Saturday, November 07, 2009

Coolest Summer, Most Rainfall in October, Now Fastest Autumn Color Show...

That's right folks...our colors are nearly gone. The wind has been blowing the leaves off the trees and soon the branches will be bare...better to see the winter birds. Our last hummingbird left about 10/23, much later than usual so we hung the feeders full of birdseed a couple days later. We've seen Goldfinches, Chickadees, Cardinals, Downey Woodpeckers, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Purple Finches, Slate Colored Juncos, Tufted Titmice, Nuthatches, and Wrens. Norm raked leaves today and we're trying to get the rest of the outside things finished before the cold arrives next weekend. All the tropicals are inside and they're not liking it much. Little do they realize that they are better off inside than out. Bulbs will be planted by mid-week, and winterizing should be complete. It's predicted that as early as next weekend, as the sun peeks above the horizon, nights will be cold enough to leave "ICE" crystals on the pond. WOW...where did the year go?

We've begun working on inside projects some evenings when business is waning. Each winter we spruce up yet another space with warm colors. There are just a couple remaining spaces where the walls are still white and I'm hoping to get both painted this winter. We also have some "window" work to do, insulating, painting, and eventually this winter, new interior storm windows. We understand that our government is offering 30% back on any Energy Saving upgrades and we're taking advantage. Plus it will help the heating bills now and cooling in the summer months. I'm sure we're not alone in our heating and cooling costs more than doubling over the past 3 years. Ours took a jump of about 15% from last year!

We will be decorated for Christmas as usual and December dates are wide open. We do not have a 2 night minimum in December on weekends. December also brings "A Shepherd's Tale"
performances of Hannibal's own, Richard Garey. He offers a Magnificent Christmas Show from December 19-26, in the Planter's Barn Theater. Book your stay with us and you'll receive a discount on those tickets. The show is a MUST SEE. Shops downtown will be open later for shopping. So come to Hannibal in December and feel the Christmas Spirit!

We have been blessed with very steady business this year. We'd like to thank all of our wonderful guests for helping to make this very close to a record year. We could have our best year in 10, with a decent November and December. So all those who have stayed with us in 2009, THANK YOU!!! To all those considering a visit to Hannibal, we'd LOVE to host you. There are no 2 night minimums on weekends in December and January with the exception of New Year's Eve, and we offer special weekday rates on MON-TUE-WED. Give us a call or click this link to our website!

Blessings to you and yours and Happy Thanksgiving!!
Judy & Norm

Friday, October 09, 2009

Autumn is upon us!!

I have not visited the blog page since early July, and an update seems a bit overdue. It's been a very busy summer, with guests and family as well. In early August, youngest son Tim, D-I-L Kathy, & grand-daughter Kaylie welcomed Kaden to the family. He is precious and handsome. I was able to go meet him and spend time with Kaylie in mid September. It was hard to leave to come home without them. Kaylie is the BEST big sister and is helping out a great deal for a three yr old! She loves her little brother. She's in Pre-school now too and LOVES it!

Since our super busy July, (:0) Thanks GUESTS!), we've been blessed with lots of wonderful folks and business is GOOD! August weather was nice and September was just as comfy here in the mid-west, as we experienced an unusually cool summer. Hopefully that's not the prelude to a cold, snowy winter. Today is the coolest day since last May I believe. However, I'm sure the cooler weather will boost the changing of the leaves and the metamorphosis will progress quickly. By the time our Fall Folklife Festival is in full swing, colors should be stunning once again. If you didn't reserve your space for next weekend (10/16,17,18), don't miss it next year and book now! We're booked for the Festival weekend, but we still have some weekdays open, if you'd like to come enjoy the beauty of Autumn along the Mississippi River Valley. Saturday, 10/24, we have one room open, so hurry! Halloween weekend offers a bit more availability, but don't delay in booking.

It's time to think about moving the Tropicals back inside. That's a chore, but I've kept many of my Rosa Sinesis hibiscus plants for 10-15 years, and don't want to lose any due to biggest vice. I'll be working on that later today. I'm hoping for some's cool out there and would at least feel warmer with a little bit of sun. We've also been working on Halloween decor and should have that done by tomorrow.

Come to Hannibal the Autumn! Happy Halloween All!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

National Tom Sawyer Days!!

July began busy and has remained so. We were full during Tom Sawyer Days and wished we had a dozen more rooms to offer. If you missed out being able to stay this year, don't wait too long to reserve your space next year. Book early, as we usually fill that weekend a few months in advance. Along with some GREAT couples, we had a delightful family here with their young daughter for 4 days and are looking forward to their return. Weather was wonderful. I don't remember another July in all my years that began so perfectly. It was cool at night and only reached low 80's each day. We did have a bit of a downpour Saturday, but rain stopped in time for fireworks! They were interesting to view through the clouds.

We'd like to take this space and time to thank all of our guests of 2009 who have helped to make this one of our best years of 9+ in the biz. We're thankful for all the wonderful folks who have crossed our threshold and chose us as their lodging in Hannibal. What a great year so far!!!

Oh, and don't forget to visit next year! It is a big year in Hannibal with the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the passing of Hannibal's most Famous citizen. The year 2010 is the "Year of Mark Twain". Come join us and celebrate this marvelous man! Hal Holbrook is scheduled to be present as well as other notables.

Hope to see you soon!! Norm & Judy

May and June are History...

Well, I'm not sure what happened to our Spring, but it was SHORT! We had lots of pretty flowers, but we also had a ton of rain again. Flood gates were in and we were feeling deja vu. It seemed as if we were going to repeat last summer. Thankfully the rain subsided. May was a busy month and was better than the last three years during the month of May! Our hummingbirds arrived and are entertaining guests as usual. We were able to move the Hibiscus outside the 3rd week of May and they are loving the sunshine on the south veranda.

June was another busy month at Reagan's Queen Anne. Our roof is DONE!! It was wonderful to get all the ugly shingles with paint drips etc replaced. We have some repairs to wood shake siding to do, but are so thankful that the roof looks NEW! As we knew would happen, foundation plants were not going to survive the tear off of shingles. On one side of the roof the guys found FIVE layers!!! The bottom layer was wood shakes. We guestimate that they could have been there for a very, very long time...maybe since the roof was new. If the other 4 layers of shingles had been on the roof for 20-25 yrs each, that would certainly mean that the wood(which dissentigrated as they were popped off), could have been original in 1889! Amazing...and boy was it a mess. The wood dust was everywhere. We were thankful for an extremely hard working crew. They pushed themselves each day and cleaned up for us too, knowing that we had guests scheduled during the time they were here working. Following the departure of the crew, we removed mounds of wild daylilies(the orange ones you see along the highway), and bushes etc from the landscaping. We had planned for a long time to dig them and transform the foundation plantings. We're working on that, but saw some setbacks due to injury.

Boy am I glad that I have a Chiropractor "in the house"! While trying to re-set the boulders on the waterfall, I slipped and hurt my back. Thankfully Norm fixed me, but suggested that I refrain from my rock and landscape work for a bit longer. So with that project temporarily on hold, we focused on a couple less taxing indoor projects.

We were visited by some dear friends at the end of June, and at the same time enjoyed a few days visit with our Grand-daughter and her Daddy Tim. We missed having Kathy here, but she was home resting up for the arrival of our Grandson. We had a blast with Kaylie. She is amazing and we can't get enough of her. She was a big help and told Grandpa that she could break the eggs for the muffins, and she did! Each morning, she was my trusty assistant while plating breakfast for our guests, and was tickled that I let her place the fruit on the plates. The girl loves Blueberries! She helped me fold laundry and asked to help with dishes. She assisted with watering flowers and fed the fish and "gave them a drink" :0) . What a great apprentice, training early at 3 years old... Remember the back...well Grandma couldn't say no to a precious grand-daughter who wanted to be held, so I was back to square one with my back injury. This time sciatica was raging. Doc set the portable table out and worked on me again on several occasions. I'm just about 95% now and feel pretty good. No more radiating pain in my leg and I'm grateful! I'm chomping at the bit to get out there and dig in the dirt and plant some of the foundation plants, and finish the waterfall. Then the next project involves PAINT!! Oh boy...

We'd love to see you in July, August, September...or later. We've had Mark Twain HIMSELF here for breakfast several times this year and he'll be back next week. If you come to Hannibal, don't miss seeing this talented actor. You can choose to attend the performance at the Planter's Barn Theater, book the Walking Tour, or ask Twain to join you for breakfast in our dining room. Just load our webpage and check for your ideal time to visit to see if we have availability. Our most recent guests have said that sharing breakfast with Mark Twain was the highlight of their visit to Hannibal. You know he's captivating and holds your interest if guests choose to see the show in the theater, book the Walking Tour, AND ask for a Breakfast with Twain as well!

Hope to see you soon!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

April Fooled Us!

We've arrived at the end of the first week of May and Spring has finally arrived. Fresh cut grass is a sure sign that spring is here, with summer soon to follow. It's been a long, cold winter and I for one am happy to see it draw to a close. Our weather here was just plain cold in April. We had our share of rain too. Spring flowers bloomed wonderfully, and now the rains and warmer weather are bringing out the "GREEN" of everything else. Forsythia, Magnolia and Dogwood trees were absolutely stunning this year and their leaves are now showing. We can only hope that Spring will hang around for a while before the scorching begins.

I'm celebrating being able to work outside! This week we're planting bedding plants in pots, along with continual attending to the clean up of the Maple tree Helicopters and Mulberry seeds. What a chore! Things are looking fresh and green and the temperature is about where I'd prefer it to stay, 70-80 degrees and Beautiful!

As soon as our roofing job (which we thought would have been completed long ago) is finished, we can complete the landscaping in the front of the house. I'm really excited about that. But I won't think about beginning to plant things there until the roofers are gone. We also have 63 bags of Royal Gorge rock to spread, and it too will wait until contractors are nowhere to be seen on the property.

(Adult Male Ruby-Throat hummbingbird photo courtesy of our guest John Crim

The above photo was taken August of 2008 of one of our 24 Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds. Come to Hannibal this Spring or Summer and enjoy these iridescent jewels. They are certain to entertain. I've seen 4 so far this Spring, and hope to have a couple dozen like the past 2 years. We've also been feeding a pair of Baltimore Orioles, to encourage them to nest nearby. Our wrap around veranda is a beautiful and relaxing place to unwind, read a book, sip a refreshing beverage, watch our resident birds or gaze at the passing clouds. Soon(May 15th), the veranda will be dressed with our 14 tropical hibiscus bushes and tree.

We continue to offer our Special Gift for guests who book Wednesday - Saturday nights, one, two, three...or all of them.

Remember that our weekday rates -Mon, Tue, Wed, **Thurs, are discounted year round too!! (**Thurs are not discounted in June and July.)

Click here for the special:

We look forward to meeting you!

Judy & Norm

Saturday, March 14, 2009

...Waiting for Spring

I am SO ready for Spring this year. It's just not getting here as quickly as I'd like. The things I have planned outside, and I must wait. It's frustrating...We do have daffs, hyacinths and tulips poking through and the earlier ones are ready to pop. We just need a few "warm" days to get that process in motion.

The waterfall project has been on hold for what seems like an eternity, and I'm truly biting at the bit to get out and finish it. I'm sure the fish will appreciate the extra clean water that the waterfall helps to provide. Currently, the pond is a florescent "green" and I didn't dye it for St Patrick's Day either! Having it clear means waiting for the warm weather to get the enzymes growing, which will kill off the algae. My first job outside tomorrow is to clean the pond filter and change out some water. That will help too. I'm hoping to squeeze in a bit of work on the banks of the waterfall too. The filler dirt is actually not mud right now and that is GOOD! The important thing is to get out there and get the waterfall done before the plants start to emerge along the banks. That will happen in a couple weeks, so time is of the essence.

The next job is to cut the ornamental grasses and remove any plant "leftovers" so that new growth can begin. Then comes the BIG task of moving 63 bags of decorative rock. We ordered a whole palate this year from our supplier in Rock Island, IL. The rock we have around our foundation is nearly impossible to find without special order. It finally arrived about 2 weeks ago, but Norm injured his back on Washington's birthday, and we've had to wait to retrieve the rock from our local retailer. He's much better now, so maybe next week we can haul the rock home. We're really excited about the changes to our landscaping this year. It's been a slow process, but we're working on it when time (and energy) permits. Gee...once landscaping is under control, it's time to PAINT!!

February was just average in occupancy. It actually felt a bit lonely here last month. March is turning out to be a good one, with just a few weekend rooms left open. Planter's Barn Theater is offering "The Gospel of Mark" March 14, 15, 20 & 21. Check our website for details. We've been booking summer dates the past couple of weeks too, and we've had some weekday business...a welcome sight this time of year. So, come visit in 2009! If you can arrange a trip to Hannibal in March, our weekend rates are discounted to celebrate O'Reagan's Irish Heritage. Just mention the March Madness special and we'll discount Friday & Saturday rates for you! We look forward to meeting you.

Happy St Patrick's Day
from Reagan's Queen Anne!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ok...I've been a Slacker

So now it's time to catch up...again. Thinking back to October - There were several issues with what is commonly our 2nd best month of the year. Not only had we suffered through the downturn in tourism due to the Mississippi River flooding, but gas prices were utterly ridiculous. Our occupancy was just plain down in the dumps, but I suppose not unlike many others in our business and local retailers who felt the pinch of the economy in the fall last year. It seems so strange to make such a report, since our history has been on a positive swing since we opened in 1999. We had a very strange summer and very odd change to the season from summer to autumn as well. The leaves were pretty, but not enduring in the least. The weather was a huge factor with regard to our sad October, and coupled with the anemic economy...well. We're really looking forward to a better October in 2009. We're hoping for much better weather this year...and not so much RAIN!! Farewell to October of 2008.

Thankfully, (an appropriate term for November), the month turned out well...all things considered. Weather was pretty decent and business was steady. We're thankful for those who chose Reagan's Queen Anne for their lodging in Hannibal during November. Thanksgiving was a delightful time for us, as we were able to spend time with family down south for the holidays. We had a blast with Tim, Kathy & Kaylie.

Following our return to the midwest, it was business as usual for December. We began decorating the first week of December and the weather was pretty nice for a few days, making outside decorating enjoyable. It always seems to warm the heart, to have this big old girl all gussied up for the holidays. Thanks to purchasers of Holiday Gift Certificates, and to those who braved the cold winter weather before Christmas, we had our 3rd best December and occupancy was up from the same month of 2007. The Shepherd's Tale was performed at the Planter's Barn Theater for the 3rd season, and was enjoyed by our guests once again.

January was just plain cold. I guess we have to expect that though, living in Missouri. It's always a month when we just cringe when the Board of Public Works bill comes. Boy was that a stinger. Hopefully the rest of February won't be any colder than it is now. In spite of that, something was heading in the right direction. If January occupancy is any indication for the year, we really have a positive outlook for 2009. Last month was our best January in 10 years! Here we thought that the economic situation nationwide would cause us to experience a devastating January, but it was just the opposite. We do believe that local merchants are feeling the pinch. So when you do come, be sure to bring your piggy bank and leave some of your coins downtown...they will greatly appreciate it.

February is in full swing. Valentine's Day has come and gone, though we still have some "Romantics" who have booked this month. This year we were blessed to have a full house on Valentine's weekend, and had over a dozen other inquiries for the weekend. So if you want to book early, we can reserve Valentine's Day 2010 for you anytime. Don't worry, we'll update you in 6 months and again at 10 months to remind you of your reservation. If you missed the chance to come here with your significant other this year on Valentine's weekend, remember us next year. We always treat Valentine's guests to something special...our gift to you. We still have some openings for the remainder of the month on weekends. And keep in mind that weekends are deeply discounted this time of year. Plus, we have a gift of a $25 gift certificate to use toward dinner at Hannibal's most exclusive dining venue.

March this year, will be the first time Hannibal's own Richard Garey will perform "The Gospel of Mark" at the Planter's Barn Theater. We've been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to see the show. Not only does this talented actor "become" Mark Twain HIMSELF, he also portrays Esrom, the Shepherd who tells the story of Christmas. He performs JFK, Captain Bates (an English sea captain), and Dr. David Paulson as well. He is currently working on yet another character...FDR! This should be yet another fascinating show! Check this link for more information about The Gospel According to Mark, coming next month. Come, stay and enjoy this Premier performance. You'll receive a certificate for $2 savings on each ticket.