Tuesday, June 30, 2020

A Short History of Victorian Architecture

A Short History of Victorian Architecture
You've probably noticed Hines Mansion on your drive down 100 South. It jumps out a little when placed beside the modern offices and residential homes of downtown Provo. But once upon a time, the mansion's architecture was much more the norm. If you consider yourself an architecture buff, here is a primer on Victorian architecture. Be sure to drop by Hines Mansion to see a real-life example of this beautiful building style.

Queen Victoria Ornamentation
The Victorian Age
During the time that Queen Victoria ruled Great Britain, a period of 71 years from the mid-1800s to the beginning of the 20th century, a variety of architectural styles gained popularity. The culmination of these styles is considered Victorian architecture.

The economy and mindset that highlighted these years are reflected in its architectural elements.  Gaudy and extravagant features from Gothic Revival, Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne, and many other styles punctuated this time and made up the elements of what you probably think of as the Victorian style. From the flourished trim to the high ceilings, every aspect of these buildings could stand on its own, but it was the combination of these features that made the architecture so memorable.

Most of the architecture that was prominent in this age had an element of extravagance to it. The Industrial Revolution heralded increased wealth, which increased this focus on excess that you can see directly represented in the architectural elements of the time. The surge of innovation in the area of mass-production and other building-related advances resulted in a massive amount of houses constructed between 1850 and 1870, all boasting the latest fashions in home design.

Victorian Gabled Roof
Features of Victorian Architecture
The largest influence on what we now see as Victorian was the Gothic Revival. Gothic Revival is best known for its steep roofs, gables, and decorative elements clearly present or amplified in many Victorian-style houses. Gothic Revival also introduced home builders to the non-sensical floor plan, which was also adopted into our current vision of Victorian architecture and culminated in visually appealing but impractical home layouts. So while the Gothic Revival style can be credited as first dipping its toes into this trend, it was really the Victorian era mindset, as well as the ease and affordability of fancy flourishes, that led to beauty over practicality becoming the cornerstone of the Victorian style.

With regard to fanciness becoming affordable, it was in large part due to the thriving economy. Many features of Victorian architecture became accessible not only to the very wealthy, but also the middle class, which was experiencing increased prosperity. What's more, mass-production made a lot of materials that had previously been expensive or hard to acquire affordable and available to a larger portion of the population. This allowed those who were not building a new home to purchase trim and other house flourishes that they could simply add to their current homes, and so become fashionably extravagant. 

Victorian Manor
Characterized by ornate features, layers, and not shying away from the showy, it is easy to spot Victorian architecture. From the outside, you will notice flashy gables, steep roofs, many stories, large porches, and canted bay windows. The interiors often feature carved wood paneling, stained glass, showy wallpaper, and ornamental fireplaces. Due to the mass-production of bricks and the easy transport of wood and other materials by rail, wood and brick were common materials used in the outer wall construction of homes during this time. Sometimes the brick would be left bare, and other times were painted in bright colors. Turrets and towers were also popular, generally built in a round or octagonal shape, and intended to bring the gaze up and add to the ornate feel of the home.

These houses were not known for their symmetry, further punctuating the free-form style that Victorian architecture embodied. Many also embraced a cluttered look, using as many textures, trims, and even bright colors, as they pleased. You might see a house from this era with a combination of scalloped shingles on the outer walls, elaborate trim, a wrap-around porch, and gables or towers all fused into one edifice.

Victorian Homes Side-By-Side
The Spread of Victorian Architecture
Often many Victorian houses were built in a small area, crammed onto one busy street to accommodate as many working-class people employed by nearby factories as possible. Despite staying true to the Victorian style leanings of the time with their architectural features, many of these homes did not include sanitation and were actually more focused on function than fashion. 

Although this architecture was especially prevalent in England, the popularity of these features spread quickly to other countries, including North America. These days it is not difficult to spot a home built during this period in popular U.S. cities, including many along the coast of California, and, of course, Provo, Utah.

Hines Mansion Exterior
Hines Mansion - A Local Victorian Manor
Considered to be one of the most historic residential landmarks in Utah County, Hines Mansion was built in 1895 by Russell and Kitty Hines. Thought to be designed by Richard Kletting, designer of the Utah State Capitol Building, it was originally used as a showplace. 
From 1975 to 1978, renovations took place that maintained as much of the integrity of the original architecture as possible. A cupola was rebuilt to be a close representation of the original, and wings were added on the first level. These renovations were done by Douglas K. Hardy, who received an award of merit from the Utah Heritage Foundation as a result of his work.

Hines Mansion has been home to many owners and businesses throughout the years. It was first turned into bed and breakfast in 1995 by Gene and Sandi Henderson, who added extra rooms in a turn-of-the-century style. The current owners Kyle and Michelle Schick continue to proudly run the Hines Mansion as a bed and breakfast today.

Throughout its many years as a bed and breakfast, the Hines Mansion owners have always upheld a high standard of service, hospitality and quality. With its rich 120 year history and gorgeous restored Victorian architecture, a stay at the Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast is truly allows you to take a step back in time.

Monday, June 22, 2020

5 Award-Winning B&B Breakfasts You Can Make from Home

5 Award-winning B&B Breakfasts You Can Make From Home
You can’t stay at a bed and breakfast without enjoying a delicious, homemade breakfast. Across the country, B&Bs are serving up some gourmet dishes for guests. The competition has gotten so tough, there are even tournaments for the best B&B breakfasts in the United States. 

These are top five award-winning B&B breakfasts you can make from home: 

Pancakes with berry sauce
1. Lemon Souffle Pancakes with Blueberry Compote
In the quaint town of Springfield, Kentucky, the Maple Hill Manor is cooking up some of the best breakfast in the country. Touted as “Kentucky’s Best Bed and Breakfast,” this manor has won many awards throughout the year, including a 2013 award for their lemon souffle pancakes, served with blueberry compote. 

Makes 8 servings

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add cream of tartar and lemon zest. In the center of the mixture, pour the milk, egg, and butter, and mix until batter is smooth. 
  2. Lightly oil or spray a griddle or frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan and brown on both sides until edges are crispy. 
  3. Top with blueberries and warmed maple syrup. 
Blueberry Compote
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (save ½ cup for topping)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  1. Combine half the blueberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often for about 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Add the other cup of blueberries, and cook, stirring often for eight minutes, until the compote is thick enough to coat the spoon. 
  2. Top with blueberries and powdered sugar. 
Chowder in a bowl
2. Corn Chowder with Poached Eggs
The Historic Rabbit Hill Inn offers a unique, candlelit breakfast buffet, including a breakfast corn chowder that quickly became the inn’s staple. This four-star bed and breakfast in northern Vermont also serves afternoon treats and dinner and cocktails. 

Makes 4 servings
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 pound diced bacon
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced fennel
  • 1 cup corn niblets (fresh or frozen, cooked)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tsp. minced rosemary
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 cups diced potato
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 eggs, poached
  • 4 slices baguette, toasted
  • 8 bacon slices, cooked
  1. Add oil and diced bacon to a pot and cook until crisp. Add onions, celery, and fennel, and cook until tender. Add corn, red pepper, and rosemary. Stir and remove from heat. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and stir. 
  2. While diced bacon cooks, add vegetable stock and potatoes to a separate pot. Bring to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fork-tender. 
  3. Add potatoes and vegetable stock to the bacon and vegetable mixture. Return to heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Add half-and-half and season with salt and pepper, and simmer. 
  4. Use a ladle to serve in a warm bowl. Place a toasted baguette on top and add two poached eggs. Serve with two slices of bacon and rosemary. 
Breakfast platter
3. Panettone Pain Perdu with Merlot Poached Pears and Lemon Curd
On the shores of Lake Michigan in the small city of Whitehall, Michigan, you’ll find a quaint B&B with gourmet, creative dishes. The chefs at Cocoa Cottage Bed & Breakfast love experimenting with their recipes, and the panettone pain perdu with pears and lemon curd takes a top spot for best B&B breakfast. 

Makes 4 servings
  • 4 slices panettone
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. orange oil
  • A handful of grated nutmeg
  • 4 peeled Bosc pears (with stems)
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 cups Merlot wine
  • 3/4 cups pear nectar
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla
  • 1 cinnamon stick, crushed
  • 6 peppercorns, crushed
  • Lemon curd
  1. Peel pears with stems attached. Scoop out the bottom. 
  2. Add pears, wine, water, nectar, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, and vanilla in a large saucepan. Cook uncovered for 40–50 minutes until tender. 
  3. Slice the pears in half and core. Fill the empty space with lemon curd. 
  4. Whisk heavy cream, eggs, orange oil, Grand Marnier, and cinnamon together. Cut four slices of panettone (about an inch thick). Place slices in a large dish and cover with cream and egg mixture. Grate nutmeg over the top and turn once. 
  5. Cook the panettone in a buttered pan until both sides are brown and center springs back. 
  6. Put slices on a plate and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. Top with berries and add poached pear. Add sausage and maple syrup to the plate and serve. 
Los Poblanos Shakshouka
4. Los Poblanos Shakshouka
New Mexico is well-known for its spicy chilies and concoctions created with it. At Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm in Albequerque, chefs are using those flavors to create a fresh, organic shakshouka breakfast. 

Makes 4-6 servings
  • 1 pound garbanzo beans
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 tsp. toasted and ground cumin seed
  • 2 tsp. toasted and ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp. toasted and ground Grains of Paradise
  • 2 tbsp. toasted New Mexico red chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp. toasted and ground caraway
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil. 
  • Eggs for topping
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for topping
  • Feta for topping
  • Mint for topping
  • Black pepper for topping
  1. Cover garbanzo beans in water five times their volume in a large pot. Bring to a boil then simmer. Skim thoroughly. When foam decreases, add garlic. Simmer until tender (several hours) and add water as needed. When tender, add salt until the broth is salty. 
  2. In another large pot, heat onions and garlic in olive oil and salt until translucent. Add spices and herbs. Cook until fragrant. Add wine; reduce by half. Add tomatoes and zest the orange over the pot (reserve the rest of the orange). Simmer and add salt (to taste). Cook until tomatoes are collapsed. 
  3. Heat two parts garbanzo beans and one part tomato stew. Bring to a simmer, and add seasoning and water, if needed. Create a well in the stew for each egg. Add a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and crack an egg in each well. Cover, and make sure the heat is low and eggs are poaching in a low simmer. When whites are done, remove from heat and scoop eggs onto the side of a warm bowl. Ladle the stew into the bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add toppings and serve. 

5. Banana Split French Toast
At the Winter Park ski town in Colorado sits the Winter Park Chateau, a picturesque mountain B&B with a hearty breakfast for mountaineers ready for their next adventure. The banana split French toast is a favorite, and the name says it all. 

Makes 6 servings
  • A loaf of French bread/baguette
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 bananas, sliced
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. dark rum
  • Butter for frying
  1. Slice bread into eight pieces, each about two inches thick. Slice about three-quarters through the middle of each piece for filling. 
  2. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar together and spread between bread slices. Add sliced bananas and press together so pieces stick. 
  3. Combine eggs, half-and-half, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip sandwiches into the batter and cook in a buttered frying pan until bread is brown and egg is cooked. 
  4. In a saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, and rum and lightly boil on medium heat. Turn down heat and add bananas. Cook for about five minutes and stir often until slightly thickened. Pour mixture over cooked bread. 
These are just five of thousands of delicious B&B breakfasts calling for their next guests to enjoy. Try out these recipes for your taste of a weekend getaway, and they’ll leave you wanting more. Keep in mind that at Hines Mansion Bed & Breakfast of Provo UT, we provide our own gourmet breakfast that will start your day off deliciously.

Follow this link to learn more: hinesmansion.com/breakfast.htm

Monday, June 15, 2020

9 Best Stargazing Spots Near Provo, Utah

9 Best Stargazing Spots near Provo, Utah
When it comes to stargazing, you don’t have to stray too far from Provo to get a great view. Utah prides itself on working to preserve its dark skies, believing that you should easily be able to find a spot where you can see the Milky Way. There are many opportunities for all types of stargazers near Provo. From planetarium shows to quiet outlooks, you won’t be disappointed.

Trees beneath night sky
Brigham Young University 
Located in Provo, Brigham Young University offers fantastic opportunities for stargazers, astronomy enthusiasts, and people of all ages. The BYU Astronomical Society offers a wide range of activities for anyone who wants to get a great view of the night sky and learn about what they are seeing in the process. 

Some events and activities hosted by the Society include weekly planetarium shows and monthly star parties. While the shows are conducted at the University, star parties are great if you want to be guided through the night sky in an outdoor location. While the planetarium shows are generally followed by use of the observation deck, nothing beats the darkness of a more rural location. 

Man standing beneath starry sky
Lookout Peak Trail
Sitting at around 9000 feet and boasting an incredible view, Lookout Peak might make you forget the 45-minute drive from Provo. While during the daytime it’s claim to fame is it’s 8 mile hike, at night the panoramic views become dotted with a brilliant amount of stars.

Many hikers mention the solitude of the trail, and it does not seem to be a very trafficked area. Keep this spot in mind if you need to do some deep thinking during your stargazing, but if you would prefer to check out the night sky in an area with more people around, it might not be for you.

Tree silhouettes beneath the stars
Steep Mountain Park
30 minutes outside of Provo is Steep Mountain Park, located on South Mountain. Not too far from civilization, this spot delicately balances rural darkness and accessibility.

This public park has clean-cut grass and amenities such as a playground and sports fields, as well as a paved path. It is an ideal spot for seeing the night sky while potentially avoiding nocturnal wildlife or uneven terrain. Parking is on the street, so you don’t have to worry about being locked in and can view the starry sky in peace for hours. 

Harmon’s Grocery – Bangerter Crossing 
Not everyone wants to drive out of town or to unpopulated areas to see the stars, and luckily you don’t have to. It may seem like there would be too much light pollution near a grocery store, but the Salt Lake Astronomical Society has been known to meet in Harmon’s parking lots–and you can probably trust that they know what they’re doing.

If the Harmon’s at Bangerter Crossing isn’t working out, you can always try another location, such as South Jordan or Brickyard. You have many options for a city location that still offers a fantastic night sky experience. Bangerter Crossing is just 30 minutes from Provo. 

Hidden Peak Summit
A little further outside of Provo sits Hidden Peak Summit, about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from the city. A highly trafficked spot, you might find you have company when you come to stargaze. It is not just known for it’s snowboarding and skiing, but for it’s incredible view as well. 

You can come on your own, or take the trek out with a stargazing group. During the summer, people organize stargazing outings to Hidden Peak Summit to take advantage of it’s high elevation and close-up views of the night sky. 

Rock Canyon Trail Parking Lot
If you are looking for a spot that is close to town and easy to access, this could be the one for you. The trail itself is not recommended after dark, but the parking lot to the trailhead is open 24 hours, and is situated right on an overlook of Provo. You can do some very decent star gazing as soon as you step out of your car.

The parking lot is located at Rock Canyon Trailhead Park (not Rock Canyon Park). If you are feeling adventurous, you can make a day of it – hike the moderate 5.5 mile trail for the daytime view, and then hang out at your car for the evening star show. Bring something to eat and your romantic evening is complete.

Big Springs Park
In this lovely park, you will find both astronomy clubs and general stargazers who are drawn to the exceptionally dark sky. Due in part to the mountains that edge it, Big Spring Park is considered a Dark Sky Area, making it an ideal place to see many stars. 

Located about 25 minutes outside of Provo via US-189 N, it is close enough to town for an evening drive. The well-manicured park is easy to access even in the dark, and you can get a great view without straying too far from your car. 

Payson Canyon
Just 25 minutes south of Provo, Payson Canyon is for the camping enthusiast that wants to add an extra element of the great outdoors to their stargazing. There are several campgrounds to choose from in the canyon area, including Maple Bench Campground.  

Maple Bench Campground is the closest campground in Payson Canyon to Provo. During the day you can hike around the area or engage in many different water activities from fishing to floating. That said, the real draw is the night sky view. While it is open for day use as well, if you choose to camp and see the stars, you won’t regret it. 

tent set up beneath night sky
Antelope Island State Park
If you are up for a longer drive, Antelope Island State Park is a great option for stargazers. The International Dark Sky Association deemed this State Park one of the few current International Dark Sky State Parks in Utah in 2017, and for good reason. 

Aside from boasting a high-quality night sky viewing experience (seriously—check out some of the pictures on the Utah State Parks website), it's worth the drive for its accessible location and campsites. If you don’t want to make the drive back home, stay overnight, and get the full starry experience. The park also offers astronomy programs if you want or need some guidance. 

When it comes to stargazing around Provo, Utah, we have it! Whether you are a stargazer who is hoping for a meditative experience or you want to become more adept at reading the night sky, you can find a location close to Provo that suits your needs and experience level.

Monday, June 8, 2020

You’ve Never Heard of these 7 Utah Valley Hikes

You've never heard of these 7 Utah Valley hikes
Utah Valley is full of hiking destinations that both locals and tourists love, such as the well-known Y Mountain overlooking the Brigham Young University campus or the scenic Timpanogos Cave Trail. The more popular the hike, the more crowded it is likely to be, especially during the peak summer months.

But Utah Valley is full of trails, and many are not well-known, and so are not as crowded. Enjoy the solace and tranquility of the road less traveled. Try one of these lesser-known hikes next time you're in the area.

Payson Lake Trail
Like Utah Parkway Trail? You’ll love Payson Lake Trail.
Utah Lake is one of the scenic highlights in Utah Valley, full of activities for the whole family. It can also be more crowded. If you love spending time by the water, then try the Payson Lakes instead. On the south end of Utah County, this is a lovely hiking destination. The Payson Lakes are located inside the Nebo Loop, and the biggest lake – Big East Reservoir – features an easy hiking trail that wraps around the lake.

Make a day of it and try your hand at fishing or take a swim to cool off. This spot is also great for a picnic. Proceed with caution, however: many of the other trails surrounding Mount Nebo are steep, slippery, and definitely not for the beginner hiker.

Horsetail Falls
Like Stewart Falls? You’ll love Horsetail Falls.
Stewart Falls is a popular hiking destination year-round because of its stunning scenery. But very closeby is another gorgeous waterfall, just outside of Alpine City: Horsetail Falls. The 3.9 mile hike takes you through both wooded areas and open meadows before arriving at the falls. This is a more strenuous hike than Stewart Falls, but the crowds are usually smaller, and there are plenty of opportunities to take a break along the way. This trail is also dog-friendly, as long as they are kept on leashes.

Hobble Creek Canyon
Like Rock Canyon? You’ll love Hobble Creek Canyon.
The greatest advantage of Hobble Creek Canyon is that it is full of scenic hiking trails that all seem to intersect, so you can customize the length and difficulty of your hike. You can start at Cherry Campground or Balsam Campground, especially if you are interested in spending a night in the wilderness, and pick up Wardsworth Trail, Days Canyon Trail, Kirkman Hollow Trail, or many other options. These trails are considered easy to moderate in difficulty, and many follow a stream or other body of water. If you are not a hiker or if the weather is not cooperating, you can also take a scenic drive along this route.

Like Provo River Parkway? You’ll love Spanish Fork River Trail.
As the names imply, the Provo River Parkway runs through Provo. A bit more south, the Spanish Fork River Trail goes through Spanish Fork. If you are looking for a leisurely stroll, a run, birdwatching, or biking, this trail is fully paved. It is also wheelchair accessible and only intersects with one road. There is plenty to see along the 11-mile trail, perfect for families and nature enthusiasts alike. Dogs are welcome on this trail but must be kept on leash.

Like Battle Creek Falls? You’ll love Grotto Falls.
The waterfalls native to Utah Valley are one of its most appealing features to those from out of town. Grotto Falls is located along the Nebo Loop, and is less than a mile away from a beautiful half-cave with a waterfall pouring into a pool. This destination is great during warmer months, as you can wade in the grotto pool or simply wet your feet. This is also great in the fall, thanks to all of the vibrant foliage. This hike was damaged recently by the Bald Mountain fire of 2018, so they are a few scars along the trail, but the hike is still remarkably beautiful. Note that this hike can be a bit crowded due to its accessibility and beauty, and can be closed due to heavy snowfall.

Lake Hardy Surrounded by Pinetrees
Like Mt. Timpanogos? You’ll love Lake Hardy.
The hike to the peak of Mt. Timpanogos is long and strenuous, but the views are oh so rewarding. If you enjoy that kind of challenge, check out the Lake Hardy trail during the months of June to November. This is a 12-mile round-trip hike perfect for the experienced adventurer. The final destination: a stunning lake, nestled high in the Lone Peak Wilderness. This is the perfect spot to truly be alone in nature. Hikers warn that this trail is a little overgrown, and recommend wearing long pants and bringing poles.

Like Fairyland Loop? You’ll love Dry Canyon Trail.
Dry Canyon Trail is considered a more difficult hike thanks to its sudden increases in elevation and steep terrain. It is perfect if you are looking to get some exercise on your hike. It is a 5.4 mile loop that is perhaps best known for its beautiful wildflowers and view of the lake towards the end of the loop. This hike is recommended for the summer months and the early fall, but can get muddy if there has been a lot of rainfall in the area. The best part of this trail is the stunning cliff-face at the mouth of the valley. This is also dog-friendly.

The beautiful scenery of Utah Valley makes it extremely popular with tourists, especially those looking to spend more time in nature. By choosing a lesser-known hiking destination, you can experience the Utah Valley like a local, often without battling crowds and congestion on the trails during the popular summer months. These hikes all vary in length, difficulty, and scenery, so you are sure to find something that meets your needs and perfectly completes your Utah Valley outdoor experience. Be sure to bring plenty of water, dress appropriately for the weather, and leave nature exactly as you found it.

Happy hiking!