One of the joys of running an Asheville Bed & Breakfast is having the opportunity to meet so many fun and interesting people from all over the world. Guests travel to Asheville for many reasons -- to celebrate a special occasion, to enjoy the outdoors or simply to relax. As owners, we're very hands-on and take pride in handling every detail to make someone's visit with us special.
A delightful family who recently stayed at Hill House Bed & Breakfast was traveling through the southeast on a summer road trip with their 10 year-old son. They were here for 3 days over Father's Day weekend and had a full schedule each day. One of the concerns in their travels was monitoring their son's diet and choosing restaurants that they could enjoy. Their son has Celiac Disease, which requires that he not eat anything with wheat, rye, oats or barley -- no gluten! Gluten is everywhere! I immediately thought about this 10 year-old boy not being able to have pizza with his buddies, no spaghetti and no hamburgers (well, no bun at least). But he was very mature for his age and seemed to take all this in stride.
For breakfast I was prepared with a variety of choices to keep our new friend happy and healthy. Greenlife offers some nice specialty items and we were able to serve eggs, waffles, coffee cake and special bread for toast. On their first day, he grinned from ear to ear when he saw a gluten-free brownie in their room just for him.
Luckily, we have some wonderful choices in Asheville for no-gluten diets. The family enjoyed Posana Cafe so much for lunch, they went back the following evening for dinner. What a relief for them that they could select anything on the menu and not have to study each item and worry about hidden ingredients. They were in heaven!
When it was time to say good-bye on their last morning, they thanked us as the mom's eyes welled up. It really meant the world to them that we went the extra mile and they didn't have to worry. This journey had taken them to so many places of uncertainty and fear. They shared that last fall their son had been stricken with Swine Flu. They later learned that as his body fought the flu, it became more susceptible to new ailments requiring MRIs, scans and blood tests. And it was then it really hit me what all they had gone through, and gluten was now the enemy. They realize how lucky they are that they can keep their boy healthy by simply eating safe foods, and there's no question they can do it.
So their road trip continued to Charleston and Myrtle Beach. They had set a goal to explore different areas of the country each summer, and their son hopes to travel to each state by the time he's 18! They felt so at-home at Hill House, we hope to see them again. It's a family we will never forget.
P.S. A note from Posana Cafe's website -- Celiacs and Diners with Gluten Intolerance: You Can Have Your Cake...and Scones...and Stickey Buns...and Muffins...and Cookies...and Coffee Cake...and Tempura...and Fried Green Tomatoes...AND EAT THEM TOO!
If only dogs could talk... If you're a dog lover, I'm sure you would agree that having a verbal conversation would eliminate the guessing games when pets aren't feeling well. What hurts? We wish we knew for sure. We've been through a lot this past year with Bailey -- trying different home cooked meals, watching her protein intake, and monitoring her cholesterol. The vet has run numerous blood tests and has consulted with internal medicine docs. It's a bit of a mystery, but it's been difficult getting her to eat anything lately. Goldens tend to be at risk for some ailments, but Bailey has had more than her share of vet visits recently. At each vet appointment, she heads straight for the door after getting weighed. But no, the back room awaits her.
Bailey loves to be petted and prefers we keep the 'vet talk' to a minimum. You can tell she doesn't like that kind of talk, and her brown eyes beg us to change the subject to fun things like chasing cats. We try to keep the energy positive and reassure her that everything is fine. That seems to make her feel happy and secure. Greeting guests is the highlight of her day, and her gentle lean can melt your heart. What would Bailey say? 'Just smile and give me a loving pat and I'm good for the rest of the day!'