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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

YAY for SPRING!!

I'm not sure I've ever been more happy to see things start to turn green, and flowers blooming. The winter of 2013-14 was brutal and we hope we will not endure one like that again. We're sure that many of our future guests are really happy to GET OUT OF THE HOUSE TOO and we look forward to meeting you!!

February brought many celebrating Valentine's Day. Following the super quiet January, it was nice to have guests in the house again. It wasn't our best February by far. We'd prefer not to repeat another two winter months like that.

Last month, March turned out quite well. Occupancy picked up and we began taking calls and online reservations for months ahead. March was a very good month. We're looking forward to a great summer here in Mark Twainland!

These beauties will soon be blooming...
Flowers are blooming and we're awaiting the first hummingbird of the season. Our feeders have been out for 2 weeks. Rubythroats have made their way into southern Missouri and we expect to see our first ones in a week or two. I can't wait!! We've begun painting outside and doing some maintenance, and yard work and it feels so good to be outside. The pond is clean and our four surviving fish are doing well. The next step is to clean out the waterfall and get it running again. I so in hopes that there is no leak in that waterfall liner, because moving all those heavy rocks to replace the liner is an arduous task and I just don't know if I want to tackle that on my own again. So keep send some well wishes/prayers for the time when I get to the cleaning and start up of the waterfall.

We have 2 rooms open for Just Girls Weekend on April 25 & 26. This is a wonderful time to come to Hannibal and enjoy "Girls' Time". Click the following link to learn more, Just Girls Weekend Hannibal and then BOOK YOUR STAY!

We have a business guest here for 4 days and I'm looking online for some new Gluten Free recipes for breakfast on Friday morning. Today we prepared Buttermilk Oatmeal Gluten Free Pancakes to accompany the fruit, Hua Moa Pua'a Ipu(egg dish) and Bacon Rosettes, and the plate came back clean. Ok, so back to work... We would LOVE to meet you!!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Is for Eagles!!

There is something GOOD about cold weather and a frozen Mississippi River. We have EAGLES galore in the area. They are so majestic and watching them as they fish and compete with each other is something everyone should see. We viewed hundreds of them at the Lock and Dam in Quincy, IL, earlier in the month. They are simply amazing to watch.


We've had a decent month with regard to guests. January is not typically busy where guests are concerned, so hosting guests and taking reservations for future months is always welcome. Our heating bills for the month are paid! We are truly OVER the frigid temperatures this winter and will welcome warmer days, as soon as Mother Nature decides it's time.

February is just a day away. Here at Reagan's Queen Anne, we celebrate Romance all month long for Valentines, and offer some special gifts for each celebrating couple. Our "Delightful Specialties" page on our website, with various items to make your visit even more special, is also available. Click the following for our webpage and links to make your reservation for your Sweetheart Getaway. Valentine's Special


We hope to meet you in February, but if that is not ideal for you, it's always possible to reserve online when the "Stars Align".

As 2013 Comes to a Close...

Following the slower than usual Autumn, we were glad to see that December turned out better than we predicted. We had more guests stay in December than in several previous years and sold Gift Certificates as usual. The month began frantically with decorating for Christmas. Norm was a great cheerleader from his resting spot, as Judy was the only one with enough energy to scurry around decorating each room and outside. Thankfully, Norm's R&R paid off, and his energy has returned following his visit to the hospital in November. Envision him being more physically involved with 2014 decorations. :) The onset of the decorating occurred earlier last year than ever before, to meet the deadline of December 2nd! We hosted FOUR bus tour groups in early and mid December and truly had fun hosting the groups. They were all delightful folks, and it was nice to share our "Victorian Gal" when she was all decked out for Christmas. The weather cooperated for the most part, in spite of some piles of snow.

Again, we were thankful for family living close enough to drop in for a few days. Gina and Haley drove from Illinois on Christmas Day and stayed a couple days with us to celebrate a Blessed holiday. Since we thought it best not to travel and instead stay close to home, we regretfully postponed our Christmas with family in Florida. It was a tough decision. We had looked forward to seeing the grandkids enjoy Christmas morning, for a couple years. So maybe we can gather together this year.

Again...Thank You to all of our wonderful guests, both new and established repeats, for the success we've enjoyed for nearly 15 years!!

Here are a few photos of the Christmas Decorations...









Thankful for Many BLESSINGS

November 2013 was a memorable month. Though business was slower than we had hoped for late October and November, a higher power "had our backs". Norm spent the afternoon in the ER, and following night in the hospital on Thanksgiving Eve. Apparently, he was in need of some down time after a busy year, and it took a Divine intervention in the form of a "wakeup call", to bring that to the surface. Now that we have Norm's blood pressure under control again, we are "forced" to enjoy some time off from the busy months, and what a Blessing that has been. Feeling better than he has for a year or two, Norm is back to daily walks, has more energy, and a positive outlook for the future. We spent Thanksgiving together at home, and truly realized how blessed we are. So in November, we were(and remain) Thankful for Many BLESSINGS.

Monday, October 21, 2013

World's Worst Procrastinator...or Just Plain BUSY!?

Obviously, I have not blogged for nearly a YEAR!? How on earth did that happen, you wonder? Well, I am as shocked as those who are reading this, that exactly 11 months have passed since I was last on this page. So...Let's rewind and start with...

November of 2012
Thanksgiving is usually quiet here by design. I really like to have the holidays blocked off for family time, so we close on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Gina and Haley came for Thanksgiving and we had a great time as usual. Honestly, I don't remember the weather, so maybe it was unremarkable.

December in Hannibal was a normal one in 2012 as well. The house was pretty quiet. We decorated for the few guests who stayed and they enjoyed the Victorian Christmas atmosphere. We sold a number of gift certificates and we spent Christmas watching some college and pro football, since the NHL was locked out. It was nice to be able to relax and warm our toes by the fire.

January
The new year just blasted on in with plenty of snow and some ice during the second week. A couple from Illinois had to reschedule their stay due to a fall on the ice in Peoria, just as they were packing the car to head to Hannibal. We were staying toasty warm inside, but the cold of January in the midwest held true to form and we had plenty of days to sleep in and work on inside projects, such as painting and deep cleaning. We cleaned out the basement too. We also had the misfortune of our truck being involved in a Smash and Grab in St Louis. We had planned to stay in St Louis to go watch a Blues scrimmage game after the NHL lockout ended. After the thieves took our suitcase, laptop, some CDs, our Ford Owner's Manual, and my Travel mug, we decided we should just go home. We had a broken window on the passenger side of the truck and it was pretty darn cold on January 15th in St Louis. What a nightmare to endure.

February brought more guests and we had a very good month considering. We're betting that Feb of 2014 will be even better, as Valentine's Day occurs on Friday. That always means a full house for that weekend. We also were able to get the truck in for an appointment with the body shop and they vacuumed out thousands of small pieces of glass from the window being broken in January. It sure made a difference with the sound of the speakers...no more buzzing and vibration! Darn those thieves!!

March
What a great month we had in March! Hannibal's Annual Chocolate Extravaganza was the 2nd week of the month, and the downtown was buzzing. We had an opportunity to complete an outdoor project replacing wood and painting during some warmer days in March. Oh the projects...at times they seem to never end. We were BUSY in March with guests, but we still had time to go to St Louis overnight and spend a night with family to celebrate Christmas in March with Gina and Haley. Our St Patrick's Day was busy too, and that's a good thing for a B and B with an Irish name.

April
Certainly everyone knows how slooooow molasses is when you pour it?.Well we had a 'Molassesly' slow April. Maybe that makes sense, considering that February and March were unusually busy as guests are concerned. It was odd though, to have such a quiet April. We wondered if it was a trend for what to expect during the remainder of the year, but as you'll see, we were pleasantly surprised that the rest of the year turned out very well. Part of the reason for lower totals in April was the week we spent in Florida for our Granddaughter's 7th birthday. We had a wonderful time. Judy's youngest son Tim was deployed, and we all missed him. Our visit helped to fill the void of not having Daddy there for the birthday celebration. Kaylie and Kaden were such fun and Grandpa really had a workout keeping up with them.

May
Business was pretty good in May! Then on May 20th an EF-1 Tornado hit. The Hannibal storm followed the EF-5 in Moore, OK, on May 20, which devastated that area and many lives were lost. It was horrific. Hannibal endured a much less severe storm later that same day and there was no loss of life here. We had straight line winds over 100 mph and it was an eerie sight at sunrise on May 21st. There were trees, BIG, OLD trees, uprooted, broken off and void of the majority of leaves, some over 100 yrs old. Many were lying parallel to the ground with roots attached, as if a giant had just pushed them over and exposed half of the root ball. Riverview Park had 200-300 trees damaged. We saw one with bark ripped down top to bottom, from 40 feet high. It was still attached to the top of the tree and just peeled off, exposing the naked tree. Norm walked our block and cautiously picked up each shingle he saw, hoping that none would be the red which adorns our roof. It was a relief that none of those shingles had blown off our roof. We did lose our fence in the back, which surrounds the parking lot. So now that new fence we needed for a couple years prior, is finally up. We both worked for a couple weeks, between hosting guests etc, and put the fence up ourselves. No longer will we have to paint that fence! YAY!! Some buildings were damaged in the downtown and some outlying areas. One building on Main Street lost a large portion of the third story. The worst news for us was the damage to the waterfall and pond in the back yard. We lost three of our 24 inch Koi. The power was off for several hours and the pond was filled with muddy water from the wind and rain, which accompanied the tornado. The big fish suffocated, as the oxygen was much less than necessary for them to thrive. Survivors were, one Koi, a Shubunkin, a Fantail, and a Fancy Comet. The waterfall repairs will have to wait until spring of 2014. We wonder if our hummingbird population was affected by that tornado, as well as the Oklahoma tornadoes. Our hummingbird flock was about 1/3 the normal number we usually see here over the summer, and it is possible that severe storms in May could have caused problems for them in their travels to their summer 'homes'.

As May came to a close, Norm arranged for a special 60th birthday for Judy. We traveled to the Arcadia Valley in southeast Missouri and stayed at a wonderful country B and B, with a great innkeeper. What a perfect getaway. Judy caught a dozen fish at the lake near the cottage, we had a delicious dinner at a restaurant that was closing the next day, due to the proprietors retiring...what a shame to lose that restaurant in the area. And we investigated a lot of the local area including Elephant Rocks, Johnson Shut-ins, the Battle of Pilot Knob Civil War site, and toured a cabin owned by, Vincent Price's sister. Price, who has long been one of my favorite horror film actors, spent many days there himself. We ventured to Caledonia and found the coolest General Store. It was a wonderful mini-vacation. We returned back to work...refreshed and ready to take on a busy summer.

June
The busy season started off well in June. It was quite hectic around here with only four of our available days with no guests booked. We worked really hard in June so that we could take some time in July to enjoy a visit with family. The weather was delightful in June and we had some great folks stay with us. Though some flowers were planted early in June, Judy had several allergic reactions to gnat bites and was unable to spend any length of time outside, other than to go out after dusk to water the flowers. Now that was annoying and tough for Judy and her green thumb. Maybe a Beekeeper's suit is in order.

 July 
Tom Sawyer Days dominates July in Hannibal and this year was typical. There were fence painters, Toms and Beckys, Crafts and Gifts at Central Park, Carnival rides, and of course the Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks. For a small town, Hannibal always has the most AWESOME fireworks!! After the festivities had ended, family arrived in early July and we had fun times for a few days. Grandson Kaden's first trip to Hannibal turned out to be a great one. Sister Kaylie has a bit over a half dozen visits, so Kaden needs to catch up! He had a lot of fun doing what most kids enjoy in an old house with a cool stairway, and totally enjoyed sliding down the banister. He was very good in a house full of antiques. They spent time playing with cousin Haley and Gina loved spending time with her brother and sister-in-law. It was her fist time meeting Kaden, and it appeared that she was captivated by his neat little personality. It was a lot of fun having the family here. Considering that we took off for 6 days in a row the second week of July, business was pretty darn good. Not including the 6 days when we hosted family, we had just 2 days without guests in July. What a month...whew! We really pushed it for the remainder of the month and again hosted some special folks, who make innkeeping enjoyable. Along with all the new friends we met, our repeats from Iowa are top of the crop guests! We're blessed.

Amazing and thoughtful are a couple of the best descriptions of Norm. He arranged for another special vacation, this time for Judy to spend time in Florida with both of her sons and her youngest son's family. Norm stayed home and hosted all the guests, made hummingbird food, watered flowers and cooked and cleaned while Judy had fun. There is never enough time with grand kids and children when they live so far away. This has been an exceptional year of visits with family.

August
So it was Back To Work full time, for both Norm and Judy at the end of July and beginning of August. What an incredible month. August normally gives way to lulls when school starts. For whatever reason there was NO lull. The usual opportunity to work on projects outside did not materialize in August, as consideration is always given to guests, and minimizing inconveniencing them with maintenance projects and noise. We hosted several groups for 3 days and one group was fourteen guests! Now that's a houseful. Following the big group, we ventured to Hermann, MO, overnight for an innkeeper's R and R. We stayed at the most delightful B and B just north of Hermann. We will definitely be going back there. What wonderful hosts, food and accommodations. And YES, innkeepers DO visit other B and Bs...

September
On to September and another incredibly busy month. What a year this has been. Our occupancy was great in September and even allowed us to take a few days to do some celebrating of our own. We were not able to celebrate our 22nd anniversary on the day, but did get to spend some time mid-week, investigating some genealogy in Indiana where Judy's father's family is from. It was a nice anniversary, albeit a bit late on the calendar. This month also brought some beautiful weather. We were able to turn the AC off for a few days and enjoy the comfort of having the same perfect temps, inside and out.

 October 
The month of harvest, magnificent colors of changing leaves, and Scary Halloween. Again in October we hosted multiple groups for 3 days. Days off were few and far between leading up to our Fall Folklife Festival weekend, which was a huge success and the weather was incredible.

We were happy to have youngest son Tim spend a couple days with us. He helped us with two maintenance projects outside, which we were unable to reach to repair ourselves. We drove him to the airport this morning and noticed that the leaves in the area are really changing now. With the colder temps heading our way on October 22, that color change process will be boosted along.

Our available rooms are scarce in October, but click the following link and see what you can find:
Check for Available Dates Here! We hope to meet you soon!!

H A P P Y     H A L L O W E E N ! ! ! ! ! 2013!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Procrastinator...Who ME??

Miss Kaylie - Assistant Innkeeper at Reagan's Queen Anne 
So really?? It has been 4 MONTHS since I was here last? Say it isn't so! So much has happened in all that time. First of all, we've had a good year thanks to all of our wonderful guests. We survived "the drought that wouldn't end". Well, for the most part...several potted plants had other ideas about surviving, but we gave it our best shot. In July, I was lucky enough to get to travel south to pick up our grand daughter, Kaylie, and bring her to Hannibal for 2 weeks. She is the BEST apprentice Innkeeper after her 2 weeks of training. We hosted a lot of guests during her training.  She loves to help us in the kitchen and was also a great help in the laundry room.While she was here, Grandma and Kaylie found time to make a summer dress together. She had her school picture taken in the dress, and I'm sure she told her classmates that she helped make it. Time with grandkids is something that I cherish. So after Kaylie's training, a visit from her cousin Haley and Aunt Gina and a trip with them to St Louis to the City Museum, an AMAZING visit to a farm  in Illinois to participate in banding over 60 Rubythroated hummingbirds(where Kaylie released the very first bird), a few trips to the park to play, and then on her last day-- a trip to the St Louis Zoo, we flew south again to spend time with family and celebrate little brother, Kaden's 3rd birthday! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE spending time with the family. We visited Sea World for Kaden's birthday, and it was AMAZING!



video

Grand kids at the Manatee tank
We all missed Papa Reagan! Grandpa offered to stay home so that he could run the business. This was no small chore. Not only did he have to host several guests the week Grandma was gone, but he had to make gallons of hummingbird nectar, feed the dozens of little jewels, and clean feeders daily. He also kept the plants watered in the 100 plus degree temps, and made sure the fish were fed and monitored the pond level. He did all of the cleaning, cooking, and hosting! I can't thank him enough for sending me to Kaden's birthday, so that I could enjoy treasured time with the kids and grands. He's a wonderful husband!!

Reagan's Queen Anne Maple Trees 2012 - Hannibal, Missouri
Ok, so that takes us through the second week of August here at Reagan's Queen Anne. August, September, and October, we were super busy and met a multitude of wonderful guests. We were blessed with a gorgeous September and October with the most colorful leaves we have seen in our 13+ yrs in Hannibal. The drought must have been a factor. Fall Folklife Festival was a huge success the third weekend of October. We turned away at least a couple dozen requests for rooms, due to having only 4 rooms to offer. The festival is our most favorite weekend of the year here. If you think it's something you'd enjoy...you better make your reservation NOW. We book that weekend waaaaaaay early. So don't procrastinate! Book it HERE!!

To celebrate Norm's birthday, I insisted that we take a trip.  So we headed south and visited Clarksdale, MS, home of the Blues(the music, not my hockey team). Then we stopped in Natchez and stayed at a B&B with a "million dollar view" overlooking the Mississippi River. From there we headed northwest, to Fort Worth, TX, and spent time with my brother and his family and thoroughly enjoyed NASCAR race weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, for the 2nd year in a row. We had a fantastic vacation. The only thing we wished would not have happened, we observed when we arrived home. The pond, with our 8 Koi, Shubunkins, fancy Comets and a Fantail, were barely surviving in just 8 inches of water. They are used to their pond holding about 1000 gallons and being about 3 feet deep!! Dorsal fins were nearly dry on the bigger one, and the pump was within an hour or so of burning up because it was so close to not being submerged. Thankfully, we arrived home in time to save them, and immediately filled the pond. They are all doing well. It was quite scary at first. Several of them were severely depleted of oxygen and veins were visible. But just about 2 hrs after we filled the pond and oxygenated the water, they were all looking healthy. Thank God that we arrived home when we did. Apparently the falling leaves had covered the netting to the point that the fountain was spewing the water over the bank until it was nearly gone! I was so glad that there was not a puncture in the liner. At first I thought that the local raccoon population had knocked a jagged rock into the pond. That was not the case. WHEW!!

Thanksgiving is this week and time continues to FLY by. Happy Thanksgiving to all our former and future guests! May you spend time with family/friends and not eat too much... We'll soon be decorating for Christmas. We hope to see you before the end of 2012, but will certainly welcome you in 2013! Blessings of the Holiday Season to you and yours. Remember that we sell Gift Certificates, which are a wonderful option for gift givers.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

And We Thought March Was Unusually Warm...YIKES!

Considering the heat we've endured recently, it's hard to remember that we had such a wonderful Spring, but April and May were truly delightful when it comes to weather and guests. We had sufficient rain to grow the flowers etc, and then came June and a more "desert" like climate. If memory serves, we had rain just twice from the end of May until one day in July! To say that things are dry would be a gross understatement. I'm sure the water company(BPW) will love us, however. Some days, when the temps were around 115-120 heat index, I watered my potted plants twice in one day. They still look pretty, since I was vigilant about caring for them and moved them into the shade on occasion. The same cannot be said for the lawn. It's nearly impossible to find appropriately colored grass anywhere. The midwest heat has been brutal for the past 2 weeks, and as in many midwest towns, set long standing records. As of Sunday 7/8, we're finally out from under that heat wave, Thank God! Now we're experiencing much more normal summer temps and it's a joy to be outside again. We're also seeing many more hummingbirds, now that the heat has subsided. We're hoping to have our usual 2-3 dozen, but it seems our numbers may be down a bit this year. They are still incredibly entertaining and never cease to amaze. I have counted a baker's dozen so far.
Hannibal's National Tom Sawyer Days over the Fourth of July was a big success in spite of the heat. Some of the rides were closed during the heat of the day, but the numbers of folks who came to town were consistent with last year's numbers. Our guests enjoyed all there is to do during the festival. Check it out online and plan a trip next year during our National Tom Sawyer Days. You'll have a great time. And Hannibal doesn't cancel fireworks when there is a high alert for fire. They shoot them off over the river. We heard that there were more folks than usual this year to watch the display on the evening of the 4th, because so many surrounding communities canceled their fireworks due to the high fire hazard. I know of one couple who drove from Athens, IL, specifically to see the fireworks in Hannibal, and they were well pleased with the fanfare.
We've been busy this year and are thankful for all of the calls and reservations. We look forward to meeting you one day. Just click here: www.reagansqueenanne.com and make your reservation to come to Hannibal, and
"Write Your Own Story", in Mark Twain's hometown. Our central A/C is cool and comfy, whether it's 75 or 105 outside.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ahhh, the Sweet Smell of Freshly Cut Grass...

No doubt about it, Spring Has Sprung! Flowers and trees are blooming, grass is greening, and it is not even April!! I heard this morning that this is the warmest March on record. It's been nice to get to work outside. Friday was the first day that the waterfall was working, and boy does it looks and sound fantastic. That new pump is a powerhouse! Don't get me wrong, the muck and cleanup was gross, but it is so nice to have it working. And you know, I truly think the fish appreciate the waterfall too. They just seem to be swimming more happily. :0) 


So, I'll put in my plug for all the ladies out there who NEED to book Just Girls' Weekend at the end of April! 


Pack up the Sisters, Daughters, Moms, Grandmas, Cousins, Aunts, and Girlfriends, and come stay the weekend at Reagan’s Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast in Hannibal!! We’re centrally located in the downtown Historic Central Park Neighborhood. Shopping, restaurants, galleries and all the fun are within walking distance. We offer double occupancy rooms for 2 guests, and suites which will accommodate as many as 6 guests. Our property has numerous common areas for gathering to chat, card and or board games and do what we girls do best: Giggle! So get ready for some fun. Get your “Giggler” on…and come to Hannibal in April!    Our website: http://www.reagansqueenanne.com/


We still have a couple rooms open. It's such a fun time. 
Check out the link to the page: Just Girls' Weekend in Hannibal, MO 
You can book your stay from our website, or at the following link: Book It HERE!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

"POP" Go the Daffodils!

Tuesday, March 6 was the day we saw our first daffodil on the grounds here. It still seems a bit soon since we had such a strange (but welcome) winter. It's time to cut back all the ornamental grasses, some of which are nearly 8 feet tall! They really looked pretty over the winter and with little snow, none of them were flattened down and continue to stand tall with their dried plumes. Our fish are a bit confused too. They're ahead of schedule as well, and have been looking for food for a few weeks now. But they must wait until the water temp is above 50. Surely they noticed that the pond never froze this winter either. I'm looking forward to getting outside to start working in the soil. As of Saturday, there is a little starter flat of heirloom Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes in the kitchen. I'm anxiously anticipating germination. I hope they do well this year. I'll let you know Jules. :0)






Come visit in March. 
We'll celebrate St Patty's Day.