Carving in the Ozarks

April 2nd, 2013

Once a year, every year in April,  a magical thing happens. Incredible sculptors come to Eureka Springs to create beautiful things out of wood – with chainsaws!

For 2013, the dates are April 19-20, and it will be the 9th year this great event was held. Carving in the Ozarks typically has 20 to 25 carvers participating each year, creating a masterpiece right before your eyes. The weekend starts bright and early Friday morning, at 8 a.m., with its first event, and a second event will start Saturday morning, same time. An auction will be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, where you will have a chance to take home one of these beautiful pieces for yourself. (A percentage of the proceeds from the auction goes to local charities.) There is a new location this year, so be sure to check out their website.

We’ve got plenty of room at our place, so give us a quick call. It’ll be a great time to visit Eureka Springs!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

Cheesecake Crescent Rolls

March 28th, 2013

Tried this new recipe recently at our Bed and Breakfast and it was awesome! It’s a keeper:

2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent rolls
2 (8oz each) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup butter, melted
cinnamon
sugar

Unroll and spread 1 of the cans of crescent rolls on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish (or 8 x 8 if you want to cut the recipe in half). Combine softened cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, and vanilla. Spread over crescent roll layer. Unroll and layer remaining crescent rolls over cream cheese layer. Melt your butter and spread over top of crescent rolls. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake for 20-30 minutes in 350 degree oven until bubbly and slightly browned. Drizzle with a little honey if you like. Let cool a bit, slice and eat.

Warmest regards

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

Fresh Harvest – A Unique Oil and Vinegar Tasting Bar!

March 20th, 2013

We have a new store in town with an interesting new concept – they sell olive oils and balsamic vinegars, set up in tasting stations! And you would not believe the flavors they offer!

Fresh Harvest

 

Fresh Harvest has an amazing amount of information on their website, so be sure to check it out. (You can, of course, order product directly off the site and have it shipped to you, although we’d certainly rather you visit Eureka, and stay with us to check it out first hand.) But basically, they feature one of the largest, freshest selections of Ultra Extra Virgin Olive Oils, fused and infused Olive Oils and aged balsamic vinegars on tap in the USA. They work with folks that have been in the olive oil business for nearly 100 years and Fresh Harvest is able to work with farmers in both hemispheres to deliver the highest quality product, all year long.

They believe that olives are fruits and that extra virgin olive oil is like fruit juice: highly perishable, healthier and more flavorful when consumed fresh and full of amazing nutrients. They post the Crush Date and Chemical Analysis on every Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil they offer.

Go on in and meet the owners, Troy Johnson and Steve Ketchersid, who created Fresh Harvest, the one and only, and is committed to providing you with the healthiest and best products in the world at what is basically wholesale prices compared to high end stores. Their motto: Chase the Crush! Be Healthy!

We know we love it!

Warmest regards,

 

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

A Must Do! The Ozark Mountain Ziplines in Eureka Springs – A Personal Perspective

March 14th, 2013

Jeff having the time of his life!

Jeff having the time of his life!

 

From innkeeper Jeff:  On My Bucket List

A zip line adventure has been on my bucket list since seeing them on a Travel Channel cable television show about six or seven years ago. I almost did a zip line tour in Honduras while taking a land excursion on a five-day ocean cruise. The zip line operators only accepted cash and all I had were credit cards, so no zip. It was probably a good thing as I wasn’t one hundred percent sure about the safety of that operation.

Fast forward about six years. A zip line operator installed a ten line (so far) attraction in Eureka Springs just a few miles from my bed and breakfast inn. As a “soft” opening for the new attraction the managers invited the merchants, restaurateurs, attractions and lodging owners for a complimentary zip line tour for up to two employees of the local business. I jumped at the chance to experience the new zip line as well as being able to tell my guests first-hand about the adventure in store for them. I would like to thank Will and Kendra Wall, the managers, for making this available and making it a fantastic experience.

I watched as some of the zip lines were being built in Branson, Missouri, and in the Ponca, Arkansas, area in the last few years. While I haven’t done the zip lines in either Branson or Ponca, in my opinion, the Eureka Springs installation and experience is an authentic tree-top zip line experience. The entire tour exceeded my expectations.

Before You Go

You would think this type of “extreme adventure” attraction would have some rigorous requirements to participate, but the requirements are much less than you might imagine. Check the Ozark Mountain Zip Line website for the official list of requirements to ride. They have had riders as young as three years old (with a guide) and as long as you can hike a little ways, you’re good to go. I had no physical challenges zipping all ten lines.

Closed toe shoes are recommended and shorts can be worn. In hindsight I recommend wearing a shirt you can easily tuck in to your pants as it makes putting on and adjusting the harness easier. Moderately-sized back packs seemed wearable while zipping. You can carry your DSLR or camera phone in your backpack as there are opportunities to photograph and video others in your group riding the line when you’ve already done your turn. I recommend not having anything in your front pants pockets that you’re going to want to get to while between lines as the harness can make it hard to access those pockets. I couldn’t get to my iPhone for photos without undoing and redoing my harness. Plan ahead. You’ll be wearing a helmet while zipping so you might want to leave hats and caps in the car. Sunglasses on a sunny day are a must. It’s a two-hour tour to do all ten lines so you might want a small bottle of water available between lines.

Preparation

You will need to call the Ozark Mountain Zip Line office in Eureka Springs to make your reservation. Plan on arriving one-half hour early to the office before your tour time to meet the friendly crew and staff and to complete your waiver, customer information and make payment. The paper work takes about 10-12 minutes. After completing the paperwork, you’ll be taken to the harness room where you’ll be fitted with a helmet, gloves, a harness and a “truck”. A truck is tethered to you and the zip line while you’re on it and allows you to glide along the line, steer and brake. After “harnessing up” you’ll be loaded on the bus to be transported to the zip line site. It’s about a 5-minute ride on the bus.

Acclimation

The Ozark Mountain Zip Line property is a beautiful 30 acre tract covered with trees with high hills and deep valleys. We call ‘em “hollars” (hollows) in Arkansas. The first zip line is for acclimation – getting used to riding the zip line, learning to steer and the all important braking function. The guides are extremely patient, clear and deliberate in explaining what they are doing when they “hook you up” to the line and how to ride and use the brake. I felt extremely comfortable with the interaction with my guides. The safety and equipment seemed first class and I always felt secure on the platforms and the lines themselves as well as the harness. During the tour, one of the guides zips the line first to the receiving platform. This guide is there to signal your braking, catch you (if necessary) at the platform and for traffic control. The other guide remains to hook you up and send you down the line when the other guide signals “all clear”. After you and the members of your tour ride the line, the remaining guide zips over and you start again in the next line. My first zip was a little challenging as I was so enthralled with zipping along I ignored the braking signal from the forward guide and had to be caught before I hit the tree. I was patiently sent back for another try where I perfected my braking technique. The brake is really effective so other than using it to stop at the end of the line you don’t really need to use it lest you get stalled in the middle of a zip trip. If you do, you can hand-over-hand on the line or a guide will come out and get you.

Getting High in the Ozarks

The next two lines were a little longer and a little higher in the trees. Many of the zip line platforms are suspended from trees or perched in the side of the high hills, so you’re zipping from tree to tree on many of the lines. There is a small uphill hike to reach a couple of the lines, but generally you’re going from line to line. My favorite was the longest and highest line. I won’t spoil it by revealing too much detail but it was a breathtaking ride over the trees. The trees were naked when I did my tour, but I imagine it will be even more breathtaking when the trees have their leaves come spring. When I looked back at the originating platform upon completing my “long” ride, I had trouble believing that I rode suspended on a cable that long and that high. On this ride the wind was blowing through the “hollar”. The wind has a tendency to twist you around as you traverse the valley, but the steering by the truck is very responsive and I had no trouble keeping my body pointed in the direction of travel. Some people like to twist in the wind, but you want to be facing forward when you land at the platform at the end of the line.

Great Experience

The guides were great, the equipment was substantial, comfortable and secure, and the lines and platforms look to be engineered beyond requirements for safety and security. I do a fair amount of repair at the bed and breakfast (a 130-year-old building next year) and I tend to over-engineer everything; I had nothing but confidence in the security of the lines, platforms or equipment. This tour definitely got my adrenaline going and my heart rate up without any overt exertion. I was very saddened when I realized we had done ten lines and were done with the tour. I definitely wanted to go again. Look for the announcement of additional lines as well as “tours by torchlight” (night tours) coming in the future.

If a tour like this isn’t on your bucket list it should be, and here is a great place to get it checked-off and have a great time!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too! (although not on the zipline!)

Keels Creek Winery

March 6th, 2013

You don’t have to go far to find a world-class winery – we have one right here inside the city limits of Eureka Springs, AR. Keels Creek has a beautiful retail wine sales facility in a Spanish-style building, which also houses their Keels Creek Art Gallery. They also have a wine tasting room and most recently have expanded their wine production facility right behind the sales building, now open to visitors on their wine tours.

Keels Creek Showroom

Keels Creek Showroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are award-winning wines, so well worth the trip to do some tasting – we even have a package that includes a wine tasting for two (the Fun, Food & Wine package debuting in March, which also includes dinner out and tickets to the Intrigue Theater). They currently produce about eight reds, three whites and a couple of blush varieties. They intend to keep the winery as a boutique winery, small and friendly, using local grapes harvested from their own vineyard and 3 other local vineyards.

Keels Creek is open every day of the year, except Christmas, I think, so it doesn’t matter what season you come, you can always enjoy a good glass of wine. Come see us!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

 

 

 

A Fabulous Day Spa in Eureka Springs

February 25th, 2013

Just a 5-minute walk down from the Bridgeford House Bed and Breakfast is one of our favorite day spas, Gryphon’s Roost. It’s where we send all our guests when they purchase a package, and from whence they return as loose as a “wet noodle”, as my old boss used to say.gryphons roost

Unique to one of our many spas in town, Gryphon’s Roost has an outdoor hot tub on their back deck, which overlooks the Christ of the Ozarks statue and West Mountain.”Oh, the water…” is a favorite package item of our guests, which include 1/2 hour soaking in the hot tub, following by one of their awesome 1-hour massages. Of course, they also have facials, wraps, a cedar sauna and hot rock treatments. We always books our folks into the “couples room”, which we believe is unique for the spas in our town. So romantic!

They also have a very colorful gallery on their street level that includes art, jewelry, bath and body items. It is truly a delight for your senses.

So always remember one of the number one things to do when you come to Eureka Springs – relax! And visiting one of our many spas is the best way to do it. Sophie is just disappointed that they don’t do pet massage. At least not yet.

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

Eureka Springs Zipline!

February 13th, 2013

We have some very exciting news, a new Eureka Springs attraction that is opening March 1st, 2013 – Ozark Mountain Ziplines at Eureka Springs! Now you don’t have to leave Eureka for Branson to get some awesome zipline adventure.

zipline

Zip Line Canopy Tours first originated in Costa Rica as a way for people to experience the animal & plant life that are unique to the canopy of a rainforest. Ozark Mountain Ziplines’ hardwood forest canopy has its own bird, plant, and animal life, which their guided tour is designed to introduce you to as you glide along from tree to tree!

 Their experience derives from years of designing, building and operating zip lines all over the world from as far south as Costa Rica, Ecuador, and all over the Continental United States and Canada.
 
Their equipment is inspected after every tour and the zipline itself is inspected every morning. They will be offering tours every day except Wednesdays, starting at 8 a.m.

Call them today and make your reservations, 479-363-6699 (tell them Bridgeford House sent you). Can you imagine anything more beautiful than the pristine Ozarks in the spring and fall? We are so excited!

Warmest regards,
Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too! (although she will not be riding the zipline…)

 

Pumpkin Pancakes – A Great Winter Breakfast in Eureka Springs

February 6th, 2013

A popular favorite here at the Bridgeford House for breakfast is Pumpkin Pancakes:

2 cups flour
2 TB firmly-packed brown sugar
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 TB oil

Preheat griddle to 375. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients; mix well. In separate bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened (batter will be very thick).

For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Using a spatula, spread batter into a 4-inch circle before mixture sets. Cook until surface bubbles and appears dry. Turn; continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with butter and syrup.

Yield:  16 pancakes

Easy enough to make for yourselves but we’ll be happy to do it here for you!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

 

Early Eureka Springs History-Part 1

January 30th, 2013

Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is rich in colorful history. From time to time, we will devote a blog to some of the more interesting aspects, a lot of which you can learn about first hand on a visit to Eureka. As you walk this beautiful town, you will come across historical plaques and photo placards that allow you to look at a site in person, to see how it has changed. Here is a photo of Mud St. (now known as Main St.), which is quite different from what you see today:

Mud St. below Basin avenue 1880

Verbiage that explains this photo:  “Mud Street” is shown taking a rather deep grade downward. The building at right just past the City Drug Store shows its “pilings” that hold it in place. All the buildings on the right side are suspended across the Leatherwood (Creek) Branch which “Mud Street” runs parallel to. The buildings at left butt up to limestone walls that holds up Spring Street fronting the Basin Spring.

More than a dozen laborers and onlookers are in this Main Street scene.” This photo was reportedly taken between 1882 and 1884.

Today, folks find it hard to believe that there is a creek that runs the length of Main Street, under all those buildings (on the right), including the Courthouse and the Auditorium. You can go into the basement of the Auditorium and open trap doors that look down into the creek. “Mud St.” was built up a level in the late 1800′s, due to the flooding of that creek, which caused that street to be very, well… muddy! So there is a whole level of buildings down below street level, most of which are closed off to the public today (but we hope will be opened up in the future, as part of the Underground Tour). For a nice view of one of these buildings underground (and a fabulous lunch!), go eat at the Mud St. Cafe.

Remember, it’s a lovely walk from Bridgeford House Bed and Breakfast to the historical downtown, with many sights to see along the way, so come join us soon!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

 

 

Eureka Van Tours

January 23rd, 2013

We send many of our guests to Eureka Van Tours, which is the best city tour in town for the money. $25 per person (adults) for a 2 1/2 hour tour, Michelle will take you to places in Eureka that you didn’t even know existed! She’ll fill you in on gossip, both current and historical, and take you to places you do know about, including Thorncrown Chapel, the haunted Crescent Hotel, St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, and Carrie Nation’s house, as well as some wonderful views of the Ozarks.

The proprietor, Michelle McDonald, also owns Celebrations and Traditions, which has a collection of historical garb that you would not believe. She dresses folks for weddings, plays, town events and our own murder mysteries!

Celebrations and Traditions, Eureka Van Tours

Celebrations and Traditions, Eureka Van Tours

 

Check out a short video about:

 

Eureka Van Tours, Eureka Buzz

 

 

 

 

 

We hope that whatever you decide to do in Eureka Springs, you’ll enjoy every minute. We certainly do!

Warmest regards,

Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!

 

 

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