Our Traveling Gnome

Ol’ Sully’s adventures all began one afternoon while I was reading journals in Sully’s Place. On top of a bookshelf I noticed a Texas A&M garden gnome overlooking the room. I thought he was too cute to be cooped up in one of our cabins so I decided to take a picture of him and share it with our fans and followers during Texas A&M’s first football game of the season against South Carolina.

 

Here he is hanging out on the porch at Sully’s Place. I also thought it would be fun to ask our social media followers if they could guess where he was and to my surprise we got a lot of feedback. Our guests know 7F’s property better than I thought!

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Since our followers seemed to enjoy the gnome’s appearance, I decided it would be fun to get him out of Sully’s Place and “roam” the property to see what else our followers knew about 7F Lodge. Old folk tales say gnome’s symbolize honesty, integrity and hard work, and are regarded as good luck charms in one’s house and garden. So I figured he could be 7F’s good luck charm for our beloved Aggies. (seems to be working since we are now 5-0 WHOOP!) But there was only one problem… He didn’t have a name! The staff at 7F tossed around some ideas but none seemed to fit his cute personality. It was then when we decided to let our fans and followers name him for us in a Facebook contest.

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I was really excited to announce our very first Facebook contest, that allowed our followers to suggest a name for our gameday gnome in hopes of winning a free week-night stay at 7F Lodge. The participation from our followers was a lot more than I expected! At the end of the week we chose Ol’ Sully, which was a combination of two names suggested. Ol’ Sully has become quite popular around here! So keep your eyes peeled, maybe you will run into him during your stay at 7F Lodge. 🙂

       

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The Fall Bridal Show & Benefit

September has definitely been a busy month for 7F Lodge! In the mix of having weddings every week, Donna, Phillip and I attended the 2014 Fall Bridal Show and Benefit this past Sunday.

 

The Bridal Association of the Brazos Valley did a wonderful job hosting the event at the County Expo. Featuring all things wedding, it was a big bridal extravaganza! The finest wedding vendors set up show booths along with cake decorators, caterers, djs, photographers, videographers, and even vacation experts/planners for the honeymoon of course. I had no idea there were so many talented local vendors in the wedding industry.

 

TAMU students from the Student Event Planners Association (S.E.P.A) helped the Bridal Association put on the event. The proceeds will go to a nonprofit organization supporting breast cancer patients in the Brazos Valley called Pink Alliance. These three wonderful women (pictured below) started the support group and were kindly greeting the brides at the door. I really enjoyed speaking with them. Hearing their stories was truly inspiring.

 

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It was not hard to find 7F Lodge’s booth at the show. Donna and Phillip had a wonderful set up not far from the entrance. There they had two tables displaying beautiful flower décor along with pictures of 7F’s previous weddings. Some of the brides weren’t aware of 7F’s romantic cabins until their visit with us. Whether they were having their wedding with us or not, our facility was intriguing. If 7F’s booth wasn’t attracting the people by itself, the smells from our sample ranch style fajitas were doing the job for us. 🙂

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The reason why people choose 7F Lodge as their venue is because of the options given. There are so many ways to host an event at 7F and the best part is that the choice is yours. The staff at 7F does there very best to make sure you have the perfect day, because after-all you only get married once!

 

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My Wonder-Struck Arrival

Howdy 7F fans & Followers,

 

The day I found out I was chosen for the social media internship for 7F Lodge I was overwhelmed with excitement. It may be cliché to say but this family owned business is “A Place Like No Other”.

 

On my first day Donna took the time to show me around the property. 14 acres of ABSOLUTE BLISS! There are really no other words to describe it. Hidden carefully amidst live oaks and yaupon thickets are eight charming cabins. I was amazed by the extremely thought out detail in each cabin. From the music you hear when you first walk in, to the lighting, antique furniture and wall décor, each cabin is designed to make guests feel like they are in another world. There is also a very romantic atmosphere and the perfect place for a weekend getaway!

 

The unique cabins hold a unique purpose where our guests can escape and reconnect with their loved ones. The cabin themes differentiate themselves where guests will never have the same experience twice, which is why so many people come back. The beauty of 7F is that people leave with memories that last a lifetime. Whether they stay for just a night or a weekend, they are able to “Get Away Without Going Away” in College Station, TX.

 

The last cabin led us to the chapel and pavilion area, which looked like nothing but a whimsical wedding fairy tale. It was the perfect little antique chapel surrounded by a country oasis. I thought it was so cool that the chapel was originally built for one person and now hosts hundreds of weddings every year. I could sense the passion from Donna when she explained to me that no matter what style of wedding there was they were all filled with passionate love. That’s when I understood how “Love Saves Lives” at 7F, a place where people find the importance and true meaning of love.

 

I have been working here for over a week now, and I just love the vibe this place gives off. It’s simple, but there are not many places where you can stand and simply admire the beauty and nature of life. So many amazing things happen here, can I cannot wait to share them all with you.

Hope you all are having a great week 🙂

– Jennie

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This isn’t a goodbye, only a “See you later”!

When I first started with 7F Lodge, I never imagined that the day I would have to leave would make me so emotional. Nowadays, you rarely see people LOVE their jobs and literally not want to leave because of the people they work with. Well, that’s me right now. I absolutely LOVE 7F and all it represents. I have come to understand and cherish their “Love Saves Lives” motto like no other. (Well, maybe except Laura, Crystal, Dawn & Joyce since they’ve been here way longer.)

Not only did I have the opportunity to expand my knowledge of Social Media but I also met some incredibly awesome people along the way; like Laura & Crystal! Can I just say that they are always “behind the curtain” working super hard, along with the other wonderful people, to make sure your wedding, event, or stay is beyond exceptional!

I will definitely miss 7F Lodge. I’ll even miss Sadie! (Back story: I was never too fond of cats, but Sadie might have changed that.) I can’t really compare 7F Lodge to any other job because I have loved all my previous jobs in different ways and all have taught me something. 7F in particular has taught me that love is a beautiful thing and you’d be surprised at what it can really accomplish.

I leave happy knowing 7F Lodge is in good hands. Jennie (the new intern) will surely do a great job, no doubt.

Finally, to the owners Donna & Philip, thank you! Thank you for allowing me to be part of this 7F journey. Y’all are truly blessed in every way, in your staff, customers, family, and even pets. May this not be the last time I visit this magical place. Hey, who knows, maybe one day I’ll find myself here again, but this time with a ring on my left hand!

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Jennie is the beautiful girl to the right.  See y’all soon!

-Nancy

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Just can’t get enough of that Brazos Muffin!

More cabin stuff! Yeah, as if we don’t talk about the cabins enough…

As my time as an intern here at 7F Lodge comes to an end, I’ve decided to spend my last days reading journals.  All in the hopes of finding a truly awesome story to share with you wonderful people.

Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Some of our guest enjoy sharing their poems with us…

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Others can’t get enough of the infamous Brazos Muffin!

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And, even more bless us with their art!

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Andddd, my favorite so far,

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Just in case you can’t read it, here’s what it says:

“Today is our one year anniversary. Couldn’t have picked a better place to celebrate. We’re only about 5 min from home but it feels like we’re in a whole ‘nother world. My husband insisted on leaving behind a few of his valued turkey feathers. They came off of true Hill Country turkeys so he figured they belonged here. These were rose petals off of the roses my husband got me. We plan on returning next year on our anniversary- hopefully to see our feathers.”

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I’ll keep reading and maybe you will see your own journal entry in these blogs! Let us know! Remember to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for all 7F awesomeness!

Cabins

There’s more to these cabins than you think…

 

In addition to being super romantic and cute, each cabin at 7F Lodge holds either a tradition or a unique story behind them. For those who are “7F regulars”, y’all already know what I’m about to write! For those who are still learning the ways of 7F, here’s what you’re missing out on:

The Barn Cabin is a newer addition to 7F Lodge and is also one of the most widely talked about. Whether its popularity comes from the rustic feel or the fact that once you enter the cabin you feel like you’ve been transported to another time and place, we’ll never know. However, I do know that the headboard is an actual aluminum pasture gate from a local lumber yard. When found, it glowed with potential to join the many unique items at 7F. The wood used to build the cabin, was reclaimed from a turn of century barn from Iowa. Talk about unique!!

The Barn Cabin Interior Hero

Sully’s Cabin, another new addition to the 7F cabins, can hold its own! After reading numerous journals, I can safely say that the best attraction to this cabin is the 1959 Wurlitzer jukebox! And, come one, can you really go wrong with a cabin full of Aggie memorabilia?

Sulley's Place Cabin Interior Hero

France cannot be compared to any other cabin or even B&B. Here’s why, apart from it being super adorable and special, France holds a tradition. And, being only 10 min away from a University that thrives on traditions, it seems only right. In this cabin, you will find corks left from wine bottles on top of the canopy of the bed. Now, nothing says romance like a bottle of wine, right? YES! However, not only do our guest enjoy a delicious, tasteful wine with their stay but they have started a tradition with those corks all on their own!

France Cabin Interior Featured

Spain’s quaint and relaxation feel starts from the moment you step into its Hacienda inspired cabin. The best part of this cabin is not the fabulous vintage wedding gown displayed in an 8 ft. showdown box but the fact that this cabins is basically a miniature castle in Spanish Colonial royal blue with rose-colored walls. A definite must-see.

Spain Cabin Interior Featured

The Hill Country Lodge is one that I have written about before. It was basically the beginning of 7F Lodge and the inspiration to continue “Love Saves Lives”. So, to avoid any repetition, I want to highlight the bed. Yes, you read correctly, the bed. The bed at Hill Country is actually an artistic configuration of four peeled and twisted cedars. It goes perfect with the whole ambiance of the cabin.

Hill Country Interior Hero

Speaking of unique beds, the Mexico cabin is, in my eyes, the most unique bed of all. (When I say bed, I really mean the headboard, just so we’re on the same page) The headboard of Mexico cabin is actually part of what use to be a lion’s cage door! It was just turned sideways to make the headboard of the queen-sized bed. So, next time you stay at Mexico, pay attention to the details! J
Mexico Cabin Interior Hero

The Sugar shack cabin, like Batts Ferry cabin has so much history that it goes beyond 7F Lodge. Sugar Shack is really a combination of two old tenant farmer houses direct from their original site on the Brazos River bottom to the woods of 7F Lodge. Kind of awesome that what once was a home for two separate families, is now an exclusive getaway for a special couple.

Sugar Shack Cabin Interior Hero

Like mentioned above, Batts Ferry cabin has been in existence way before 7F and “Love Saves Lives” was in the picture. Batts Ferry is a much more modern version of a log cabin indicative of 1848. It is named in honor of the Batts family, which ran a ferry at the Brazos River on land neighboring 7F Land and Cattle Company. Crazy, I know! But you won’t feel like 1848 when you stay at Batts Ferry, it’s more like 2014 with a 19th century feel.

Batts Ferry Interior Featured

So, I don’t want you to think that I’m just making this stuff up. I dare you to come and see for yourself. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

7F Direction Sign

Cabins

“7F, a weekend for you, a lifetime for them”

The guests that are lucky enough to stay at 7F Lodge know that they’ve found a little bit of heaven on earth. The place is great, the customer service is great and to top it off, the food is great! So, in this blog I want to talk about not the guests, but the residents.

I know, sounds weird…what residents? Well, we have one adorable kitty cat named Sadie, and a beautiful Cardinal named, well, some call him Charlie but we haven’t gotten that far yet.

Let’s start with Sadie:

Sadie is a full grown, orange tabby cat that can be sneaky at times. Yet, you can’t seem to scold her because she will look at you with those big, gorgeous eyes and make you wonder why you were mad in the first place. A normal day in Sadie’s life, consists of eating her delicious  food, napping a billion times, and meowing at anyone she sees. Sadie makes it her mission to get to know the guests that stay at 7F Lodge. We know because she is mentioned several times in all journals. Yeah, she’s pretty popular! Actually, I am kind of jealous of Sadie’s life; as anyone would be when told about her daily schedule. Her only job is to look adorable and wander the property as she pleases. Now, don’t misunderstand, she will not bother you while you enjoy your stay with us. She is friendly and she knows when her company is wanted and when it is not. Also, she’s not allowed in the rooms. And, please don’t feed her. We don’t want her losing her girlish figure.

Now, the little red bird:

There is a Cardinal that “hangs out” on our property and he’s a tad bit more than just a bird that sings throughout the day. This cardinal has become special to 7F Lodge because he also carries “Love Saves Lives” as his mantra. Let me explain. I mentioned above that guests have written about Sadie in our journals, well, this bird is even more popular than Sadie (Gasp!). He has found a home near one of our cabins, France. Most of the journal entries that mention this Cardinal say something along the lines of, “loved waking up to a small beautiful bird pecking at our window”. And although some guest appreciate the natural beauty of this bird, some prefer to sleep in (which is also totally fine!). However, those who see this Cardinal as more than just a bird, have found a certain joy in its presence. Some guests describes finding comfort in knowing that every time they visit France, they can count on the “red bird” pecking at their window. I can’t confirm that it is the same bird every time, but it sounds about right! Why don’t you come visit France and find out?

 

These two proud residents of 7F Lodge adds to the splendor of this place. Truly a retreat like no other, where the only thing you hate about it, is that you have to leave. Unless you’re Sadie or the Little Red Bird, of course.

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“If love does save lives, we’re going to live to be 200 yrs old”

I have spent lots of time reading journal entries in the cabins, and one in particular stood out from the rest. I want to share it with you. (Warning: You may cry and want to hug a loved one afterwards!)

“It was cold that January night in ’92, but my heart was even colder. I could see my breath condensing on the black steel barrel. I had driven out here on this road to end the pain, and now I cried out to God- ‘ if my life is of any value to you, Lord please,  just let me know and I won’t do this horrible thing I’ve come here to do.’  At that moment I could hear someone’s tires fall off the pavement onto the crackling gravel. I squinted as the headlights illuminated my face. A young lady pulled up alongside of my car and rolled down her window. I hoped it was dark enough to conceal the tears streaming down my cheeks. I could see her sparkling eyes and golden curls that framed an angelic face. She asked if I could help her find Pebble Creek Subdivision- I told her she must have made a wrong turn exiting the highway- she went west on Greens Prairie instead of east. I got her headed in the right direction but before she left she thanked me and said I was a life-saver…if she only knew.

I sat there in the dark trembling for fear and awe that a God who could create the heavens and direct the universe yet care enough for a desperate man to send an angel to his rescue. That moment changed my life forever. I committed myself to my studies over the next 2 years and did get into medical school- to the surprise of my parents and a councilor who said it was impossible, in January of ’92.  Now, 6 years later, I worked the ER in Houston. A young lady was rushed in the hospital with a severe and unexplained atrial fib. She was extremely frightened and genuinely believed her heart was dying. I explained to her that we had given her some medication and would need to run a few tests tomorrow with the cardiologist. As she lay in the hospital bed, I suddenly noticed a familiarity in her sparkling green eyes and golden curls.

This was my angel… I couldn’t believe my eyes, but after we talked about Aggieland and our pasts, we most assuredly had met on a gravel road 8 years ago. That day led to many more tearful conversations and those conversations flamed into love, and that love grew into a lifelong commitment. So here we are on our anniversary only minutes from where my life almost ended. Thank goodness God loved me enough to send my angel, and thank goodness God loves us all enough to send a Savior, His son… Jesus.”

– May 9, 2002

If this didn’t make you cry or at least give you a chill down your spine, I don’t know what will!  We can’t be 100% sure that this is a true story, but it convinced me! There are tons more journal entries like these and I will try to share them once in a while. This is only one example that LOVE does SAVE LIVES !

Cabins

“Because when you hit that dirt road, everything seems to slow down”

You would think that by now I would have run out of things to brag about for 7F. You would be wrong. There are tonsssss of things that make this place special. I want to share one of those unique aspects in this blog.

First, if you didn’t know, Sully’s Place, one of the eight cabins, is the cabin of the month. That means that you can spend a romantic night at Sully’s Sunday thru Thursday for a special low rate. So, in honor the cabin of the month, I spent some time in Sully’s reading journals. The journals at 7F are books full of empty pages waiting to be written in by a happy visitor. The journals sit on top of the bed waiting for guests and countless old, filled journals can be found throughout the cabins. Because Sully’s is a new addition to 7F, there were only a few journals but a few were all I needed for this blog. Within the pages of the books were brief glimpses into the memories and experiences of previous guests and reading them can be one of the highlights of staying at 7F.

But before I share journal entries, let me describe Sully’s Place. Sully’s Place, like all the cabins has a particular theme. And if I was forced to choose (I’m totally being biased, no force necessary) it would definitely be my favorite theme. Like pictured, Sully’s Place is Aggie themed. Now, this isn’t your typical Aggie themed place, this is completely unique. The owners did not want just any Aggie memorabilia. They wanted items that mattered and brought life to this cabin. For example, there is a cadet helmet used by an Aggie, an original yearbook from an Aggie, and even old books used by Aggies all from “Old Ag’ Days”.

I was amazing to me that even though the guests at the cabin were there to enjoy each other’s company, they were also able to catch these small but inspiring items. I know this because they mentioned them in the journal entries.

Here are a few:

“Thank you 7F for the weekend getaway! It was fabulous!”

“We enjoyed the stay very much! Brought back memories of our first date, the 1968 Cotton Bowl.”

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow…”

“Thanks for providing such a clean, charming, and private environment– hope you are endlessly successful!”

“We discovered 7F in 2000 when we decided to follow a random ‘wedding this way’ sign. Those signs brought us to the chapel. We didn’t crash the wedding, it had taken place the night before. A year later, my husband blindfolded me and brought me back to the beautiful chapel and proposed. On our 10th anniversary (three children, two dogs, 7 moves around the world later) we have come back to this beautiful and romantic chapel.”

All of these explain why 7F is completely amazing.  But I have to say the entry that mentions, “we just followed a ‘wedding this way’ sign,” is the absolute best. That one speaks to me! And, more importantly, makes for a good laugh. Out of pure curiosity they found 7F Lodge and it has essentially been the rock in their marriage. That’s what I’ve been trying to say with every blog! 7F isn’t great because of all the attention to detail, but because the people who visit make it what it is, a place to unwind and recuperate before heading back to the real world. So let that sink in, 7F is an escape, a safe haven, and a place to make lasting memories. Just look at the journals!

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Wedding Day

I’ve been so happy working at 7F Lodge for many reasons:  first, I LOVE social media and to get paid for it is like not working at all! (But I am working, promise!). Second, somehow the big man upstairs has always blessed me with a job where the people are friendly, hardworking and helpful and 7F Lodge is no different! And lastly, I get to see how a business is run from the inside. Getting real-world experience from entrepreneurs (other than my mother’s business) outside of the classroom is something I’ve been looking forward to since I can remember.

So with that said, this past weekend I was able to spend a day with Laura, the manager. I saw the “behind the scenes” of what she does during a day when 7F hosts a wedding. I came all dolled up because, well, it was a wedding day and who doesn’t like dressing up on occasion? I assumed we’d be helping with wedding stuff, or at least meet the bride. I was wrong.

I probably should have worn a t-shirt instead.

I arrived at 11 am and Laura had already been busy. We started by going through every cabin (remember, there are eight) and removing all linens to be washed. She showed me the checklist she uses and the one the employees use to clean the cabins. Now, I love checklists, they keep you in order and help you achieve a goal. But my checklists have never been as thorough as the one I saw. Every detail in the cabin had to be precisely how it was before the guest arrived. So, when a guest returns for a second time (and they so often do), they will find the cabin as wonderful to experience as the first time they came to 7F.

Not only did we check cabins, but in between that task Laura also needed to go back to the office constantly to return any call/emails that she had missed while gone. She also had to go back to the laundry area several times to check on the linens we previously gathered. We then made the welcome baskets that are found in each cabin upon arrival for the guests. I thought, “This won’t take long”, nope! Wrong again! Laura taught me how and where every item was set in the basket. My thought then changed to, “Dear God, this is going to take forever!” and it did. However, while I was helping, I realized that arranging the baskets was taking longer than usual because there was a lot of thought going into each basket made.

This “theme” follows the rest of the day; everything we did throughout the day was for a purpose. Not a purpose to “get stuff done” but to make the wedding as perfect as perfect gets. We checked things off the list, we arranged baskets with care, and even picked up trash along the path. Small trash, like gum wrapper that I didn’t even notice! But it was important that everything be in tip-top shape!

Luckily I can handle a little hard work. I didn’t mind it at all because it was about helping to make someone’s wedding experience flawless, and I can definitely admire that.

 

So, I like Laura. She showed me that having a job isn’t just about making money. It’s about making someone’s day just a little bit better. She made my day better! If you’ve been thinking about visiting 7F, you definitely should! I promise they KNOW how to treat a customer!

Weddings