by Jan Davies McDermott on November 1st, 2012

More than 400 Inns and B&Bs throughout North America will open their doors to active and retired military and vets and one guest and say "thank you" for your service by offering a complimentary room to those who’ve served in the military on Sunday, November 11, 2012. However, rooms are offered on a space available basis, and there are far more deserving vets than B&B space allows. Offers are updated daily and may be sorted by state/province, so check back often and scroll down for participating inns and B&Bs.  To learn more about how to find a participating inn or B&B and more details about the requirements to participate go to www.bedandbreakfast.com..

Davies House Inn participated in this event last year, and is pleased to be able to welcome Veterans again this year.  Please contact us to determine availability.  When making your reservation, please advise us of any mobility concerns requiring first floor accommodation.  We look forward to your visit.  And, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! 

by Jan Davies McDermott on November 1st, 2012


The latest craze at University of Michigan - Hail to the Victors from Around the World.  We're filming at Davies House Inn, too!.  Will you be part of the craze?  Watch here:  http://youtube/uGNnd4JIUZo   or watch Davies House Inn's video, which ends with Hail to the Victors: http://vimeo.com36411469

by Jan Davies McDermott on September 28th, 2012

Davies House Inn welcomed Buzzy Gordon, award-winning writer, now specializing in travel on his recent trip to Ann Arbor.  With more than 35 years' experience as a reporter, commentator, editor, translator, lecturer and researcher, he brought his discrimminating eye to the inn. No white gloves, thank goodness, but a keen eye for every detail. 

Mr. Gordon has lived and worked on five continents, been to 75+ countries and is fluent in several languages.  A perceptive and thorough interviewer, his comparative experience brought new perspective, welcome observations, and practical suggestions.    

We talked for hours.  I especially loved hearing about his travels, particularly throughout Asia.  Now living is Western Michigan, between Fennville and  Sagatuck, he'll be submitting his article to the online blog: Hotel-scoop.com. 

by Jan Davies McDermott on September 27th, 2012

When a Zingerman's catalog arrives in the mail, foodies nationwide salivate over the Ann Arbor, Mich., company's baked goods, from crusty French breads to melt-in-your-mouth coffeecakes.

The recipes are secret, of course -- except to students who enroll in Zingerman's Bakehouse baking classes. The two-day and four-day programs, called "bake-cations," provide intense hands-on instruction in making some of the eatery's most popular offerings.

The bakehouse, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this month, is part of a family of Zingerman's eateries in the Ann Arbor area, including a delicatessen, coffeehouse and roadhouse restaurant.

"Zingerman's is definitely one of the places that has put Ann Arbor on the map as far as a destination for great food," said Mary Kerr, president of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. "People from near and far come to Zingerman's for the classes they offer."

Students in the four-day program, which costs $1,000, can specialize in breads, pastries or a combined "world tour" course of international baked goods. Two-day courses, at $500, focus on either pastries or breads.

Bake-cation classes are limited to 12 students to allow for one-on-one instruction, and Zingerman's staff members take care of measuring the ingredients and cleaning up afterward.

"The instruction is in sound techniques that one can apply to any other recipe, so if you learn how to laminate a dough properly, it improves your baking skills for the rest of your life, and that's an invaluable skill set to build," said Shelby Kibler, Bakehouse principal. "Whether it's kneading or shaping or cutting or understanding the fundamentals of bread or pastries, the instruction that we give is fundamental."

A typical four-day bread class includes quick breads, such as muffins and flatbreads; straight doughs, such as pretzels, challah and multi-grain breads; naturally leavened sourdough breads; and pre-fermented yeast breads, such as French baguettes.

Students especially enjoy making the Jewish rye bread, Kibler said, because most of them have tasted it on the well-known Zingerman's Reuben.

Pastry classes also cover a wide range of recipes, from chiffon cakes to pie crusts to cream puffs.

Zingerman's also offers more than 50 one-time classes, which focus on a single recipe or technique -- such as "Bakin' with Bacon" and "Cinn-ful Cinnamon Rolls." These classes last three to five hours and usually cost $75 to $125.

If all of that sounds too intimidating, don't worry. Zingerman's classes are open to students of all skill levels, even those who don't know how to use a measuring cup.

"We try to make it comfortable for beginners, so they're not overwhelmed and don't feel behind," Kibler said. "We're giving detailed instructions on the whole process."

In the meantime, more experienced bakers can work on refining their skills.

Two-day classes are the most action-packed and intense, Kibler said. The four-day classes, while still busy, allow for a bit more flexibility and fun -- including short excursions to the deli and roadhouse.

"I think it's a valuable experience to go and hang out and taste things," Kibler said. "To me that's the best part, seeing all the wonderful foods gathered in one place and being able to taste them."

Thinking of coming to take a Zingerman's class? Reserve lodging space at one of Ann Arbor's delightful Bed and Breakfasts. Davies House Inn is closest to the training site and offers a luxurious Jacuzzi Queen Suite with a kitchenette, a slightly smaller Queen Suite with fireplace and kitchenette, a first floor Queen Suite with private bath, or economical Standard Rooms that share a bath. Fill out your inquiry for availability on the contact page. Come and get your hands dirty!

Reprinted article by Ashley Petry of the Indy Star.

by Jan Davies McDermott on September 20th, 2012


by Jan Davies McDermott on August 28th, 2012

                          . . . .  reprinted from annarbor.com

 Whether you’re rooting on the Maize and Blue, or you’re in town for a bit of friendly competition and Big House energy, you’re sure to have a great time tailgating in Ann Arbor. If you’ve never been before, it’s best to plan ahead - as arrival can be overwhelming for those that don’t. Here is a list of ‘tailgating tips’ for visitors: 
 
1. Parking and Transportation:  ‘FootballRide’ is a shuttle service offered by the AATA on Football Saturdays.  Tickets are $1.50 each way/$3 round trip, and they run every 20 minutes before and after games. There are a number of shuttle pick-up and ticket purchase locations, all of which are detailed on TheRide’s FootballRide page.
 
2. Arrive Early: Be aware that most lots open at either 6:00 am or 7:00am, and they fill up fast. You cannot chose where you park in most lots. They place you as you come in - so plan a flexible set-up. Here is a comprehensive list of parking options and rules at U of M.
 
3. Tailgating Hot Spots: The most well-known places to set up shop are at the Pioneer High School lot (kitty-corner to the stadium), the U of M Golf Course, and AA Golf & Outing (both are right across the street from the stadium). Be prepared to pay between $40 - $50 dollars per vehicle for these prime peices of real-estate.
 
4. Michigan Marching Band: They practice at Elbel Feild, and it's tradition for families, students and fans to go and watch them on Friday night before the game (4:45pm) or the day of the game (7:30am). The drum line does their traditional 'Step Show' about an hour an a half before the game on the steps of Revelli Hall and shortly after, the entire band does the musical 'March to the Stadium' down Hoover St., turning left on Greene and into the 'Big House.'
 
5. There's an App for that! Seriously. The MGoBlue2 mobile app, available for Android and iOS, allows you to see team stats, and scores, and keep up with audio and video during game. Even if you're from the visiting team, it's a great way to stay on top of what's going on while you're in town. You can hear pre-game coverage on local radio station WWJ (950 AM).
 
6. Stock Up with Local Brews: There are several stores that carry beers bottled and brewed here in Ann Arbor. Keep an eye out for Wolverine State Brewing Company, Arbor Brewing Company, Jolly Pumpkin and others. Most party stores in the area carry them, including larger stores like Meijer, Whole Foods, and Busch's (don't forget to stock up with plenty of water too, and be aware of where you're allowed/not allowed to drink).
 
7. Gear Up: If you're looking to dress the part, you can get U of M gear at a number of stores in the downtown area, including the M-Den, Elmo's Main Street T-shirts, Moe's Sports Shop and Underground Printing. For those on visiting teams looking for last minute party favors, you may have luck at Dick's Sporting Goods or Dunham's Sports, with locations nearby. There's also a Champs Sports located in the Briarwood Mall.
 
8. Where to eat: It's true, not everyone is a master of the grill. If you're arriving early, get donuts at Washtenaw Dairy. If you're looking for a meal before or after the game, many alums crowd to Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burger or Zingerman's Deli for nostalgia-driven hunger, so plan ahead if you're going (there is usually a line, but many say that the wait is worth it). There's also BTB Burrito, Amer's Mediterranean Deli, or the Original Cottage Inn  (for pizza). Here's comprehensive list of restaurants where you can search by food type, location & price range.
 
9. Don't have a ticket? It's ok! You can still have a great time watching the game at many of Ann Arbor's sports bars and brew-pubs. There's an insane beer selection at Ashley's Pub. The energy of friendly rivalry is often unmatched at Conor O'Neill's. Due to its game day atmosphere, The Arena is another 'go-to' game-watching spot. There are many great places to choose from.

10. Game day alternatives: It's true (gasp!), not everyone that comes to town on 'Game Day' is here for the game. There are many families that bring sitters for children, or that come to tag along with football-loving relatives or friends for the weekend. The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is open on Saturdays (10am - 5pm), as is the Ann Arbor Farmers Market (7am - 3pm). You can also get out of dodge by heading to Chelsea's charming Main Street for a visit to the Chelsea Teddy bear Factory or for a sweet treat from Glee Cake & Pastry.


by Jan Davies McDermott on August 27th, 2012

Solo travelers, especially females, can also be more vulnerable while alone on the road. In this article, women travel experts share their top mistakes to avoid when traveling alone.

Arriving in a New Location After Dark. Saving money on a flight that gets in at 3:00 a.m. may seem like an economical decision, but do you really want to arrive in an unfamiliar city for the first time when the streets are dark and empty? Janice Waugh, Solo Traveler, says, "Arriving in daylight makes it easier to find your accommodation and gives you time to change it if you find that it is unsuitable."

Dressing Inappropriately. Choose your outfits wisely.  Make the more conservative choice rather than the fun and flirty. Research your destination and find out if it's taboo to have uncovered shoulders, bare legs, etc., and dress appropriately. Not only will you be showing respect for other cultures, but you'll be blend with the general population and draw less attention to yourself.

Not Having a Backup Plan. Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman, says, "It's very important [for me] to have a good backup plan if I am robbed or if I lose my credit cards. Here is one of my best tricks. Save your empty vitamin pill bottles; generally you can't see through these. Roll up five twenty dollar bills, put them into the bottle and add some old loose pills. If you shake this bottle it still sounds like a pill bottle and nobody would consider looking into it for money. You can leave this bottle in your backpack, your hotel room or in your cosmetic case. The contents remain safe and ready for you should you need it." Also, be sure to scan a copy of your passport and other important documents and email them to yourself. This way you'll have access to your information in case it's stolen.

Assuming Other Women Are Safe. Jancie Waugh writes, "Women often feel safer with other women. And, when it comes to small-time danger, we probably are. But there are also dangerous women who are just as capable of luring you into bad situations as men. Be cautious." Of course, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't make new friends on the road—just be alert for potential scams and dangers, especially when you first meet someone.

Telling People Where You're Staying. Whether you're filling out a form that asks for the address of where you're staying, asking for directions, or just making conversation, be sure to guard the location of your accommodation from prying eyes. Try not to let on that you're staying alone, as well. Speak in terms of "we." (Hey, we've all seen Taken, right? Never share a cab to a hotel with a stranger either!)

Taking an Unlicensed Cab. Taxis have licenses for a reason—you're getting in a car alone with a stranger. Don't be tempted by illegal cabs, even if they're cheaper. Ask your hotel to hail or call you a cab when going out, and ask the concierge for the number of a reputable agency you can call to take you home.

Wearing Flashy Jewelry. Sure, you want to look cute while on vacation. But leave the shiny stuff at home—even if it's costume jewelry. You don't want to seem like a wealthy target.

Answering Your Hotel Door. Whether it's someone claiming to be hotel maintenance, room service (that you didn't order), or even housekeeping, don't open your hotel door when you're alone in the room (especially without checking the peephole first). If there's someone telling you about an emergency or a maintenance issue and they need access to your room, be sure to call down to the hotel's front desk to verify their story.

Accepting Food/Drink from Strangers. "Accepting food from strangers is not always the right thing to do," says Hannon. "Picture this. You are traveling solo on an overnight train in Europe. The young couple seated beside you are very chatty and offer lots of good advice about what to do at your destination. They unpack a wonderful picnic of sausage, cheese, fresh bread and wine. The aromas are so enticing, they offer to share their food and wine. You're thinking, 'This is what European travel is all about.' Again, evaluate very carefully before you partake. Understand that drugging is always a possibility. You don't want to wake up to find your friendly neighbors gone along with all your belongings."

Letting Fear Hold You Back. We're not trying to scare you off solo travel. Just be careful. Laura Walker, A Wandering Sole, says, "Do your research and don't be afraid to engage locals. People were worried when I told them I was going to Jordan and Rwanda. Jordan happens to be one of the safest countries in the world and is safer than virtually all large cities in America. Rwanda also is extremely safe and I never felt in danger in either of these countries. Don't get me wrong, I take standard precautions, but I don't let fear or inaccurate information prevent me from traveling and enjoying myself. Do your research and go with an open mind. I have found that locals want you, as a visitor, to enjoy their country, and you should ask them for the most up-to-date information on any safety issues."


by Jan Davies McDermott on July 26th, 2012

Reprinted from the Journal of the Shudokan Martial Arts Association, Volume 17 #2)

On August 17, 18, and 19, 2012 Nicklaus Suino Sensei of the Japanese Martial Arts Center and SMAA Judo Division Director, will be offering a special seminar at his Ann Arbor, Michigan dojo featuring budo experts Sato Tadayuki Sensei and John B. Gage Sensei. Both teachers are coming direct from Tokyo to the U.S., and they’ll be offering instruction in three important Japanese martial arts:

•The Kodokan judo of Kano Jigoro Sensei

•The Shodokan aikido of Tomiki Kenji Sensei

•The Nihon jujutsu of Sato Shizuya Sensei

Sato Tadayuki Sensei - Direct Student of Tomiki Kenji

Sato Tadayuki Sensei is one of the world’s leading Shodokan aikido experts. He was taught by Tomiki Kenji Sensei, founder of Shodokan aikido, in the living room of his house every Sunday before tea, and so he has an in-depth knowledge of Tomiki Sensei’s aikido system. He is also an accomplished judoka. Sato Sensei, sixth dan, was granted the position of Shihan of Waseda University Aikido club in 2007. This position has been vacant since Professor Tomiki’s death in 1979. He is an expert in his field, and in particular, the link between Kodokan judo and Tomiki-style aikido. He also teaches aikido at the Japan Police University, and he lives in Tokyo.

John Gage Sensei - Direct Student of Sato Shizuya Sensei

John Gage Sensei has been studying and teaching Japanese martial arts in Tokyo since 1986 when he joined the American Embassy Judo Club, which was lead by the late Sato Shizuya Sensei. Following the death of Sato Sensei, he became the leader of this well-established dojo, and he has been a member of the Kodokan Judo Institute since 1991. He has earned a seventh dan in Sato Sensei’s system of modern jujutsu, and he has a fifth dan in judo. He has taught seminars in judo and jujutsu in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, the U.K., and the USA.

Outstanding and Rare Opportunity

Contact Suino Sensei soon to get more details about this rare world-class training opportunity in world-class judo, aikido, and jujutsu. He can be reached at info@japanesemartialartscenter.com  or (734) 645-6441.  Direct link to the event is http://portfolioannarbor.com/MartialArtsSeminar.htmlWhen planning your trip to Ann Arbor, contact Davies House Inn.  Located less than two miles from the dojo, we are pleased to have partnered with Japanese Martial Arts Center to offer special pricing for participants in this seminar.  Jan Davies McDermott, owner and innkeeper at Davies House Inn, can be reached at innkeeper@davieshouseinn.com or (734) 973 1722 or (734) 417 5745. 


by Jan Davies McDermott on July 23rd, 2012

In partnership with our friends at Golden Limosuine, here's a weekend package you can't pass up! 
 

  • Arrive at Davies House Inn on Friday night: enjoy dinner at one of Ann Arbor's fabulous eateries of your choice: dine on the roof?  In one of the fun micro breweries or pubs?  At one of the many sidewalk cafes? Or, in one of the elegant, white linen senrestaurants?. 

 

  • Start Saturday with an amazing complimentary breakfast at Davies House Inn, then let us customize your day for you.  What is your pleasure?  A round of golf?  We'll arrange a tee time for 9 or 18 holes for you. Paddle the Huron River?  We'll book you into a canoe or kayaks.  Wander the Arboretum or Botanical Gardens?  We know the way.  Bike Ann Arbor's parks?  We've got the trail map for you.  Shop the boutiques; visit the galleries, tour the Teddy Bear Factory?  Downtown, Kerrytown, and Chelsea await.

  

  • Sunday begins with a scrumptious complimentary breakfast at Davies House Inn, then travel the beautiful winemaking region in the comfort of a Golden Limosuine airconditioned party bus as Golden Wine Tour guides you to the tasting rooms along the Southeastern Michigan wine trail.  Enjoy a day tantalizing your taste buds and learning about sweet and dry, red and white wines: Rieslings, Pinots, Cabernets, and more.   Tour includes appetizers and wine at the selected Mainstreet Ventures Restaraunt. Visits to three wineries with a Golden host as your guide


Contact us for availability and pricing.  Packagess - including 2 nitght's lodging, and two wine tour tickets - begin at $500 per couple.  Other activity prices are a la carte.   Space is limited.  Call 734 417 5745 or email: innkeeper@davieshouseinn.com today! .

  .


by Jan Davies McDermott on July 6th, 2012

For more than 50 years

artists with amazing talents and unsurpassed skills have come to the streets of downtown Ann Arbor in July to exhibit at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Artists display their latest work and engage the imaginations of more than 500,000 annual fairgoers. The varied parts of the fair fit together to form an amazing impression – full of sound and color and mystery and drama. No matter which direction you turn, no matter where you look, you’ll discover colors and sights that will energize and captivate your imagination.

Fairgoers can also explore the remarkable city of Ann Arbor: eclectic shops, world-class restaurants, and fascinating people watching that rivals any metro area.

With four fairs, there's more to see than anyone can do in one day.  Come and stay in one of our quaint Bed and Breakfasts and be pampered with a leisure breakfast.  At Davies House Inn, you can play a round of golf, before breakfast!  Perhaps a soak in the Jacuzzi sounds better?  How about your morning coffee on the outdoor deck overlooking the first fairway?  Borrow the bikes to ride to the fair, or take the nearby shuttle.  Convenient, Clean, Comfortable, Quiet, Quaint - the Quintessential Bed and Breakfast for your Art Fairs stay.  

The Ann Arbor Art Fair: meet the artists, enjoy the city, and soak up the experience.

Reprinted, in part, from the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitor's Bureau website.



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