Washington column for March 10

Mary Ann Kuhn accepts the 2011 Four Diamond Award for excellence in lodging from AAA’s Lon Anderson.

Four Diamonds for the Middleton Inn

Middleton Inn was awarded the esteemed AAA Four Diamond Award for excellent hospitality at a March 3 lunch at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Mary Ann Kuhn, owner of the bed and breakfast on Main Street, accepted the award at the ceremony.

“We are honored to receive this rating,” said Kuhn. “It acknowledges the hard work and dedication of our wonderful staff who have worked here for many years.”

She named in particular Jeanne Brown of Amissville, Michelle Jenkins of Washington, Jerry Goebel of Washington, Sharron Proper of Washington, Joyce Smoot of Washington and Ami Grigsby of Front Royal.

It was the 13th consecutive year Middleton Inn won the award. Middleton was also the only bed and breakfast among the 16 hotels in the mid-Atlantic region to be honored for its excellence in service and accommodations.

Other Four Diamond Award recipients include The Hay-Adams, The Fairmont, The Willard, Morrison House, The Mayflower, The Fairfax at Embassy Row, The Jefferson Hotel and St. Regis.

Lodgings at the Four Diamond level feature upscale accommodations, an array of amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail, according to an AAA spokesperson. “To achieve and maintain exceptional standards on a daily basis is a commendable achievement,” said Michael Petrone, AAA director of tourism. “AAA is pleased to recognize Middleton Inn as an outstanding member of the hospitality industry.”

Middleton Inn opened its doors in October 1995 after Kuhn, a career journalist, spent a year renovating the historic 1840 estate, turning it into a bed and breakfast. She purchased the property from Carol and Newbill Miller in October 1994.

Congratulations, Mary Ann!!

Clocks forward

Time to spring forward with Daylight Savings Time. Moving clocks an hour forward will give everyone time to enjoy more of those sunny spring and summer evenings.

Be certain to set clocks forward one hour this Saturday night (March 12).

New hours

Ice House Gallery has new hours starting this week. The gallery will now be open 10 to 6 Thursdays through Sundays (inspring, summer and fall) and 10 to 5 in the winter. The gallery is also open by appointment; call 540-675-3039.

Special wishes

Birthday wishes for the month of March go out to my grandson, Jackson Brady Carter Clatterbuck, who will celebrate his special day on Tuesday, March 22; to Barbara Hudson, who will celebrate her day on March 23; Ivy Racer and Charmaine Lee, both on March 24; and Frances Foster, who will celebrate her special day March 28.

Also wishes go out to my daughter, Christie Kay Jones, who will celebrate her special day March 30.

Hair Gallery winners

Kim Nelson announced the latest winners of the Hair Gallery’s drawing for a free haircut at the Main Street establishment. They are Bootsie Jones of Warrenton, Paula Endo of Amissville and Katherine Rosemond of Flint Hill.

Spring appreciation

On my Tuesday morning walk around the town, I noticed the beautiful sky, the sound of birds, geese flying over. I could tell that spring just around the corner. Spring is a beautiful time of the year.

As we start each day, let’s find something beautiful to notice. It doesn’t have to be something you see, perhaps the sound of the breeze softly blowing through the trees, but cherish them. For, although it may sound trite to some, these things are the “stuff” of life — the little things we are put here on Earth to enjoy, things we often take for granted — least I do. Let’s make it important to notice them, for anything that is here today can be taken away tomorrow.

I like to leave this quote from author Lisa Beamer with everyone this week: “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Have a wonderful week!