Saturday, April 20, 2013

Late March Special For Our Past Guests Extended

Here is an opportunity you just can't miss!!

Late March Special For Our Past Guests

Have a blessed Day.Betty Maloney
Longing For Home Bed and Breakfast
"A State of Mind, A Place of Grace, A Way of Life*"
* Taken from the book, How to be a Better Southerner by Carolyn Kent.

Coming Events in the Florence Alabama Area

The following are just a few of the events happening in the Florence Alabama area over the next couple of weeks.  Come out and stay with Longing For Home while you enjoy these great events.
  • WALNUT STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT WALKING TOUR is 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 20.  The Walnut Street Historic District boasts tree-lined sidewalks, diverse architecture, and elegant homes.  The tour will begin in the UNA Tennis Courts parking lot at Walnut Street and Hermitage Drive.  You will walk by 29 beautifully restored houses that originally comprised the Walnut Street Historic District and were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  Free Admission.  Parking is available at the UNA Tennis Courts on Hermitage Drive.  Contact: Florence/Lauderdale Tourism, 256-740-4141.
  • The Natchez Trace Parkway Association is sponsoring their first full-length, 444 mile Natchez Trace Parkway event, the EXPEDITION NATCHEZ 1813:  BECOMING OLD HICKORY, "FROM NATCHEZ UNDER THE HILL TO THE HERMITAGE."  On this memorable 200th anniversary, they expect to reach more than 2,000 students, along with the general public, sharing the most important and spectacular stories the parkway was built to interpret.  Events will run from April 12 through April 21.  Don't miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the bicentennial of the historical Natchez Trace story and our American history!  For details of the event, visit natcheztracetravel.com/festivals-events/details/283-expedition.
    • The Florence Historical Board and City Officials will dedicate the Historical Marker for POPE'S TAVERN, Corner of Hermitage Drive and Seminary Street, at 11:00 a.m., Friday, April 26.  The public is invited to attend and learn about the rich history of this wonderful City museum.
    • In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library will host an exhibit called Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War and a series of related events.  The exhibit will be on display at the Library, located at 350 North Wood Avenue, from April 14 through May 5. This project includes the exhibit, lectures, and a series of films on former President Lincoln.  Special presentation of "Lincoln, Slave Narratives and the Abolitionist Movement," by Dr. Lisa G. Minor, will be on Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 p.m.  A different event each week!  Visit the Library web site flpl.org for more information.  
  •  LITTLE CYPRESS NATIVE PLANT GARDEN TOURJoin the open garden tour of the LITTLE CYPRESS NATIVE PLANT GARDEN while it is in full bloom on Saturdays, April 13, 20, and 27.  The Garden is located at 4970 County Road 41, Florence. Free Admission. Contact:  Harry Wallace, 256-766-0537.
Have a blessed Day. Betty Maloney
Longing For Home Bed and Breakfast
"A State of Mind, A Place of Grace, A Way of Life*"
* Taken from the book, How to be a Better Southerner by Carolyn Kent.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The American Queen - Great way to celebrate your Anniversery!

Celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary
Greetings once again from Longing For Home Bed and Breakfast!

Betty and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in February.  It truly seems only yesterday that we joined our lives together out in the west-Texas town of El Paso.

Great Experience Aboard the American Queen
The AQ's paddlewheel

To make this anniversary extra special we booked a 7-day cruise aboard the American Queen.  This boat (not ship) is the largest steam powered paddle wheel ever built and provides an outstanding experience for those seeking something uniquely different, quite romantic and geared to adults. 

Early Evening on
the Mississippi

Moon glow
as we cruised
As the American Queen cruised along what is known as the "brown waters" of the Mississippi,  we were treated to magnificent views of the expanse of the lower Mississippi river.  At times greater than a mile across, we saw great variations of wildlife and changing shorelines as we moved along at a breathtaking 6-8 miles per hour.  The view of the river is breathtaking at all times - day and night.

The staff of the American Queen is simply unmatched in our traveling experience.  With room and turn-down service each day, we were truly treated to a top-notch experience throughout our cruise.   

Best dining ever
A big part of that experience was the service provided during each evening's dinner.  Choosing among the options offered during these four-course gourmet dinning experiences was the hardest part of our day. 

A 4-course meal each night!!
During these meals, our waiters made sure our every need was fully satisfied!  Our "singing-waiter" truly made our evening meals quite memorable.

Great service by the staff

The Mark Twain Room
During the day we also had choices to make.  Focusing on the rich history and unique character of the Mississippi communities that we visited during our cruise, multiple shore excursion options were offered at each port of call.  We could, and did, opt to stay on board during several of these stops.  During these days, we shaped our own day's activities.  We enjoyed walks along (or sitting upon) the American Queen's decks where we took in life on the Mississippi.  We also found that the boat's Mark Twain gallery provided a great place to meet and make new friends or to curl up with that book I've wanted to read.  We were also drawn into the many stories told by the boat's own river lorian - both informative and highly entertaining.     

A great place to relax

Music by Phil
With each day well spent and our dining experience completed there was still more to enjoy.  In the Grand Saloon, each night, the American Queen welcomed us to "Broadway show" style performances that caught us up and carried us down memory lane to many of the greatest hits of years past.  In addition we enjoyed the big band sounds of the Glenn Miller Band, the Marty Shaw Band and the Platters among other well known groups.  We even met Samuel Clemens himself.

Outstand - Professional Entertainment

What more could you ask?  There was also Phil who provided a piano accompanied medley each night featuring many of our favorite songs.  Then, as the evening ripened, we found ourselves drawn to the unique setting of the Engine Room Bar that is situated just forward of the boats mighty paddlewheel and just above the American Queen engine room.  Once there we enjoyed dancing to sounds of the 60's, 70's and 80's. 

All this adds up to an absolutely great experience!! It is one that we highly recommend and one that we will repeat.  Fact is, we booked a second cruise aboard the American Queen shortly after our New Year Eve cruise. 

If this blog entry peeks your interest visit the American Queen website or for great personal attentions contact Patty Horst with USA River Cruises at 1-800-578-1479.  She will take care of all the travel details for you!

Have a blessed Day.

Betty Maloney
Longing For Home Bed and Breakfast
"A State of Mind, A Place of Grace, A Way of Life*"
* Taken from the book, How to be a Better Southerner by Carolyn Kent.