This is my first blog and I am really excited about getting started! Some of you know math is more my area of comfort since I have been in banking or owned my own accounting business for most of my life. So, as I turn a page and start this blog, I hope I can grow and learn from it as I go.
I was thinking about what I wanted our first blog to be about. With June being the anniversary of 15 years in business, I decided to look back over the last 15 years and where it all began. It was in October about 3 years before we opened. My hubby’s (Greg) youngest sister was getting married around my birthday. My birthday present was to spend a weekend at a cabin in Nashville. We rented a small cabin and started to explore the area. Being one of seven, Greg’s family would often vacation for the day at the state park. Greg mentioned how he would love to own land in Nashville one day.
The next day we took a trip to see the local realtor, Karen Zody, and so began the search for our property. It didn’t take long before we discovered the property that is now Eagle’s Nest. After a counteroffer of 500.00 from the seller and a few signatures, we were the proud owners of the property that was to hold our dream retirement home. Little did we know then, where this adventure would take us. Our plan was to wait until closer to our goal of early retirement to start building our cabin. Karen had other ideas. She introduced us to the idea of a tourist home. This was long before Airbnb was even a consideration. It was a completely new idea, these short-term rentals, which are so popular today.
What started on paper as a smaller three-bedroom cabin turned out to grow as we considered hosting family holidays. Do remember, Greg is one of seven! It took me some time to complete the drawings and layout of the cabin. I remember being told the cabin was too big, too decorated, too personal, and would not be a success. I was more determined than ever to make it a success. So, when they took my drawing to the county to be permitted it gave me concern. Yes, they were to scale, but didn’t they need to be signed and sealed by an architect? We have very strict guidelines here in Florida. Nope… this was how it was done.
After 2 years of planning, building, buying furniture and decorations, construction was finally complete and move-in day was here! Greg, along with his oldest brother and best friend, drove three large moving trucks from Florida to Nashville. Lucky for them I had put the mattress in last so they would have a place to sleep their first night at the cabin. Then Greg’s family arrived on the scene. Within one day the trucks were unloaded, most of the furniture was in place and so began the detailed work of unpacking all the boxes.
When we first opened, we only had three bedrooms and bathrooms. The basement had a queen bed where the bar is now and we had this large, and I might add ugly, rear projection TV in the basement.
Within a few years, we decided to finish the basement. We had already found a wonderful and talented wood craftsman, Pat, to help us with the project. We already had Doc, who was on the job originally. Doc was wonderful, as he kept the project moving forward and provided all of the subs for us. Within a few months, both of the downstairs bedrooms and bathrooms were completed. It was amazing! And now we were able to host 10 people. Oh, let’s not forget the fun in decorating.
Over the past 15 years, we have hosted many a family Christmas. Our guests have had birthdays, weddings, family reunions, anniversaries and so much more. If only the walls of the cabin could talk and tell the stories of all of the memories it holds and has been created. For me, this is the most precious gift of the cabin, knowing others get to enjoy it as much as we do. It is truly a gift to us for that reason alone.
We have made so many friends along the way. Friends that will be with us for a lifetime. It is also one of the reasons I love renting the cabin ourselves. Before, I never got to talk to any of the guests staying with us. I do, however, love the stories left behind in the journal. Now though, I am talking to the guests, hearing their stories and memories first hand and making new friends. It is a precious gift, the cabin is giving back to me. I love hearing from each and every one of you!
We are still hoping to retire to the cabin one day. Now early retirement for us is a distant memory. Since we are well past the age goals, we set all those years ago. Having children changed everything for us, but in a wonderful and amazing way. We hope our children remember the cabin with great memories and perhaps one day they will retire at the cabin as well.
We look forward to the next 15 years and the stories we will hear from the guests who have stayed with us. Come and create your own story and memories. We would love to hear about it.
I hope you have enjoyed hearing the story of how we began this wonderful and amazing journey.
I hope you come and stay with us. Enjoy some of the early pictures of the cabin on the slide show below.
One of our first trips to see the cabin shortly after the roof was on.
Greg, his brothers, and best friends first night in the cabin with mattress on the floor.
The great room when we first opened. Look no eagle.
The basement before there was a fireplace with the ugly TV
First Christmas. There was a queen bed before there was a bar.
The really ugly TV. LOL
2007 when we started building the bar. You can see the empty bathroom beyond.
Jerome, who carved the piece of sold white oak right in the middle of the great room.
2008 When our mascot eagle arrived.
My favorite saying is
Life is not about the number of breaths we take, it is about the moments that take our breath away.
Love and laughter
Greg and Libby Biehl.
Eagles Nest Lodge.