Kyle and I have created a tradition where we will visit a bed and breakfast each anniversary to celebrate one more year of marriage. The past couple of years we went here and here. As always, Kyle made all the arrangements to surprise me. The only piece of information I got was that we were going to Stillwater, MN, just and hour north east of us. He knows me well, considering his choice of BNB this year; an old Victorian mansion now named the Aurora Staples Inn.
Upon arrival, I couldn’t help but get excited at the powder blue and white trimmed house. We were greeted at the door by our hostess, and were immediately served hors d’oeuvres and sparkling cider (usually wine, if you drink alcohol) in the main sitting room. After finishing our delicious snack, we decided to explore the house. It is filled with antique wallpapers, stunning wood work, and all the proper time period furnishings. I wish photos could capture the whole atmosphere of the mansion with romantic piano music and the light floating through the windows, but they just can’t. It was exquisite. The rest of the night was spent relaxing in our beautiful St. Croix room, exploring the mansion grounds, and reading in the parlor. Ah, bliss…
The next morning, we awoke to the smell of something delicious cooking downstairs. The scent was just the beginning of what was in store for us. The Inn specializes in the art of fine food and dining. We entered the grand dining room to see our first course waiting for us, a bowl with a variety of fruits, nuts, and a tad of cream. We chatted with the other BNB goers as we finished our course, and then were given the second course; baked blueberry french toast with fresh blueberry syrup, accompanied by tender spiced sausage. As if that wasn’t enough, our third course was then presented. This was the dessert, a chocolate cup filled with homemade coconut and chocolate ice cream with almonds sprinkled on top. Needless to say, Kyle and I both felt like we were in a sugar coma after finishing our meal.
To wear off the food induced sleepiness, we headed out to explore the quaint town of Stillwater. Located along the St. Croix river, it was a town that specialized in lumber and river transportation of goods. It is deemed the birthplace of Minnesota, and contains a plethora of old brick buildings and Victorian homes built by the lumber tycoons that settled there in the mid 1800’s. Today it is a known as a getaway destination because of its many bed and breakfasts, eateries, and shops.
Mostly, we spent our time wandering around the city, taking pictures, and walking through shops. However, after walking off our breakfast, we did stop for lunch at Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop. This old time diner hosted all the usual menu items, including delicious shakes. A word to the wise, if you go to eat at Leo’s, remember that the portions are larger than usual. I couldn’t finish my burger, and we split a shake. Make sure to come hungry or have a place to store your leftovers. All that said, it was classic American food goodness.
Our final stop was at the Stillwater city building and veterans memorial. I wish that we could have gone inside of the city building, as I’m sure it was as beautiful as the outside. I love old red brickwork! As for the veterans memorial, that was a surprise visit. We didn’t realize that it was located just across the street from the city building, but since we were so close, we couldn’t help but go visit.
It had been a while since we had been able to get out of town, so this was a very welcome getaway. Especially to celebrate three years of “still” being together! As we were driving home, we started planning our next road trip. After all, “adventure is out there” when I’m with Mr. Frederiksen.
To see clips of our Stillwater Trip, click here.