Friday, February 1, 2008

A Weekend at the Blue Moon in Homosassa Springs, Florida

My wife and I recently got a weekend without the children for only the third time in fourteen years. We booked two nights at the Blue Moon Bed and Breakfast in Homosassa Springs. Check in is between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m, but because of a late start we knew that we would not arrive in time so we called ahead. The hosts were very accomodating and said it would not be a problem. We arrived after dark and found ourselves on a very dark Fishbowl Road in Homosassa looking for the entrance to the Blue Moon. Fortunately, the gated entryway was well marked with a lighted sign. As we drove up the long narrow driveway, we were pleased to find that it looked very much like the pictures on the website. As soon as we got out of our vehicle, we could hear the pleasant splashing of the fountains.

It turned out that the owners John and Cindi were in charge that weekend. Normally, John's brother and sister-in-law are the hosts, but they were out of town. You enter through a gift shop with artwork done by the owners and their relations. It was immediately evident that John and Cindi were very pleasant and eager for you to enjoy your stay. We checked in and went to our room.

All five guest rooms are upstairs and arranged on either side of a great room that occupies the center of the house from one end to the other. A gas fireplace is at one end. Three rooms are on one side of the great room and two rooms and the kitchen are on the other side. A TV room stocked with movies, books, and a computer is downstairs. If you've brought a laptop or wifi equipped phone with you, there is no need to use the provided computer to access the internet. The house is equipped with a wifi network. I had no problem using it with my laptop or Sue's iPhone. Snacks, hot water for tea, and sodas are all available in the great room and kitchen at no additional charge. Beer , Smirnoff Ice, and bottled water are kept chilled in the refrigerator and are billed on an honor system. The beers were $2.50 each. An unchilled bottle of red wine and white wine are available in the room with wine glasses. I believe the white wine was $14.00 and the red $17.50. They also have a wine list of available wines that you can order before 9:00 p.m.

We stayed in the French room, which is the only one with a king size bed. A large jacuzzi tub and shower are in the bathroom. A battery operated "candle" is provided. Unfortunately, ours wasn't working so we didn't get to try it out. Of course, the room was not quite as large as it appeared in the pictures on the website, but it was large enough. Every room has two doors. One is off the great room and the other is onto a deck that extends along three sides of the house. The French room's outside door opens onto a large section of deck with a table and chairs and a view of the boathouse and water. Unfortunately, the weekend we stayed was cold, damp, and rainy. Otherwise, the deck would have been a perfect place to sit and read. Fortunately, the weather made a great opportunity to enjoy the gas fireplace. You can turn a valve to get a roaring fire or just enough for a warm glow. We were hungry so we left soon after our arrival to look for dinner. The hosts keep brochures and menus on hand for you and they're also happy to recommend restaurants to you.

Breakfast was provided both mornings at about 9:00 a.m. and both mornings it was good. Two coffees were provided --- one flavored and one regular. I don't like most flavored coffees so it was perfect for me. The first morning was blueberry pancakes, but I don't like fruit so John and Cindi made my pancakes plain. The second morning was a crustless quiche with ham and eggs. Breakfast is served at two tables in the great room. Jazz played softly in the background as we ate. We got a separate table to ourselves. Four rooms were occupied with couples. The main table seats six so we got the table for four to ourselves. The couples all seemed to come from within an hour or two drive of Homosassa.

After breakfast, everyone took off for the day. One couple took one of the canoes and paddled to the springs to see the manatees. Another sounded like they might hit a local flea market. The third couple apparently went for a drive. After a short drive around Homosassa Springs, we came back and rented the B & B's pontoon boat for a half day (a reasonable $95.00 including fuel). If you rent a boat be prepared to go nowhere fast, the whole Homosassa River seems to be one long, slow no wake zone due to the manatees. There was even less to historic Homosassa Springs than I expected. I was hoping for some galleries and shops, but I only saw one gallery.

We puttered down to the springs, which are located at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. We didn't make it to the Park this trip, but it comes highly recommended. John said that he goes at least once every year. The park entrance is located on Fishbowl Road right next to the B & B. There were so many kayakers and snorkelers in the Springs that I turned around before getting over them. We still saw manatees though. It is easy to see how they get run over by boats, They swam directly under our slow moving pontoon boat, which provided a good view of them. We putted back up the river towards the Gulf and admired some of the riverfront homes as we went. We stopped for lunch near Monkey Island and then puttered along awhile longer before turning around. We got back just before the rain started in earnest.

One of the other guests was sitting outside in the gardens reading near the fountains. It looked like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. The exterior of the Blue Moon is well landscaped, but the gardens aren't exactly formal. They appear to be planted with native species. There are some nicely babbling fountains near the front entrance. There is a pool around back, but given the weather we never even looked at it so I can't say much about it.

Oddly everyone seemed to gather back in the great room at the same time for naps and relaxation. We had some pleasant conversation with our fellow guests --- an interesting group of people. Cindi and John provided complimentary wine, cheese, and crackers at just the right time. Everyone seemed to disperse at about the same time and head out for dinner. We went to the local mall, which is nice enough but nothing to write home to mom about. We considered seeing a movie but none of the movies were showing at a time that worked. The theatre is hard to find. We drove around the mall several times looking for some sign of the theatre entrance. We finally flagged down a security guard. He told us that you had to enter through one of two Kmart entrances. He apparently gets that question alot.

Unfortunately, the weekend was over all too soon and it was time to head back to the real world. We'll be back. It is a nice spot to spend a romantic weekend for two. We really enjoyed it. We'd like to book it with four other couples that are friends some time. However, being the parents that we are, we kept saying, "We'll have to come back with the kids and show them that," or "The kids would love that." If we go back with the kids, we'll have to find someplace more appropriate for a family.

Blogged with Flock

No comments:

Post a Comment