The Dream - Opening a Bed and Breakfast

Belinda Howard Smith

Part of a world globe.

“For our anniversary, I’ll take you anywhere in the world you want to go” Steve offered. I had to think about this, I mean, “anywhere in the world” poses a lot of options!

For several of our previous anniversaries we stayed at a bed and breakfast in the Central Texas area. They were in a tourist area and most of our “sightseeing” was walking through the shops. I knew I didn’t want to go to a location for the shopping.

During this time, we already had plans for me to accompany Steve on a week-long business trip to Malaysia. It would be my second trip to Malaysia and each trip includes a short side trip in connecting cities along the way. I had already been to Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Hong Kong.

As for Europe, I have visited a long list of countries over the years on vacation, business, and mission trips. Yes, there is a huge world out there to explore, which would take a lifetime. However, since we already had plans for Malaysia and it’s a long, exhausting flight, the lure of “anywhere in the world” wasn’t irresistible.

A map of Texas with a red-tip pin on the area of Salado, TX

I decided on Summer’s Mill in Salado, Texas, an hour-drive from our home. Yes, a few friends thought I was crazy, which might still be out for debate. Not only was it local, at that time I had hosted a dozen annual scrapbook retreats there.

It was the perfect place for our anniversary. We checked in on a Sunday and had the whole place to ourselves. We stayed in the Longhorn Cabin and had a complimentary golf cart to explore the large rural property.

Natural wood porch swing surrounded by wood railing.

One afternoon as we were sitting on the cabin porch I asked Steve if I could dream with him for a moment. “Someday when you retire, I’d like to buy a house in a small town within an hour of Austin and maybe have a little bed and breakfast with a garden.” He responded, “I can till a garden too, just don’t nag me.” I retorted, “I may give motivational talks, I don’t nag.”

Within six months we were making an offer on a property in Wimberley, Texas we named BellaVida Bed and Breakfast, which means “beautiful life.” This year we celebrate another anniversary: 10 years at BellaVida. We also celebrate the wonderful guests and the memories made these past ten years!

Circular BellaVida logo with a rooster in the center. To the outside are the words: celebrating 10 years.

All year we will be sharing before and after pictures as we have transformed BellaVida over the years. These last photos are what the property looked like on our first visit and a couple of “after” shots.

Fifty-foot long elevated front porch without a railing or cover.
Elevated porch with a pergola and vines growing up the support beams. Two inviting white rockers with plant stands on each side. A vintage bike leans against the porch. The far end of the porch is covered and screened.

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