Sunday, July 7, 2013
Thriving McKinney Bed & Breakfast offers rare escape
It's easy to forget the world on a front porch like this.
MCKINNEY Tucked away on a side street in downtown McKinney sits a shotgun house in disguise with open doors to hide visitors from their own realities for as long as they'd like.
Sound too good to be true? Vicki and Wayne Hill thought so, too, when they took a trip to McKinney in search of a bungalow. What they found was the McKinney Bed and Breakfast.
"We always knew we wanted to open a bed and breakfast," Vicki said. "We had plans to open one somewhere in the mountains. But when the kids left for college, we realized we needed Wayne to work a few more years and decided to open one here."
The home, built in the late 1880s, has had some serious renovations, including an entire second-floor and a first-floor expansion that made it an ideal spot for the Hills to make their dream a reality.
"When we first decided this was it, it was like God said, 'Hurry up, you're late,'" Vicki said, adding that the B&B saw immediate success the first year.
The Hills welcomed 45-60 guests each month last year. For a one-family operation, the work involved can be a daunting task - laundry, cooking, cleaning and smiling - but for Vicki, it's a labor of love.
"We love people," she said. "You can't be in this business if you're not a people junkie. Every day I open my door for a new story."
The B&B offers three bedrooms for guests, including one that sleeps eight. Each room costs $159 a night and includes one of Vicki's freshly made breakfasts and some tips about the area.
Check-in times are negotiable and can be discussed upon making reservations.
"We do everything quite different from most B&Bs," Vicki said. "It's not about what is easy or convenient for us; it's about what makes people feel like they really got away for a night, but at the same time, what makes them feel comfortable and at home."
Except when it comes to breakfast, she said. Then it's nothing like home.
"One of our favorites is Bohemian Brisket," Vicki said. "It's brisket that has been cooked in Bohemian beer, served with fried fingerling potatoes and topped with a light ranchero sauce, an egg, hollandaise, then a sprinkle of home-grown green onions and grape tomatoes."
If that's not enough to tempt guests into staying an extra day, Vicki brings out her secret attractions.
"One of our favorite fruit dishes is breakfast banana split, or a hot fruit almandine, and we always serve dessert," she said. "Probably an all-time favorite is Double-Double-Oreo-Stuffed Donuts. Another is a little tiny pie called a One Bite Stand. We are also very possibly the only B&B in the world that serves waffles and fried chicken, often served with a side of smoked gouda grits."
But what sets the B&B apart from other vacation spots are the personal touches. Each room is filled with fluffy pillows, welcoming linens and enough books to choose from for even the pickiest reader.
What guests won't find is a television, which Vicki is happy to report.
"We currently don't have TVs in our guest rooms," Vicki said. "But you wouldn't believe how many people that are genuinely grateful for that. We have Wi-Fi, of course, though I have been tempted when people ask me for the password to say, 'Are you sure? Do you really want to get online?'
"Escaping technology isn't so bad when you have a front porch like ours."
For information about McKinney Bed and Breakfast, located at 406 Parker Street, visit mckinneybedandbreakfast.com or call 214-808-6727.
Pegasus News Content partner - Star Local News
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