The Himalayan Lodge

For over ten years I operated a small bed and breakfast in this house.  I lived at the house and rented the guest room to travelers from all over the world.  I have so many fond memories of getting to know so many nice people.  During those years I managed my tour company, Of Global Interest Adventure Travel, from my home.  Twice a year I would travel to Nepal and lead trips trekking in the Himalayas to Mt. Everest base camp.  Every trip was an amazing adventure.  When home I maintained a store, the Himalayan Bazaar in my Garage, where I sold imports I brought back from my trips.

My enterprise on the corner of Eighth and Washington kept me busy for many years.  I sold my paintings and photographs and was able to make a living, sharing my love for travel, the Himalayas and Nepal.  In 2012 my family grew!  We bought another house nearby.  My heart is still very much attached to this house.  Today I am happy to continue to share the house with you as The Himalayan Lodge.

I continue to travel, although less frequently.   My adventures can be found here, Of Global Interest Adventure Travel. The store I formerly had in my garage, The Himalayan Bazaar, is now on Main Street in Ann Arbor.  My former business partner, Pem Dorjee Sherpa - a two time Mt. Everest climber from Nepal, runs the shop.  Please visit The Himalayan Bazaar at 218 S. Main Street the next time you are in Ann Arbor.

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp 2018

History of the House

This cozy home near downtown Ann Arbor was built in the 1870s by David Kay.  He was a stone mason and also built the Engineering Arch on the UofM campus as well as a narrow one lane railroad bridge in Dexter, MI.  David and his wife, Catherine, raised two girls at this house, Florence and Betty.  In 2002, I met Florence during a trip to Ann Arbor with her son, Ed Cole.  They were passing by her childhood home as they always did on their visits to Ann Arbor for family reunions.  In 2002, my sister happened to see them and they rolled down the window and said they used to live in the house.

We invited them in and thus began a wonderful relationship.  They are like a second family.  The following year, they came to visit again, and this time they stayed at my B&B.  They told me many stories about the house, some of which I recorded on video.  They even gave me a large book of old photographs, which you can now find at the Lodge.  The photos record many years of the lives of the people who loved this house in its early days.  The book is a treasure.  Florence moved from Ann Arbor to Oregon in the 1930s when she was 17.  Florence celebrated her 100th birthday in 2013.


At the age of 101, Florence passed away in 2014.  A plaque near the front door now dedicates the house to her.

Celebration of a House


During the many years that I lived in this house, I began to think that a B&B is a celebration of a house.  Opening my home to strangers who then leave as friends has become a way of life for me.   I welcome you to experience the magic of this little house on your next visit to Ann Arbor.  I started hosting guests in 2000, nine years before Airbnb started!


Heather O'Neal

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