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Our Florida Beaches Wave Goodbye to the Space Shuttle Endeavor!

Did you know that the Space Shuttle was the world’s first reusable space vehicle? It flew more than 130 times and carried over 350 people into space travelling more than half a billion miles. Through the years, we have stood with many guests and watched shuttles and rockets and take off over the water in front of our Melbourne Beach Florida bed and breakfast.

Space Shuttle EndeavorOn Monday September 17, 2012 at 7:30 a.m., Space Shuttle Endeavour will take its final leave atop a big Boeing 747 from Kennedy Space Center for the last time to its new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. In celebration of the fly-out of Space Shuttle Endeavor, guests have the opportunity to view Endeavour from the Visitor Complex where they will have a great photo opportunity of the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft and Endeavour flying over the Rocket Garden. Or, if you buy your tickets early, you can take one of the special buses out to the Shuttle Landing Facility for VIP viewing. Don’t worry though, guests heading to KSC from our Melbourne Beach bed and breakfast will be provided with To Go breakfast bags with fruit, yogurt, juice and fresh baked muffins ready bright for the 50 minute drive to the Space Center.

After the morning’s shuttle hoopla is over, there are plenty of other fun things to do at the Visitor Center. You can enjoy a movie in one of two IMAX theaters or be adventurous and find out what it’s really like to be an astronaut with the new Shuttle Launch Experience attraction. When you’ve had your fill of history and space excitement for the day, head back to our romantic Florida getaway where we will be waiting to hear all about your adventure over a cold Florida Lager and a plate of tasty snacks.

Florida beaches say goodbye to Endeavor Space Shuttle

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Picture This: a Florida Beach Vacation Revealed!

“Sometimes the soul takes pictures of things it has wished for, but never seen.”
Anne Sexton, Poet

florida beach vacationA Florida beach vacation at Port d’Hiver bed and breakfast is now revealed onflorida beach vacation PinterestHave you ever read a guest review of their stay at our Melbourne Beach bed and breakfast on TripAdvisor and thought to yourself, that sounds like fun but what exactly does an Airboat look like? Or, what kind of Spanish treasure do they display at the McClarty Treasure Museum and how big is the porch in the Sunrise Room? 

Well, Port d’Hiver’s new Pinterest page is the place to go for all kinds of answers. You can find great ideasromantic Florida getaway for a romantic getaway in Florida, like visiting the spa for a hot stone massage, or taking a pre breakfast spin on our beach cruisers and renting a jet ski after lunch. By visiting Port d’Hiver on Pinterest you can see exactly what kind of stones they’ll use for your massage, catch a glimpse of the sunrise from the front porch of our Florida beach B&B and check out what kind of bikes we will have for your morning ride.    

romantic getaway in FloridaIt seems like every day someone will stop in and ask what that big purple flowery vine is out in the courtyard and guests want to know if the coconut trees get many coconuts on them. 

Yesterday afternoon, I answered the phone and it was a woman who lives in Utah, and she said that they are planning to elope here at our romantic beach bed and breakfast and wanted to know if I could suggest any picturesque spots for their ceremony at our Melbourne Beach B&B. I was so excited to be able to point her to our “Nature at Port d’Hiver” Pinterest board, so she could see the big moss covered oak next to the river at Ryckman Park. It is my favorite place for a small beautiful elopement!

The staff here at Port d’Hiver are always trying to find new ways to help our guests’ discover interesting things about our romantic getaway in Florida and Melbourne, Beach. We think by scrolling through our pictures you may just find lots of wonderful things that your soul has been wishing for and you didn’t even know it.

 

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Florida Honeymoon Packages at Port d’Hiver

With clean quiet beaches, beautiful weather and the bubbling spa pool, our Melbourne Beach bed and breakfast is a haven for honeymooners as we have ideal Melbourne Beach Packages at our Romantic Hotel. Before booking one of our Florida honeymoon packages, one of our future bride and grooms and sometimes a mother or two will call and ask lots of great questions. Top of the list, will we need a car, and where is there to go?

florida honeymoon packages at Melbourne Beach, FL

Truth is, many of our guests don’t want to go anywhere. Our romantic Florida B&B is an island within an island. Once inside… with the pool, fountains, tropical plants, friendly people, delicious cookies, and music… many of our guests forget that there even is an outside. But once our exhausted honeymooners are all rested up and ready to venture out, Ocean Park is their first destination. Located directly across Ocean Avenue from Port d’Hiver that is where guests find the beach access, picnic tables, pavilion, sand volleyball court, lifeguard, and our quiet local beach. Of course, we supply all the goodies needed for a day at the beach like beach chairs, umbrellas, coolers, snacks, drinks and bikes, but at the Catalyst Surf shop just two doors down,  they can also rent surfboards or get a lesson from one of our friendly local surf experts.florida honeymoon packages at Melbourne Beach, FL

In the morning, early risers watch the sunrise over the ocean before breakfast and in May through October they can see plenty of sea turtle nests along the beach and maybe even a few babies still making their way down to the surf. Our strip of Melbourne Beach has the 2nd largest nesting colony of Loggerhead Turtles in the nation.

appetizers at our Melbourne beach bed and breakfastAfter wine hour in the evening, guests can walk down to the river and have a drink at a 5 star restaurant while watching the sunset over the water. Or maybe just hang out at one of the casual restaurants within walking distance here on Ocean Avenue like Sand on the Beach Grill just across the street on the beach, David Steak House, or the quirky Roburritos where they can find some terrific old school burritos.

Whether staying in or going out, there are lots of great ways to spend your honeymoon as we have a Three Night Florida Beach Honeymoon Package and Seven Night Romantic Honeymoon in Florida Package!

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Our Melbourne Beach Bed and Breakfast Agrees with Nathaniel Hawthorne!

One of our many gables!

The staff here at our Melbourne beach bed and breakfast has been inspired this summer by the Florida high school kids’ required reading list. This week I’m having fun with a classic ghost story, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables. We don’t have any ghosts here at Port d’Hiver, but we do have lots of gables, interesting characters, and well-provisioned breakfast tables that even good ole’ Nathaniel would enjoy!

“Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly
arranged and well-provisioned breakfast-table.  We come to it freshly,
in the dewy youth of the day and when our spiritual and sensual elements
are in better accord than in a later period; so that the material
delights of the morning meal are capable of being fully enjoyed.”

- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of Seven Gables

After sunscreen, the second most important item to take to the beach is a good book! Our Sunroom at our Melbourne beach bed and breakfast is full of great beach reads to share with our guests: some classic, like the Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas and some not so classic, like The Deep Blue Good-Bye by John MacDonald.

Melbourne beach bed and breakfastWe thought it fitting to share with you on this 4th of July, one of our favorite egg dishes as it is perfect for a big 4th of July brunch or to simply snack upon while enjoying an intriguing summer novel!

  Tomato Basil Strata
1 small jar tomato pesto  sauce
16 slices French bread, remove crusts
1 small jar tomato pesto  sauce
16 slices French bread, remove crusts
4 -5 ripe medium size tomatoes peeled and cut into ¼” slices
1 bunch fresh basil, stems removes and leaves chopped
10 slices of lunchmeat ham sliced into really thin strips
8 eggs, beaten
3 2/3 cups whole milk
¾ teaspoon salt
½ tsp pepper

Coat the sides and bottom of 13 x 9 pan with butter (lots). Spread a thin layer of pesto on each slice of bread and stand up in pan to make rows. In between each piece of bread, layer a tomato slice, basil and ham. The bread, tomato, basil, and ham should look like file folders in a drawer.

Wisk the eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl until frothy.  Pour over the bread, pressing gently to ensure the bread soaks up the liquid.  Cover pan with tin foil and chill overnight.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees and bake covered for 40 minutes then remove foil and bake nother 20 minutes until golden brown  and bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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The Moon, the Sea and Me: Space and Romance

“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Romantic Getaway in Florida

“The significance of this day cannot be overstated. It’s a great day for America. It’s actually a great day for the world because there are people who thought that we had gone away, and today says, `No, we’re not going away at all.’” said a beaming NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on this morning’s news.

Romantic Florida Beach GetawayAt 3:42 this morning, our friend Matt who is staying in the Havana Room, wandered into his bathroom and peered out the window across Ocean park at the dark horizon, when suddenly an orange glow began to grow out of the water and spread across the surface, and just as the color deepened to red the long white tail of the Falcon 9 rocket rose into the night sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“It was so cool!” Matt exclaimed over coffee and melons this morning at breakfast. “I thought about waking my wife but she looked so comfy I didn’t want to disturb her,” he said.

This year NASA ended the Shuttle Program, but the fun definitely hasn’t ended for space fans here at our romantic getaway in Florida. With lots of rocket launches coming up and new behind the scenes tours of the vehicle assembly building and launch pads, our guests say that Kennedy Space Center visits are even better than ever.

Romantic Florida B&BWe think a visit to our romantic Florida bed and breakfast combined with a fun, once-in-a-lifetime visit to Kennedy Space Center is the perfect getaway. Here’s how it goes:

  • 9 am – Call down for breakfast in bed
  • 12-3 – Take a behind the scenes tour of Kennedy Space Center
  • 5-6 – Come to wine hour and talk about your cool tour with the other guests
  • 7-8:30 – Walk down and watch sunset on the river before having a romantic dinner at Djon’s
  • 8:30–9:30 – Listen to a little live jazz in the bar before walking back to our romantic Florida getaway
  • 10-? – Sit in our bubbling spa pool with a glass of wine, look at the moon, think about your day and whisper sweet nothings in your partner’s ear…

Doesn’t that sound like a good day?

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A Typical Day with Gluten-Free Friends at our Melbourne Beach Inn

Melbourne Beach InnRoom Service Breakfast on Ella Belle’s Porch

In past blogs we talked about special dietary restrictions and shared a few of our favorite recipes, but this week is turning out to be Gluten Free Week here at our Melbourne Beach inn! Just by coincidence,  half of our guests require gluten-free meals and three more gluten-free email requests have come in for people checking in the next few days. We love it when our friends give advance notice about their dietary needs so that we can be sure to make their stay easy, fun and best of all delicious.

So, for all of you who ever wondered what a typical gluten free day is like when you visit with us at our Melbourne inn, here is a run down of yesterday’s fare. The only dish on the list that we do not have a GF safe version of is our Swiss Eggs, because it is made with cream of chicken soup, but we served them yesterday anyway because our friend in Walter’s Room just loves them!

Breakfast

To start:Melbourne Beach Inn

  • Fresh berry mix with
  • Strawberry Pineapple muffins

Main dishes, guests’ choice:

  • Baked asparagus eggs with olive oil, mozzarella and fresh basil
  • Puff pancakes with brown sugar peaches and vanilla glaze
  • Scrambled or poached eggs with cheese and toast (yes, gluten free!)
  • Swiss Eggs with Canadian Bacon served on English muffin

Side dishes:    

  • Applewood bacon and cowhand potatoes

Appetizers at 5:00

  • Hummus with roasted pine nuts served with blue corn tortilla chips
  • Tarragon chicken salad on nut thins with celery
  • Selection of sliced cheeses

Turndown treats and snacks

  • Fudge Brownies and chocolate chip cookies
Remember to let us know if you require a gluten-free meal, and we’ll be happy to serve you during your stay at our Melbourne Beach inn!

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Dianne’s Room

Romantic Florida GetawayOn the west side of the main house at our romantic Florida getaway is a lovely little room that we call “Dianne’s Room”. Dianne Blackwood was the only daughter of Walter and Ella Belle Brown. She was born April 13, 1913 in Liverpool, England and grew up in the house at Port d’Hiver.

In an essay published in Frank Thomas’ book Melbourne Beach: The First 100 Years by 19 Townspeople, Dianne Blackwood (maiden name, Brown) wrote that her father, Walter Brown, first became acquainted with Melbourne Beach around the turn of the century when he worked as an instructor for the Kentucky Military Institute which had a winter campus in Eau Gallie, a small town just a few miles north of Melbourne Beach around 1906.

In 1912 Walter and Elle Belle Brown moved to England for a few years while Walter worked for Morgan Guaranty Trust in commodities, specifically flour. In the 1920s, Walter, Ella Belle and Dianne came back to Melbourne Beach and rented a small upstairs apartment from Mrs. Trowbridge, the town’s postmistress, and a short time later purchased the cypress house across the street from the casino (now Sand on the Beach Restaurant) and Ella Belle named the house Port d’Hiver.

romantic getaway in Florida Dianne’s Room in the Main House

Dianne attended old Melbourne High School, married Harry Blackwood and, as a young girl, taught Sunday school at the historic Melbourne Beach Community Chapel right here on Ocean Avenue. To this day there is a room in the Sunday School building with a plaque over the door that bears her name. Here is a picture Dianne’s daughter Mimsy shared with us of her mom Dianne when she was 15 years old with her father Walter, 1928.

Romantic Florida Bed and Breakfast

Dianne with her father in 1928

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Room Size: What’s the Difference?

 

One of the most common questions we get here at our romantic Florida getaway when a new guest calls for information is, “What’s the difference between Walter’s Room and the Sunrise Room?” The answer is simple really, it’s just the size.

Walters Room Melbourne Florida B&B
Walter’s Room is our smallest with 153 sq. ft. inside and a big 208 sq. ft. deck

 

Melbourne Beach Inn Walter Brown House
Our Melbourne FL Bed and Breakfast is made up of four buildings. The Main House was built in 1916 as a classic American Foursquare structure. This building is called the Historic Walter Brown House and is the cornerstone of our Melbourne beach inn. The 3 guest rooms in this building are named after the Brown family: Walter, his wife Ella Belle and daughter Dianne.

romantic florida getaway walter brown house

Because this building is almost 100 years old, these guest rooms are by far the smallest at Port d’Hiver, but they are also our favorites with lovely 1920’s charm and all the modern amenities found in the new Cabana rooms. Plus, you just can’t beat that big wrap around ocean view deck that Ella Belle and Walter’s Rooms share!

romantic florida getaway breakfast

In 2007, we built the North and South Cabanas and put the second floor on the Carriage House.  All of these new rooms are big, beautiful, especially private and each one has an oversize jetted tub, lots of closet space and its own porch that’s perfect for lounging around with a good book or sharing a romantic breakfast for two.  To reflect the style of the historic house, we used lots of reclaimed material when building these structures like the antique heart of pine floors and the big hand hewn beams you find on Creole’s ceiling that are from an old barn in Pennsylvania.

For those of you who love numbers as much as Mike, below is a chart with the square footage for each of the rooms in our Melbourne Florida bed and breakfast including the guest room with bath but not the deck space.  We hope this helps to answer some of your questions.  Enjoy!

melbourne beach bed and breakfast footage

“My husband and I stayed for 2 nights in the Dianne room for our “babymoon.” Never having stayed at a B&B before, we didn’t really know what to expect, but this place blew us away with hospitality and comfort. From the moment we arrived, we felt so relaxed and pampered. The room was a little small, but it didn’t bother us one bit. (I think ours was the smallest and least expensive of all the rooms.) The property is gorgeous, the staff is warm and accommodating, and the food was delicious. Totally worth the money. I hope we can go back some day!” Tripadvisor, One Word…Amazing,   April 16 2012 review

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Popping the Question at Port D’Hiver

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”   Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice

melbourne beach bed and breakfast flowers  

At 4:00 on a Friday afternoon, Scott and Allison, two new young guests from Elkridge, Maryland, bustled in the front door of Port d’Hiver with bags in hand ready to check-in for a relaxing & romantic Florida getaway. We shook hands, introduced ourselves and after signing in, took the grand tour together.  First, where to find the cookies (always everyone’s favorite stop!), then I showed them where the snack room is, how to turn the bubbles on in the spa pool and where to find the beach towels, chairs and coolers.

We chatted about wine hour and breakfast as we carried their bags up to the Sunrise Room. When I opened the door Allison was so excited to see the purple alstroemeria and white roses on her beside stand, their ocean view and the welcome card on the bed with their names on it.

romantic florida getaway beach

A little while later at about 4:55, Erika was pulling the spinach ring out of the oven getting ready for wine hour at five when Scott popped his head in the kitchen door and frantically whispered that he was planning to propose and needed to know how he should do it and fast before Allison showed up for a glass of wine.

romantic florida getaway candleBeing a quick thinker, Erika whispered back, “If I were you, after wine hour I’d walk down and see the sunset on the river in front of Djon’s, then go in for dinner and a little live music over dessert. Afterwards, you should walk back to the beach and pop the question under the moon. While you’re out we’ll set up the Romance Package with roses petals, candles, champagne and music as a surprise for when you get back.”

The next morning over breakfast, Allison and Scott (who I would guess are about the same age as our oldest daughter Jade) sat out in the courtyard of our Melbourne Beach Inn under the Allamanda flowers looking so happy they shined and our other guests couldn’t help but notice that something special was going on. Allison enthusiastically shared a detailed account of how romantic and wonderful  and perfect Scott’s proposal had been.

As I poured coffee, Allison showed us her beautiful new platinum engagement ring with its princess cut stone and tiny Pave diamonds and told us that it was exactly what she always wanted. She explained that her mom had a very “dated” looking gold wedding set with marquise cut stone and matching band that had little baguettes on the sides and she was really glad she didn’t get one like that because it was so “eighties” and out of style but she just didn’t have the heart to tell her mom because her mom is so great. I smiled and told her how incredibly beautiful and timeless her ring is and how cute the two of them are together and how proud their parents must be and took their breakfast order.

romantic florida getaway baguette ringThings got a little tricky after that because I had to do everything with one hand, since my left stayed in my pocket. Here is a picture of Mike and my wedding rings on our wedding day baguettes and all. Ha! Dated or not we still love them and love being innkeepers at such a romantic Melbourne Beach Bed and Breakfast too!

 

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Surf Contests and Art Festivals in April

On Florida’s Space Coast, spring is the perfect time for surf contests, live music, great food and art festivals. April 6 – 8th is the 48th Annual Easter Surf contest in Cocoa Beach.

melbourne beach inn florida surf contest

Or, join us April 28 – 29 and visit  historic downtown Melbourne for the 28th Annual Melbourne Art Festival. Ranked 37th best art show in the nation, Saturday morning begins with a 5K run over the Indian River Lagoon at 7 am and the weekend’s entertainment schedule features a variety of talented local musicians and a free concert by the Georgia Satellites at 7:30 pm Saturday.

Historic downtown Melbourne is a fun little walking district with terrific restaurants, pubs, bakeries, antique shops and boutiques just a short 10 minute drive across the river from our Melbourne Beach Inn. They also have a free shuttle to the Festival this year from the beach with pick up and drop off at the shopping center just two miles north of Port d’Hiver on A1A.

Everyone here in Melbourne Beach looks forward to the Art Festival each April because they bring in so many talented artists and performers each year! As a matter of fact, we searched high and low for an artist to create just the right Port d’Hiver map and as soon as we saw Mike’s booth and all his beautiful art work at last year’s Festival we knew he was just the guy to represent our special little island for us. Great job Mike!

bed and breakfast melbourne fl map

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