Mini-vacationPosted: 16 December 2010
Now that winter has descended upon us, I’m missing how pretty the fall was this year. It’s pretty every year, but this year seemed especially warm and sunny. Two things that I am heavily in favor of. During the first weekend of November Senor and I stayed at a bed and breakfast about 30 minutes away from our house. I had found a Crowd Cut coupon for the place and snatched it up in the summer. The room we chose to stay in had a 3-sided, wood-burning fireplace and a whirlpool tub and that pretty much sold me. We made the reservation and decided that would be our anniversary celebration. It was also the planned proposal date but happily, Senor couldn’t sit on it for that long and also, I signed for the package you know. Anything too romantic and I get nervous and probably would have passed out so I think it all worked out for the best. 🙂
The inn was called the Classic Rosewood Inn. It’s a converted Victorian home in Hastings which is an exurb of St. Paul, right on the Mississippi river. The town itself has a cute little historic district although, as we discovered, no viable dining options. If we ever go back to the Rosewood, I think we’ll just have all of our meals in their dinning room. The breakfast they brought to our room was amazing. More on that in a bit.
|The historic area. Cute, but no decent food.|
The room package that I’d purchased for us included two 30-minute massages so at 6:00 our masseur knocked on the door, massage table in tow. It was a lovely way to start the weekend, except for one small problem. It was getting chilly that day and the heat had only just been turned on in our room. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that the room that I chose (thinking it was pretty) had one wall of all windows. There were wooden shutters for privacy but it turns out the wooden shutters were necessary for warmth. Those windows were drafty! Also, as pretty as they looked, when you looked out of the windows all you saw were yards full of rusted-out pickup trucks. Not super-scenic so you know, we just kept them shut.
|A comfy bed, with a down mattress topper, but a little weird with the plastic fruit.|
|The fancy radio and the books we were probably supposed to read by the fire.
We did not do this I’m afraid.
|Drafty windows! The plants were nice but we shuttered the windows
and couldn’t see them after that.
Anyway, I was pretty much freezing the whole time. The sad part is, the massages took place right in front of the fireplace, but we didn’t start a fire because we had to leave to go to dinner right after. Poor planning on my part. Whoops. The room was cute but a little weird. The bed had a canopy with plastic birds and vines wrapped around it and there was wallpaper that was supposed to look like bricks in some places. Sort of weird. But! The toilet paper was wrapped into a little rose which was adorable and I tried to replicate it with disastrous results.
Dinner on Friday night sucked. Seriously, it was disgusting. We knew that the one fancy restaurant in Hastings had closed and now just does take-out pizza (wtf?) so we took our innkeeper’s advice and drove to Wisconsin (about three minutes away) for a nicer place there. Turns out that place had also changed ownership and we couldn’t recognize the place with the new name, “Scabs.” Also, I refuse to eat at a place called “Scabs” because that is god-damn disgusting. Seriously people? Come on.
We went back to Minnesota and tried to figure out what to eat. We avoid chain places like Applebees and Perkins because, quite honestly, they’re gross and cost too much for the crappy food you get. I knew there were local chains around (Green Mill, Bierstube) and I knew of one place that was good and unique, a Mexican restaurant called Las Margaritas (original isn’t it? ugh. suburbs…). I let Senor pick because, after all, this was my present to him for our aniversary. He picked Bierstube, thinking it would be a German restaurant with a lot of beer, like the Black Forest Inn or Gasthoff zur Gemutlichkeit. It was not. I had been there, to that location and I don’t know why I didn’t remember that it sucked but it did. I must have blocked it out. Senor ordered the special, a prime rib sandwich. It came out on a bratwurst bun. And not the fancy kind. I ordered a Reuben and the dressing came on the side. What? Why? If you say it comes with dressing, put it on there people! It was really weird. The whole place was just one big, dark bar that still smelled like smoke (several years after the smoking ban went into affect). There were a lot of hunters wearing camo sitting around and it was simply not our kind of place. Not that we’re super fancy, but it was weird and neither one of us liked it. And it’s sort of unappetizing when your waitress walks over to check on you after her smoke break and you’re choking just at the smell of her. Gross. Anyway, the food was mediocre at best. The beer was good because it was German but we pretty much just got the hell out of there and went back to the inn. Whew.
Our room had a whirlpool which, if you know me, you know I adore beyond almost any other home appliance/feature. I hate showering. I pretty much go to the gym so that I have a reason to take a shower, otherwise I wouldn’t and I would be stinky and smelly and dirty. I love taking baths though. It is very sad to me that our bathtub sucks. It’s small and the floor is slanted so the caulking cracks no matter how often Senor redoes it. Cracked caulking on a tub means the cracks get moldy and I have to scrub with a toothbrush to clean them. Yeah, that doesn’t happen. I hate my tub. I rarely take baths in it. So whenever we have a whirlpool in a hotel room, I make up for the lack of baths in my life. Over the course of what, 18 hours I took at least three separate soaks in the whirlpool. The fire added a nice touch, as did the slew of bridal magazines I’d brought to ponder over while I soaked.
Once I became pruned I decided I had to get out. Luckily I had more bridal magazines to look through and Senor helped me pick out the ugliest dresses and which girls looked like sacks of skin and bones. There was no TV in the room, just a radio. So we listened to MPR while we perused the magazines. I think you were supposed to gaze into the fire with your wine glasses and maybe read poetry or something. Yuck, that was not happening. Once we looked through all the magazines, we snuck downstairs to enjoy some cookies and ice cream. Much more our style.
While we were downstairs scavenging for snacks I convinced Senor to buy another log for our fire so I could go to sleep that night with a lovely fire. I felt just like Elizabeth Bennett, it was amazing. Fireplace in bedroom? Big fan.
We got up the next day when our tea and coffee arrived outside our door, followed by our breakfast. It was by far, the best food we had during our little mini-vacation. There was an egg souffle with cheese and spinach, an eggy pastry that was caramely with apples, a bowl of fruit, juice, tea, coffee and grapes that had seeds which I did not enjoy. Seriously, it was so delicious and unwrapping everything from the basket was pretty fun. Like opening food presents on Christmas. Considering how good breakfast was, I’m guessing they serve a pretty delicious dinner as well and that they would never serve a prime rib sandwich sans au jous.
After breakfast I took a few more baths before we had to check out. When we left at noon they gave us a cake that we were supposed to share together, which was actually a small pecan pie which made me deliriously happy. Senor had never had pecan pie. He didn’t realize how amazing it is. He knows now.
We headed into the historic area so Senor could see the river (it’s much larger in Hastings than where we live) and the train station just happened to have a train sitting in front of it. This pleased him. He was sad that we didn’t get to see a barge and then as we drove out of the town, a triple-wide barge was going by. Sorry Senor. I did let him kiss me on the banks of the river though. Lucky boy.
We spent a few hours looking at the antique shops where I found some gems from my childhood as well as some fabulous Bavarian china that I think would look lovely in our house someday. Rosebuds=adorable.
Eventually Senor was hungry so we went to a bar called the Busted Nut which was a funny name and they did, indeed offer bowls of peanuts on all the tables. You were just supposed to put the debris on the floor. It was fine, we both like peanuts but I kept thinking of my niece who is allergic to peanuts and wondering how long places like that would be marketable since the current studies show 1 in 100 kids is allergic to peanuts and it’s only getting worse. Anyway. We ordered burgers and they were good. Nothing worth taking a picture of, but not disgusting so a win in my book. It was a weird place though, I saw five separate people wearing track pants with stripes down the side. Why would you wear those out to lunch? After eating and antiquing a bit more, we headed out of town after stopping by the confectionery. It was not quite as jovial inside as Honeydukes but it did smell delicious. They had ice cream and chocolates and coffees and lattes and fudge. We bought a few pieces of fudge and Senor got a latte for the drive home.
All in all, it was a really fun weekend and the inn keepers were so sweet and funny, they made trip worth it. The room, although a little weird was nice and the whirlpool/fireplace combo was amazing. The food at the inn was delicious and unique, even if the food in and around the town was gross/nothing special. The shopping was fun, although the antiques were overpriced compared to similar stores elsewhere and the fudge was divine. Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of it. It was that good. 🙂
Now on to my next goal vacation: the beach.