29 December 2011

A Visit to a Bed and Breakfast in Washington County

 

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I hope everyone’s Christmas was as wonderful as ours!  Above is the sweets table that my sister-in-law Shannon sets up each year.  Laden with handmade gingerbread houses and peppermint sticks, it’s the focal point of the living room.   

 

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Each Christmas the Webbs and the Wills families get together to celebrate at the KW Ranch in Chappell Hill Texas where Ben’s brother Kirk lives the life of a gentleman rancher with his wife and two children.  There are horses and donkeys and one cow, but Bella’s just a pet – one of the very few lucky Texas Longhorns that doesn’t have to worry about the slaughter house.  There are fancy chickens that have fancy white plumes who lay pastel colored eggs.   There are five English Springer Spaniels and a few barn cats that live indoors.  The acreage is planted with bluebonnets and roses, not crops.  In other words, it’s not a working ranch – rather a home with acreage where extended family and friends come to swim in the summer and sit around the fire pit in the winter.   A special treat this year was a fireworks show put on by Kirk and Elisabeth’s boyfriend, Rob. It rivaled any professional show I’ve ever seen. Of course, it took 3 trips to the stand just to collect enough fireworks.  Thankfully, no one was injured either.

 

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The Southern Rose Ranch, a Chappell Hill Bed and Breakfast

 

During Christmas, the house is filled with visiting family, so Ben and I usually stay in the Casita – the small guest house. But, this year there were extra guests and the Casita was full,  so we opted to stay across the street at the Southern Rose Ranch, a charming bed and breakfast owned by Donna and Steve Cummins.  The Cummins were out of town for Christmas, so we had the run of their ranch all to ourselves.  The two suite B&B is located in the beautiful and historic Washington County of Texas, halfway between Austin and Houston and close to Round Top.   While we missed the scrumptious breakfasts that Donna serves to her guests, it was fun to pretend the Southern Rose Ranch was all ours – if only for a few days.

 

 

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The front yard of the Southern Rose Rose is an extra large pasture.  The two story main house overlooks the rolling landscape where the cows and horses have staked their claim.  Directly across the street from the B&B is the Webb’s KW Ranch – their ranches face each other.   In this picture, you can see how far back the main house of the B&B is from the road.  The ranch sits on a total of 33 acres.

 

 

 

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And looking the other direction from the Southern Rose Ranch.  Sitting on the main house’s front porch you can see across the street to Shannon and Kirk’s KW Ranch.   Everyone in this area uses golf carts to visit neighbors or to go fishing in the lakes.   Notice how the land is slightly rolling.   At the end of this street, the hill gets quite high and the view of the countryside is incredible.

 

 

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To enter the B&B, you drive down a long gravel road that runs along the back side of the property.  A wooden fence and a Welcome Sign mark the entrance.

 

 

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The B&B consists of two suites that are located in their own building which is painted red with a metal seam roof.   If you are hesitant about B&Bs because you prefer privacy – this is the place for you.   The B&B is completely separate from the inn keeper’s house.  It’s like owning your own little house on a big ranch.    The covered porch has rocking chairs to enjoy the view.  One room, the Star Suite, is larger than the other with a full kitchen and living room.  The smaller room – the Rose Suite – has a kitchenette and a great bathroom.

 

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The view off the porch shows the front pasture and the main house where the inn keepers, the Cummins, live.  The open air stone building is an outdoor kitchen/dining room with a hot tub.  

 

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To the left of the B&B is another pasture and barn which their cows and horses call home.   The horses were really friendly but were probably wondering who we were!

 

 

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You can barely seem them, but Elisabeth and her friend Rob, from New Hampshire, bought apples and carrots to feed to the horses.  Notice the cute red barn seen in the distance. 

 

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Little Lucy had so much fun chasing the horses around, as long as they couldn’t get outside their fence, that is!

 

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Of the three horses, this one was my favorite – so beautiful!

 

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The Cummins raise the unusually beautiful Belted Galloway cows, distinguished by a large white band around their middle.    They are nicknamed Oreo cows and Texas Zebras because of their distinct white stripe.

 

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The baby cows are the cutest!!

 

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One morning the skies threatened to rain.  You can just barely see Shannon and Kirk’s red barn with its metal roof in the upper right of this picture.  It looks like the Cummins are trying to grow a few baby trees in the pasture.   They probably need more shade for the cows and horses during the summer. 

 

 

 

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Looking back from the front pasture to the B&B and on the left, the outdoor kitchen and the main house.

 

 

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The Cummins live here in the main house, a darling two story traditional farmhouse.

 

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But, the stone outdoor kitchen is the real focal point of the ranch.  It resembles a pioneer house, without it’s roof.  It looks like a true centuries old structure that’s been long abandoned.  Log railings lead to the hot tub that is located next to the stone kitchen.

 

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You have your choice of several different BBQ pits. 

 

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The structure looks like an authentic 18th century abandoned home that’s lost its roof.   Actually,  it’s brand new!!

 

 

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At night you can sit around the roaring fire to keep warm.

 

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There are “windows” without glass – and a “roof” without a ceiling. 

 

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Throughout the property little vignettes are set up, like this seating area near the hand pump and pump house.  In the spring and summer, there are flowers and roses everywhere.  It’s still very green considering this is the dead of winter. 

 

 

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The area in front of the B&B is cool and shady – great in the summer.  There’s even a hammock set up under the Live Oak tree.

 

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We hated to leave, but after a few days, we needed to head back to Houston.  Hopefully we’ll stay here again next Christmas.  Reserve the two suites for us, Donna!     I didn’t take any pictures of the suites because of course we made a huge mess in them.  But below are a few pictures taken from the web site so you can get an idea of what the suites look like.  Be sure to peruse their web site if you are planning a stay in the region.  It’s a very popular B&B so make reservations ahead of time to insure a room. 

 

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The Star Suite has two beds plus a kitchen and living room.

 

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The Rose Suite has a kitchenette with a sitting area and a huge, beautiful bathroom and tub!

 

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The bathroom in the Rose Suite.  There is also a separate shower stall.

 

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A nighttime shot of the outdoor kitchen all lit up – so romantic!!!

 

 

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Watch the video of the Southern Rose Ranch B&B HERE.

 

 

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Of course the prettiest time to visit Chappell Hill is during the spring when the countryside is covered in Texas bluebonnets.  The landscape looks like it is painted with a stroke of purple.  It is impossible to describe its beauty.  The perfect time to come is the first weekend in April when the Round Top Antiques Fair is held –  the bluebonnets are at their peak then.   Round Top is just a short drive from Chappell Hill.

 

For more information, see the Southern Rose Ranch web site HERE.

45 comments:

  1. I would never want to leave the stone kitchen...totally fabulous!

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  2. Oh my gosh! How fun!

    I went to junior college in Washington County and then moved back after undergraduate and lived on top of a hill looking over 100 acres! It is wonderful!

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  3. This is so beautiful. I have been to Texas - Houston and Beaumont, but never to a real ranch. I love seeing the beauty of the Texas landscape. Lovely pictures. Thanks to Lady Bird, the rest of the country enjoys some of her favorite wildflowers. Really enjoyed the post.

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  4. Crazy! It looks like Virginia, right down the road from my house. Of course it only looks like that until mid-October here. I always picture Texas as more arrid and flat. Beautiful!

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  5. That sweets table is breathtakingly beautiful!! Looks like its right out of the Breakers!
    Texas is so beautiful....I can almost feel that rush of fresh air just looking at the pictures of this charming and cozy country getaway!

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  6. Kelley Brown CornelsenDecember 29, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    Hi Joni! Happy New Year to you! Thank you for this post!! Chapel Hill is one of my favorite places in Texas! I decorated a home very close to your family's place. It is so beautiful there!

    How fun to see pictures of those cows! I have never seen that breed before. How beautiful they are!!!

    Have a great new year!

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  7. Love the photos of the the B&B and countryside. Thanks, Joni, for all the posts in 2011. Wishing you all the best to come in 2012! Happy New Year! xoxo

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  8. Happy New Year Joni! I felt like I got to stay there too... great pics and great story.... I want an outdoor kitch just like that one. Thank you for all of the generosity to all of your readers.

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  9. So lovely! I keep a list of B&Bs and am happy to add the Southern Rose...Lucy is beautiful!

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  10. Adore the sweets table! What a wonderful idea. Looks like the B&B made for the perfect place to stay! Just beautiful.

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  11. How pretty and tranquil. The outdoor kitchen area looks like a cozy place to settle down and enjoy the fireplace.

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  12. Fantastic! I love this post, seeing the Texas countryside. Makes me want to plan another trip to Texas for '12!
    I can't get over that outdoor kitchen. OMG! So amazing! Also, your sister-in-law's gingerbread houses are magazine worthy, especially under those two magnificent still lifes. Thanks for sharing your holiday and I wish you all the best in the coming new year. ~Delores

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  13. Always look forward to your ranch posts during the holidays, Joni! Love your sister's dessert buffet. Looks sumptuous! And enjoyed viewing the neighbor's ranch and B&B. Those zebra cow are quite amazing. Have never seen those before. On a completely different note, I meant to ask you earlier in the season if you could do a fun post on Mr. Slipper Socks' slipper socks. I had to purchase new ones for my own Mr. Slipper Socks and wondered where or what kind you purchase for Ben or if he purchases his own. lol! Noticed some new colors out and purchased my hubby some red ones this year.

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  15. What an idyllic setting, Joni. It looks like the perfect place to spend the holidays. Have a happy New Year.
    All the best...Victoria

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  16. Joni OMG this is so wonderful. The horses, the bluebonnets that amazing fireplace, just a serene and lovely setting.

    I wish I were rehabbing from my second surgery from The Southern Rose Ranch!!

    Wishing you and yours all the best in 2012

    Xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  17. Hi Joni,

    Thanks for making my day!
    I always have problems getting your photos to render on my iPad. On this post I can see all your photos - I wonder what you did differently with these?

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  18. What a great place to stay and live across from. Looks just like home to me since we live on a road where we have a few gentlemen farmers with fancy cows. Your S-I-L dessert buffet is always amazing to see what a treat for kids and adults alike. Thank you for sharing your holiday with us and a very Happy New Year to you!

    Hugs!
    Debra

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  19. Used to live in Houston + have been to Round Top. Grand Post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  20. This is a beautiful area of Texas. My mother-in-law lived in Brenham for years and I know the area well. Haven't heard of this B&B though, thanks for the info. I love those belted cows and the bluebonnets are amazing there. Great images.

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  21. Does Shannon actually bake all those gingerbread houses?? If so, I'll never again complain about how busy I am during the holidays!!

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  22. My favorite "farm animal" is Little Lucy! But she kind of looks like a city slicker on vacation.

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  23. Such beautiful views of a wonderful place, but I still remember the fabulous family celebration photos of a year ago! I should have written then to say how much I enjoyed them, and I regularly check your website! Happy New Year!

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  24. Looks like a wonderful place to stay. They have those cows in Rockport Maine too. My kids were little when we visited and it was the highlight of their vacation. Best wishes for a Happy 2012!!

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  25. WOW! Joni, if you aren't on the payroll of the Texas Tourism Board, you should be! :-) I just want to run of to Texas now to frolic in the bluebells with the Oreo cows. This is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for sharing, and I'm glad you had a nice holiday with your family!

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  26. Love the sweets table and all the photos.....Looks idyllic. Wish I could have seen more your your adorable daughter and her "friend" too:)

    Happy New Year Joni!!!!

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  27. What a beautiful blog post!!

    I loved it!

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  28. Joni...please show us more pictures of Shannon and Kirk's Christmas...like you, they have perfect taste! Happy New Year!

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  29. Joni, this is a wonderful post! And those Texas bluebonnets are stunning. I love this ranch, and I love your SIL's sideboard. How stunning it all is.

    The cows at your B&B are like nothing I've ever seen before. I thought I was familiar with most breeds, but this one, I'm not. My father raised polled whitefaced Herefords when I was young, and they are sweet natured. But those striped oreo cows are the neatest!

    What a fun time you all must have had, and Elisabeth has a beau? Is it serious? Is he from Florida or Texas? Enquiring minds want to know! ;-)

    I've been MIA due to my computer issues, and then Christmas came like a whirlwind. I had Adelaide's family here, and we had a nice Christmas. We missed her, but we put on a good face for the children's sake and our own.

    I wanted to be sure and drop by to wish you a very Happy New Year. May it be wonderful beyond your wildest dreams.

    Love to you across the miles. I've missed reading your blog sooooo much, and I'm thrilled to get to see your holiday post.

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  30. How so very charming dahhling!
    ¡¡Felíz Año Nuevo!!

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  31. Greetings from the Great White North where snowflakes the size of golf balls are presently falling. :)
    Thank you so much for the wonderful tour Joni as it is truly a breath of fresh air .... without frigid temperatures.
    Wishing you and those who are close to your heart A VERY HEALTHY, PROSPEROUS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR! -Brenda- aka 'mrsben'
    P.S: Having computer woes today so signed in as 'anonymous'.

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  32. Oh please. There were GUNS! And PAJAMAS! And...and...Louis Vuitton handbags!

    STOP COVERING UP, JONI.

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  33. This is gorgeous, Joni! And it looks like you had such fun there.

    happy new year!

    xo

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  34. Joni what a beautifully picturesque place to stay, thank you for sharing this wonderful place with us, Kathysue

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  35. That is the best outdoor kitchen I have ever seen!

    I want to build it!

    Absolutely fantastic!

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  36. Those Spring bluebonnets and Round Top are calling my name! A great post and great photos! Lucky you to be able to visit such a great spot. I love the oreos out in the field, always my favorite!
    I completely agree with Penelope about that kitchen, a dream come true! I loved it when I thought it was the 'skeleton' of a previous home and love it more knowing I could recreate it!
    Thank you!

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  37. Beautiful scenery Joni. I just loved seeing everything. Those Oreo cows are really something too - I don't think I've ever seen them.

    I've always meant to come to Round Top. Now that I've seen this part of Texas and the BnB's, I'm gonna have ot make the trip.

    Happy New Year!

    Linda

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  38. Those last three photos sent me to the moon! I love the outdoor kitchen, and the oreo cows are too cute. What a great spread, Joni. I miss the porches - we had them in my southern childhood. I can remember just rocking away time while listening to stories from my Nonnie. We don't have porches like that here at the beach in Cali... drat.
    Happy New Year!
    xo isa

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  39. This is what I would really want to do, stay in a B&B and just have some relaxation time. :)

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  40. Joni:
    What a wonderful place to be over the holidays -(or anytime of the year) Thank you for sharing. Hope your New Year is full of peace, love and happiness.

    Janice

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  41. wow, breathtakingly beautiful...love that outdoor kitchen at dusk with the lights...gorgeous country!

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  42. De bons vœux au firmament d'une année radieuse et créative!!
    ★ ┊ ★ ┊┊ ★ ┊ ★ ┊
    ┊ ┊ ☆ ☆┊ ┊ ★┊ 
     ★ ┊ ★ ┊ ★ ┊ ★ ┊
    ┊ ┊ ☆ ☆┊ ★┊ ☆ ☆ 
    ☆┊ ☆ ★ ┊ ★ ┊┊ ☆
    ┊ ┊ ☆ ☆┊ ★┊★┊ ★
    HEUREUSE ANNEE 2012

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  43. Wooh! Thanks for tirelessly posting these pictures. They're so lovely. I can almost smell the sweet country air. Happy New Year!

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  44. gotta love these southern style homes.

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