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What Will You Have on Fridays at Vali’s Alpine Restaurant?

Hungarian Hunters Platter at Valis Alpine Restaurant in Wallowa Lake Oregon with three juicy grilled sausages, Hungarian pickled cabbage salad and crispy garlic herb potatoes

Hungarian Hunters Platter

Vali’s Alpine Restaurant at Wallowa Lake will open soon for its 2014 season.  Just like 2013, Michael and Dionne Vali have decided to mix it up a bit in the kitchen and serve a variety of dinners on Friday nights.  But, only one entree per night just as always–don’t want to make the front end of the restaurant too liberal.  Michael’s mother, Maggie, controls the dining room with a (powderpuff) fist.  One entree per night, Wednesday through Sunday, and Friday nights rotate.  So plan accordingly!

And what’s on the Friday night menu this year?  How about Rosemary Lamb Chops with Corn Pudding and Asparagus (June 20th)?  Or a Hungarian Hunter;s Platter featuring Three Grilled Sausages, Hungarian Pickled Cabbage and Crispy Herbed Potatoes (July 4th)?  Or Summer Vegetable Lasagna with Garden Salad & Garlic Bread? You’ll find the entire list on the Friday night menu page of the website.

You’ll also find the menu for Wednesday through Sunday nights on the restaurant website.  Funny, we always know if it’s Thursday then it must be Chicken Paprikas with Spaetzle and Cucumber Salad.  Don’t even have to look anymore.

When we opened our bed and breakfast lodging near Wallowa Lake in 2001, we discovered that some guests actually booked their dinner reservations at Vali’s first and then looked for a place to stay.  Thanks to modern technology, you can now book your dinner reservations on-line at Vali’s (unless, of course, you want to get in some phone time with them which is perfectly fine).  And you can book your lodging reservations online with us (click the Book Now! button on the left side of the blog), so have both windows open as you coordinate your dinner with your room choices.

Looking forward to seeing you out  here near Wallowa Lake this summer!

Reserve Your Summer Fishtrap 2014 Rooms and Lodging Right Here Right Now

Summer Fishtrap 2014 at Wallowa Lake Oregon postcard imageAre you attending Summer Fishtrap 2014 at Wallowa Lake, Oregon?  Still trying to decide where in Eastern Oregon to stay for the week?  If you don’t want to stay “on campus” in one of the yurts or in the bunkhouse at the Wallowa Lake Camp and Retreat Center (affectionately known to longtime Fishtrappers as the “Methodist Camp”) and you’re used to staying in nicer bed and breakfasts or hotels when you travel, then allow us to propose a stay at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast nearby in Joseph Oregon.

The writers conference Summer Fishtrap 2014 starts on the afternoon of Monday, July 7th, and concludes at brunch on Sunday, July 13th.  As of today, February 12, 2014, we still have two guestrooms and our fabulous Mirror Lake Suite available for a 6-night stay (nights of July 7-12, 2014, departing on July 13, the closing day of Summer Fishtrap 2014).  What can that mean for you as a Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers attendee?  A really comfortable, air-conditioned, private place to stay at good price.  And we can offer you a without breakfast option in case you’d prefer to take your breakfast meals at the Wallowa Lake Camp.  And since we’re rated 3-Diamonds by AAA, we also offer a 10% discount to current AAA members.  What’s not to like?

For example, these are the prices for lodging and meals during Summer Fishtrap 2014 (taken from the Summer Fishtrap 2014 brochure):

  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 one-bedroom deluxe yurt (includes private bath): $795 per cabin
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 two-bedroom deluxe yurt (includes shared bath): $595 per bedroom
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 bunkhouse (bring your own bedding, bath house nearby): $130 per person
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 Lunch only package (Tuesday through Saturday): $60 per person
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 Lunch & Dinner package (Tuesday through Saturday): $160 per person
  • Summer Fishtrap 2014 All Meals package (Monday dinner through Sunday brunch): $225 per person

Here are options at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast (full price quotes with lodging taxes included) in our Ferguson Ridge Room (other currently available guestrooms are higher):

  • Single occupancy with breakfast: $840.56
  • Single occupancy without breakfast: $775.16
  • Single occupancy with breakfast and 10% AAA membership discount: $756.44
  • Double occupancy with breakfast: $943.60
  • Double occupancy without breakfast: $812.80
  • Double occupancy with breakfast and 10% AAA membership discount: $849.26

Garden scene at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph Oregon with bench and bottle of wine and wine glass near the bocce courtIt’s true there are some conveniences to staying at the Wallowa Lake Camp.  You’re right there and don’t need to drive home once the evening open-mic session is over.  You’re in the middle of the action.  You’re close to the Bailey Lodge dining hall where meals are served cafeteria style.

But, we’re only 10 minutes away by car at the other end of Wallowa Lake.  You’re in your own space with your own attached private bathroom, with or without your traveling companion (if you have one). Your room is comfortably air-conditioned to your liking  Your breakfast, if you choose to have breakfast, is served in our dining room plated and accompanied by your choice of fruit juices and hot beverages.  And we do our best to accommodate special meal requirements (gluten-free, dairy-free, food allergies, etc.)

And if you’re bringing along someone who is not participating in Summer Fishtrap 2014, they’re right here in Joseph to see and do all that the town has to offer in summer (shops, art galleries, foundries, artist tours, or just hanging out here on our grounds under the apple tree with the bocce court nearby (see the photo).

There are a limited number of yurts available at the Wallowa Lake Camp.  If you miss your opportunity to reserve one on February 20, 2014 (the day that online registration opens for Summer Fishtrap 2014), then you might want to consider spending your nights with us here at our (nearly a) Wallowa Lake hotel.

And who knows what summer 2014 will be like?  You might be very glad you have air-conditioning!

Don’t forget:  Summer Fishtrap 2014 online registration opens on February 20, 2014, at 9 am Pacific Time!

Never Too Early For Wallowa Lake Wedding Planning

A field of marguerite daisies at the Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast in Joseph OregonIn the depths of winter there are people getting engaged and thinking about a summer wedding at Wallowa Lake or in Joseph Oregon.  How do I know?  Because, when I take a look at the analytics behind our Joseph Oregon bed and breakfast blog, there are people searching for terms like “joseph oregon wedding” and people reading blog posts I’ve written about where to get married near Wallowa Lake or where to get married in Joseph Oregon.

So here we are, nearing the end of December 2013, and already we’re seeing quite a few bookings at our Oregon romantic getaway for summer 2014.  Wedding nights in the Mirror Lake Suite are going to be popular this year.  And housing the wedding party or wedding guests in our other three guestrooms is gaining traction as a popular idea too.

Part of this trend might be due to some changes in lodging in the Wallowa Valley.  Joseph Oregon hotels?  Still aren’t any.  And the Wallowa Lake hotel is still the Wallowa Lake Lodge.  Here in Joseph, Belle Peppers Bed and Breakfast closed its doors to guests in December 2012.

What’s a bridal couple to do?  We have a few recommendations:

1.  Most important! Check your dates with the Wallowa County Chamber of Commerce (541-426-4622).  If you want to plan your wedding around a major event like Chief Joseph Days Rodeo (always the last full weekend in July), then your wedding guests might have difficulty finding lodging unless they get busy now and book their rooms. Or plan your wedding near the big events but not during them.  And, from Memorial Day through the end of September, there’s something happening nearly every weekend in Wallowa County!

2.  Lock in your wedding venue soon.  See the categories listed on the left side of this blog post in the template area?  Click on “Wallowa County Wedding” or “Joseph Oregon Wedding” and you’ll get immediate access to a variety of blog posts that I’ve put together about potential wedding venues in this part of Eastern Oregon.  Some of these venues, like the blue barn, book out far in advance.

3.  Consider a trip out here to meet with florists, caterers, photographers, etc.  There are some wonderful local folks capable of putting on a spread of local foods, capturing lovely images of your wedding, providing fresh flowers, serving as a great rehearsal dinner location, etc., or even designing your personalized wedding rings (and you’ll need to plan a long ways in advance for that!)  Don’t think you have to bring it all from the big city!

4.  Don’t stress, but do plan.  And you’re welcome to give us a call here at the Bronze Antler B&B at 541-432-0230.  Bill & I are ready to help you however we can.  After thirteen years of owning and operating our Joseph Oregon lodging, we’ve gotten to see a few weddings along the way and are happy to share.

Amenity Provided: Free and Secure Wireless Internet at our Joseph Bed and Breakfast

Wireless Internet Access at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast in Joseph, OR, is provided by Eastern Oregon Networks, Inc (EONI)One thing that separates the bed and breakfast community from many other lodging options (especially hotels) is free wireless internet. There is no additional daily charge at most bed and breakfasts for wireless internet. And certainly not here at the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast!

Here at our Joseph Oregon lodging we just upgraded our internet service by making some changes to our existing infrastructure.  We did this to make our wireless internet service easier to access, faster, and to specifically address an issue raised by a guest in a review on TripAdvisor about our Eastern Oregon bed and breakfast.  The guest wrote:

[T]he WI-FI is too fussy. The coverage is spotty and the need to log on for each session is annoying. Also, there is insufficient capacity to watch the news or a movie. Since there is no TV at this location, better Internet access would be appreciated.

We originally installed a very secure login process to ensure that neither guests nor innkeepers would get hacked, nor would we be vulnerable to someone pulling up in our parking area, hopping on our wireless, and downloading inappropriate information.  But times have changed.   In response, we’ve now changed our security settings so that the guest uses one password one time only to cover all “sessions” here at our Wallowa Lake lodging.  The internal changes made to our signal routing have increased our download speed by about a factor of four.  And we are reevaluating the position of our router to maximize performance throughout the property (which is already very good inside the Bronze Antler Bed & Breakfast building).

One thing about living in a very rural location is that internet access isn’t the quite same as it is in more populated communities.  Could we have DSL?  Not currently.  Cable modem?  Not available.  And probably won’t be in the foreseeable future.  Our internet signal is entirely wireless–including how it is delivered to and leaves the property.    We met the criticism head on and look forward to this guest returning (the guest also indicated that it wouldn’t be the last visit to the Bronze Antler).  We want to demonstrate that we take constructive suggestions seriously.