Parents of College Freshmen: Rest Easy!

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One of the biggest blessings related to owning my Bed & Breakfast in Lubbock, Texas is being able to have friends & family stay with us over the years. An additional “plus” comes with watching those same people progress through the stages of life with their families – stages such as bringing a child to college for the first time.

Friona First Grade - Mrs. Hight's Class (Jerry Harrelson, back row right; David Fleming, second row right)

Friona First Grade – Mrs. Hight’s Class (Jerry Harrelson, back row – right; David Fleming, second row from bottom – right)

One family I’ve particularly enjoyed is the Jerry Harrelson family from La Porte, Texas. Jerry & my husband, David, have known each other since they started kindergarten in Friona, Texas. Jerry was even a groomsman in our wedding 30 years ago (August 17th), & their friendship is strong even to this day.  “I wore a bright blue tuxedo & stood next to the hottest candle on earth in August,” Jerry remembered.

David Fleming & Groomsmen (from left: Jim Williams, Kirk Fry, David, Howard Fleming [David's dad], Gary Wright & Jerry Harrelson)

David Fleming & Groomsmen (from left: Jim Williams, Kirk Fry, David, Howard Fleming [David’s dad], Gary Wright & Jerry Harrelson)

Jerry remained in Friona until he was 24 & moved south to further his career. He met & married his wife, Lee, & they have lived in her hometown of La Porte for 20 years. Jerry is the operations manager for Americold, the largest refrigeration company in the world, & Lee is a self-described domestic goddess. The couple has two daughters, Krista, 24, who works in Houston as a purchasing consultant with Magnum Intercontinental, & Amy, 21, who will be starting her senior year at Texas Tech, where she is finishing toward a degree in social work, with a minor in sociology & sign language.

“I remember coming by the Bed & Breakfast right after it opened, & they only had six or seven rooms at the time,” he said. Jerry distinctly remembers the décor as being aligned with the then Southwest Conference (now the Big 12). (We’ve redecorated since then.)

Dawn Fleming with Lee & Jerry Harrelson

Dawn Fleming with Lee & Jerry Harrelson

Five years ago, in 2010, we hosted David’s 30th high school reunion at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast. Of course Jerry planned to make the trek to Lubbock, Texas, but Lee was unable to attend, so he brought Amy along for the adventure. That weekend, they were the first guests to stay in our recently completed Honeymoon Suite. During that trip, Jerry & Amy toured the Texas Tech campus, which is across the street from Woodrow House, & she was an instant fan of Tech. “She knew then that this would be where she would go to college,” Jerry added. “The fact that David & Dawn, & some other friends from high school lived here made it a whole lot easier to say, ‘Okay, you go do that.’”

Location, Location, Location

It was a foregone conclusion that the family would stay with us when the time came to bring their freshman to school. “Parents can’t beat this location,” Jerry noted. “People stay here for a reason, whether it’s the staff, the convenience or the history of the rooms. It’s also fun to drive by & see a flag out front that lets you know someone from a foreign country has checked in.”

Both Lee & Jerry recommend that parents looking at future trips check their calendars for significant dates & book as soon as they know they need to be in Lubbock. “If you have a child that is going to go to school here all four years, think ahead because the rooms go fast & sometimes you may need to book as far as a year ahead – particularly if it’s near a football weekend,” Jerry advised.

This is a good time to point out that certain events, such as football games & graduations, do require a two-night stay. We also do make adjustments to the breakfast schedule as needed to accommodate event schedules. In addition, we to make these weekends more festive by adding Friday wine & cheese parties on game weekends or an evening cookout when games are held early on Saturdays.

Additional Advice

Savanna Fleming & Raider Red at Texas Tech Orientation

Savanna Fleming & Raider Red at Texas Tech Orientation

I’ve moved my own children in & out of campus dorms, so I do have a few suggestions for parents new to the process. First, think about the last-minute shopping you plan to do. If you think it is okay to put off that Walmart or Target trip until you get to Lubbock, remember that every other parent has the same idea. There is a big chance that you will grab a basket in the parking lot, if you can find one, & then discover that the shelves have been picked bare!

Next, bring your own dollies, rolling carts & bungee cords. The dorms might have some available, but you probably won’t ever get your hands on one. Also, be prepared to take the stairs or wait for long periods of time for an elevator. It is a good idea bring a few basic tools, duct tape & wall hooks that won’t damage dorm walls – oh, & bring tissues (for when you have to say goodbye). If there is any daylight left, leave a little time to tour Lubbock so your college student has some idea of the city’s layout & where the best local shopping destinations & restaurants are located (we’re happy to make suggestions). Finally, return to Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast & let us pour you a relaxing glass of wine & then soak in our hot tub to ease away the day’s aches & pains.

Even More Advice (for the Kiddos)

Freshmen, be kind to your parents this weekend – even if they embarrass the heck out of you. If your mom feels the need to unpack everything or make your bed, please let her. She’s been doing this for a long time, & it is really, really hard for her to stop “cold turkey.” Your dad may want to meet all the kids in the rooms around you because he needs to know you are going to be okay without him. The weekend will be over before you know it, & then you can commiserate with all the other freshmen about how “dorky” parents act. In a couple of weeks, you’ll wish you could see both of your dorks!

Final Reassuring Words…

“You won’t find this kind of atmosphere in a typical hotel,” Lee said of Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast. “You almost feel like you are at home, & that is the big difference!”

Tech Flag

 

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street

Lubbock, Texas 79410
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)
Phone: 
806-793-3330
Toll Free: 
800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

@woodrowhousebnb

 

Awestruck over Lubbock’s Moonstruck Nail Salon

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Moonstruck Window

Moonstruck Nail Salon was created with a very specific goal in mind – owner Sheryl Keil wanted to carry on the ambience that was established by the previous owner, Kathi Holmes, when the salon was known as Moondance. That goal was to create a salon that was the exact opposite of a large, impersonal salon, and Cactus Alley Courtyard is the perfect location for an eclectic, serene business.

Moonstruck Ombre NailsYou might wonder why I feel this is important to my guests at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast in Lubbock, Texas. There is not a woman out there who hasn’t had a nail “emergency” when traveling away from home – even if it’s just for a day of shopping. I feel it is important to be able to direct my guests and friends to only the finest local Lubbock businesses when they ask for my advice.

The majority of nail salons today do not inspire a sense of being pampered or an atmosphere of relaxation. Do you feel like you are a number, and even if you have an appointment, it’s just a formality that holds no particular significance? You are rushed in and out, and the next client is in the chair before you have time to gather your things.

Well, here’s the best news you’ll read all day: it doesn’t have to be that way!

Sheryl Keil

Sheryl Keil

I’ve said it before, but every time I make a trip to Cactus Alley Courtyard, I almost feel like I’m in Austin. Then I step inside Moonstruck, I’m reminded of the bohemian spirit of this little enclave. “I want this to be a very personal experience,” Sheryl emphasized when we talked about her salon.

Customer service is one of the chief passions at Moonstruck. Sheryl also takes sanitation seriously by using disposable liners in non-whirlpool foot baths when caring for clients’ tootsies. High volume salons use pedicure stations that are virtual petri dishes harboring germs and bacteria. The cleaning techniques can be questionable at best, and add a water system that sucks the gunk into the jets, and you’ve got a science project.

Safety also is a priority. Sheryl prefers to use safer LED curing lights for certain manicure procedures, whereas most salons use UV lights. “UV lights have been associated with skin cancer risks,” she said. “I choose not to take those risks with my clients, and we follow the recommendations of the Skin Cancer Foundation.” In addition, JAMA Dermatology indicates the wattage in UV lamps varies greatly.

037 (1)That safety issue is particularly important to Sheryl, as she is a breast cancer survivor, and that battle is one of the many life changes that brought her to Texas.  She was still looking for perfect career opportunity when she met a church friend for coffee at Gatsby’s Coffeehouse (located near the Cactus Alley Courtyard entrance) to discuss the friend’s interpretive dance of Sheryl’s story last year. She fell in love with the Cactus Alley Courtyard setting and soon found that Kathi need help in her salon to handle her growing customer base.  Along the way, the women discovered they attended the same church.

Last spring, Kathi made the decision to move to Austin to be near family, and that opened the door for Sheryl to spread her entrepreneurial wings by taking over the salon, moving it next door & putting her own stamp on her new business. This talented nail artist offers a full line of services, including acrylic, shellac and creative nail art.

Sheryl is ready to give you a signature nail design, so give her a call at 806-632-2038. Moonstruck Nail Salon is located in at 2610 Salem Avenue, Suite 9.

If you need a little inspiration, check out the salon’s Facebook page or Sheryl’s Pinterest pages, and then the next time you book a room at our Lubbock inn, save some time to pamper yourself at Moonstruck.

Moonstruck Business Card

 

Moonstruck Nail Salon

Sheryl Keil

2610 Salem Avenue, Suite 9

Lubbock, Texas 79410

806-632-2038

 

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 
806-793-3330
Toll Free: 
800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

@woodrowhousebnb

 

 

“A Different Kind of Coffeehouse”

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Every morning, you probably drive by a popular chain coffee retailer that has a line of harried Lubbock commuters sitting in the drive-thru line anticipating their venti “half-caff, double whip” latte. Really?!

Yes, my coffee may fuel the start of my day at Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast, but once in a while I need to slow down & give some of my daily rituals a little more significance. Hence, God created Gatsby’s Coffeehouse at Cactus Alley Courtyard! Okay, maybe He has more important things to do, but there definitely is a higher power who put events in motion & transformed Amanda Stewart from a restaurant employee into a newly-minted business woman three years ago.

Amanda Stewart

Amanda Stewart

“All through college, I worked in various coffee shops, & I would envision how I would do things if I had my own place,” she said. She was working at The Bistro in early 2012 when a woman approached the owner with the idea of buying her shop, Buffalo Gal. She was ill & needed out from under the pressures of running a business. Amanda’s employer was not interested, but he knew Amanda had the drive & desire to take on the challenge & passed to paperwork on to her.

Amanda consulted her father, Robert Stewart, & within two weeks she was painting walls in her own business. Thus began the conversion of the former Buffalo Gals into Gatsby’s Coffeeshop. The beige southwest theme was replaced by warm brick tones, comfy seating areas & the walls accented by the works by local artists. “I wanted it to feel like a house where people would just want to hang out,” Amanda said. “I wanted customers to feel the atmosphere the minute they walked through the door.”

Gatsby

Gatsby

The shop is named for Amanda’s Alaskan malamute dog, Gatsby, who, in turn, is named after one of her favorite books, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The pooch’s face is now the calling card for her business. She carries the literary theme through by offering well-stocked bookshelves guests can enjoy while sipping their favorite beverage. The Texas Tech University graduate also hosts a monthly reading series during the fall & spring that is put on by the Texas Tech Creative Writing Department.

Amanda also has a passion for supporting other local Lubbock businesses, such as Simply Decadent Bakery. Owner Krista Bailey & Amanda were friends & had lost touch with each other. When they reconnected, they found their businesses were a match made in culinary heaven. Since that time, Gatsby’s pastries have been made from scratch by the bakery. In addition, local musicians are frequently featured in The Loft @ Gatsby’s, which is a weekend cocktail & craft beer bar that offers Texas beers & liquors, along with fun & creative cocktails in pre-prohibition style. Most cocktails are christened with literary titles in mind. Amanda also teams with other coffee-related businesses for special events, such as the Barista Throwdown League’s Latte Art Competition. The next competition is slated for Monday, June 8th, at 7 p.m.

The Loft @ Gatsby's Seating

The Loft @ Gatsby’s Seating

My First Visit

View from the Upstairs Patio

View from the Upstairs Patio

Her sweat equity paid off. I can remember the very first time I walked in to Gatsby’s – I felt I had stumbled onto a wonderful recreation of Central Perk from the sitcom “Friends.” To the right of the door is taste bud nirvana – coffee, espresso, loose leaf tea & tempting treats. To the left is the cozy seating area & the stairs leading to The Loft. Outdoor tables are available on the upstairs patio & just outside the front door.

“The reason I fell in love with Cactus Alley is it feels like Austin or San Antonio,” Amanda commented. “It has landscaping, it’s green & has a water feature.” She added it also was appealing because most of the neighboring, unique shops are owned & operated by women. “I love the fact there is a trend towards supporting the small, local businesses here.”

Good People making Great Coffee

When Amanda first opened, she was forced to hire friends since things happened so quickly, but her team remains close. A barista background is not required, as she prefers new people come to her with no preconceived ideas about how coffee should be prepared.

Brew Bar Offerings

Brew Bar Offerings

The brew bar features four basic processes: Chemex, V60, French Press & Aeropress. Amanda encourages customers to ask questions & explore different brewing methods. “We love teaching, we love teaching each other, & we love teaching our customers,” she said. All additional flavored syrups are created in the shop, including the two newest flavors – lavender & coconut. During the summer months, a cold brew iced beverage is available.

Breakfast is served 8 a.m. through 11 a.m., Monday through Saturday, & 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on Sunday. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. through 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The Loft is open only on Friday & Saturday nights from 7 p.m. through midnight, & coffee beverages are available until 9 p.m. on those evenings.

Patrons are encouraged to check the website, www.gatsbyscoffeehouse@gmail.com, for specials & schedule changes. Also, follow Gatsby’s Coffeeshop on Facebook, Twitter (@Gatsbys_coffee) & Instagram (Gatsbys_Coffee).

Even if you’ve had a big Woodrow House breakfast, take time during your stay in Lubbock to enjoy a delectable beverage at Gatsby’s Coffeehouse in Cactus Alley Courtyard. Likewise, Lubbock residents should slow down and treat themselves to one of the treasures that makes our city so special.

Featured Art

I’m going to steal a quote from Amanda’s website because it captures the essence of this wonderful, little shop:

There is something at Gatsby’s Coffeehouse for everyone to enjoy. No matter what you believe, what your hobbies are or what inspires you, my shop will support whatever it is that makes you, you. & that is what makes Gatsby’s Coffeehouse ‘a different kind of coffeehouse.’”

 

 

New Shop Hours
Downstairs Espresso Bar
Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The Loft Cocktail Bar
Friday & Saturday 7 p.m.-Midnight

2610 Salem Avenue inside Cactus Alley
806-792-1911

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 
806-793-3330
Toll Free: 
800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

@woodrowhousebnb

Manna from Heaven

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Cropped WindowThe modern interpretation of the term “manna” denotes divine or spiritual nourishment. If you’ve spent any time enjoying the delicious food at Manna Bread & Wine or the creative cocktails and extensive wine, beer & spirit menu of Milo’s Fine Wine & Whiskey, then I don’t have to tell you the definition of Lubbock’s Manna is spot on!

Dining Room

Dining Room

Manna was founded eight years ago by Head Chef Halen Verkamp’s aunt, Sally Good. Halen noted that Aunt Sally had a love for older structures & fell in love with the quirky Cactus Alley Courtyard location, which some patrons feel embodies a certain “Keep Austin Weird” vibe. Consequently, Halen has been with Manna since its inception and started as a dishwasher.

Joyce Cropped

Joyce Barksdale

The restaurant passed into the hands of David & Joyce Barksdale three years ago, and today the eatery reflects the couple’s love of art & passion for great food & spirits. Two of the restaurant’s most notable features include a work by Pablo Picasso and the “Jesus” brick, which was christened by patrons who noticed it near their favorite table one day. Portraits of Joyce hang in the bar & at one end of the restaurant. While they lived in Las Vegas, Nevada, David & Joyce became friends with Kevin Vogt, Emeril Lagasse’s director of wine, & mementos of that friendship festoon the wall adjacent to the hostess station. All of the art in the bar is by artist Paul Milosevich, who is a friend to the owners, & he also is the namesake for that cozy space.

Jesus Brick

Jesus Brick

Picasso Cropped

Picasso

 

Teamwork

General Manager Lauren Myers & Bar Manager Mikayla Ortiz complete the leadership team responsible for the relaxed atmosphere for fine dining & a lighter tapas menu that lets Milo’s beverage concoctions take center stage. They are assisted by 14 staff members working in the front of the house & 10 manning the back of the house. Staff noted that The Mule, served in an authentic copper mug, is one of their most popular cocktails. The bar also features a generous selection of wine, beer & whiskey. Daily specials include:

Monday: Half price wine under $50 from 5-10 p.m.

Texas Tuesday: $3 off Texas wines, $2 off Texas liquors & $1 off Texas beers

Spanish Thursday: Half price Spanish wines & tapas until 7 p.m.

Friday & Saturday Bubbly Hour: Half price champagne under $100 after 8 p.m.

Sunday Brunch: Tableside Mimosas & Bloody Mary Bar.

Bubbly Hour

Cactus Alley Courtyard, in general, is noted for bringing in live music, but Manna also features musical guests in the restaurant. Staff did note that adult beverages are not allowed outside of their gated patio.

Fire-Grilled Caribbean Spiced Ahi Tuna

Fire-Grilled Caribbean Spiced Ahi Tuna

Halen’s daily menu features local, fresh produce, including cuts from the Texas Tech Meat Lab that give a Texas twist to American cuisine. If you prefer gluten-free or vegetarian dishes, the Manna offers a variety of selections that will delight any palate. Adventurous diners will enjoy buffalo, venison and fresh seafood, and the menu continually offers new & unique fare to keep patrons coming back.

The Woodrow House Connection

It was a pleasant surprise to discover that Halen had worked with Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast during her time in the Lubbock Independent School District Hospitality Program at Coronado High School. I’m really proud that she has gone on to build a successful career that highlights her passion for this vital industry. It benefits Lubbock when students opt to share their talent with their hometown after graduation.

Upcoming Special Events

Manna frequently hosts wine tastings and special dinners to introduce guests to new pairings. In addition, the staff creates celebratory events during major holidays, & they welcome private events to mark milestones in patrons’ lives. May events include a Mother’s Day Brunch and a wine dinner featuring Pedernales wines.

Patio Seating

Patio Seating

 

Mother’s Day Brunch

May 10th * 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Starters/Sides

Warm Cinnamon Rolls

Grapefruit Brulee

Bacon & Brie Mac & Cheese

Jalapeno Hash Browns

Bacon

Sausage

Eggs Your Way

Sautéed Spinach

Entrees

Tiramisu French Toast

Lemon Lavender Pancakes

Chicken & Waffles

Chicken Avocado Crepes

Brunch Tacos

Buffalo & Red Pepper Frittata

Steak & Eggs

*

Pedernales Cellars Wines Dinner

May 27th * 7 p.m.

Welcome Pour

2013 Vino Blanco

Amuse Bouche

Scottish Salmon Tartare on Belgian Endive

Fried Capers, Parsley, Lemon Butter

2014 Viogner

First Course

Avocado Sopa Frita

Chili-Lime Crème Fraiche

2014 Dry Rose

Intermezzo

Rosemary-Citrus Sorbet

 Main Course

Braised Leg of Lamb

Roasted Shallot & Port Wine Reduction

Garlicky Baby Root Vegetables

2013 Tempranillo Reserve

Dessert

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Crepes

Freshly Whipped Cream

Toasted Texas Pecans

Ruby Port

$110/Person

Call for Reservations

 

Visitors are encouraged to follow Manna Bread & Wine on Facebook, Twitter (@MannaBreadnWine) & Instagram (mannabreadandwine), as well as their website, www.mannabreadandwine.com . When you visit, make sure you let them known that Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast referred you!

710794

Manna Bread & Wine
2610 Salem Avenue #19
Lubbock, TX 79410
(806) 791-5600

Monday-Saturday:
11am – 10-pm
Sunday Brunch: 10am – 2pm

 

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 
806-793-3330
Toll Free: 
800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

@woodrowhousebnb

Keeping Lubbock Beautiful

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Bybee Sign

Artistry comes in many forms, and the next Cactus Alley Courtyard merchant, Marilee Echols Bybee, owner of Bybee Salon & Objet D’Art, is doing more than her  part to ensure visitors leave this eclectic enclave with some personal improvements or some original art to add flair to the spaces they inhabit.

Let’s face facts: many people blessed with artistic talent aren’t confined to a single medium. That premise is epitomized by Bybee Salon & Objet D’Art, located in Suite 10 in the Cactus Alley Courtyard.

Bridal Hair

Bridal Hair

Marilee began expressing creative talent more than 30 years ago as a hairdresser & colorist. The profession provided a steady income, while allowing her to experiment with her creative side. Today, Marilee operates from behind just one salon chair, & she has developed a reputation as a color specialist. In addition, she provides a full spectrum of hair services to her large clientele base.

Her decision to include art in her business seemed natural, as she dabbled in art herself. She also supported other artists over the years & had a strong appreciation for the quality of artists Lubbock had to offer. “I wanted to create a place where local artists could easily display their work on consignment, without it being a huge expense for them,” she said. Most pieces are one-of-a-kind.

Various Artists

Various Artists

“If someone wants to take a little piece of Lubbock home with them, this is the place to visit.” She cautions shoppers that pieces are constantly selling & being replaced by new works, so if they see something they like, they should make their purchases before they miss the opportunity.

The list of artists featured in the gallery includes Barbara Beller (jewelry), Pat Brown (clay), Andrew Carrazalez (clay), Tom Hicks (clay), Kendra McCartney (clay), Yvonne Mendoza (clay), Susan Nall (watercolor), Ed Spence (photography), Lyn Stoll (metal jewelry – featured in the July 2014 Journal of Jewelry Artists), Jerry Thompson (photography) & Veronica Young (clay)

More BeadsShe has a love of working with clay & creates hand-designed beads comprised of an amazing 160 smaller beads. Marilee also enjoys putting her personal, painted touch on small furniture pieces. On her website, www.marileedesign.com, she is very honest about her approach marketing her talent, “Some is available for sale, some sold, some given to special people & some I just can’t part with yet.”

Marilee moved to Cactus Alley Courtyard in May of 2013, & she has found a community of like-minded artists, merchants & friends. “It’s super cute & eclectic, encompassing a one-person salon & art gallery for me and my friends to show our art,” she noted in her blog at the end of that year.

“I’ve been extremely blessed here.” As a bonus, her grandchildren are frequent visitors to her place of business & to that of their maternal grandmother, Terri Arthur, owner of Fragrance of Heaven, who pours scrumptious candles just across the courtyard (I featured her shop in the last blog I posted).

McCartney Ceramics

Beller Jewelry

Beller Jewelry

If you need a new spring hairstyle or something stylish for your home or a gift, visit Bybee Salon & Objet D’Art at 2610 Salem Avenue, Suite 10. She is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to “whenever,” according to Marilee.  You can call her at 806-796-7150. Also, email her at marilee@marileedesign.com, follow her on  Twitter at @EcholsBybee or like her on Facebook.

“There is always something new – either a new look or new art,” Marilee proudly stated!

 

Styling & Profiling

Styling & Profiling

Cactus Alley Courtyard

2610 Salem Avenue

Lubbock, TX

 

NOTE: We will feature additional Cactus Alley Courtyard stores soon. Keep an eye out for future blogs with information about more great shopping and dining.

 

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David& Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers

2629 19th Street

(At corner of Boston Avenue across from Texas Tech University)

Lubbock, Texas 79410

Phone: 806-793-3330

Toll Free: 800-687-5236

Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

Follow us on Facebook & Pinterest

Keeping Company at Cactus Alley Courtyard

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Keeping Company at Cactus Alley Courtyard

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Business has been good, but I’ve always imagined a guest’s stay should be more than just a place to rest at night. Each visitor’s trip to Lubbock should be an adventure full of good food, fun shopping & exciting excursions to discover art & history. Cactus Alley Courtyard, just off of the Marsha Sharp Freeway & Salem Avenue, manages to roll all of those items into one fantastic stop.

Cactus Alley Courtyard

Cactus Alley Courtyard

“Lubbock’s Best Kept Secret” has been touted as the unofficial Cactus Alley Courtyard Shopping Center slogan for years, but it is really inaccurate. Savvy shoppers in the Hub City are well aware this small, eclectic enclave is home to unique boutiques, shops & yummy food & beverage spots.

“There are a lot of rumors about Cactus Alley Courtyard’s past,” according to owner Vickie Glenn. “People will tell you it was a former army barracks, but that isn’t true.” Others will say it was a small apartment complex. Vickie’s understanding of the site’s history includes a story of a local craftsman cobbling together the courtyard one shop at a time for the original owner. The sporadic nature of his work had him making use of materials left over from other jobs, & this resulted in the different bricks that are now a hallmark of the unique structure that surrounds a serene courtyard.

Lisa Stafford &  Vickie Glenn

Lisa Stafford &
Vickie Glenn

Vickie began her career as a hair dresser, & over time she came to Cactus Alley Courtyard as a tenant when her daughter, Lisa Stafford, opened her own salon, Hello Gorgeous. Vickie hit upon the notion that she wanted to own rental property a couple of years later. When she approached Cactus Alley Courtyard’s previous owner about the idea of buying the property, their response was, “Do you have any clue what you’re getting into?”

“I put the decision into God’s hand & asked Him to help me move on if it wasn’t what He wanted for me,” she said. Her phone rang a few minutes later, & the purchase was a done deal. “It was overwhelming at first,” she admitted. “People were coming to me about broken toilets, & I just had to figure it out.” She will mark her fourth anniversary as owner in June.

Cactus Alley Courtyard now boasts 12 shops, including with Manna Bread & Wine & Gatsby’s Coffeehouse. I plan to introduce those shops to the followers of Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast over several blogs. The first two businesses I want to feature are The Swanky Nomad & Fragrance of Heaven.

The Swanky Nomad

Swanky NomadThe Swanky Nomad is a natural starting point, as it is a companion boutique that has grown to surround Hello Gorgeous. After focusing on hair for many years, Lisa came to Vickie with the idea of opening a clothing store. Vickie liked the idea & volunteered to manage the boutique, leaving Lisa free to focus on her clients. “I have always been a jeans & t-shirt type of girl, but I like getting out of my little box,” she noted.

This fun, trendy women’s clothing boutique is tucked away in the center of the Cactus Alley Courtyard. Shoppers know that if they want a signature look, they can find it among the cute tops, dresses, purses, & accessories at The Swanky Nomad. “The companies we deal with at market, or who have come into our store wanting us to carry their lines, are very protective of what we are trying to do for the women who shop with us,” she said. “You aren’t going to find these styles anywhere else in Lubbock.”

The Swanky Nomad & Hello Gorgeous, located in Suite 6, are open Tuesday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., & Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shoppers can keep up with their latest events by following the boutique on Facebook & by visiting their website at www.boutiquelubbock.com; Twitter at @twistedsis6; & Instagram at swankynomad. The boutique’s phone number is 806-784-0084.

Fragrance of Heaven

Fragrance of Heaven Sign

Terri Arthur began Fragrance of Heaven to be a business & a ministry that combined her passion for pouring high-quality candles & for sharing her faith. The idea was born as a result of her dissatisfaction with candles that lost their fragrance after a very short time, & she decided to try her hand at creating a better product in 2009. Her “recipe” incorporates paraffin & Grade A, uncut oils that are mixed at a higher concentration & poured into a strong & pure candle that burns for a longer period of time. As a bonus to customers, she also makes a small candle in the lid of each candle.

It didn’t take long to outgrow her home-based operation, & she went in search of the perfect location. She visited Cactus Alley Courtyard, but the space she looked at was too small. Vickie offered her the opportunity to combine two shops into one – allowing for a showroom & a studio for pouring parties. “I decided to step out on faith, & I knew this was what God wanted me to do,” Terri commented. She signed the lease & settled into the Cactus Alley Courtyard family in April of 2013. Along with the candles, Terri offers a wide selection of crosses & books by Christian author, Rebecca Stevens Crownover.

The pouring parties have become a popular way to celebrate special events. One of her first & most memorable events resulted from a visit by former Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege & his then-fiancée, Abi. They were looking for a unique gift for wedding guests. The couple began playing with fragrance combinations & came up with Pigskin & Prada (leather & white flowers). The parties are priced at $75 per pour & can seat four or five people. Participants can select the fragrance combination, color, name & scripture. The actual pour takes about an hour, participants can then explore the other Cactus Alley Courtyard shops while their candles harden over the course of an additional hour, & then they can take them home. They must refrain from burning the new candles for 24 to 48 hours while they cure.

Popular Fragrance!

Popular Fragrance!

Approximately 80 standard scents are available, & candle sizes include a 2-N-1 Large ($16), Mason Jar ($11), Small ($8), Tarts ($6 – or 3 for $16 & receive a fourth free) & an Air Freshener Kit ($11). Terri’s most popular fragrances include Cactus Alley Cooler, Yaffa & leather blends. Terri also will fill a favorite container for customers for $1.25 per ounce.

Fragrance of Heaven is located in Suites 12 & 13 & is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so stop in & visit with Terri. If you don’t find the perfect scent for your home, she will help you create your own signature fragrance. Also, follow the shop on Facebook, through Terri’s website, www.fragranceofheaven.com, or give her a call at 806-549-1679.

Plan your trip today

Vickie has a vision for Cactus Alley Courtyard’s future. “I want this space to thrive, & I want it to be a place people will come not just to shop, but to hang out, to eat, to listen to music.” She admits she is very selective about the tenants she brings into the Cactus Alley Courtyard. “I want the people here to feel like family & to feel comfortable.”

That management style also influenced the hours for Cactus Alley Courtyard. “I really feel that having a two-day weekend is very important, so we decided it would be best if many of the merchants could be off on Sunday & Monday each week,” Vickie noted. Many shops have exceptions to these days & times, or are willing to extend their hours, so she encourages shoppers to speak with each establishment if they have special requests.

Don’t get trapped in retail chain stores! Visit Cactus Alley Courtyard at 2610 Salem Avenue, where you’ll find everything from hand-crafted cheesecake & personalized t-shirts to trendy wigs & original nail art.

NOTE: We will feature additional Cactus Alley Courtyard stores soon. Keep an eye out for future blogs with information about more great shopping and dining.

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from
Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 806-793-3330
Toll Free: 800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper

www.woodrowhouse.com

 

Love is in the Air!

Standard
Romance Package

Romance Package

I’ve long been a believer that bed & breakfast inns are much more romantic that the traditional hotel, and that makes Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast the ideal spot to stage your Valentine’s Day surprise! Many of our rooms have already booked well in advance of this lovers’ holiday, so act fast to claim a spot. Also, if your favorite room isn’t available for Saturday, February 14th, book the night before and start the romance early on Friday or enjoy a leisurely Sunday and start your week with love!

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

We have a wonderful Romance Package to surprise your sweetheart when you get to your room. Included is your choice of chilled beverage, candlelight and music – all for just $35. Select from a red, white or blush wine or a non-alcoholic sparkling white grape juice and be ready to toast your special someone. Of course, what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Add our hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries for $2 apiece.

Enjoy an in-room massage.

Enjoy an in-room massage.

If you want to pull out all the stops, but are short on time, we can order flowers for you (costs ranges from $75-$125, depending upon the arrangement), and we can even schedule an in-room masseuse for the ultimate luxury. Call us for details & make it a day to remember!

Dinner for Two

Lubbock is home to some of the state’s finest restaurants, so you’ll want to make reservations for a scrumptious dinner. I’ve listed some of my favorite spots below, and I’ve included any special Valentine information provided by these establishments:

Café J

Just a few doors down from Woodrow House, you can’t get any more convenient! Of course, the food is divine and the drink menu is even better.

2605 19th Street

http://www.cafejlubbock.com

806-743-5400

Cagle Steaks & BBQ

John Cagle says the restaurant will be taking reservations for the first time, which if you know anything about this wonderful place is a really big deal.

8732 4th Street

http://www.caglesteaks.com

806-795-3879

Italian Garden

Every dish is made from scratch, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve tried at Italian Garden. Feel free to bring along your favorite bottle of wine – staff will uncork it for you and supply the wine glasses.

1636 13th Street

806-771-2212

La Diosa Cellars

Las Diosa dinner reservations are scheduled for half hour intervals, beginning at 6 p.m. and continuing until 8:30 p.m., with the length of the meal set two hours. The five course dinner is $75 per person, and you can view the menu on their website. Community Lounge seating is available for guest to continue their evening after dinner. The back room is available for walk-ins for $10 per person, but only a select menu will be offered. Entertainment will be provided by the Alma Quartet.

901 17th Street

http://www.ladiosacellars.com

806-744-3600

Manna Bread & Wine

Manna is tucked away in a corner of artsy Cactus Alley, and will offer a prix fixe menu, featuring a five course meal featuring a red pepper-crusted rib eye, along with two optional wine pairings. Enjoy exceptional food and great art work.

2610 Salem Avenue

806-791-5600

Mean Woman Grill

If you’re looking for stick-to-your-ribs food, good music and spirited fun, this is the place for you and your sweetheart!

2103 4th Street

http://www.meanwomangrill.com

806-368-8472

Skyviews of Texas Tech University

It’s hard to think of this unique dining experience as a classroom laboratory, but essentially, that’s what it is. Almost entirely run by Texas Tech students enrolled in the Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management program, patrons will enjoy ambience and unique menus – all under the direction of Executive Chef Matt Tarantino.

6th Floor Texas Tech Plaza

19th Street & University

http://www.depts.ttu.edu/hs/hrm/skyviews

806-742-4762

My Gift to You

I love this lover’s holiday, so I want to share a special recipe with my readers so that you can create your own Valentine magic.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Chocolate Covered Cherries

Ingredients:

40-60 Large Maraschino Cherries with Stems (drained, but not rinsed)

2 Boxes of Powdered Sugar (32 oz.)

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

½ Cup Butter or Margarine

1 Pinch Salt

2 Packages Chocolate Chips (semi sweet or dark)

1 Stick Paraffin (a 16 oz. box has 4 bricks in it. Use 1 brick for 2 bags of chocolate chips – cut, break or shave the paraffin into smaller pieces for faster melting)

Melt the butter slowly and add the milk. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well mixed – this results a dough, that should be chilled easy handling.

Remove only about a quarter of the dough from the refrigerator at a time (it will become soft and begin to stick to your hands). Mold a half dollar-sized amount of dough around each cherry, but leave the stem exposed. (Try to use only enough dough to just cover the cherry to ensure there is not too much candy and not enough cherry or juice. Also, make sure there are no holes in the dough or the juice will leak out. If you need to patch any areas, dip your fingers in water and smooth the area or add a small amount of dough if needed.) Place each dough-covered cherry on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. When the pan is full, place it in the refrigerator or freezer until cherries are very firm. (If you omit the parchment paper, the candies will stick to your cookie sheet – I’ve done it, and it is a mess! If you find you are working too slowly, and your candies are losing their shape, make a few and go ahead and put them in the fridge. I often take two days to make this candy, and when I don’t dip them until the next day, I cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.)

Melt the chocolate chips and paraffin together in the top of a double boiler. Remove from heat. Take a small number of the cherries from the refrigerator at a time (so they don’t soften). Hold the candies by the cherry stem and dip them into the melted chocolate mixture and remove quickly. Place Chocolate Covered Cherries on waxed paper. (If your chocolate starts to firm up, place it back over hot water in your double boiler for a couple of seconds. I leave my pan of hot water on my stove, over a low heat, until I have finished – I guarantee the phone will ring or you will be interrupted by something else.) A small amount of juice may leak out around the stem, but that is okay.

Be sure you store your candies with the stem UP. Keep them tightly covered in the refrigerator (you can buy paper candy cups at hobby stores, along with divider layers for tins and boxes) and take out only a few at a time – if they last long enough….

Variations:

You can replace the cherry with an almond and add 1 can of flaked coconut to the dough to make a Mounds-type candy.

If you omit a center and add chopped pecans to the dough, you’ll have Dreams-type candy.

If you make the dough balls with no center or extra goodies, you have bon-bons.

When making these variations, insert a toothpick deeply into the top of the candies when you form the balls. This aids in dipping the candy. Remove the toothpick after dipping, and drip some melted chocolate over the hole (it makes a cute little decoration on the top of the candy).

ENJOY!

Also, remember to enjoy the entire Valentine weekend – book Friday or Sunday if the room you want isn’t available for Saturday!

A warm reception & a chilled beverage!

A warm reception & a chilled beverage!

Woodrow House Bed & Breakfast

David & Dawn Fleming, Owners/Innkeepers
2629 19th Street
(At corner of Boston Avenue across from
Texas Tech University)
Lubbock, Texas 79410
Phone: 806-793-3330
Toll Free: 800-687-5236
Click to E-mail Innkeeper