Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Looking back on 2009!

2009 is coming to a close and part of me is glad is it almost over. The weather has been crazy this year - the third highest in rainfall in many, many years. No surprise here - just ask the many guests who spent their vacation dodging rain drops!The wind has been ferocious. If you are on the top floor you can feel the house sway sometimes. I happen to like the feeling. A few years ago I had a guest who told me he slept on the floor. When I asked him why he said he felt too nervous sleeping in the bed during the high winds because the house felt like it was moving. I guess that some people like it (me!) and some people do not. We had 2 beautiful snow falls here. The first one was during last winter. It was so beautiful seeing snow on the dunes. There was even a snowman on the boardwalk! The 2nd snow fall was just a short time ago. Except for the room cancellations, it was fantastic to see the snow falling. I did not even mind having to shovel the sidewalk! This snowfall was not as deep but just as pretty :) I am hoping that 2010 gets the weather straightened out so it does not snow on the weekend , if it has to rain during the summer only rains after midnight and stops by 6:00 am, and gives us moderate weather for the spring and fall!
Two wonderful events happened in 2009 - both late in the year. I was recently notified by BedandBreakfast.com that Serendipity has been selected as one of the winners for Best in the Mid-Atlantic! To receive this honor in only my 4th year is stupendous and I have my wonderful guests to thank for it. The award is based upon the excellent reviews posted online by my guests during the past year. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I am truly blessed to have such caring guests that took the time to do a review. You can read them at www.bedandbreakfast.com/ocean-city-new-jersey-serendipitybedbreakfast-reviews.html
The other wonderful event is the opening of the Serendipity TeaHouse! The tea house opened the end of October and is open for 4 days a week. I have had a nice response from the locals and hope to be able to operate the tea house for a long time. It combines my love of tea, baking and people into one enterprise - like an extension of the bed and breakfast! It has been a lot of fun for me. Not very many people get to have fun in what they do - I am very fortunate to have found something that I love to do.
Here is the most outlandish request I have had this year. A potential guest called and wanted a room for 3 people. As you know if you have stayed here, my rooms are for 2 people only. When I told her that, she put me on hold for a couple of minutes and then came back and said her husband would sleep on the couch! I almost fell off my chair - in shock! Can you imagine coming down in the morning and some poor guy is snoring in the living room???? I told her that would not work - sorry. Once I got over the shock I realized how funny it was! So sorry - no sleeping overnight on the couch or on the porch or anywhere else except a bedroom!
Thank you for the many great stories you have shared, for your laughter, and for your friendship. I hope that 2010 is a good year for you. May all your hopes and dreams come true.

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Friday, December 11, 2009

Decorating help!

I love the Christmas season and I love to decorate for it. What I do not particularly care for is bringing about 30 totes down from the attic. It is actually a 2 step process. First they all come down from the attic and are lined up in my office/sitting room. Then - one by one - they make the trek from the 3rd floor to the 1st flr for decorating. This year was great - I had help with step 1! Having family visit is great but having them help you out is even better. so between my sisters Deb and Bonnie and my brother Don's family - Marybeth, Andrew who is 10, and Kevin who is 6 - I did not have to do anything with step 1. Not bad :) My nephew Kevin has a fascination with electricity. So I gave him the job of testing the lights. He loved it! Of course his dad, Don, and his aunt, Deb, got called in to help out. But Kevin did a pretty good job of getting the lights straightened out, tested, and ready to be put outside. I figured that Kevin was doing a good job so why not let him finish. He was thrilled when I told him he could do the lights outside - by himself. I got a couple of looks from the adults but the expression on Kevin's face was worth it. And he did a great job. For someone his age to do as much work as he did - he did the railings around the porch and then the bushes - was pretty amazing. So thanks, Kevin!
Not to be outdone, Andrew also was a big help. This time of year Deb covers all the air conditioners. She had the sleeves all ready but needed a 2nd set of hands. Andrew was right there to help out. While Deb climbed the ladder outside, Andrew did the inside work. All the air conditioners got covered in a short amount of time. Don and Marybeth are doing a good job of raising those 2 boys.
So keep them in mind if you need lights strung or other work around the house.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season and if you need work done around the house you have some elves as cute as mine!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Saturday, November 14, 2009

After the storm

I went up on the boardwalk this morning to see the aftermath of Ida. There is some beach erosion - at low tide there was not much beach showing. However, it was not as bad as I expected. The ramp by the Music Pier lost the bottom part but the stairways all appear to be intact. The dunes took a lot of punishment but they did their part in keeping the ocean contained. The boardwalk was not damaged and when I was up there around 10 am this morning there were already open signs! OC merchants are resilient!

Taking a drive along West was not as good. 9th Street is flooded from the bridge to Haven (street in back of McDonalds) and this was about 6 hours after high tide. That area always floods but I have never seen it that bad. Driving sough on West was sad - looking towards the bay most of the roads to about 18th were flooded. You do not realize how much higher Asbury is than West until you see it after a storm. At one point I was nervous about going through water with my RAV4 and there were areas where you just drove in the middle of the road. I turned back at 46th - West was completely flooded there and watching some trucks go through convinced me I did not need to go further!

Going north on West was even worse. I got as far as about 6th or 7th and then turned back - that is how flooded the road still was. Before you buy a house in OC west of Asbury see what the area looks like after a storm....

I had read in the newspaper that the National Guard had been called out. It was strange seeing the trucks in OC.I am glad I live in the area of OC that I do.

Thank you to everyone who called or emailed to see how Serendipity and I were doing! We weathered the storms and the winds rather well and can't wait to see you again!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Living on a Barrier Island

I am really, really tired of rain and storms and more rain. So now we are dealing with remnants of Ida. People on the west side of the island have been asked to voluntarily evacuate. I have not ventured out in this storm - it is really, really windy - up to 60 mph winds - but at other times it is sad to see how flooded the western part of the island gets. I would guess the building/buying on or near marsh land is probably not a good idea.....Ocean City has 2 ways to get directly onto the mainland - either the 9th St/Rt 52 Causeway or the 34th St bridge. Whoops - both closed due to flooding. Hmmmm.....so that means that if you need to leave the idea you use either Longport bridge or the bridge into Strathmere. Ever go through Strathmere during a storm at high tide? Strathmere is so narrow it is not out of the question that the bay and the ocean meet. So now you have Longport. Let's hope that the streets leading to and from that bridge do not flood. So this is what living on an island is all about. You know what - I don't care - I would still never give it up! I am fortunate that it is warm and cozy here at Serendipity. I have electricity, my phone works, and all other appliances. Now if only I could elevate the house so that the basement does not flood! Small price to pay though :) The wind may be whipping now the streets and between the houses but my awnings are down (thanks Rich!), my porch furniture is secure and all the windows close tightly! Living here you really see the magnificence of Mother Nature! What a great place to live!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Craft Shows Galore!

Ocean City has made an effort to give people a reason to come to Ocean City after the summer. If you ask any locals, we will tell you that after the summer is a great time to visit. For those people who do not like crowds, there are less people. In September and into October can be some of the best weather - warm during the day and good sleeping weather at night! Once November hits, I have to admit that fantastic weather days are not too common. We did have a few of those this past weekend and into the beginning of the week. Today Ida is visiting so there are a lot of blustery winds. No rain now so that is a good thing! But enough about the weather! What is going on in OC this weekend. Our first of 2 weekends of Craft Shows! There will be different vendors at each of the shows for the two weekends so you can go to both shows and not see the exact same vendors! The best thing is that the low admission fee of $3.00 goes directly to local charities. So you get to enjoy yourself, buy a few holiday gifts and also know that you have directly helped a local charity! So it is a feel good weekend!
Anyone familiar with Ocean City knows that we have a few, well, let's call them unique weekends. This weekend is one of them. This is our Quiet Festival! There are a number of quiet events such as the pin drop contest. Have you even been to a pin drop contest? If not, then get over to OC this weekend so you can participate. Straight pins or safety pins are both acceptable! You will also get the opportunity to listen to a rendition or two of the only Wind Chime Orchestra. This is a very unique band composed only of wind chimes. Wow - who would have thought! These are just two of the unique and novel Quiet Festival events awaiting you this weekend!
If you cannot make it to OC this weekend, next weekend is the "Earlier than the Bird" downtown shopping extravaganza. Because it starts at 7:00 am, you are invited to shop in your pajamas! Now what other town invites you to shop in your pajamas???? And they are also offering a chance to get a turkey, there will be free coffee and mugs, and lots more. I still have rooms open for that weekend so give me a call. And remember to bring your best jammies!
There is a peacefulness and calmness in Ocean City this time of year. If you need a break from your daily schedule or you need to catch your breath before the holidays, take some time for yourself and visit Ocean City. I'll be waiting for your call!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com
609-399-1554

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Afternoon Tea and Friends!







One of the reasons I opened Serendipity Tea House is that there is not really a place in Ocean City or surrounding areas where you can go for tea and enjoy the company of your friends. The week before I opened a couple of my friends, Jennifer, Jane and Marj, came over and we enjoyed an afternoon of tea, scones, sanwiches and most of all great company! It's nice to have friends that you can try your "creations" on and this group is great at that! We started out with scones - both traditional and flavored. There was "devonshire" cream and strawberry jam to put on the scones. Scones fresh from the oven are the best! These were accompanied by a nice pot of Earl Grey tea - my favorite. Next we had our finger sandwiches. I had made a chicken salad with cranberries and carmelized walnuts on rye bread, a shrimp salad with just a hint of horseradish on multigrain crackers, cream cheese with pineapple and pecans on a cinnamon raisin bread and of course a cucumber sandwich - what afternoon tea would be complete without it???? This sandwich had a vegetable cream cheese spread covered with cucumbers on a whole wheat bread - delicious! Marj could not wait to get to the 3rd course - the sweets! The sweets this day were Serendipity shortbread, strawberry marzipan bars and chocolate pecan toffee bars - my favorites. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon with good friends :)






Here are a couple of pictures courtesy of Jennifer!






Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Introducing the Serendipity Tea House!

Hi!

Exciting news at Serendipity Bed and Breakfast! When I bought Serendipity - almost 4 years ago - one of the things I wanted to do was to open a tea house at Serendipity. I'll save you from the long boring story and go straight to the ending - Serendipity Tea House will be opening on Wednesday, October 28, 2009! I am really excited that everything finally came together. And I have been really busy getting ready. One of the first things you will notice is my new sign. Since I needed a sign for the tea house I decided to get a completely new sign for both the bed and breakfast and the tea house. The next time you visit, not only will you see the new porch but now there is a new sign to go along with it! The tea house will be open 4 days - Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 2 - 4 pm. The menu is still being finalized but there will be an afternoon tea with scones, tea sandwiches and sweets - and a pot of tea of course! Or if you are not that hungry there will be an option for a creme tea or a sweet tea. So be sure to keep checking here - or better yet, why not come and see for yourself. Come any day between 10/28 and 11/30/09, tell me you read about the tea house in my blog and you will get 20% off your order. In fact, this will be good for up to 4 people in your party! Or best of all - stay overnight at Serendipity and get 20% off at any time! Can't wait to open and I sure do hope to see you!

Karen

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

Survey from I Love Inns

Hi!



Iloveinns.com is a website that obviously is all about inns and bed and breakfasts. They also sponser the book about Inns which offers a buy one night get one night free certificate for over 1100 inns/B&B's. So why am I bringing this up? I Love Inns is conducting a survey to get demographics for B&B guests. If you fill out the survey - which only takes a couple of minutes - you can get a Buy One Night get the Second One Free coupon. So other than the few minutes it takes to do the survey, it is an easy way to get one of these certificates without buying the book! If you would like to participate in the suvery go to http://www.iloveinns.com/innsurvey.php?id=88 It is anonymous and only takes a couple of minutes. Here are instructions on getting the free night certificate. http://www.iloveinns.com/innsurvey.php?id=87

Thanks for helping out and enjoy your one night free stay at one of the over 1100 participating inns and bed and breakfasts!





Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Times at Serendipity!

I like to think that any time you are at Serendipity it is a happy time but some times are happier than others! In August we had a great weekend. Fred called a weeks before to say he was looking for a room for a weekend in August. He was going to propose to his girlfriend and wanted it to be a special weekend. I am always happy to be part of a wonderful event like that!. So Fred and Maia checked in on a Friday night and the next morning I am expecting to see a ring on her finger. They come down for breakfast, a little bit of chatting, but no showing off a new ring. Hmmmm...cold feet? Hopefully she didn't say no - now that would have made for an awkward weekend! Then they mentioned that they were going to a special restaurant in Cape May that night. Wait until you hear about the proposal. Talk about romantic.......After dinner Fred announced that he wanted to go on a carriage ride. Maia thought that was a bit odd, but it was fine with her. Unfortunately there was an hour wait. Fred had called inquiring about reservations but they do not take reservations. So they waited - and Fred said he was starting to get a bit nervous. Towards the end of the ride the carriage had to stop at a red light. Fred immediately went down on one knee and proposed - and Maia said yes! By the way, the carriage driver told them that the week before there had been a proposal in his carriage but the girl said no. Ouch.....But all was well with Fred and Maia. And at breakfast on Sunday Maia had a beautiful ring on her finger and they had a great story to tell! It is great to be part of some one's happy memories :)

Also at Serendipity that weekend was Paul and Michelle. About a year and a half ago they got engaged on the boardwalk in Ocean City. When they had checked in that night Paul seemed awfully anxious to get settled and then get to the boardwalk. It was evening and they were going to get some Mack and Manco pizza. Since they have been here numerous times, Michelle and I were chatting while Paul got the bags in, car parked etc. The next morning I found out why Paul was so nervous - he had proposed to Michelle on the boardwalk - I believe it was in the Children's Pavilion - and she accepted. When they arrived for their stay this year they announced that they were having a baby arriving probably in November. How wonderful for them!

It was a weekend filled with happy news. I hope that every one's stay at Serendipity is as happy as it has been for Fred and Maia and Paul and Michelle!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Washing Machine Blues

I really do wish that Washing Machine Blues referred to a song but sadly it refers to my poor 4 year old (purchased 5/2005) being laid to rest. That happening during the hgh season is a bit stressful but it happening to a machine that is only 4 years old is really aggravating. The saga started on Sunday when I went to put the first load of the day into the dryer. Hmmm....guess I overloaded the washer since these towels are very wet. So I took out a few towels, ran the final spin and they are still very wet. OK, so I must have really overloaded the washer. Took out even more towels. Did this 2 more times until I finally could no longer ignore what was happening - the washer was not spinning. Great - 4th of July weekend, a Sunday, could the service call be any higher????? Decide that this can wait until tomorrow - during regular business hours. Next morning around 6:45 am (you mean that is not a regular business hour?) I call and get a real person on the phone. He says he will be out that morning and 15 minutes later he is in my laundry room. Fantastic I think - I'll have my machine fixed before breakfast! Not so fast - he didn't realize how "new" the machine was. Of course it is a computerized part that is bad so he will be back that afternoon. And he really does come back early afternoon. However, news is not so good. If the board he has does not work, the part I need is NLA - in layman's terms that means "no longer available". How can that be???? The machine is only 4 years old. Obviously it was not a good year for that machine. And of course the board does not work. So now I am 2 days behind in wash. I call the local appliance store - Johnsons -tell him my sad tale. The appliance repair guy, Tom, tells me which washer I want and naturally he needs to talk to the guy on the phone since I want to be sure I get the right washer. Things are good until I am told it will be delivered Wednesday. No, I say, I need it tomorrow - Tuesday (which would be day 3 with no washer). I agree to take the floor model - let's face it, it's not as though you actually try out a washer so of course it has not been used. True to his word, Johnson's Appliance delivers Tuesday afternoon! So thank you to Tom from Johnson's Appliance and Tom from Ulmers Appliance Repair. I have now (Wednesday) done about a million loads of wash and just as bad, folded that million loads. 2 left to go and we can start out fresh! When something like this happens I always hope that none of the guests are aware of the "back office" problems. Because I made sure that I always had 3 sets of sheets for each bed and twice as many towels as needed, I actually did not run out of any linens. Sometimes it pays to be overly prepared :) So don't tell anyone about the no washer for 3 days - it can be our secret!

Karen
Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Friday, July 3, 2009

Serendipity on CBS 3!

On Wednesday Serendipity got a few seconds of fame - we were mentioned on CBS3 morning show and also at the end of the noon news! So how did this all happen??? CBS3 was doing a live broadcast at the Music Pier on Wednesday called At the Shore and Ukee Washington was the anchor down here. He called the previous day to reserve a room since he needed to be up on the boardwalk by about 4:00 am - even earlier than I have to get up! Of course I was excited that he was staying here! Ukee is the nicest person - he is the same person you see on TV. Very personable and yes, he is just as good looking in person as he is on TV! When he checked in we were talking about his assignment the next day and he said if I gave him a Serendipity Tshirt he would hold it up during the show. Of course I jumped at the chance! He forgot the Tshirt for the morning show - who can blame him. If I had to get up at 4:00 am I wouldn't be thinking about a Tshirt either but he did mention having a good night's sleep at Serendipity. Between the morning show and the noon news he came back for breakfast and brought Maria LaRosa with him. She is also a very nice and genuine person and yes, guys, she looks just as pretty in person as she does on TV. They both had breakfast - the Italian frittata, muffin of the day was cinnamin pecan - before they went back for the noon broadcast. And at the end of the broadcast, Ukee held up the Serendipity Tshirt and said "Serendipity Bed and Breakfast, check it out!" So that was our little bit of fame. Not bad :) I also had both Ukee and Maria sign the menu. Ask to see it the next time you are here. And I am thinking of getting a placque to put on the house saying "Washington slept here"!
Have a great 4th of July and don't forget to make your summer resevations!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A rainy day in Ocean City

Although we try very hard never to have a rainy day in Ocean City - late night/early mornng rain is acceptable! - we have been seeing much too much rain during the day lately. So once you have walked the boardwalk, stopped in the stores and shopped Asbury Avenue, what else is there to do? Go for a drive and visit Teaberry Antiques, Collectibles and Gifts on Rt 9 in Clermont. It is a fun store to browse. There are over 65 dealers who have booths set up there so there really is something for just about any taste! What I like best is that the store is pretty new so it is bright and clean! I am not into those antique stores where you have to dig through years of dust to see what something looks like. There are some items that are new, others that are not. Everything is very well organized, the aisles are wide enough that you can browse without being in someone's way. There is also a small eating area where they sell sandwiches, drinks, bagels, etc. Nothing too fancy.

Right next to Teaberry's is one of my favorite stores - Cape May Wicker. Just ask me and I will show you what I have purchased there. Besides furniture, there are candles, silk flowers, wreaths and lots of other things. Those who were here early spring may have seen the butterfly attached to my porch railing. I purchased that at Cape May Wicker. You never know what you are going to find when you go there.

Across the street is Woodland Village and Garden Greenhouse. More shops to browse! If you enjoy gardening, check out the plants and flowers in the Greenhouse. A lot of it is under cover so you can still browse and stay dry!

So the next time you are at Serendipity and a rain cloud creeps under our protective umbrella, don't think there is nothing to do! Just ask me for directions to Teaberry's!


Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Restaurant Week in Ocean City

Hi!

Starting today, 5/28 and going through 6/7/09, is Ocean City's Restaurant Week. Now is a great time to try out the restaurants. They have specials going on - Lunch special is $10.09 and Dinner special is $20.09. This includes entree dessert and beverage for lunch and soup/salad, entree, dessert and beverage for dinner. I had dinner at Scully's tonight and let me tell you, the dinner was fantastic! I had the flat iron steak for my entree. Dinner started with a delicious salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and a bunch of other things :) The entree - cooked medium rare to perfections - served with au gratin potatoes and fresh asparagus. The dessert was a cappucinno chocolate creme brulee. It just melted in your mouth. All of that for only $20.09 plus tax & gratuity. It also included my beverage of choice - iced tea. I wish I could go out every night of restaurant week! So come on over to Ocean City and see how many places you can eat at during Restaurant Week in Ocean City!

Karen

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com
609-399-1554

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ocean City voted #1 beach in NJ!!!!

We all knew it but now it is official - Ocean City has been voted the number 1 beach in NJ! We were also given the number 1 title for best day trip and best eco-tourism. It feels great to be number 1! Just wanted to share this with all my blog friends and encourage you to come and vist the Number ONE Beach in New Jersey - Ocean City!

I still have one room available for Memorial Day weekend. Ocean Breeze is feeling lonely and is looking for someone to stay in it for the weekend. Give me a call - 609-399-1554 - to book it. First call gets to spend the Memorial Day weekend at the Number One Beach in New Jersey!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tea at the Carriage House

Last week while my friend, Linda, was here, we went to Cape May to the Carriage House at the Emlen Physick House to have afternoon tea. A word of warning - afternoon tea starts at 2 pm and the last seating is at 3 pm. Don't be late! The tea is held in a tent connected to the Carriage House. There were a couple of tables inside but the majority of the tables are in this tent. The tea price was pretty reasonable - $15.50. Here is what we had! First we choose our tea from a list of offerings. Linda had the peach and ginger and I had a green tea with fruit flavors - there was a taste of pineapple. A teapot was brought out for each of us - and we both had a refill while we were eating. A 3 tiered serving dish was brought out. The top plate had 2 pieces of a lemon bread which was very good, 2 pieces of a blueberry bread and 2 tiny scones with a small dish of clotted cream. The clotted cream was good, the scone could have been larger.
The second tier had 3 different sandwiches. The sandwiches were cut in half, not in quarters like I had expected. There was the obligatory cucumber sndwich, a shrimp sandwich and a chicken salad sandwich. The chicken salad was served on a raisin bread. It sounds strange but it was a good taste.
The third plate was the delicious plate - the dessert plate! There were 2 slections. One was a lemon bar - very good and the other was a caramel apple - even better! It was a very relaxing tea. Even though we were about the last to go, we were not rushed.
We had a nice afternoon. After th tea we went into Cape May and did some browsing in the stores in the Washington Mall. Always fun to do!
Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Friday, May 8, 2009

Martin Mollask predicts summer to come early!

Thursday was Martin Mullask Day. What - you are not familiar with Martin? Let me tell you about him. Martin is a hermit crab that predicts if summer will come one week early in Ocean City. Note well the disclaimer that this prediction is ONLY good for Ocean City, not for any other town in the US. If Martin sees his shadow then summer will come one week early. And guess what - Martin saw his shadow! Thursday started kind of dark and dreary - like many of the other days that we have seen lately. And I swear to you, as I was walking up to the boardwalk to witness Martin's prediction, the sun started to come out! The sun played hide and seek until just before Martin was to be released and then the sun came out in full strength!!!! And yes, Martin saw his shadow. I can't wait - summer will be here one week early! So hurry and make those summer reservations. Summer will be here one week early!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May's Sleep, Eats and Treats in OC!

Hi!

Has it stopped raining yet??? When I wake up and hear the rain, I feel like pulling the blanket over my head and going back to sleep. So I was thrilled to hear that we have some days of sun in the near future! Ah, sun, beautiful sun To be honest, we have had some days of no rain, but it has not been sunny, so in my book that does not count. To celebrate the return of the sun, Serendipity is offering a pretty much all-inclusive special. Stay any 2 days - Sunday through Thursday - receive 2 nights lodging, 2 great breakfasts, a delicious meal at Scully's Asbury Cafe, pizza at Mack and Manco, and a small bucket of Johnson's caramel corn - for only $335! Wow, 2 nights at Serendipity, 2 breakfasts at Serendipity, 2 meals - 1 at Scully's and 1 at Mack and Manco, and Johnson's caramel corn to munch on. In fact, to make this special even more special, stay a 3rd night and pay only $100! If you can't make it during the week, take this same special for only $30 more for your weekend stay. If you already have a May reservation, thank you! Give me a call or send me an email, tell me you want the May special, and I will add this to your reservation! Sorry, this does not apply to Memorial Day weekend but it does apply to every other day in May! Hope to see you this May!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring Block Party in Ocean City!

Hi!

Spring Block Party, the first weekend of May, officially opens the season for Ocean City. The weather could have been a bit more cooperative. Sweatshirts were definitely needed and every now and then you also needed an umbrella - or at least a hood on that sweatshirt! Normally you can hardly move - the street is so packed. Not today. While there were a lot of people, I think a lot stayed away. After the past 2 awesome weekends, this weekend was a let down. You have to feel sorry for the people doing the show. I used to do them and I know the feeling when the weather is bad. There were some who did not show. While there were a number of people, I did not see a lot of people with bags. A lot of lookers....Probably a bit of a comment on the economy. The other thing is that the food places were not inundated with people. No long lines. Actually, the 2 places I went there was no line at all! There seemed to be a lot of jewelry and stained glass. More stained glass than I remember from past years. I did not buy anything and I only went down around 3-4 blocks. I really went there to get lunch :) And it was good - a cheesesteak sandwich from Donkey's (unfortunately they forgot to hold the onions) and then some red crab soup from Ikes. It started to rain a bit - not much, just enough to put up my hood for a few minutes - so I decided to head on home. I stopped at my friends Marj and Harmon - they own Brown's Nostalgia - on the way back. Had a nice hot cup of tea, a couple of cookies an hour or two of great conversation! I've been lucky to make some nice friends since I moved to Ocean City. So that was the block party. I'm filled tonight so I am a happy camper - and that is also the reason I could take the afternoon off to go to the Block Party and visit! Life is good in Ocean City!
Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is it summer???

Can you believe the fantastic weather we have been having? 90 degrees in April? Believe me, after all the rain we have had, we definitely deserved to have good weather. The beach and boardwalk have been crowded. Even with 50 degree water there have some brave (read crazy) people who have even gone in the ocean! One of the best things about the shore is the great breezes we have. So even with the high temp it was still comfortable here. Amazing what a cool breeze can do! This week is Spring Block Party - keep your fingers crossed for nice weather, especially on Saturday when the crafters are here. I'm filled on Saturday night but I still have room on Friday and Sunday. You could come here Friday, have a great afternoon, sleep well and have a fantastic breakfast then check out and attend the craft fair. There will also be sales on the boardwalk both Saturday and Sunday. Something for every shopper!

Stayed tuned for more Serendipity news. I'm creating a special for May which will be almost all inclusive - includes coupons for dining and a treat also. And - big news - Serendipity is going to be even greener. But that is a subject for other blogs Just a teaser to keep you coming back!

See you soon!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Doo Dah parade in Ocean City, NJ!

HI!

Ocean City, NJ loves to be a bit off center. And the Doo Dah Parade is one of our most fun parades! For those not familiar with Doh Dah, it is to celebrate the end of tax season. It is held the weekend after 4/15. This is the big weekend!And if you want to come and stay at Serendipity B&B it is not too late! Suite Dreams is available for the entire weekend and Ocean Breeze is available for Saturday night. Call me - 609-399-1554 or book online at http://www.webervations.com/magic-scripts/resbook.asp?memberid=SerendipityBB&cbp=bbonline So this is what happens. In keeping with the off beat, basset hounds are the stars! On Friday at 1 pm they have the Basset Hound Olympics. Can you imagine basset hounds leaping over hurdles? It does require a lot of imagination! The Doo Dah Parade starts at noon on Sturday. It is just a silly parade, something to make people laugh. There is the hobo band, the wind chime band - you can be part of that. Just bring your wind chimes! The ACUA (our reclyclers) Precision Drill team will be marching with recyling materials and the Century 21 Alliance team will have a Broom Brigade - stopping ocassionally to sweep clean the street. There are a number of other, um, unique marching entries, and then the parade has about 400-500 basset hounds ending the parade. It is a lot of fun to watch!
But -the fun does not stop with the parade. Did I mention that Bill Dana (Jose Jimenez) is the Grand Marshall? Even better is the appearance of Soupy Sales. Volunteers, sitting in the bleachers, will shove shaving cream pies into the faces of other participants. Funny? Oh yeah! Then there is a comedy show at the Music Pier Saturday night featuring Bill Dana and other comedy routines. Dessert is included in the $10 ticket price. If this sounds like fun - and you want to get into the fun - give me a call. I have 2 couples who come every year - they wouldn't miss it! And yes, Todd, I will make brownies :) The weather report for this weekend is great. It should be a great day. Check back tomorrow to hear what Ocean City is doing to celebrate Earth Day!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

After the weekend....

Here it is Monday and you would think the frenzy of the weekend never happened. Even on Saturday when it was cold, rainy and dreary the parking lot on 9th was filled. People who were here for the Easter weekend were not going to let rain spoil their time in magical Ocean City! Another thing that drew the people to the boardwalk was the Easter Egg hunt. Because of the weather the actual Easter egg hunt was postponed to Sunday afternoon. However, so as not to disappoint the children who would not be here on Sunday, they handed out Easter eggs at the Music Pier. Now that is going above and beyond - but that is why they call Ocean City America's #1 Family Resort! Of course, once they got the people to the boardwalk, they walked around, browsed the stores and ate the food! Then some of those people got to do it all again on Sunday - and this time the weather cooperated! So again the parking lots on 9th were filled and many people were enjoying the beautiful day. The weather is still holding - a little cold - but the sun is shining, the sky is a beautiful color of blue, the birds are chirping and all is well!
Last fall Deb planted some bulbs out front. The crocuses bloomed a few weeks ago. It is always so optimistic to see the crocuses poking their heads out - almost as though they are checking to see if it is safe to bloom! The daffodils are in full bloom now and they look so regal! There are also small blue flowers blooming among them - maybe a different type of crocus? You know better than to ask me! I'll ask the gardnerer when she comes the end of the month:) To make the garden area complete there is a large butterfly (not real) attached to the porch. I am surprised it has lasted as long as it has with all the wind and rain we have had. It adds to the color of the garden - and you know I always love that people stop and look at the garden and house!
I hope everyone has a great day today. I plan to take advantage of the great weather!


Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Friday, April 10, 2009

New place in town!

A new restaurant opened in town on Thursday. It is called Ocean City Seafood Company and is located on the corner of 9th and Central - where Kibbutz used to be. Chef Paul expects to be open year round. It will be great having a seafood restaurant that is open year round in OC. Right now when a guest wants a seafood dinner, I generally send them over to Somers Point to Crab Trap or Anchorage. I went to OC Seafood Company yesterday - opening day - for lunch. I read in the paper that they were opening and wanted to see what it was like before the weekend. I had a cup of cream of crab soup - very good and creamy! They also make one that is a tomato base - which I did not try. I imagine it is like a Manhattan chowder. I then had a crab cake sandwich which is served on a Bennie's roll (from Bennies Bread on Asbury). Very good - a different type of crab cake in that is is kind of creamy. Philadelphia magazine named it Best of the Shore. The sandwich comes with coleslaw and fries. The cole slaw is very good - I am particular about cole slaw and I loved it! I was talking to Chef Paul and told him I owned Serendipity B&B, just up the street from him. He also gave me sample of their chicken salad. It is made with candied walnuts which give it a really nice taset - a bit sweet but not too sweet. He also gave me some potato salad to try. It was good but I am not a big potato salad person. My mother made the best :) I will definitely recommend this place. Deb and Bonnie - a new place to try out next time you are down here. I have not had any of the dinners so between the 3 of us we can try 3 of the dinners. I know that you will be honest in your review! This is not to say I will be abandoning Scully's. I still think Scully's has great food. Depending upon my dinner critics we just may have another place to recommend! The great thing about spring is that there are more choices for dinner!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting close to the weekend and this time of the year that means guests coming! Although the weather report for Saturday is not great, you never know about OC. We try and keep a bubble over the island, letting in just enough rain for the flowers to grow - or at least that is what we do in the summer - lol. We have had soooo much rain lately. I am tired of looking out the window and seeing gray skies. Enough already!!!!! So right now the sun is shining. Let's hope it continues all day. I have a guest coming in today and I would so like to have the sun shining for her!

Time for a late breakfast and then a walk on the boardwalk to celebrate this beautiful day!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com

Monday, April 6, 2009

Serendipity goes to Atlanta!

Hi!
I spent last week in Atlanta at an innkeeper conference sponsored by PAII - Professional Association of Innkeepers International. This is a professional group that I belong to. PAII is great because being an innkeeper I do not have "coworkers" to help me out or to bounce ideas off of. PAII fills that void. Once a year they sponsor a conference which I try and go to. It helps me to stay on top of what is going on in the lodging world. That helps me to make Serendipity a better place for you and me! There were 2 big topics at the conference - technology and going green. Stay tuned to see how Serendipity is greening! Technology had to do with Tweeter and blogging - so here we go with the inaugural blog! So I hope you enjoy it. Let me know if there is anything you would like to see written here - otherwise it will just be things I feel like commenting on.
Check back tomorrow to see what's new in Ocean City, NJ!

Karen
Serendipity Bed and Breakfast
[email protected]
www.serendipitynj.com