Sally’s View of the River

The Official Weblog of the Sunny Rock Bed & Breakfast

Minden, Ontario, Canada

Just 2.5 Hours from Toronto

Questions a B&B Newbie Should Ask: Hint #2 Provincial Organization?

Filed under: Bed and Breakfast Newby?,General Interest Newsy Stuff — Sally at 4:41 pm on Friday, October 30, 2009

There are professional bed and breakfast organizations available throughout the world that insist that their members follow certain standards. Without these standards a b and b will not likely have a professional standard and presentation.

Professional organizations provide for their members opportunities for professional development, networking, information for safety (water certification & fire marshall standards etc.) Bed and breakfast who are not members of such an organization or association usually are missing a professional component you should expect from your host.

Hint #2 Questions a newbie ask the host: Are you and or your B&B a members of a provincial organization? In Ontario please ask: are you a member of FOBBA (Ferderation of Ontario Bed and Breakfast Accommodation? Do not hesitate to ask what it mean to be a members of FOBBA?

At the very least you should expect that the B&B is networked with a local organization and other B&Bs in their local area. Personally I expect that the B&B be a member of the provincial organization and in my case in Ontario FOBBA is my choice.

When asked what does it mean to be a member of FOBBA you should hear that there are standards to follow, expectations that are a very least, that their b&b might be a 3, 4 or 5 star home, that the host lives in the residence (under the same roof as you), that the host is there to share information about the community with you. And most importantly that they as your host have you, their guest, as the most important reason they are running the B&B. Their most important role should be that you are kept safe and comfortable during your stay and that service and hospitality are their most important concern. Anything short of this…move onto the next Bed and Breakfast on the list.

Questions a B&B Newbie Should Ask: Hint #1 Personal Comforts

Filed under: Bed and Breakfast Newby?,General Interest Newsy Stuff,General Interest Odd Stuff — Sally at 4:05 pm on Friday, October 30, 2009

I keep a journal of the places that my partner and I stay and what we learn from our hosts and their home. We do this so that we are doing some personal professional development. Of the 450 some odd Bed and Breakfasts where we have stayed all over the world we have learned as hosts how not to and how to behave, what is appropriate to say and not say and what should be available or on hand too ensure the comforts of our guests in our B&B environment.

I can think of about 5 B&Bs that we felt like we were imposing on the house and the family by being in their home. There were rules where we could and could not be, plastic on the furniture, no information about what there is to do in the area, specific times we could be in the house and not, a specific time for breakfast…be there or not get breakfast, and most importantly there were no extras…a beverage, munchies, chit chat, sharing of lives etc. It was clear to me that these B&B hosts were on the most part living well beyond their means and by having travelers stay they were supplementing their income. They had no intentions to share any part of their lives or their community with us. It was also clear that they had probably never stayed in a bed and breakfast themselves or each would have a little more personality than they did.

Hint #1 Questions a newbie should ask: Ask how long the B&B has been operating? How long have you been the hosts? What comforts do you offer your guests?

At the very least you should expect: lots of information and sincere answers to questions during your telephone call, comments on payment and directions and the persons name or hosts name before you hang up the telephone. When you arrive to the B&B you should expect a person introducing themselves, a welcoming smile, an orientation to the home, some discussion about breakfast, what there is to do in the community or the area, an offering of a beverage, something to munch on and so many other little tidbits that will genuinely help you to feel comfortable while you are visiting.

Are you a Bed and Breakfast Newbie? A Message from an Experienced B&B Enthusiast!

Filed under: Bed and Breakfast Newby?,General Interest Newsy Stuff — Sally at 3:38 pm on Friday, October 30, 2009

If you are reading this message right now you are on the pivotal point of what kind of accommodation to choose while you are travelling and you are exploring the bed and breakfast albeit just reading about it on the internet. Let me help by answering some questions for the newbie before you actually make that first call.

There are lots of places to stay when you are travelling…hotels, motels, inns, resorts, cottages etc. Now you have stumbled across this additional accommodation to consider…the bed and breakfast. B&b’s are not new but they are new to some folks and it is always a tough step to make that first call. Read on and check our blog from time to time for some additional information and a nudge.

Firstly,I am not sure I know where the B&B was first established. I just know that is is a safe accommodation available for the traveler all over the world. In every country of the world there will be some form of bed and breakfast home stay that a traveler can consider.

So that you understand my slant on things my partner and I are Bed and Breakfast enthusiasts. We have stayed at some 450 B&B’s all over the world and have a very clear opinion about the benefits of a B&B stay and would like the opportunity to share some of our experiences (good and bad) with you. There are surprises out there in the big world of travel and B&Bs and we just chalk some of the negatives as another experience on our travel journey and in our travel journal. We laugh and tell stories about our experiences often. And will promise to shared some of our experiences with the reader from the traveler and the host perspective.

As a B&B host I often wonder what people are thinking when they finally consider to pick up the telephone and make their fist bed and breakfast inquiry. Please fell free to leave your comments attached to this blog post.

Winterdance Dog Sledding in the Haliburton Highlands Ontario Canada

Filed under: Activities in the Highlands,Friends of Sunny Rock,Highlands Links,Jan Feb Mar,Oct Nov Dec — Sally at 2:32 pm on Friday, October 30, 2009

Winterdance Dogsledding tours company operates in the Haliburton Highlands Ontario Canada south of Algonquin Park Ontario. Winterdance is owned and operated by husband and wife team Hank DeBruin and Tanya McCready-DeBruin.

Discover the thrill of dogsledding this winter by learning to lead a dogteam! Explore the highlands breathtaking Ontario wilderness while dog sledding in magical silence for 2 hour, 1/2 day, full day, moonlite or multi-day dog sledding trip packages, or a solo trip, in a group or a guide private tour. For more information go to or call (705) 457-5281 or email

While planning to dogsled with Winterdance call Sally and Jan at the Sunny Rock Bed and Breakfast. During the snow months when you stay at the Sunny Rock your hosts will provide you with a “house dinner” on your arrival night (No Charge) of a multiple night reservation. Following a day of dogsledding what would be better than sitting with a beverage infront of one of the 5 fireplaces in the house or sitting in a steam shower in the privacy of your bedroom. Call and make your reservation today 1-888-786-6976 or email us at

The Minden Beaver Theatre located in Minden Ontario, 2 hours North of Toronto

Filed under: Friends of Sunny Rock,General Interest Newsy Stuff,Highlands Links — Sally at 9:54 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Beaver Theatre, built in 1954, is a Minden icon and is located in the Minden Village Ontario Canada. It has reopened in June 2009 as a special events facility, presenting movies, theatre, music and art. The Beaver Theatre works closely with the Minden Hills Cultural Centre to celebrate local talent, with the goal of becoming a popular tourist destination. Why not experience a bit of local culture while visiting the Haliburton Highlands this summer. There is always lots to do while in the neighbourhood.

Haliburton Highlands Ontario Travel maps for 2009-2010 have arrived!

Filed under: General Interest Newsy Stuff,General Interest Odd Stuff — Sally at 8:39 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Haliburton Highlands is located 2.5 hours north of Toronto and less than an hour south of Algonquin Park. The Haliburton Highlands Travel maps have arrived and are available for thoses planning on travelling to the Haliburton County.!

The new Haliburton Highlands tourism map has arrived. It includes an overview of Haliburton County Ontario and inserts of towns and hamlets like Minden Hills, Canarvon, Haliburton, West Guilford..

It also includes information about activities in the Haliburton Highlands.

To receive a copy, pick one up for FREE at the Visitor Information Centre on Highway 35 in Minden Ontario or call 705-286-1777 to have one mailed to you. Call Amy Brohm, Haliburton CountyTourism Marketing Co-ordinator, County of Haliburton 705-286-1777, 1-800-461-7677

While you are talking with Amyask her also to include some information about the Sunny Rock Bed and Breakfast located in Minden Hills Ontario.

Historian and author Earle Gray to speak at R.D. Minden’s Lawrence Place in the Haliburton Highlands

Filed under: Activities in the Highlands,Oct Nov Dec — Sally at 8:09 pm on Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Historian and author Earle Gray to speak at R.D. Lawrence Place

Minden, ON – The Great Uranium Cartel is one of eight published books by Earle Gray, a former journalist, publisher, editorial consultant and speech writer. Gray is coming to R.D. Lawrence Place on November 11 to talk about publishing, researching old newspapers, and his new project, a book called Old News.

In the afternoon from 3-5pm, in honour of Remembrance Day, there will be a reading from Ron Lawrence’s memoir about his war experiences. This will be followed with a talk by Gray, who will speak about his writing career. Gray’s career included 20 years as the editor of Oilweek magazine in Calgary. He has written for the Canadian Encyclopedia, Maclean’s, Financial Post, Toronto Star, Canadian Business, and others. He has received numerous business writing awards, and a lifetime achievement award from the Petroleum History Society.

Gray lived in western Canada for 41 years before moving to Ontario in 1972. Work as a journalist and author took him to every province and territory of Canada, from St John’s to Tofino, from the 49th parallel to the northern tip of the Arctic Islands. He and his wife Joan currently live in Lindsay, Ontario.

Gray is putting together a collection of old Canadian news stories from 1820 to 1930. Topics include public hangings, booze blues, shipwrecks, trailblazing women lawyers, and stories about major events of the day. These stories highlight the culture of the day, such as a piece on a scandal over Lady Aberdeen taking high tea with servants, as well as political debates and economic woes.

In the evening, Gray will speak to the Haliburton Highlands Genealogy Group from 7-9pm about how to do historical research using old newspapers.

Admission to the afternoon talk at R.D. Lawrence Place is $2. The public is also welcome to attend the evening session at The Place, and admission is free. Donations are taken for refreshments. For more information about Earle Gray please see For further details about the event please call The Place at 286-2298.

R.D. Lawrence Place is part of the Minden Hills Cultural Centre located at 176 Bobcaygeon Road. The Place has a mandate to foster a love of reading, promote the art of writing and deepen respect for natural heritage. To learn about other events go to

Media: To contact Earle Gray for an advance interview please contact him at or 705-324-8964

For event details please call Sheryl at 286-2298.

In the even that you are travelling from afar to attend this event stay with us at the Sunny Rock Bed and Breakfast. For a discoount mention that you learned about this event on Sally’S View of the River.

Will recommend Sunny Rock highly!

Filed under: Clarkecove Riverside Room Guest Messages,Guest Testimonials — Sally at 9:34 pm on Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wonderful environment, great company, thank you sharing the fun of your family player piano. Will recommend Sunny Rock highly!


Wonderful place…hot toddies and singing brought strangers together

Filed under: Blairbend Riverside Room Guest Messages,Guest Testimonials — Sally at 9:08 pm on Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks Sally for making Sunny Rock such a wonderful place. The hot toddies and singing brought strangers together making us all feel like family.

Heather **
Milton, ON

First B and B Experience: Stunning Retreat and Warm Company

Dear Sally
Thank you so much for being our first B ’n’ B experience. Your stunning retreat & warm company is just what we needed to let our daily stresses roll easily off our back! The fall colours were beautiful & we didn’t even notice the rain.
Sally you are a gentle soul and Ace has stolen our hearts! You have an absolute gem out here and I know we will be back to enjoy it again.
Thank you again for an absolutely fabulous weekend!

Shannon & Natalie
Milton, ON & Cambridge, ON

P.S. Thanks for helping us pack on the winter weight – your cooking was wonderful. Yum!!

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