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The Himalayan Lodge

Beginning in 2000, this house was a small bed and breakfast.  The owner lived here and rented the guest room, one room, to travelers (7 years before Airbnb had started).  Many fond memories were made getting to know so many nice people from all over the world.


During those early years, Heather managed her tour company, Of Global Interest Adventure Travel, from her home. Twice a year, she led trips trekking in the Himalayas to Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal.  Every trip was an amazing adventure.  A former teacher, her mission was global awareness and cultural understanding by: bringing you around the world and bringing the world around to you.


When home, Heather gave talks about her travels at schools and libraries, showing her slides and recruiting future travelers.  At her house, she welcomed guests and managed her store, the 'Himalayan Bazaar' in her garage, where she sold imports she collected during her trips, and also her art, paintings and photographs.  She was - and remains - passionate about sharing her love for adventure travel, Nepal and the Himalayas.


Born in Ann Arbor, Heather is well connected within the city.  She works at Kerrytown Market & Shops as the Chime Master, opening the Kerrytown Chime Chime Stand, a levered keyboard where one can play the 17 bells in the tower.  This 7-ton+ bell tower (photo below) is a  world-class instrument and is open three times a week for the public to play songs-by-number.  The Kerrytown Chime can be heard 3-4 blocks away.  Even YOU are invited to play the Kerrytown Chime:  Saturdays at 10:30am and Wednesdays & Fridays at 12pm (noon).  It's free and fun for all ages!  No talent required.  As the Kerrytown Ambassador, Heather also meets and greets tour groups and gives tours of the historic buildings as well as several interesting features of Kerrytown.  She also creates and leads annual holiday events, craft sessions and parades at Kerrytown.


In 2010 Heather married the man of her dreams, and in 2011 their son was born!  Today, Heather spends time between two houses, the Lodge and her family's home nearby.  Her heart is very much attached to this house.  This is her art studio, her office, her event center, her writer's retreat and her happy place.  She continues to love sharing the house with others, now as a whole-house vacation rental.

These days Heather still travels, although less frequently.   Any upcoming trips and adventures can be found at Of Global Interest Adventure Travel.  The store she formerly had in her garage has moved to Main Street in Ann Arbor.  Pem Dorjee Sherpa, a two time Mt. Everest climber originally from Nepal, now owns the shop with his wife, Moni.  The couple holds an Everest record - the world's highest wedding.  They were married on the summit of Mt. Everest at 29,028 feet!   Please visit The Himalayan Bazaar at 218 S. Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor.

Everest Base Camp

Heather at Everest Base Camp 2018


Heather's drawing of the Lodge

Kerrytown Market & Shops

Kerrytown Chime at Kerrytown Market & Shops

History of the House

This cozy home was built in the 1870s by David Kay.  He was a stone mason and worked on the Engineering Arch on campus in Ann Arbor as well as the one-lane railroad bridge in Dexter, MI.  David and his wife, Catherine, raised two girls at this house, Florence and Betty.  In 2002, Florence and her son, Ed Cole, were passing by her childhood home on a visit to Ann Arbor for a family reunion.  Heather's sister happened to be on the porch at the time.  They rolled down the car window, and Florence said she used to live in this house.

Heather invited them in, and thus began a wonderful relationship, now like a second family.  The following year, Florence and Ed came to visit again. This time they stayed at Heather's B&B.  They told her many stories about the house, some of which she recorded on video.  They even gave her a large book of old photographs which you can find at the Lodge.  The photos record many years of the lives and people who loved this house in its earliest days.  The book is a treasure.


 Florence moved from Ann Arbor to Oregon in the 1930s when she was 17.  She celebrated her 100th birthday in 2013 and the following year, at the age of 101, Florence passed away in 2014.  A plaque near the front door of her childhood home now dedicates this house to her.

Celebration of a House

A B&B is a celebration of a house.  Opening this home, to strangers who leave as friends and often return, has been rewarding.   I welcome you to experience the magic and good karma of this little house during your visit to Ann Arbor. Happy travels.


Heather O'Neal

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Palque at front door

David and Catherine Kay with their horse at their house on 8th St in the 1870s.

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