Have you ever planned something you thought would be reasonably nice, only for it to blow your mind and become one of your favourite memories?
Recently Mr K and I spent one night in a B&B in Georgia, little did we know it would be the best of our trip, and perhaps one of our favourite memories together. We had expected to enjoy some nice scenery, check out places The Walking Dead was set, and just generally chill out. What we got was so much more…
The Shalom House B&B is a farm – there’s the pond house, above (where we stayed) and the main house which has 2 guest bedrooms too. The farm also plays host to cats, dogs, goats and all manner of fruit trees. It has a very distinctive country house aura, and you can feel yourself becoming healthier as you stroll around the grounds. It is precisely what I’d expected, and much more.
We arrived early afternoon, exhausted, after a 6 hour drive right through Alabama and were welcomed by the lovely smiling faces of Hank and Margaret house – the owners – who showed us into the pond house and explained a little about the property and surroundings. To say we fell in love with the place at first sight is an understatement – we knew right away that we should have planned 2 nights, and set about trying to soak up every millisecond of enjoyment it had to offer.
Within the first hour we’d scouted out a local store, picked up goods for dinner and a few beers, plus the ingredients for smores. By 3pm we were sat fishing on the back deck, chatting happily about how we’d found our ultimate happy place.
Basking in the sunshine, nature at our fingertips, we thought our stay couldn’t possibly get any better.
And then it did.
As we’d checked in Margaret had mentioned that there was a stack of pinecones by the lake, in a firepit, that needed to be burnt. She suggested enjoying the bonfire that evening, so we had planned to go and light it after dinner. When we got out there we noticed a man and his daughter walking a Labrador across the lawn, and assuming it was some of the family, decided to wait before lighting up the fire. A few minutes later they’d introduced themselves as Chance and Tyler, and we all had a great old chat whilst Hank came to light the fire, and 5 year old Tyler gave us all a lesson in making S’mores.
That night we laughed and chatted, visited with the parishioners in the house (Margaret and Hank are pastors, too) and got dance lessons from Tyler. Mr K and I were both given the chance to fire a shotgun (into the sky) a couple of times, and given a demonstration of how a duck dog retrieves pine cones – time after time – in the pond. We enjoyed sweet iced tea and stories about local life – and talked about the UK election which, in hindsight, was probably a bit boring for them. The lack of light pollution also meant the stars were breathtakingly clear, so I spent some time enjoying the view of those too.
The following morning we had planned breakfast at around 8:30 and when we ventured up to the main house dining room we discovered that Tyler had prepared a Christmas breakfast table for us – complete with Christmas trees and lavish table settings. Such a thoughtful gesture – I love Christmas so that worked just fine for me. We enjoyed one of the best breakfasts I have ever eaten in that kitchen. Margaret served grape and walnut salad followed by ham and egg croissant bake with beef sausage, baked sweet potato and a delightful honey mustard gravy – it blew my mind! We were even gifted a jar of home made jam and a few drawings and flowers from Tyler.
While we were soaking up the last hour or two of the trip, Hank took Mr K out to show him some more guns, then Chance let him ride down to the lake on a buggy they had while Tyler showed me around the grounds. She introduced me to their dogs, goats, chickens and even showed me how to select a ripe cherry from the tree. We rolled down some hills, identified a few nice flowers and had a little picnic by the lake (where I took the photo above). It was great fun, and I was genuinely sad to leave.
If you’re ever looking for a great, homely B&B to stay at in South-Central Georgia, maybe as a nice countryside break from hotels, or if you just want to stay somewhere off the beaten track whilst road tripping, this is the best place.
It’s funny how a day can lodge itself firmly in your heart, but the time we spent there did. If you ever find yourself remotely close to Georgia I would recommend visiting for a few days – or even make a special trip there. I’m sure we will do that again one day!