Monday, August 2, 2010

Great Beaches Near John & Lucille's

Crystal Coast - Mild weather year round - Golfing - Kayaking - Shopping - Festivals!

Emerald Isle is one of the most beautiful beaches along the east coast of the United States and 8 miles from the John & Lucille's Country Retreat. It offers visitors a peaceful, family atmosphere and stunning white sandy shores; the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the sound/ intra-coastal waterway on the other. There are activities for all ages and interest along with fantastic restaurants and shops. The Crystal Coast of North Carolina is known for the clear, clean, unspoiled beaches, abundance of wildlife and friendly people. The Cameron Langston Bridge on Highway 58 crosses over Bogue sound to the island. The view of the sound from the bridge is spectacular year round.

The Western Beach access is about 10 minutes from John & Lucille's. It has great parking, bathrooms, covered area and wooden walkways to the beach. There is also an outside shower to wash off near the boardwalk. Tip: To get a parking space arrive early because this is a popular spot for visitors and locals as well.

John & Lucille’s Country Retreat is nestled on 50 acres tucked in the farm lands of Stella, only 8 miles and one stop light from the beaches of Emerald Isle. Whether a romantic getaway, a reunion of family and friends, an anniversary, or for out of town wedding guests, I invited you to experience the luxury of a unique vacation farm rental that is beautiful adorned and accommodates up to 8 people. Spend the day on the beach or stroll among the shops and museums of historic Swansboro, Beaufort, New Bern, and Morehead City. The Crystal Coast is an ideal location for fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking and golf. John & Lucille’s Country Retreat is in the center of everything that southeastern North Carolina and the Crystal Coast has to offer.

Enjoy the Crystal Coast any season of the year!

Come stay at John & Lucille's and enjoy all the coast of North Carolina has to Offer!

For reservations and information :

Monday, July 5, 2010

Croatan National Forest Recreation Area

The Perfect Spot - Kayaking, Boating, Hiking

The Croatan National Forest at Cedar point is located on VFW Road off Highway 58 going toward Emerald Isle, North Carolina. There is a boat ramp, nature trail, parking, picnic area and bathrooms.

John & Lucille's Country Retreat is only 10 minutes from the Cedar point Boat ramp and the National Forest. Visit for information on renting the farmhouse.

Tideland Nature Trail

The nature trails wind through the woods, across wooden walkways, and down to the White Oak river. You can get a beautiful view of the river and the marshlands.

The paths are gravel, making it a great place to jog or casually stroll. You can take a short or long walk. The paths circle around and bring you back to main path or can enjoy all the twist and turns of this nature trail. Wonderful for children and adults.

Boat Ramp
It is a great spot to launch a kayak and paddle out to Jones Island, across the White Oak River and under the Swansboro Bridge, and then up the intra-coastal Waterway. There are lots of sandy beaches to pull up and have lunch. At low tide it can be difficult for boats. Check the tide schedule before coming. Otherwise, it is a great boat ramp.

Picnic Area, Parking, & Bathrooms

There is a grassy area with picnic tables, grills and lots of shade. There is plenty of parking for cars and larger parking spaces for those pulling boats. The bathrooms are always clean. It is a perfect place to bring children for a picnic and hike the nature trail.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quest Comments - 2009

John & Lucille's Country Retreat


Elegant farmhouse only 8 minutes and one stop light from the beautiful beaches of Emerald Isle -Four Bedrooms, 3 baths and sleep 8-Ideal for vacations, reunions, and small weddings.

Thank you so very much for the hospitality and especially your exquisite personal touches in making our visit with our son and his family a very memorable one. We all spent Thanksgiving here and had a wonderful time. It made our visit so comfortable with all of room and comforts of home. S Kraynik 11/28/2009

We came for our niece's wedding. The cottage was perfect....spacious and so comfortable. Everyone congregated here. Thank you so much for your kind hospitality. The flowers were beautiful and the food/beverages so appreciated. We want to come back.
L. Geremina, Raleigh, NC 10/3/2009

During our visit we celebrated my daughter’s marriage. The wedding was reception were both beautiful! It rained some during the reception but the porch provided perfect coverage. The quaint setting made for a romantic wedding. It was her dream wedding. Thank you for making this home so welcoming. K. Meador Virginia Beach, VA 9/26/2009

The beds, like the home, are fabulously comfortable! We had a delightful stay-thank you so much for this! B. Lundiens Annapolis, MD8/23/2009

We had an unbelievable week in your very comfortable and homey retreat. The house is wonderful and your beautiful touches have added so much. We loved the area and found so many wonderful things to do and explore. It has been heavenly. Thank you for the gift basket and beautiful flowers. C. Seymour, Ebensburg, PA 8/8/2009

After driving for 900 miles to reach this beautiful home, we cannot express the feeling of welcome when we entered the door. We have had a lovely two weeks. The boys loved the surf. We had a great trip to Cape Lookout, Fort Macon, Harkers Island, Hammocks Beach State Park & of course the beach. The Gray Family, Toronto, Canada 7/12/2009

Thank you so much, Deloria, for sharing your retreat with us. It is so homey and comfortable. You went all out with the goodies in the basket, fruit, fresh flowers, water in the fridge. You made us feel so welcome with the personal card. My grandson was ecstatic when we came inside the house. His first response was "We must come back here." Both grand kids had a ball. There was so much space for them to play and ride their bikes. It was such peace for the adults and all the amenities were so thoughtful. We had a wonderful time!! M. Exum, Durham, NC 6/19/2009

This has been a dream come true! This house felt just like home, and we can’t wait to come back. Thank you for filling this place with so many loving memories.
L. Winestine, Raleigh, NC 9/13/2009

Thank you so much for opening up this beautiful home to use for our wedding! We all had such a wonderful time that we will never forget. The weather was perfect and the property made every picture we took look amazing. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect week for our friends and family. Thanks again!
Patrick & Rileigh Ray, Newport, NC 9/6/2009

How wonderful to sleep under a guilt! It is like staying at grandmas! Thanks for your overwhelming hospitality. This home is so full of love. L. Atkinson, Statesville, NC

…..It was great to have everything we needed available in the kitchen. Each bedroom with its unique d├ęcor gave us a welcome surprise. Thanks for everything. The Amon Family, Catawba, NC 8/15/2009

We worried just a bit about not being closer to the beach, but the short distance proved to be more than a fair trade for the tranquility we experienced. Deloria’s eye for detail provided everything that helped our family feel right at home. The Griffins, Terre Haute, IN 5/16/2009

Deloria, thank you for such a beautiful and peaceful stay. Your retreat is fabulous and we couldn’t have asked for more. We had a great family gathering and look forward to many more here! You know exactly how to make a guest feel at home!
The baby loved the Easter basket with snacks and the fruit. I thank you for such great hospitality and beautiful flowers. You really are special and we truly appreciate everything you have done to make this trip memorable! B. Westhoff Dallas, TX 3/21/2009

After two days and 14 hours of driving through snow, sleet, and rain we were so excited when we drove up to this beautiful house. We knew it would be perfect when we saw the lighted Christmas tree outside and the beautiful wreath on the door. The gifts and special card on the table were a welcomed surprise. The girls couldn’t believe “Santa” had left a letter. When we rounded the bend and saw the cozy perfectly decorated living room, we knew we were in the right place. You have put so much into this blessed retreat and our family appreciated it all (comfortable beds, Christmas decorations, beautiful sheets, abundant towels, etc.) We had so much time to play games, do puzzles, read, and relax together-it is the way holidays were meant to be! I believe that the love your parents shared still blesses this house. The Whaley Family 12/27/2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cold Spell Damages Flowers

Recently I posted an article about Sasanqua Camelias VS Japonica Camleias. In that post I wrote the following:

I prefer the Sasanqua over the Japonica. On the crystal coast the Japonica blooms in December and January. Sometimes our coastal winds and sudden cold spells burn the buds and blooms. At Thanksgiving the weather is warmer and the sasanqua is a show stopper. So even though the Japonica flowers are larger and fuller than the sasanqua, Japonica blooms can ruin quickly with a atypical cold spell.

Well, during the past two weeks low tempertures have damaged the Japonica Camelias blooms as you can see in the photos. Even though the Camelias at the retreat are very large and old growth the blooms have been hurt by the dips in the temperture. The buds show dark spots caused by the weather so I don't know how many flowers will open after this cold spell.

Until a few weeks ago there had been lots of rain and rather mild temperatures so the early blooms were huge this year and beautiful in color.
Every Christmas my mother would decorate the farmhouse with the Camelias. I've kept this tradition but not this year!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Colorful Fall Flowers

Sasanqua Camellia, native to Japan and the Ryukyu Islands, is one of my favorite foundation plantings. Its dark green waxy foliage alone is enough to have a place in the garden landscape. The sasanqua, however has an added fall surprise with its indescribable show of of pink and red blossoms. There are clusters of buds and profuse blossoms equal to colorful spring flowers. And when fall colors are predominant, this splash of pink and red really stands out.

Petals fall to the ground around the base of the shrub making a carpet of color, adding to the beauty

The sasanqua is not as large as the well known Japonica Camellia and better suited for small spaces. It is a densely branched evergreen with pyramidal to oval-rounded shape. It grows about 6-10’ high with lustrous dark green leaves and 2-3” flowers and can be pruned to a tree like shape.

I prefer the Sasanqua over the Japonica. On the crystal coast the Japonica blooms in December and January. Sometimes our coastal winds and sudden cold spells burn the buds and blooms. At Thanksgiving the weather is warmer and the sasanqua is a show stopper. So even though the Japonica flowers are larger and fuller than the sasanqua, Japonica blooms can ruin quickly with a atypical cold spell.

One of the common cultivars found at most nurseries is “Yuletide” It has a re d flower with yellow stamens, single form, upright habit and dark green foliage. Another great sasanqua is “pink Butterfly”, bright pink, single, very large, October - November, and vigorous grower


Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, Michael A. Dirr, page 173, Stipes Publishing, Campaign, Illinois, 5th revision - 1998.

All About Azaleas, Camellias, & Rhododendrons, Ortho Books, page 18 & 89

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Crystal Coast Vacations

Thanks to Jason at Crystal Coast Rentals. for the following write-up about the John & Lucille Country Retreat. We appreciate his kind words.

This vacation rental is simply amazing. When you look at all of the amenities it will provide you and your family, it’s easy to see the value here. The Stella Country Retreat is a place out in the country, not far at all from the beach.

The retreat is a large farmhouse that will take you back to simpler times for a very relaxing vacation experience. Staying off the island has several advantages with regards to noise and traffic.

Stella, NC is a quiet, and laid back kind of place. If you want to head to the beach for the day, you can be on the sand in about 15 minutes, if that. Pick fresh grapes from the vine while relaxing on the property. There are several other fruits to choose from too. Plum, apple, and fig tress also grow here.

The retreat is a great place for visitors planning to do some hunting or fishing. There’s a boat ramp very close to the retreat.

Visiting someone stationed at an area military installation? You’d be hard pressed to find better accommodations while staying in the area.

There’s plenty of activities to do in our area, and the Stella Country Retreat puts you right in the middle of a lot of them. The beaches, aquarium, and shopping are all very close by.

I hope you enjoy your visit to the Crystal Coast.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year - 2009

The Retreat is still dressed in its holiday finest but the season is almost over with the New Year quickly approaching. It is time to start thinking about your next visit to this peaceful vacation home on North Carolina's Crystal Coast.

Resolve to vacation at the John & Lucille Country Retreat in the coming year. The retreat is waiting for you year-round with a wide variety of local activities each season.with 2008 rates. Spring and Summer months book quickly so call early to make your vacation plans at the John & Lucille Country Retreat, only one stop light from beaches of Emerald Isle and lots of shopping in the nearby historic Swansboro and the village of Cape Carteret.

2009 Rates Our 2009 rates are the same as 2008.
Rental Rates-2009

Guest Comments

Our guest leave comments about how wonderful the Retreat is for families. Spending time here for the holidays will be special. Click here Our guest say it best. Spacious and Roomy The retreat easily seats 12-14 people in the dining area and there is plenty space needed to prepare the meals. The kitchen is fully equipped with lovely china to set a beautiful table for those family meals. Also if your house is small, sometimes guests are sent to nearby motels. The cost of renting the Farmhouse is less than booking multiple hotel rooms.

For Reservations and Information call Deloria.


"The retreat is as close to home
as you can get."

To show appreciation for the sacrifice of our troops and their families, I offer a 10% Military Discount to those on active duty and their families. Just tell me when you call to book your reservation.
See Military Discount

We enjoyed staying at this wonderful, peaceful, comfortable home as we welcomed "home" our son/brother from his (USMC) deployment to Iraq . We will likely be back again, and will spread the word about this special place. Thank you for all the care you take, Deloria, to make it so nice. Ludwig Family, Melbourne , Fl

For reservations and information
800-892-6775 property 171885 property 197997