Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all your friends at the Fitzpatrick Hotel ! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Decorating for Christmas and why friends are important

I love Christmas -- I really, really love Christmas.  However, decorating for Christmas is another story.  Decorating usually stresses me out because I am not really domestic and have no artistic ability whatsoever.  I am able to get by at my house pretty well, but decorating a historic building like the Fitzpatrick for Christmas is another story. 

A few weeks ago (in anticipation of Candlelight Shopping on the Square) we (we would be Mike and I) decided that we could not put off decorating the Fitzpatrick any longer -- it had to be done.  Unfortunately, even though "we" decided, it was going to be "me" that would be decorating because Mike was recovering from knee surgery and could not stand up very well at the time.  Fortunately, we have friends (Robert and Ed from Talk of the Town) that do have artistic ability who were also willing to help!  Oktay and Tatyana also offered up their Sunday afternoon to assist, which I appreciated so very much because I need all the help I can get. 

Our first step was to pull the boxes of Christmas decorations out of the closet where they were stored.  It is a fairly small closet so Andrew (age 12) offered to go in and hand us the boxes.  Have you ever seen the clowns come out of the little car at the circus?  That is what this felt like -- the boxes just kept coming. 
This is the lobby after we brought all the boxes down. 
Once we got everything downstairs, we found the tree and started to try to put it up. 
Ed trying to figure out what we have

I am not sure what I am doing, but probably searching for missing parts and pieces

Little by little, you could see things coming together. 

We even put the kids to work

Ed and Tatyana -- now you can see lights!
After several hours, we were all exhausted but not quite done.  Robert and Ed offered to finish things up for us so that we could go home.  Well, the next time I came to the hotel, this is what I saw.....

The finished product!  So much better than anything I could have done on my own.
In "It's a Wonderful Life" Clarence tells George that "no man is poor who has friends".  Truer words were never spoken.  Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Black Friday special -- better late than never!

Okay, this was supposed to be my Black Friday special, but we have busy redecorating at the hotel and time slipped up on me.  Anyway, better late than never...

For a limited time, the Fitzpatrick is offering a few package deals that would make a wonderful gift for the special person in your life that has everything. These packages can be used anytime (no blackout dates) that the hotel is open.

Gold Package: $185.00 ($299 value)                        
A night in the Suite
Gift Basket ($50 value)
Fresh Flower Bouquet
$25 Gift Certificate to Talk of the Town
Washington Tour*

Silver Package: $155.00 ($249 value)
A night in one of our Front rooms facing the Square
Gift Basket ($50 value)
$25 Gift Certificate to Talk of the Town
Washington Tour*

Bronze Package: $99.00 ($215 value)
A night in one of our newly decorated Standard rooms
Gift Basket ($50 value)
$25 Gift Certificate to Talk of the Town
Washington Tour*

*Scheduling of tours based on availability of the tour guide.

Please call 706-678-5900 or e-mail to purchase your special today!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Forecast for Washington, Georgia -- SNOW!

On the three Friday evenings leading up to Christmas, our shops will be staying open late and there will be SNOW ON THE SQUARE!  The snow will begin at 6:00 pm and will be loads of fun for everyone.  Bundle everyone up and make plans to visit Washington on one of these Friday nights -- better yet, stay over at the Fitzpatrick :-). 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Civil War Roundtable

I want to take a little time to promote the Civil War Round Table which meets at the Fitzpatrick the 4th Monday of every month and is open to the public.  Washington played a very important role in Civil War history and the Round Table seeks to promote discussion and study of this important time in American history.

The next meeting will be held next Monday, November 22, at 6:00pm.  The event includes dinner and this month's speaker will be Mr. David Rutledge of Greenville, South Carolina.  Mr. Rutledge will be discussing "The Life and Times of Gen. David F. Jamison (CSA)" (additional information below).  Mr. Rutledge is a direct descendent of Gen. Jamison and has wealth of knowledge about his ancestor as well as a number of Gen. Jamison's personal items that will be on display. 

The cost of the meeting is $10.00 and reservations can be made by contacting Claibourne Darden, Round Table President by e-mail at or by calling (404)210-5811 and leaving a message. After 12:00 p.m. Friday, make reservations ONLY by calling (404) 210-5811 and leaving a message.

Below is some additional information about Gen. Jamison.  I highly encourage you to consider attending this dynamic presentaion. 

The Life & Times of Gen. David F. Jamison (CSA)Mr. David Rutledge of Greenville, SC will present “The Life and Times of Gen. David F. Jamison (CSA)” at the Washington Civil War Round Table meeting on Monday evening.
The South Carolina Secession Convention was originally scheduled to be held on December 17, 1860 in Columbia, South Carolina. But due to an outbreak of smallpox in Columbia, it was moved to Charleston and rescheduled for December 19. David Jamison, a gentleman-scholar who had a 2,000 acre, 70-slave plantation was a General in the South Carolina Militia and was named President of the Convention. Gen. Jameson had been one of the three founders of The Citadel, South Carolina’s military academy.

Gen. David Jamison (CSA)
President of the S. Carolina Secession Convention

On December 19, 1860, President Jamison called the Secession Convention to order in St. Andrews Hall in Charleston, using a gavel inscribed with the word “Secession”. In attendance, in addition to the South Carolina delegates, was the Governor of Florida, official representatives from the states of Alabama and Mississippi, four former U.S. Senators and a former U.S Attorney General. President Jamison read a telegram to the Convention from the Governor of Alabama that urged them “to brook (make) no delay.”
On the second day of the Convention, the Committee to Prepare an Ordinance of Secession had read aloud the following:
We, the people of the State of South Carolina, in convention assembled, do declare and ordain, and it is hereby declared and ordained….that the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of the "United States of America," is hereby dissolved.

At 1:15 p.m., December 20, 1860, the delegates voted 169-0 to adopt the ordinance as read. That evening at 7:00 p.m., a public sighing ceremony took place in Institute Hall. When completed, President Jamison held up the signed document and stated, “I proclaim the State of South Carolina an independent commonwealth. “ The deed had been cast. It’s a fascinating story of the very beginning of the Confederacy.
Mr. Rutledge is a direct descendant of Gen. David Jamison. He will bring a number of family portraits and items owned by Gen. Jamison and display them during his presentation. Mr. Rutledge makes a splendid presentation about his ancestor and this is one you don’t want to miss.

We will be open on Thanksgiving!

We will be open on the Thanksgiving in the event that you have family or friends visiting for the holidays.  We are also offering a Friends and Family special as shown below.  Please let us know if you have any questions.  We look forward to seeing you!

Thanksgiving Friends and Family Special

The Fitzpatrick Hotel will be open on Wednesday through Saturday, November 24-27, to accommodate your friends and family that may be in town for the Thanksgiving holidays.

We are offering a special Friends and Family Thanksgiving rate from November 24-27 of $70.00 for our rooms that face the rear of the hotel property and $95.00 for rooms that face the downtown square.

Please call 706-678-5900, e-mail, or go on-line at to make reservations.
We would love to have you as our guest during this holiday season!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Everything Old is New Again!

They say that everything old is new again and that is definitely true at the Fitzpatrick.  After 7 years of operations, it is time to do some upgrading and freshening up.  After taking the hotel operations back over this past June, we have made several improvements including our new breakfast area with new menu of organics, natural, and locally produced food, as well as expanding the retail and restaurant space to allow for more flexibility.  This has allowed us to fill this space with one of the best retail and food service providers that we know -- Talk of the Town. 

Our next undertaking is upgrading the hotel rooms to give them more of a boutique hotel feel.  We are very excited about having a new look and more functional rooms.  We are changing the room colors around a bit to reflect a lighter fare as opposed to the heavier Victorian colors (see our pic below and let me know what you think).  We have also gotten comments over the years about the functionality of the antique furniture -- it is really pretty, but not always comfortable.  In response, we are going to replace some of the key furniture pieces with reproduction items and extremely comfortable chairs, which was the item that customers commented on the most.  We are also replacing all electronics in the building to include new flat-screened televisions, in-room ipod docking stations, upgraded WiFi, 20G fiber-optic network, and computer kiosks in the lobby for customer use.

Currently we have either one queen or one double bed in each room.  We will be putting King sized beds and two double beds in some of the rooms as size allows and also include wet bars in certain rooms.  The linens will be upgraded and we will be using new down comforters and duvet covers.  We are also planning to replace the art-work with art from local and regional artists. We hope that this will foster interest in the work of some our terrific local artists, who we will highlight in future blogposts.   

This one shows the color pretty well  

We need all the help we can get!

Mike putting the finishing touches on the bathroom.
Stay tuned as I try to keep you updated on our progress and of course, make plans to see us so that you can see the improvements live and in person!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"A Man Named Pearl"

A few weeks ago I told you about the upcoming art festival, featuring world  renowned topiary artist, Pearl Fryar.  Pearl is the subject of a documentary, A Man Named Pearl.  According to Docudrama Films, "The film traces Pearl’s journey from a small town sharecropper’s son to an internationally-acclaimed artist, and from his initial goal to win the Bishopville, SC, “Yard of the Month Award”—a goal instigated by a bigoted remark—to the many accolades that followed, including museum exhibitions and his status as the celebrated cultural icon of his impoverished town."  The documentary will be shown at the Retro Cinema on Friday evening, November 5. 

For a limited time, the Fitzpatrick Hotel is offering an ArtFest weekend package that includes a night at the Fitzpatrick, 2 tickets to the special screening of "A Man Named Pearl" on Friday night, wine reception before the screening, and the opportunity to meet Pearl after the movie.   Rates for the package deal are: $129 for rooms facing the rear and $169 for rooms facing the square.  Call, e-mail, or visit our website for reservations.  

Please make plans to come out and see the film and meet the man that many refer to as the "real life Edward Scissorhands". 

Monday, October 25, 2010

It takes more than pink to fight breast cancer

Today's post was written by Kathryn Filipiak, RD, LD.  This is a very appropriate post for this time of year as our breast cancer awareness is heightened during this time of year.  Thanks Kathryn for great information!

The traditional colors of October have been shifting recently from orange & black to pink.  All over town here in Washington, GA, store windows are painted with pink ribbons and words such as “hope” and “dream.”   Thanks to the Susan G. Komen efforts, pink has come to symbolize a collective fight against breast cancer nationwide.   But while pink may be the theme color, research shows more and more that our reds, oranges, yellows, green, blues, purples and browns are the real heroes behind cancer prevention.  
            I could go into great detail about all the things you should and shouldn’t eat but the truth is a lot of us already know that to prevent cancer you need to eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables (cauliflower included even though it’s white!) and eat not just whole wheat but a variety of whole grains (like quinoa, barley, millet and oats too!).  Some of you may not already know, however, that being overweight may soon surpass tobacco use as the leading cause of cancer.  Or that over two thirds of ALL cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes such as not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting daily exercise.  Or even that all of us have pre-cancerous cells in our bodies and what we eat can either promote these cancer cells or destroy them.
            The following top recommendations here come directly from AICR, American Institute on Cancer Research.  AICR performs a meta-analysis of all cancer & lifestyle factors published to produce solid, research based recommendations on how you can prevent cancer.  They also offer a ton of delicious recipes and ideas to use fruits and vegetables you may normally pass over in the grocery store or farmers market. 
Dr. Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD has published this book on research based advice on foods and habits that boost your body’s ability to destroy cancer cells along with conventional treatments.  My favorite point that is emphasized in this book is that healthy eating can be incredibly satisfying and delicious.
In this last week of October, rather than think about all the things you know you should be doing, start to think about one or two lifestyle changes you could actually be doing.  Maybe it’s a decision to start reading food labels and avoid buying any product that contains “partially or fully hydrogenated oils” (known as trans fat).  Or perhaps you decide to carve out thirty minutes once a week to go to your local farmer’s market and let your kids pick out a new vegetable they want to try.  Even easier may be to start drinking a cup of green tea each afternoon to refocus for the last couple hours of work.  By focusing on one or two small changes at a time, you are able to snowball your efforts into lifelong habits.  Trying to completely change your eating habits all in one day, however, usually leads to frustration and failure. 
So to help continue to fight breast cancer all year long, keep thinking pink but don’t forget about red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and brown too!      

Veggie Plate


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Breakfast -- the most important meal of the day

At the Fitzpatrick we want our guests to start their day off right and of course, that means breakfast.  One of the recent changes we have made is to begin offering more healthy breakfast food choices.  We now have organic dairy products, fruit, and juices.  We also have a array of baked good prepared by Kathryn Filipiak, a registered dietician who owns Southern Scratch Delights and Delectables.  Kathryn specializes in preparing nutritious but incredibly delicious foods.  She also tries to utilize local produce and foods produced by Washington-Wilkes farmers and gardeners wherever possible.  Below are some pictures of Kathryn's creations on our breakfast table, but the pictures do not do justice.  In this case, tasting is believing!

I have been talking with Kathryn about posting some recipes on this blog, so be on the look out for those in the future.  Or better yet, Kathryn has a booth at the Farmer's Market each Saturday so feel free to visit her to purchase some of these fabulous baked goods for yourself.  Check out Southern Scratch on Facebook.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fabulous Fare at the Farmer's Market

Our family had the opportunity to go to the Washington Farmer's Market this morning and were so impessed with what we found.  The Washington Farmer's Market is located behind the Courthouse on the square and runs every Saturday from 8am - noon.  In addition to beautiful fruits and vegetables, there were also baked goods, and arts/crafts. 

We bought some tomatoes (that I am looking forward to using tonight), honey from nearby Tignall, and pans of cinnamon rolls and orange rolls baked this morning by Kathryn Filipiak of Southern Scratch Delights and Delectables. I failed to grab my camera before I left the house so I took a few pictures of my purchases after I got home and I also lifted a couple of Farmer's Market pictures from Southern Scratch's facebook page (Kathryn, I did not think you would mind!)

Take a visit to the Farmer's Market one Saturday morning -- you won't be disappointed!
Pan of Kathryn Filipiak's made-from-scratch orange rolls

One of Kathryn's pictures showing her tables at the market 

Another one of Kathryn's pictures showing fresh produce

Some of the pretty vine-ripened tomatoes I picked up

Monday, October 11, 2010

For a fun Halloween weekend, try the Masquerade Ball at the Fitz

Do you have plans for the Halloween weekend?  If not, why not do something fun and unique this year?  Talk of the Town will be hosting a Masquerade Ball in the Fitzpatrick Ballroom on October 30th.  The Ball will be held from 7-11 pm and will feature music from DJ Jason Crook.  Tickets are $15.00 per person, but with each room booked at the Fitzpatrick, we will throw in two tickets free of charge.  This would be a great way to spend the Halloween weekend!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

The ArtFest is coming to town…November 5-7

The Washington-Wilkes Arts Foundation has scheduled its Annual Fall ArtFest for November 5-7.  This is a great event for the whole family as there are artists demonstrating their work, art to purchase, and fun activities for the kids.  Mike and I have a number of pieces of art in our home that we purchased at previous ArtFest’s that are very meaningful to us since we had a chance to meet and get to know the artists.
This year’s featured artist is Pear Fryar, a world renowned topiary designer.  He is the subject of the documentary movie, “A Man Named Pearl” that will be shown on Friday night and there will be a chance to meet Pearl Fryar after the movie.  I went to his website,, and was absolutely blown away by some of his work.  I am so looking forward to meeting him and seeing his work in person. 
The schedule for the ArtFest is:
Friday —
Movie:  “A Man Named Pearl”
Meet & Greet artist after movie

Saturday —
Art  Exhibits on the Square
Children’s Art
Topiary by Pearl
Member Reception (evening)

Sunday —
Art Exhibits

The exact times of the events have not been finalized, but will be posted to the WWAF website,

Below are some pictures that I took at a prior ArtFest.  Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Driveby at the Christmas Store

The Christmas Store is now open!  My picture does not do it justice (it was a drive-by on the way to dinner tonight), but it looks fabulous. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas...

Petal Pusher's Christmas Store is opening this week!  If you have never visited the Christmas Store, I would highly recommend a visit this year.  Shay and Henry Harris are good friends of ours and have been working hard to get the store prepared for your shopping pleasure (and mine). The store is open from late September through January each year and is full of any Christmas item you can imagine, from novelty items to ornaments to fully decorated trees.

One of the highlights of our family's Christmas each year is going to the store and letting each child pick his or her own ornament to put on our tree.  Shay and Henry have the widest assortment of ornaments I have seen, including gorgeous Christopher Radko ornaments.  We have also gotten some of our most unique Christmas items from the store -- in fact when our children were younger, Henry made it a point give them something from the store that made noise (you know, the kind of gifts that keep on giving...).  We have a Christmas Horse that plays the Lone Ranger theme, a very cute train set with a very loud whistle, and a bear that sings "Feliz Navidad".  As you can see, you can find almost anything you need for Christmas by giving them a visit. 

Mike stopped by the Christmas Store earlier this week and took a few pictures of Shay putting the finishing touches on things.  The Christmas Store is located on the square and has been called "the best Christmas store east of Atlanta" for a very good reason. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Looking for Variety?

The Wills Memorial Hospital Auxiliary will be presenting a Fall Variety Show on October 16-17 at the Bolton Lunceford Little Theatre.  The production is being directed by Stan Coe, who has done an outstanding job on many of the Washington Little Theater productions.  The show will include musical acts, suzuki strings, dance numbers, and a lot more.  Mike and I attended one of the variety shows a couple of years ago and were amazed at the talent.  Tickets are $10.00 and showtimes are Saturday, October 16 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, October 17 at 3:00 pm. 

We will give two free tickets to anyone who books a room at the hotel on Saturday night, October 16th, and mentions the Variety show as long as tickets are available. Call us at at 706-678-5900 or if you would prefer to make your reservations on-line, just send us an e-mail at and let us know that you would like to attend the Variety show. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Who said Washington, Georgia was boring?

Welcome to the Fitzpatrick Hotel blog. My name is Christy Todd and my three business partners (one of which is my wonderful husband) restored the Fitzpatrick Hotel in 2004. We operated the hotel until 2007 and sold the business at that time. We returned to the hotel in mid-June of this year when the new owner ceased operations.

As part of our return, we are working to make some improvements. One of the things we would like to improve on is the way we communicate with our customers and friends and that is the primary reason for starting this blog. In the past, I have produced a quarterly newsletter but things change so quickly that letting you know about events and specials on a quarterly basis is not often enough. This blog will replace our newsletter and allow me to keep you updated on events at the hotel or in Washington and the surrounding areas. Some of the events that I look forward to blogging about in the coming weeks are: Mule Days, Fall Variety Show, ArtFest, the Unchained Tour, Snowing on the Square, Candlelight Shopping, the opening of the Christmas Store, the Christmas Tour of Homes, New Years Eve, and much more.

We will also be using the blog to provide specials and last-minute deals. In the future I hope to begin tweeting last minute deals as well (I am taking baby steps so stay tuned). We are upgrading other areas of the hotel operations and will keep you posted on those changes.

There are a lot of things happening in Washington that you do not want to miss. Hope to see you soon!

Wilkes County Courthouse