Pictured: The 2014 gathering members of the Ten Old Broads
Back Row Left to Right- Sandy, Elaine, and Joan
Front Row Left to Right- Joanne, Pat, Sally, and Kay
They’ve been friends for well over fifty years, but every August they converge at their favorite place on the planet—the Manor House at Cedar Creek. These 10 women, now closing in on 80, have gathered every year since 1999. The long-time friends are: Shirley C., Joan C., Jackie B. (now deceased), Pat M., Liz K., Joanne F., Kay M., Pat H, Elaine S. and Sandy A.
Some of these friendships go back to first grade at St. Peter Grade School in Kirkwood. Others joined in during high school at Eugene Coyle, also in Kirkwood, from 1949-1953. ”I remember the nuns seated us alphabetically and we were in the “H” row, said Joan, recalling freshman year. “I looked over at Sandy and said, ‘Well, if we have to sit together we might as well get to know each other.’” Soon Pat (also an “H”), who was sitting nearby, got into the conversation. Sandy eventually brought in Kay, a friend since first grade, and Kay brought in Sally, her cousin. The rest blended in over the ensuing high school years.
After graduating in 1953, they all went on to pursue careers, marry and have families. Liz kept the group together by hosting annual Christmas luncheons, but it just wasn’t enough time for the women to catch up. So Sandy decided to get the group together for a special three-day gathering. The first year, 1999, just seven were able to come, but it was such fun they decided to meet annually. Although most lived in the St. Louis area then, they eventually came from longer distances—from Texas to Kansas, northern Illinois to Colorado. In time, they called themselves the Ten Old Broads.
Their first gathering provided plenty of time for the group to catch up and also to establish the traditions that carry over to this day. Some of the group likes to play Mexican Train, card games or Trivial Pursuit. Others like to hang out at the pool. Or just talk. They have high praise for the food at Cedar Creek and don’t mind a bit if wine is involved! Although they have visited local sites over the years, they mostly prefer to stay closer to “Home.”
The Manor House is their sanctuary, they all agree. Their annual retreats are documented by a Memory Book (pictured on right). The women come every year for a variety of reasons— the solitude, the surrounding nature, the outdoor activities, and of course, the common roots. Many memories have been made while at Cedar Creek, mostly wonderful ones, like the time Sandy surprised the group with a birthday cake for their mutual 75th birthdays. Or in 2012, when they howled at the full moon after being inspired by Elaine’s story about her grandson howling at the moon with his young friends. And then there was the time they ran into a group of Ursuline nuns, who had booked a retreat in Cedar Lodge. “You can run from the nuns, but you can’t hide!” said Joan, bringing a laugh about their Catholic school years.
However, one of the most profound memories that has stuck with the group was on September 12, 2001, just a day after the attack on the World Trade Towers in New York. Miraculously, all ten showed up. After arriving, the group turned to the Manor House TV to watch the coverage.
“Everyone on the property kept coming over to the Manor House because we had the biggest TV,” Joan recalled. It somehow seemed important for all of them to go to a church to pray, so that’s what they did. “It was an unforgettable day that we all share now,” Sandy said, “but somehow it was comforting to us to be together going through that incredible situation.”
Talents vary from sewing, knitting and crocheting, quilting, crafts, reading, music, painting and writing. Pat, a quilter, particularly enjoys looking at the numerous quilts displayed throughout the property. Elaine, the musician of the group, once brought her harp for a private living room concert. And Joan surprised them one year with a Bollywood dance class on DVD and also demonstrated Tai Chi. She even convinced the ladies to try Hip Hop Abs. Sally’s official duty has been to bring swim tubes for water aerobic sessions, which once led to so much laughter that the Cedar Creek staff came out to investigate.
The Ten Old Broads have dwindled down to nine following the loss of Jackie several years ago and this year, one member is in a rehab facility following a stroke and other complications. Another member is out this year due to family activities. “Every year we say that we hope is isn’t the last year. But then, we ARE all now 78 and 79,” Sandy said.
Ten years, Ten Old Broads, and more memories than can be counted. They truly are a “special vintage group,” as Sally says, smiling.
Many of you might already know that the largemouth bass is one of the most popular freshwater game fish in North America, but do you know how to catch one every cast?
The largemouth bass is part of the sunfish family, a species that is native to North America and has many regional names: brown bass, widemouth bass, bigmouth bass and more. You can tell a largemouth by its olive green color, dark, sometimes black markings and upper jaw that extends beyond the rear margin of the eye socket.
In Missouri, it’s pretty hard to find a body of water without at least a few bass. The ideal location in which the state is located, not to mention long growing seasons, make Missouri a leading state for bass population. Most Missouri rivers, ponds and lakes contain bass; specifically, Bull Shoals Lake, Harry S. Truman Reservoir, Lake of The Ozarks, Mark Twain Lake and Missouri fishing resorts like Cedar Creek.
Timing is Everything, Well Almost
Late spring is one of the best times to catch a largemouth bass due to their migration to warmer water for spawning. Keep an eye on the weather, watching for warm rain and air moving through the region. Concentrate your efforts outside structures off spawning flats such as points, logs, humps and rocks.
When the water temperature reaches 55 to 65 F, bass will seek out a shallow, protected place for spawning. Bigger lakes don’t warm up uniformly. In this case, bass will not all spawn at the same time. To be certain, in the later spring months, try the Northwestern most part of the lake and test the water temperature with a thermometer. Typically, this area of the lake will be the warmest.
During the spawn, topwater baits work best on the outside edges of reedbeds, secondary points, over cover, and over beds. If a cold front moves in, fish the more covered parts of the water, flipping the cover with jigs and worms.
Habitat & Shelter
Largemouth bass have a large temperature range in which they can live, which extends to waters above 90 F down through the mid-30s F. The ideal temperature for largemouth bass is between 65 and 85 F – perfect for many Missouri fishing resorts.
Ideal water conditions range from murky to stained to clear, but they prefer non-flowing waters with plenty vegetation or flooded timber. They like cover too – lily pads, weeds, bushes, docks, stumps, rocks, or stonewalls, but can survive without cover.
Generally, largemouth bass are found in shallow water. However, if waters lack the cover necessary, then they can be found in water near drop-offs, channels, and rocky bluffs. Largemouth bass are not migratory by nature, preferring to stay in holding positions within a given area for extended periods of time.
Top Seasonal Baits for Missouri
Like catching most fish, seasonality plays a big role in what type of bait to use. The largemouth bass has a mouth wide enough to objects the size of its own head. It will attempt to eat virtually anything it can catch and swallow, which is why these fish commonly grow well over 20 pounds – much bigger than its smallmouth cousin.
- Spring – Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and plastic worms. Fish shallow to moderate depths as they move to shallows for warmer water to spawn and feed. You may consider trying shallow-water flipping on cloudy days or in murky water.
- Summer – Crankbaits, jigs and plastic worms. Fish shallow in the mornings and evenings – move deeper as the sun rises. ”Deep” depends on the lake you’re fishing, as some lakes you’ll need to venture as far as 60ft., whereas others won’t have much action deeper than 35ft.
- Fall – Spinnerbaits, crankbaits and spoons. Fish shallow to moderate depths in the morning and evenings. As the day progresses, move to outside deep structure and use spoons or jigs.
- Winter – Jigs, pork baits and plastic worms. Try shallow in the mornings then move deeper as the sun rises. Bass are seldom active in cooler water, so move your bait in a slow, easy to catch manner. Also, move to deep cover and structure.
Great Missouri Bass Lakes by Game & Fish Magazine
- Shawnee Trail CA
- Mozingo Lake
- Harry S. Truman Lake
- August A. Busch Memorial CA
- Table Rock Lake
- Stockton Lake
- Lake of the Ozarks
- Montrose Lake
- Bilby Ranch Lake
- Pomme De Terre
Cedar Creek’s 7 acre fishing lake is a great place to start or practice until you are ready for one of the big 10!
Most recently, we developed a corporate retreat checklist to help meeting and event specialists better organize their corporate outings. As most of you already know, corporate retreats can be one of the best ways to encourage employee interaction, reward employees, better align goals and objectives, hire and recruit professionals, and build skills. Unfortunately, they can be overwhelming and tiresome for those involved in the planning. If you don’t do it right, then it can result in a huge morale kill. We’re here to help prevent that from happening.
Cedar Creek’s corporate retreat checklist is designed to provide clarity and organization in your planning efforts, from determining success criteria to identifying speakers to arranging outdoor activities. Not only will this corporate retreat checklist help you plan, but it will keep you focused as it’s happening.
Now, let’s take a look inside!
Your corporate retreat is nothing without the people, right? The “who” includes your attendees, speakers, facilitators, caterers, and equipment providers and operators. In the checklist, you’ll see that we explore each of these categories in depth. For example, is your equipment provider going to be your in-house IT staff, a meeting planner, a contractor, or the retreat facility itself?
Two of the biggest things to keep in mind include: involve people in the discussion instead of talking at them and make your speakers earn their money.
Talking at people for hours on end never works. And if you make it to Q&A without half of the room sleeping, then we’re sure that the engagement won’t be too high. Try taking all of your information that’s up for discussion and turning it into videos or presentations that people can watch on the plane. You can use all of the time you save to talk about that content. Remember, corporate retreats should be a working session, not an opportunity for executives to prove what a great year it’s been.
Guest speakers can also be tricky to handle. A lot in the industry have plenty of opinions on how much you should pay for a speaker. However, this is an instance when you get what you pay for. An expensive headliner is proof that the company is on the cutting edge of authoritative information, and it’s also part of the retreat that’s guaranteed to get positive results.
The second most important part of the retreat revolves around the “what”? This is the content of the retreat – the goals, success criteria, icebreakers, indoor and outdoor activities and activity outcomes. Is the goal of your corporate retreat to motivate staff or evaluate goals for the New Year?
Out of any of these content-driven layers, icebreakers can set the tone for what to expect, whether it’s thought-provoking arguments or outdoor activities. At Cedar Creek, we guarantee that you won’t fall short of fun, engaging icebreakers. We have plenty of outdoor activities like golf, nature trails, a confidence course, and more.
One of our favorite icebreakers is the human knot. It’s the get-out-of-your-seat-work-together type of icebreaker. Start by breaking your group out into subgroups of ten. Then, tell these subgroups to form a circle, reach both hands in the middle, and join hands with someone else. From this point, the group must work together to untie the knot without letting go of any hands. The result is often a laughter-induced mess, as members of the group crawl under each other or step over arms. The combination of teamwork, problem solving, and laughter is all a result of a memorable and effective icebreaker.
The “when” is pretty straightforward and typically depends on the benefits and drawbacks of each season. Though, this section is less important if you’re traveling to a place where all four seasons are non-existent.
Cool weather seasons open the door to explore of business issues relating to recovery, resourcefulness, heading in a new direction, and getting back on track, namely due to the survival nature that cooler seasons bring. For example, there is no shortage of activities that can flesh out a winter themed retreat. Bring your team to Steamboat Springs, Colorado to enjoy skiing, hot springs, and horseback riding.
Warm weather retreats are our personal favorite, especially if you can plan on a time of year when the air outside is perfect. A summer retreat doesn’t have to be a multi-bedroom lake house. If you’re on a budget, you can find several places – Cedar Creek – that offer tiny, pre-fabricated cabins that won’t bust your budget.
You’ve made it this far, but have you decided on where your corporate retreat will be held? When it comes to indoor spaces, you might choose between conference rooms, ballrooms, party or event facilities, a team-building center, or overnight facility. For instance, you might be traveling and decide to have the business activities take place where you’ll be staying, like a hotel or conference center. Cedar Creek offers plenty of lodging options with meeting and conference rooms to pair.
Looking for spaces in the outdoors? How about an amusement park, spa, garden, or golf course? There are many outdoor spaces that offer comfortable facilities, picturesque grounds, and transformational experiences for all groups.
How many times a year should your company have a retreat and how long should they be? Most corporations might have a retreat up to twice a year, but they might include people in different positions across the company? We suggest defining the goals you want to achieve and your budget before planning too far ahead. This step could influence what isn’t and is necessary. The length of the retreat completely depends on how much you want to accomplish. Is it going to take a weekend or longer? Again, look at your goals and make a judgment call.
New Haven, MO. March 5, 2014 – Cedar Creek posted strong financial gains for 2013 by increasing the number of bookings for conferences, retreats, and special events, which resulted in a 24% increase in gross revenue for its convention business.
“Cedar Creek offers numerous meeting spaces in a variety of sizes to ensure groups are able to accomplish their goals,” said Patrick Vatterott, General Manager for Cedar Creek. “However, I believe it is the area that bring groups back year after year.”
Located in the heart of Missouri’s robust wine country, Cedar Creek is proud to call New Haven home. Perfectly centered between Washington and Hermann, the region is well-known for its restaurants, artisan stores and antique shops. In addition, New Haven is home to Pinckney Bend Distillery and Robller Vineyard and Winery.
Cedar Creek’s hotel leisure bookings such as romantic getaways, family excursions, Oktoberfest celebrations, and overnight stays also contributed to its strong financial gains for 2013 with 60% gross revenue growth over the previous year.
“The Western Town has become quite a draw for residents and visitors alike,” said Vatterott.
Open on the weekends, the Town Hall provides live entertainment and house made fare while the Saloon offers beer tastings of 2nd Shift Brewing, a production brewery specializing in unique hops pairings located onsite.
“Though we’ve expanded what we offer, our excellent customer service has not wavered,” he added.
With customer service an amenities increasing, Cedar Creek is increasing marketing and outreach efforts.
“We offer numerous amenities, which caters to a wide-variety of individuals,” said Jeni Grunzinger, Sales Manager. “We have launched accounts on several social media platforms and are increasing our presence at trade shows. Also, in the last year, we have had an increase in meeting and event planners coming out for private tours of the property to see firsthand what we can do for their clients.”
Purchased in 1978, Cedar Creek was transformed from a private retreat into a family-owned resort and conference center on 200 open country acres. Included on the property is a golf course, hiking trails, a stocked lake, an outdoor movie theater, 49 sleeping rooms, 5,000+ square feet of meeting space, and the authentic, fully-functioning Western Town.
The outlook for 2014 looks promising as well, Cedar Creek has already experienced a 50% increase in weddings over the previous year.
“Brides are looking for venues who cater to rustic and outdoor themed-weddings. With over 200 acres, we are basically a clean canvas for brides to envision their dream wedding,” said Grunzinger.
Cedar Creek will be hosting a Ground Breaking Ceremony on March 12, at 11:00, for its newest banquet facility to cater to the growing demand for destination weddings, corporate receptions, and other social gatherings. The banquet facility will be able to serve 300 guests and provide 5-10 part-time to full-time jobs. Additionally, it will bring additional revenue to the community and area.
For more information regarding this release, please contact Julie Linder, Public Relations for Cedar Creek, by calling (573) 268-0639.
Valentine’s day and chocolate have coincided for dozens of years. But how did chocolate make the journey to how we know it today? The sweet treat is said to have originated somewhere in the Amazon at least 4,000 years ago, when the cultivation, use, and cultural embrace of cocoa started in Mesoamerica. From there it moved north to both Mayan and Aztec cultures where many historians have determined that cocoa was used primarily in drinks.
Explorer Hernan Cortes brought cocoa beans back to the old world where he presented them to Spanish King Charles V. Chocolate then traveled from Spain to France, England, Germany, Italy, before appearing in the United States sometime around 1755. Through these travels, the word “chocolate” has influenced language across the globe, perhaps impacting the English language the most.
Ten Facts About the Word “Chocolate”
- The Nahuatl people of Mexico and Central America are ultimately responsible for the word “chocolate” as we know it today. They called it chocolatl, the edible substance made from the seeds of the cacao tree. When Spanish explorers encountered chocolatl, they mixed it up with the name of the drink made from cacao, cacahuatl.
- The current earliest sense of the word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), refers to “a beverage made from the seeds of the cacao tree, thanks to Spanish explorers that denoted the word incorrectly.
- When speaking about a particularly toned man in France, one might refer to his six pack as his tablettes de chocolat, literally his chocolate bars.
- A “Chocoholic” is someone who can’t get enough chocolate. The term was first used in 1961 when one journalist in California asked, “Would you call a person who is over fond of chocolates a chocoholic?” Regardless of whether his question was a joke or not, the term caught on and is still used today.
- Chocolate-houses came into fashion in the late 17th century as a place for people to buy chocolate beverages. Although this term is no longer common, it lets us know of the cultural and social importance of chocolate in the 1800s. You might compare this to the coffee houses of today.
- British Rhyming Slang also included references to chocolate in the early 1900s. For example, “I should cocoa” was slang for “I should say so.” Also, the phrase “chocolate frog” was rhyming slang for “dog,” meaning informer.
- Chocolate related compounds have also come into use, like “chocolate-boxy” used to describe the stereotypical romantic pictures found on chocolate boxes of the Victorian era.
- The OED also records chocolate as a verb, although it is rarely used. For instance, a quotation from an 1850 work called Eldorado reads “We across the moonlight, chocolated the comedor, or dining-hall.”
- The Oxford English Corpus tells us that the top four words used with “chocolate” are “cake”, “bar”, “chip”, and “cookie”, while the most frequent modifying adjectives are “hot”, “dark”, “white”, “milk”, “rich”, and “delicious”.
- Production of Hershey’s chocolate bars started the same year he opened his new factory, and in 1937, he and his product were referenced in George Gershwin’s They All Laughed.
We’d love to hear your interesting facts, history, or figures about the language of chocolate. Please, feel free to drop us a line in the comments below. In the mood for a weekend retreat or romantic getaway? Be sure to check out Cedar Creek for all of getaways year round. Make your reservation today! We’ll be sure to keep a slice of one of our decadent chocolate desserts warm for you.
The love of your life just proposed, and while it is hard to take your eyes away from that beautiful ring, people are now beginning to ask you about your wedding plans. Unfortunately, many newly engaged couples like yourself are busy working or in school and cannot find the time to plan a dream wedding.
Because of this, hiring a wedding planner has become a popular wedding trend to ensure that the details (big and small) are properly taken care of in a timely manner, thus relieving many angst-filled brides of their stress. However, choosing a wedding planner is not an easy decision, and several should be interviewed before a decision is made.
To ensure that you choose a wedding planner that is right for you, Cedar Creek offers the following questions to help aid in the interview process:
- How long have you been in business & how many weddings have you done?
- How many weddings do you average a year?
- Is this your full-time or part-time job? Do you foresee any conflicts in this situation?
- What services do you offer?
- Do you double book weddings? Will there be any conflicts on the day or weekend of my wedding?
- What is your preferred form of communication?
- Have you coordinated weddings based on the style of interest I have expressed?
- How much of my time do you expect planning my wedding will take?
- Can you work within my budget?
- Do you charge for the initial meeting?
- Do you provide a contract?
- How often will I be billed?
- Do you require a deposit to get started?
- When is the final payment due?
- Do you charge for travel or is it included in your fee?
- Are there any additional expenses outside of the package/hourly fee I might incur?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- Do you have a preferred vendors list?
- Are you available for all meetings with the caterer, location and other vendors?
- Do we pay you one fee and then you pay the vendors, or do we pay the vendors individually?
- How many people from your staff will be on hand during the wedding?
- Will you attend the rehearsal?
- Will you personally attend my wedding?
After each interview is complete, take a moment to ask yourself:
- Did you feel heard?
- Does the planner understand your vision?
- Did we get a strong sense she will work with your budget?
- Was there a good connection and did your personalities mesh well?
Trust your instincts. If an interview doesn’t feel right, then maybe that person just isn’t a good fit for you, and that is okay. It is very important to take the time you need to find a wedding planner who is compatible with you and your fiancé.
We hope this helps, and remember that Cedar Creek provides a romantic setting for a truly unforgettable destination wedding. We are a picturesque option for celebrating everything from the rehearsal dinner to the ceremony and reception, as well as delicious on-site catering, wedding cake bakery, and overnight accommodations. We enjoy working with wedding planners and are ready to assist in creating a magical experience for you, your family and your guests. For more information about the wedding options available for you, please click here.
Most of us have already chosen our New Year’s resolutions, whether it’s eating healthier, becoming fit, or saving more money for your retirement. But for those in the world of business, resolutions are more like goals. Has your company set strategic goals for your company in 2014?
From setting goals and providing clear directions for achievement, Cedar Creek would like to offer four strategies to help make 2014 the best year for your business.
Strategy 1: Select Impactful Goals for Overall Business Focus
A lot of us get stuck in the same trap year after year – we make personal resolutions that we have trouble fulfilling. If you’re not careful, the same can happen for owners and managers trying to set goals for their business.
Take time to select goals for your business that really matter, and more importantly, make sure they can be accomplished. Often times, company leaders set goals that are either shallow or won’t have any real effect on your long-term vision. You can avoid these problems by identifying your company’s challenges. If you’re trying to increase sales, set smaller goals that will directly impact growth to the bottom line. If you’re struggling to retain employees, you may want to set smaller goals that will make them stick around longer.
Goals shouldn’t just be meaningful. They should align with other parts of your business, like your vision, mission, and values. Goals that don’t align with these principals will most likely fall by the wayside or distract you from other opportunities. Corporate retreats and business meetings can help you get away from everyday distractions and keep your team focused. Feel free to give Cedar Creek a call to see how our meeting rooms can provide you with the flexibility needed for meetings of any kind.
Strategy #2: Create Daily Processes to Help Reach Fulfillment
Process is something that makes a lot of businesses flourish, whether it’s workflow, employee onboarding, or billing. Stay simple in your goal setting by ensuring that they’re easy to memorize and integrate into processes. The best goals are memorable and measurable.
Broad goals are the worst goals. Think about the goals we’ve made in our pasts, like “graduate college” or “make the varsity team.” The problem with these is that the bar is set too low. What kind of college are we talking about? Is it a community, private, or state college? And do you want to graduate with a 3.5 or 4.0 GPA?
A better goal format would be something like: “grow our client list by 50” or “build team morale to retain 85% of our current employees.” These are simple goals that use numbers, helping you remember and measure outcomes.
Strategy #3: Be Transparent with Your Employees
Speaking of increasing your employee-retention rate, you might want to consider sharing your goals with your team. Even better, ask them for some constructive criticism to help you decide on your goals. This gives employees a clear understanding of what you’re seeking to accomplish and how they can help you along the way. Plus, employees like to have a say in where they think their leaders should aim. It’s been found that transparency correlates with employee happiness.
Sharing your goals gives employees accountability and added support. Also, once you let everyone in on your goal, then you are committed to that goal and are more likely to remain consistent with that commitment. There’s no better way to get employees in on the conversation than to schedule some time for group activity planning. Cedar Creek offers a wide variety of recreational activities, whether it’s our low ropes confidence or the 9-hole golf course.
Strategy #4: Identify Distractions Before They Cost You
We briefly mentioned how distractions can derail you from the task at hand, but we didn’t bring up how powerful it can be to say “no” to something that will get in the way. This is most important for new entrepreneurs that are often easily pulled from their mission and vision. Even the most positive of distractions can make you stray from your primary goals; it’s important to recognize these before it’s too late.
So, what’s the bottom line?
The best goals are specific, measurable, and attainable. With these three attributes, you’re just that much closer to achieving what you decide to set for 2014. If you determine that you need to take your meeting out of the office, give us a call. For over 10 years she has been assisting Cedar Creek clients put together successful meetings to help them achieve their goals!
As always, feel free to share your goals with us in the below comments. Oh, and good luck in the New Year!
You’ve been put on the spot, with no way to back out, and now the responsibility of planning this year’s annual family reunion lays heavily on your shoulders. What do you do? Where do you begin? More importantly, how on earth are you going to find the time and money to plan such a large event?!
First, take a deep breath. You have been paid a high compliment by your family who has acknowledged your abilities as a leader, capable of making considerate decisions and the ability to follow through with concrete plans and strong organization. Now take another deep breath and realize that your family has not asked you to do this alone, but to spearhead the event with the autonomy to delegate responsibilities as you see fit. This is your time to shine and with our simple steps you are sure to be a success!
- The First Step: Make an invitation list to ensure that no family member is left out of the festivities.
- The Second Step: Gather communication preferences for families. Some members prefer phone calls or texts, others email, with the more traditional members preferring mail.
- The Third Step: Determine a date. Family reunions typically are held during the warm summer months when school is out of session and companies are more accepting of employees taking time off for vacations. More importantly, outdoor weather allows the younger generations the space to burn off the extra energy they have in abundance.
- The Forth Step: Determine a budget. By determining a budget FIRST you are then able to determine location and activities.
A growing trend among families is having the annual reunion at an all-inclusive property. From meals and lodging to activities, all-inclusive properties typically takes the stress of the planning off the family’s checklist and divides the cost equally among all the participants.
- The Fifth Step: Determine a location. Another benefit of all-inclusive property is the ability to cater to a wide range of group sizes. “We have organized reunions for groups of 20 all the way up to 450,” said Jennifer Buwalda, Manager of Meetings & Events at Cedar Creek. “The biggest request from families is the ability to spread out and give each other the chance for a little privacy every now and then. Family time doesn’t mean ‘together all the time.’ It is important to have personal time as well.”
- The Sixth Step: Determine meals. With food allergies, preferences, and beliefs, planning and cooking meals can be exhausting. At Cedar Creek, all meals and snacks are homemade and made according to your specifications. If 3 of 400 cannot have nuts, then a meal will be prepared for them. If 20 out of 50 are vegetarians, then a meal will be prepared for them. In addition, all meals can be served buffet, boxed, or plated based on your itinerary.
- The Seventh Step: Determine activities. This is the final, and probably one of the most important steps in planning a family reunion because of the age and ability difference. All inclusive properties are an excellent choice because of the breadth of activities found onsite for families. At Cedar Creek, families can enjoy golf, fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, an outdoor movie theater (we will play your requests!), bonfires, lawn games like badminton or croquet, brewery tours, and more. Cedar Creek can also coordinate several offsite activities including winery tours (we are 10 minutes away from some of the best wineries in Missouri’s robust wine country!), shopping excursions, and sightseeing.
Family reunions are an invaluable way to reconnect with distanced loved ones, rekindle relationships, and share a common heritage. They are meant to be enjoyed and to create new memories. We hope these simple steps help during your planning process, and should you need more advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.
It seems like the holidays come sooner and faster every year. From the minute the pools close on Labor Day, stores begin pushing out Halloween candy, Thanksgiving and Christmas décor, and in some extreme cases, Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs. Truly, the stress of the holiday rush, coupled with your numerous holiday responsibilities, can make the season less than merry and bright.
Taking time for yourself is important. Everyone acknowledges this, but far too few actually take a moment to breathe and reflect on what’s most important, enjoying time with friends and family.
To relieve the stress and anxiety this holiday season, Cedar Creek offers some helpful tips.
Take A Moment in the Sun
Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, and can help relieve season affective disorder (SAD). Break away from holiday tradition by having Cedar
Creek set up a day bonfire for you and your guests on one of our patios and include 2nd Shift beer, coffee, cocoa, s’mores, and more!
Walk Away Stress
Walking releases endorphins to the body. Endorphins not only block pain, they’re also responsible for our feelings of pleasure. Cedar Creek’s 9-hole golf course and nature trails are the perfect outdoor activities to chase away stress while bonding with friends and family.
You’ll wind up tired and maybe even broke if you say “yes” to every holiday request that comes your way. Be realistic with yourself about what you can do and what you want to do.
Say “no” to:
- Holiday parties by thanking the host and stating that you are unable to attend due to a previous engagement or private family time.
- Expensive gift giving by setting a budget or by creating a memorable holiday experience instead.
- Unwanted houseguests by suggesting area hotels with reasonable rates. Cedar Creek offers a variety of lodging options from cozy lodge rooms to the Stately Manor House.
- Cooking by suggesting a restaurant or another family member taking their turn for this year’s festive holiday gathering.
Remember, the most valuable gift you can give your friends and family this holiday season is your time and attention.
Your friends and family like you for just being you. It does not matter if the house is a mess, the food is late, or if the holiday décor is not completely unpacked. Forget the little stuff and focus on what you want to achieve this holiday season.
Turn Up the Music
Anxious? Listen to your favorite music, whether it is holiday, country, rock, rap or jazz. Research shows that listening to music can improve the function of the body’s immune system and reduce levels of stress. On weekends, Cedar Creek proudly features lives bands as well as organic grove jam sessions for guests to come out and play some great tunes!
Hopefully, with these tips, the holiday season will be enjoyable for you and your loved ones. Cedar Creek can help by offering an excellent place to escape, relax, and rejuvenate. Give us a call and we will turn the sheets down on your bed and have Chef Marcie prepare you a warm cup of hot cocoa.
There’s con carne, steak fajita, white, Texas, green pork, five bean, turkey, and vegetarian – all of which are just a few delicious options that make up the wonderful world of chili. One thing is for certain, there’s no shortage of chili recipes across the country, with many states laying claim to the title of champion.
The Incan, Mayan, and Aztec Indians created chili thousands of years ago. They used a mixture of meat, beans, peppers, herbs, and spices long before Columbus’ arrival. But how did this ancient mixture become ever so popular? We have the cattle driver to thank.
The cattle drivers and trailheads of Texas use to roam the land in search of those that would be interested in buying their livestock. You can imagine how hungry a day on the trail could be, and in the depths of their hunger, they’d gather wild oregano, Chile peppers, wild garlic, and onions and mix it together with one of their own cattle – or jackrabbit, armadillo, or rattlesnake.
Want to brew up a batch of “original Texas chili” for your next party or event? Cedar Creek’s Chef Marcie Robinson’s chili is a family recipe that has won local chili cook-offs two years in a row.
“I have been making chili this way my entire life. I serve it for my own family and for our guests at Cedar Creek. My sister once entered the recipe in a chili cook-off and won, then modified the recipe the next year by adding jalapenos, and won again!” laughed Robinson.
Called “Chili for a Crowd” the recipe is as follows:
- 5 lbs. ground chuck
- 1 T. salt
- 1 T. pepper
- 1 med. Onion, chopped
- 1 lg. can tomato juice
- 2 cans lg. red or kidney beans (1 can of each also works!)
- 2 cans chili hot beans
- 1 can tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 pkg. chili seasoning
Brown ground chuck with salt, pepper and onion. Drain off fat. Add tomato juice, kidney beans, chili beans, tomatoes with green chilies, tomatoes, and seasoning. For a spicy chili add another can of tomatoes with green chilies.
Chili is one of the best dishes you can make for corporate retreats, weekend getaways, family reunions, or just about anything that involves a group of people. It’s easy to transport, gets even tastier as the hours pass, and most of all, is downright delicious. Local breweries and beer companies have also played a part in chili cook-offs and large events. Some even use beer in their recipes. Last but not least, don’t forget to offer toppings, as many people are very particular about how they “take” their chili, kind of like coffee drinkers! Some like cheese, oyster crackers or tortilla chips for crunch, sour cream or milk to make it creamier and balance the heat, and chives, onions or jalapenos for some extra zest.
Many corporate retreats at Cedar Creek enjoy the soup and sandwich bar at Cedar Creek for their lunch fare. One of the most popular recipes on cold fall and winter days happens to be a white chili that Chef Marcie has been cooking for the past 22 years at the Chalet.
The kitchen at Cedar Creek is always a bustle of activity creating savory food and sweet treats for our guests. Whether it is a corporate retreat, a family gathering, a weekend getaway, or even a day outing to our Western Town, we will greet you with an inviting smile and serve you with the best of hospitality.