and also grouped by manufacturer. Because Furnitureland South ships furniture anywhere, people come to this area from all over the country to shop for home furnishings.

To successfully shop for home furnishings when you are miles from home takes a little preparation. The following tips will help you choose furnishing that are right for your home.

  • Bring room layouts noting all room measurements including the size and location of doors and windows. Note how high off the floor windows are placed.
  • Take pictures of the current room so you can discuss things you like about the room and things you would like to improve (such as furniture placement).
  • Take photos and bring measurements of any items you plan to keep in the room. Be sure to include sentimental items that are certain to stay in the room that you might want to spotlight.
  • If available, bring samples of existing carpets and fabrics, such as window treatments and upholstery. Take photos as well. Bring color chips of wall colors, or take photos if chips are not available.
  • Bring the dimensions of hallways, doorways and stairways so you can be sure the furniture you select will actually be able to get into the house.
  • Look online and in magazines for inspiration photos of rooms, styles, artwork and patterns that you like and that make you feel good.

To prevent yourself from quickly becoming overwhelmed in a big showplace, work with one of the store’s design consultants. They will discuss your project and identify your goals and budget. Then they will help you find items that match your style and wallet without a lot of dizzying walking around!

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! If you get hungry and need a break, Furnitureland South has its own café! And, it makes sense to stay somewhere like the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed and Breakfast where you start the day with a great breakfast and end your long day of shopping with a relaxing whirlpool bath!

When the Civil War Came to the Troy-Bumpas Inn

March 4th, 2012 by Judy Horn

One of the marvelous things about living and visiting the Troy-Bumpas Inn bed and breakfast is that you can stand in rooms that were briefly inhabited by Union officers who were in Greensboro in spring 1865 at the conclusion of the Civil War. Talk about bringing history to life!

We know that Union officers stayed at the Bumpass home and used a second floor room as an office in May and June 1865. And, although the Troy-Bumpas Inn has been renovated several times since being built in 1847, we have layouts of what the original house was like, so we can be fairly precise in determining where a small chapter of Civil War history took place.

The following excerpt from the book Women of Guilford County, North Carolina; A Study of Women’s Contributions 1740-1979 describes an interesting interaction between an officer under the command of General Jacob D. Cox and Frances Webb Bumpass and her children Eugenia, Duella, and Robah. The parlor described is the present-day living room; the officers were staying in the present-day Allah guest room.

Frances Bumpass at midlife“A Sgt. Sweitzer settled his troops in a meadow [also described as the apple orchard] near Frances Webb Bumpass’s home and lodged his officers in a second-story bedroom overlooking the camp. The following morning the Bumpasses had begun their regular morning prayer service when the Yankee officers were heard coming down the stairs to the parlor door. When the officers explained that they too had come from Christian homes, Mrs. Bumpass invited them in, and the family continued their morning services with the army of the occupation standing all around them.”