Family Groups

Unplugging with young children

“We were looking to have a ‘back-to-nature’ experience with our children ages 3, 6, and 9. We wanted to ‘unplug’ and experience a simpler life with nature, books, and good old-fashioned family time, cherishing the moment. Barbara welcomed us whole-heartedly with her hospitality, delicious meals, and nature guidance. Not having internet or cellular access gave me an unexpected and much welcomed peacefulness from our high-tech information overload world.” ~Josepha, 41

“My favorite part was the pond. It was so fun to sit in the hammock and watch the butterflies and see the bull frogs. It is a very peaceful and fun place. I hope that we can go back there soon.” ~Petra, 10

“My favorite part was running in the fields. Taking hikes in the forest. Watching the birds. And most of all the yummy food. So I had so much fun. And I hope we can come back soon.” ~Sky, 7

“We left after four days refreshed, connected to each other and appreciative of the ‘small’ things – sounds of bullfrogs splashing into the pond, sighting Saturn’s rings with our naked eyes, hide-n-seek in the hay stacks, close contact with fawns, and butterfly friends. Precious. We will be back!”

~ Josepha Rangel, 41, Physician, Cincinnati, OH

Preteens love outdoorsy stay

“Our family was looking for a place to stay for a night on our way out east for spring break. I had been studying Bed and Breakfasts in the Lexington area for weeks. When I came across Barbara’s Snug Hollow it was an immediate fit for our life style. The experience exceeded our expectations! The location is one of the most relaxing, beautiful places in the world.

“You find this piece of heaven after driving down this long, quaint road. We were immediately greeted and given a tour of the main house and then the historic cabin that we would be staying in. The large Cozy Cabin was more than adequate for our family. We really appreciated the decor of this precious retreat. Barbara pays huge attention to detail; every vase of fresh flowers, pillow, blanket and book were placed with precision.

“Our 10- and 11-year-old daughters loved the whole stay. My husband enjoyed the remoteness and viewing turkey and deer right from the cabin porch while having morning coffee. This 300-acre property has scenic hiking trails that our outdoorsy family had the pleasure to walk. Barbara’s home-cooked organic menus were delectable. She takes much pride in her cooking, as well she should. Our family loves getting to know new people as we share meals with other guests.

“My husband and I are world travelers. We have traveled much before and after children. Snug Hollow is by far one of the most precious places we have visited. Our only regret is that we only had one night in this paradise. We plan to come back when we can stay longer and leave the busy world behind and spend truly quality time as a family.”

~ Krista McCaulley, 46, and Mark McCaulley, 52, a pharmacist and a construction and marketing manager, Madison, WI

Learning opportunity for older kids

“Our fist trip to snug hollow was just my wife and me. It had been recommended by a couple who had recently stayed there. We went for a weekend getaway on what turned out to be the hottest weekend of the summer. Barbara has the house set up so well, however, we really didn’t have to worry about the heat. Barb was so gracious and made us feel so at home, we couldn’t wait to schedule another trip with the girls.

“You should know, at this point, that the Beals family is not very normal: we home schooled the girls in the growing up years, we wanted to be completely involved in their lives, not just taxi cab drivers or cheerleaders for cookie cutter activities so common in today’s society. We are, for the most part, ‘off the map’ when it comes to family.

“After our initial visit I talked with Barb about having the family out. Since we home schooled, everything turns into a learning experience – even vacation. Barb told us about Tater Knob pottery and helped me set up an afternoon teaching session, where we learned how to make clay pots and bowls. We had a blast. We ended up spending the whole day there, talking with the owners and making pots, which they then glazed and fired for us. We still have them around, great reminders of that day. The best part of the day, though, was to come back to Snug Hollow. Barb was like a favorite aunt and listened to the kids’ stories of pottery making to the last detail. Hannah, our youngest, has always been invested in cooking and was soon elbow deep in another learning experience: this time with Ms. Barbara and rosemary bread. After a fine dinner and more conversation, we headed down to the cabin. If you ask the girls, they are hard-pressed to say whether evenings down in the cabin, or early mornings were the best part of our stay.

“The soft light of the cabin, quiet except for a few birds and crickets, gave the perfect backdrop to reading. Looking up from your book, one could make out a flock of wild turkey strolling by in the field. A deer might be spied further off. Once we heard the cry of a coyote. Then night would fall. We would all go outside. It is hard to describe the view. The little valley hemmed in all around with tall hills, dark and hardly visible. But above – the stars. If you have never been away from all the interfering lights from cities, you can’t imagine how many stars are visible. The milky way is so easily seen, every constellation and always, if you waited, shooting stars. After a while, sleepiness called us back inside, there to be embraced by soft feather beds with warm old quilts and to drift off to sleep with no thought but what might be in store for tomorrow.

“Mornings have their own special quality also. We would usually wake early, but if not the dinner bell would let you know it was time to get going. Breakfast was always luscious. Wonderful pancakes and gallons of coffee or tea. Then, off to adventure; climbing the surrounding hills, collecting geodes in the creek, or for some, further reading by the fire.

“All of this is done to the background of Barbara, who seems to know instinctively how much to interact. She really does take interest in all her guests and makes them feel like Snug Hollow is their home too. It was a few years before we could go back, but she remembered us like we had been there yesterday. She couldn’t wait to sit down and catch up with the Beals bunch. Snug Hollow will always hold a special place in our hearts, an almost magical destination.”

~ Daniel Beals, pediatric surgeon, Mobile, AL, representing the Beals family: Daniel, 52, Edie, 45, Amanda, 22, and Hannah, 18