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Buckhorn Inn Hosts Famous Guest

The Red Chair

These last few days It has been our pleasure to host a visit from the official symbol of the Professional Association of International Innkeepers–The Red Chair.  The Red Chair is on a nine-month journey that started in Maine and will finish in California in 2014. Red, as we familiarly refer to him, confided confidentially to me that the Smokies has been his favorite destination so far.  We have a story for you about his visit to Buckhorn. 

The Red Chair Gets a Paint Job  The Red Chair arrived tired at Buckhorn Inn after his weeks of traveling and longing for the Orange Chair that had kept him company at his previous stop at Creekwalk Inn. 

The Red Chair Gets a Paint Job

The Red Chair Gets a Paint Job

We offered him a Blue Chair who was visiting but he said “My heart belongs to Orange.”  He was slightly unkempt and grouchy, so we decided a day in our workshop would do him good.  (I know I always feel better after a day getting “fixed-up” at the beauty salon.)  Hugo tightened up his loose bits and gave him a coat of matching red paint and he professed himself ready to face the world again after a quick look in the mirror. 

The Red Chair Arrives

The Red Chair Arrives

The Red Chair Officially Arrives  Red had been admitted to the Inn via the back entrance when he arrived  because he said “I don’t want anyone looking at me until I get a paint job.”  So, we asked him nicely to make his entrance official by coming in the front door, which is the most popular place among our guests for picture taking because of the sign that says “Buckhorn Inn.”  A bit vain, Red preened for the photo and we had to show him several versions before he was satisfied with this photo shown here.  Doesn’t he look great?  Well, at least that was Red’s opinion.

The Red Chair Dines with Company The Red Chair Dines with Friends  “What I want is a good dinner with great service and ambience.  An excellent wine list would also be welcome,”  Red demanded (or asked politely depending on who is telling the story.)  Innkeeper John Mellor told Red he had come to the right place as Buckhorn is the only inn in the area that serves dinner nightly.  He gave Red the best seat in the house and comped him for this fine dinner, Red having pointed out that he is, after all, the Official Ambassador of our national Bed and Breakfast association.  As all of us who have been lucky enough to know, Red makes friends wherever he goes and here at Buckhorn he soon became the center of attention.  Crowds got a little too friendly at times with some of our guests actually wanting to sit on him!  Red did invite the Buckhorn Bears One and Two to have dinner with him because they just adored him.  Buckhorn Bear One said of him “Red is so tall and handsome—I just can’t take my eyes off him.”  Buckhorn Bear Two had tears in her eyes when Red had to leave the next morning.

The Red Chair Meditates 015The Red Chair Meditates  After a hearty breakfast with a menu just chocked full of delicious choices, Red said he wanted a little time to himself to unwind before going on to his next stop.  Innkeeper Lee Mellor suggested that a visit to Rachael’s Labyrinth for a little meditation and a walk through the Inn’s gardens would be just the ticket.  “The gardens aren’t the best during the winter season but our three perennial gardens really show their stuff in the spring, summer and fall.  Of course, we have so many evergreen bushes—like native rhododendrons and azaleas—that the walk around the property and through our own nature trail is a visual pleasure year round.”  (Lee likes to brag.)

The Red Chair Feeds the Swans 010Red Feeds the Swans  Red’s favorite stop on his walk (I use this term “walk” figuratively as he was actually transported about on one of our golf carts) was Buckhorn Pond.  Why?  “Well,” he said, this is a beautiful, peaceful pond where I could spend several hours just sitting on the bench but the sight of two beautiful swans swanning about came as a big surprise.  Fortunately, my driver had brought a good supply of lettuce for Swans Pentu and Teller (get the joke?—they are mute swans). “  As pointed out previously, Red makes friends wherever he goes and he and Pentu and Teller were soon trading stories and cracking jokes.

Red Says Goodbye  It was hard to say “tata” to Red, but we understood he had his work to think of, pleasurable as it is, and we couldn’t be selfish with his company.  After all, he had given up his love for The Orange Chair because of his responsibilities.  Like Buckhorn Bear 2, we had a tear or two our eyes as Red made his departure but we comforted ourselves with the knowledge that he was being delivered into the warmth, comfort and charm of our neighbors at Foxtrot Bed and Breakfast.