And now for something completely different – a travel post! (I believe my one and only, so far).
What soothes the sting of having to leave my eldest child and only daughter at college (go Carson-Newman Eagles)? It’s many things like knowing that her lovely roommate’s parents are only 30 minutes away, that folks at Carson-Newman are characterized by being caring and upbeat, but it’s also knowing that I can stay at a place that is connected to community, is personable, and simply feels like home (except prettier) namely, The Minnis House. It is a place of welcome.
The Minnis House is a delightful B&B in New Market TN about 30 minutes out of Knoxville and just a few miles from the college. If you’re ever in East Tennessee and desire a change from the generic hotel experience, I highly recommend The Minnis House. The proprietors, David and Kim Stapleton, have done a marvelous job with the bed & breakfast, from the front lawn to the side parlor to the rooms. Each is unique, done slightly “up” country and, like the owners, has personality. There is nothing impersonal in your care; they’ll give you everything from the local events to recommendations of places to go or to dine.
Speaking of eating, I love their breakfast. It’s large, country and family style. We had the opportunity to dine with other families (also leaving their children at college). It’s a wonderful way to connect. Each night on our return, we were greeted by one or more of the families out on the porch (and by homemade cookies on the inside). So often in travel, we settle for a grey, generic experience that is consistent and good but disconnected to the community and the people around us. A stay at the Minnis House stands in stark contrast to living within a “me” bubble. I’m reminded of the video Look Up:
While the Minnis House allows your privacy and modern conveniences (Keurig coffee maker if your on the run, wireless access, flat screen TVs with a plethora of networks), it is conducive to conversation, connecting with people and unplugging from things. Every piece of furniture, every room, David and Kim, the outside walkway and porch all encourage being fully present with those around you.
Some logistics – The Minnis House is near some golf courses, Jeffereson City TN and quick access to all in the greater Knoxville area. It’s also near an active railroad track (they have earplugs at the House – I used my in-ear headphones to block the sound). Do call ahead; if there’s a local event, especially one at Carson-Newman, they may be booked up.
Here are ways to contact and connect with the Stapletons and more details on the House:
The Minnis House
939 Churchview Street New Market, Tennessee
A photo slideshow of The Minnis House
David and Kim Stapleton
Owners and Innkeepers
So if you want a beautiful place to stay and a unique experience amongst some friendly people, eschew that chain hotel and join the folks at The Minnis House. You’ll be glad you unplugged from your typical digital life and connected to some wonderful people and experiences.
Bonus – if you’re around during the Christmas season, here’s a taste of what to expect: