Tuesday, September 30, 2008


WOW!! Where does the time go? It feels like a year since I've posted to the blog! Three months is a long time. So to update:

July and Tom Sawyer Days were great. In spite of massive amounts of water in the Mississippi, flood gates being in place, levees being closed to spectator traffic, and gas prices being utterly ridiculous, our July was excellent! We've only had one better. We survived the media spinning of flooding here, and are thankful for the brave and adventurous guests who crossed our threshold and stayed with us. We thank you and hope to see you again in the future. Another great thing about July was the emergence of our young hummingbirds. We counted at least 18 this year and they were as entertaining as ever.

August was our best in nine years. A GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all who chose us as their lodging while visiting our quaint little village. We worked really hard keeping up with cleaning, maintenance, and keeping flowers in a growth sequence in July & August. Impatiens and our tropical hibiscus have loved this weather. We didn't have great luck with certain other flowers this year. In spite of not having any saucers under pots (or needing any), the potted geraniums, petunias and superbells(mini petunias), just didn't like being unable to dry out at all in June, July & August. Some pots planted at the same time as others look sick, while others are still blooming nicely. It was a strange summer of buckets and buckets of rain. June and July were totally wet and only once in late August, was there a 5 day period without rain. The weather was cooler too. Don't get me wrong, I love not having scorching heat in July and August, but not having the heat also contributed to root rot in planters and mold growing on the clapboard of the house like never before. Yes, we saved water by not having to drench the plants, but made up for that savings when we had to clean and powerwash the house and porch ceiling twice! That's unheard of. Normally the powerwashing lasts for at least a year or TWO. We've also been doing some painting outside, since we once again are struggling to find an exterior painter. Oh, and we are about to get some roofing work done after having hail damage in May. No rest for the weary...

September is history, and it too has been a great month. It's in our top 4 in 9 years, and that included a nice little R&R mini vacation for Norm & me. We planned the trip in August and thoroughly enjoyed 4 days away from our daily work load. Norm even arranged for me to go FISHING!! I caught five, which is a bit of a small catch consdering my past history of the sport. But it was so much fun!! We rented a boat for the morning and had a blast on a beautiful mountain lake full of all the right kinds of fish. Getting used to my Shimano Baitcaster was a trip. But eventually I was back to form. A few "birdnests" and "short casts" later, and I was smooth as silk with a long cast and no backlash. I think Norm was amazed that I could drop the lure into a one foot target with tree limbs, stickups and rocks as obstacles. I caught 2 largemouth bass, a smallmouth bass, & 2 bluegill, one of which was huge!! Boy, a boat load of those would have produced quite the fish fry! Maybe we can return there someday for some lunker smallmouth and walleye fishing. Y-U-M-M-O, walleye my favorite to munch on! They also grow giant striper bass in that lake. Just the scenery was enjoyable, but catching my first fish since 1996 was a real treat. The cottages where we stayed, treated us to herds of Whitetail Deer, Silver fox, Hummingbirds, Indigo Buntings, Finches, Pileated Woodpeckers, Flickers, Blue Jays, Warblers, Wrens and various others. It was so relaxing and enjoyable. Our guests helped to make that trip possible and we thank you for assisting in our Rest and Recouperation so we'd be ready to hit the bricks hard in October.

Our leaves are beginning to show color. So if you're a "Leaf Peeper", give us a call or click on the link to make your reservation for our annually Superb Mississippi River Valley Autumn Colors. They are amazing. We have some openings early and late in October...2 middle weekends are full. Weekdays are always discounted, and we have some great availability then if you are able to travel between the weekends. Check our website for photos too. To here:

We look forward to meeting you, and hosting our repeat guests once again. Happy Autumn!!

Friday, July 04, 2008

A Little Behind...

MAY: Ok, so let's catch up with May. Finally the warmer weather arrived. We had a nice bloom on the cherry tree in 2008! That means cherries for muffins! May was very busy for us. It began with the aforementioned pond project, which unfortunately was delayed with torrential downpours every few days. On May 3rd, we were able to move the pump from the pond to the baby pool, gently and carefully move the fish as we were transferring water, and then we removed the liner. That took about an hour. Then the work started. We began digging about 9am and finished about 4:30pm. We did take a few short breaks to rest the weary muscles. Norm said he felt like he was on the Chain Gang, but I wasn't holding a gun on him to make him keep working, honest. We laid the new liner and started to fill about 5:30pm. The pond volume increased by about 100%. When the fish were released into their new abode, it appeared that they were very happy with the vast improvement. Now they have about 1000 gallons and are loving it. So the pond was finished, with rocks placed by 5/5. Though much to our dismay, the waterfall is still a project in-the-works. As many know, Hannibal and the Mississippi River Valley were inundated with rain for much of May. That put the waterfall job on hold. It was one big mud hole for quite some time. We did get the liner laid, but found that it too was punctured, and are yet to have the new liner laid. The supply pile of "dirt" for building the banks of the waterfall, has been in the Mississippi MUD stage since it was removed as we dug the pond. Maybe next month it will be finished!

For Mother's Day, we had a wonderful visit with family. All the kids & families, nieces, nephews, & grandchild, were here along with Judy's brother. We had 17 guests in the house for about a week and it was a BLAST! We also were able to watch a massive hail storm on 5/13, with golf ball sized hail! There was an accumulation of over an inch of various sizes. It was amazing. Our Silverado had about 300 dings when all was said and done. Luckily, the rentals the family had driven here were parked out front under the trees and were undamaged. Tim & Kathy had left that morning and beat the storm heading south, before it hit. Oh to have that old Carriage house when we needed it.

Business was good in May and we thank all of our guests for choosing to stay with us.

JUNE: Like in May, the rains kept coming, and coming, and coming. We thought that gas prices and far too much water were going to cause us significant drop in occupancy, but that didn't happen. What a relief! June turned out well and ranks in our top 3 in 9 years. Again, thanks to all of our guests who decided to brave the flooding stories reported by the media and kept their reservations with us.

We were able to accomplish a couple other projects this month. Norm removed 4 bushes at the front door, which had seen better days. We placed our cobbler edge border around the front of the house and are getting it ready for daylily removal and new plantings. Next year it should be totally transformed. One big problem is coming from the house to our north. It's empty and no one has treated that yard for weeds in decades. So now we've been the recipients of seedings of broadleaf and wild violets by the millions. Though we treated the worst part of the front yard, the weeds seemed to just laugh at the weed killer, and chose growth rather than death. The constant rain and working in the mud has not been conducive to seeing all projects to completion. It's frustrating. We've cleaned weeds from several flower beds about a dozen times this year. RAIN=massive amounts of weeds!

All the while, the Mississippi River is rising...and rising...and rising... Our highest crest was about 2 feet lower than our record of 31.7. And that's a GOOD thing. This year the Corps of Engineers and National Guard added 2 feet to the top of our levee for "good measure". Thankfully, we didn't need it. We hosted an ABC news crew from NY and TX and they were called out in the wee hours of the morning when levees to our north & south would breach or top. It was a trying time for so many folks and we hope and pray that all those displaced will find the resources they need to get "back home".

We powerwashed in the rain a couple days, and the limestone wall & steps look fantastic! Another fun job was replacing the decking and shingles on a small 3 x 17 foot roof over our dining room windows a week ago. We had yet another torrential downpour in the wee hours of 6/26, which revealed a leak in the roof. We discovered that water was dripping in the dining room at the top of the windows. So at 2:30am, we were planning our mode of attack for the next day. Thursday we demolished the old roof and put on the decking for the new one. Friday we were able to get the shingles in place, and Saturday we finished the job. It was not really that fun pretending to be roofers. But hey...we don't grow money on trees or manufacture it in the basement here, so we wear numerous hats in this business.

So that's it for May and June. See you next month! We're booked for National Tom Sawyer Days over the Fourth of July, but check our availability online to see if we can match a date to your preferences in July. We'd love to meet you!! Hannibal is OPEN for business!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

March & April Notes

Once again, we're left wondering how it is that weeks just fly by. To catch up a bit: March was fantastic! It started very slowly. Then just after we offered our Third Annual St Patty's Discount, things picked up and kept us very busy. Thank you to all of our "Irish" friends who stayed in March.

I think it's been said before but...April is my favorite month with all the flowers blooming, and grass and trees turning green. The aroma of the hyacinths is heavenly. The month is nearly over and the flowers are blooming everywhere. Our Cherry tree is all decked out in white petals, along with neighborhood Redbuds, Crabs and Dogwoods are just beginning to show blossoms. We have high hopes for the summer harvest of cherries, as we had not one single cherry mature last year. We'll look forward to baking them inside our signature muffins again this year!

As usual, there is a project (or 3) in the works. Our pond liner has come to the age of decay. These days, the material used for free-form ponds is much better than just 8 years ago. Unfortunately, we didn't have that material available when we built it in 2000, and have a leak or two in the liner. The sun and weather wreak havoc on such things. The rocks have been removed to expose the liner and the temporary pond is ready to hold the fish until the new liner is installed. We're hoping for the weather to cooperate so that the job can be done as soon as possible. Making the pond a bit bigger is on the to do list as well, and it is far too muddy now to dig. Certainly, the fish will appreciate their larger pond. An adjustment to the waterfall is in order as well. It should be even better when completed. We're also working on more landscaping changes/repairs. We have bushes to remove and things to plant. It will be rewarding next spring to see the result.

April occupancy has been very good. We'd like to thank all of our April guests for being a part of that success. To those whom we have not yet met, and former guests as well -- Don't miss out on some discounted rates for Last Minute reservations. Our Spring Special is soon to come to an end. Make your reservations for April dates and check to see what your discount may be. Only FIVE days left (4/25). Just click below.

It's Spring!! Click for special

Happy Spring!
Judy & Norm

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Love Month

First, I apologize for not posting in January. After returning from a wonderful family visit over Christmas, I have been completely immersed in winter projects inside, and simply forgot to update the blog. Now into our ninth year in business, we can surely say we've had better January occupancy. Weather was brutal, as it warmed and froze, snowed, rained and hailed on us here in Missouri. Not to mention, that surrounding states were battered with cold, ice and enormous amounts of the white flaky stuff. To those who braved the weather and found us in January, Thank You for choosing us. Now that we've survived January, we've moved into February and Valentine's Day is once again a thing of the past. However...

Not that we don't practice Love all year long, but February is "Love" month, and we extend that into mid March. To celebrate Love month here at Reagan's Queen Anne, as always our weekday rates are discounted, and until March 15, 2008, our weekend rates are generously discounted as well. Plus, to celebrate "Love" month, we offer a discount on top of a discount. So for all you romantics out there (yes, you who forgot Valentine's day too and need to get out of the dog house!), make a reservation to treat that special someone in your life. Our discounted room rates are the lowest of the year right now, when taking advantage of our double discount. The savings in room rates provides the incentive for you to add that "Sweetheart Special" as an extra nice gift to your loved one. Not to worry, if you use our Last Minute Special and book the day before or day of your stay...we'll waive the 3 day notice for Sweetheart Specials. Click the following and book your stay. We hope to meet you soon!!
Click Here for Last Minute Specials !!