Showing posts sorted by relevance for query lanesboro. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query lanesboro. Sort by date Show all posts

Lanesboro!

We're six weeks from our due date, which made me think it was high time we head out on a Babymoon. For a few weeks we talked about going up to the North Shore, but we only had two nights and between the four hour drive back and forth and the cost to stay up there, we started thinking of other destinations.

I have heard about Lanesboro and Harmony for a long, long time. So I told Rory we would consider this trip a scouting trip more than anything, scouting out where we would like to stay next time, discovering our favorite places to eat, jotting down the things we'd like to do on future visits.  We dropped off the kids with Mimi and Papa on Thursday afternoon and went to see Mission Impossible, eat at Buffalo Wild Wings and then went home to sleep, saving us a night's lodging. On Friday we got up and were out the door by 8:30 heading to Lanesboro, just under two hours away.

A few things to note: the countryside in this part of Minnesota is stunning. Like jaw dropping. It felt like we were driving through some lush and bluffy picture that I've seen on a jigsaw puzzle. Of course it is early August, and probably the most green and stunning time of the year. But I'd love to come back in the fall...and spring...and winter. I didn't get a single picture of the countryside, which is so odd, but I think it's because I was taking it in. Which is good.
When we arrived, we drove to find a place my cousin Sarah had told me about. Her friends were fantastically helpful in letting us know some great destinations (I'll write about their tip for caramel rolls below) including the Lanesboro livestock auction place. (Can't really remember the formal name...) Rory and I arrived and it was incredible. There was so much to take in. The bidding was serious, but the cows lightened the mood. And I sat next to the nicest retired farmer ever. He talked to me the whole time, knows everything about every kind of cow, told me which cows out there had pneumonia, where each breed originated from and how cows have been bred to be so big and huge but he, "likes the cows that are the way God intended." I liked him so much and in the end we swapped contact info and he invited us to his farm to see his calves in the spring.

The town of Lanesboro is adorable. It boasts that it is "the bed and breakfast capital of the world" and was clearly designed to be a little get-away destination. There are great bike paths, tubing companies that will shuttle you down the river, fun shops, good restaurants, a reputable live theater and even a Hawaiian shaved ice stand. It feels very vacation-y.

This is the bed and breakfast I would try to stay at next time:
The Bed and Breakfast we stayed at was fine, nice and clean. But on the whole I have issues with Bed and Breakfasts. They're really hit or miss. And I sort of don't love the colors mauve and forest green and I don't love doilies, and that seems to be problematic. B and B's also can have some awkward breakfasts in the morning, sitting with strangers, trying to make early morning small talk. And I sort of always wonder whose room I'm actually sleeping in...was it their daughter's room who is now at college? Or their grandma's before she passed away? All this to say, I put off making a reservation at any B&B because I was waiting to stumble upon an AmericInn or something. But we didn't so when we arrived we quickly grabbed the last room in town at a nice B&B that had a nice room, right next to the owners room. It was clean, and comfortable and had cable tv, so we were pretty set. And then we closed the door and discovered this clock:
Iowa Hospice. Love in Action. We laughed so hard. And then wondered who it was who had died in the bed we were about to sleep in, hoping she was a lovely grandma, filled with peace and sweet things. 
The town is charming and we did a lot of reading, napping, eating and exploring. It's so exciting to discover a new part of your state that is so awesome. We will be back. And when we go we will again frequent the Lanesboro Pastry Shoppe...a shop that has not been remodeled since the day it opened, apparently, and has also never strayed from its original caramel roll recipe. Which is a good thing. I had one each morning followed by massive sugar crashes. But man, those caramel rolls were so good!

the babymoon I can't wait for.

These are the darling flowers my sister-in-law Lisa brought to the hospital after Hattie was born. She's got all my favorites in there...

So we aren't going on a babymoon this time around. We usually take two nights and head to Lake Superior or last time we went to Lanesboro, but we're in a funny season now where leaving this farm is quite the ordeal, it is planting season, getting our kids situated and then us situated sounds sort of overwhelming plus we are still waiting for one little lamb to be born. Hard to leave written instructions for that one!

Honestly, life feels full enough and a while back I sincerely resigned that this is just not the season for getaways. We've brought these little people into the world, and I'm fine staying with them until they're all of an easier age for others (and they'd rather be with us too... and I'm fine with that.)

That said, I have been daydreaming lately of the getaway we have planned right around June 20th. I think about it quite often, actually. And it's because when we were on this getaway last time, my face mostly looked like this:
And my face looked that happy because this place was dreamy. I picked up the phone to order my food for every meal. I could order anything on the menu. And when it came, it looked like this:
This place was also dreamy because we chose to power down from the world while we were there. We never turned on the tv. I never checked my phone. I don't even remember Rory checking his laptop. We had just had a baby, and in a day of constant accessibility it seemed this was a great reason to tell others we were inaccessible.
We basically stayed in our room for two whole days, door closed. We napped (double bed!), we listened to The Burning Edge of Dawn and Floodplain albums on repeat, we soaked in our sweet baby Hattie Joy, we prayed so many tearful prayers of thanksgiving for her life. We welcomed each nurse that came in and offered to change her diaper and measured the time only by when it was time to order my next meal. A job that I felt very able to do, happy to order every single thing that sounded delicious on the menu.

I loved our stay at the hospital so much that I was weepy leaving. It was a holy time for us. And even on Hattie's first birthday I asked Rory if we could go eat at the hospital cafeteria because the food was so good. He politely declined, but even still when I see our little hospital I get all sentimental as if it were a fun resort where we enjoyed a super special weekend.

And now we get to go back! Sure I have to work real hard to be there. And sure that's going to hurt real bad. But after that part, the vacation part begins! The part with perfect crushed ice, magical platters of delicious prepared food. The part with uninterrupted naps, baby gazing, tuning the whole world out and focusing on the things that matter most: my man and my new baby.

I cannot wait.

harmony, minnesota

For our babymoon we spent the day and night in Lanesboro, ate another awesome caramel roll in the morning, and then drove twenty minutes to Harmony, Minnesota. There are tours you can take of Amish farms, as well as tours of Niagara Cave. We just had half a day and chose the self-guided Amish tour, a CD you play in your car that tells you how to get to various Amish farms where they sell their goods to you, the tourist.

In the end, the CD wouldn't have been necessary. It was more like a talking GPS than a super informative self-guided tour. But I don't know how you get a map without having the CD... Also the CD tour brought us to many smaller farms, where we got to talk to one of the parents, whereas the tour buses that go tend to visit the larger scale farms with larger storefronts. I can see pros and cons to each...

I would recommend bringing cash. We didn't have much on us, but purchased something little at each place (jams, cookies, granola bars...) They sell much larger items too: aprons, baskets, bird houses, wooden furniture and my treasure from the day: a basket that holds all the plates, napkins, utensils and condiments for toting out to the picnic table. I love it so, so much.

On the whole it felt like these Amish families were living well below the poverty line. I could be wrong, but based on the appearance of buildings, peeling paint and weathered shingles, it did look a bit exhausting. You don't take any pictures on these tours either. They believe that photos are a graven image. (Unfortunately, the day before while at the cattle auction there were two Amish men sitting across from us. I was taking pictures of the cows and trying to get a shot of the whole arena when one of them caught my eye and shot me a fierce look. The other had his hat tilted down. The bummer was that I hadn't even seen they were there...we had just arrived. But the rest of the time I shot my pictures towards the other end of the arena and also deleted all of those first pictures.)

It was a drizzly morning, and visiting these farms was fascinating. I did get the sense that part of their actual income comes from people like us stopping by, purchasing in their shops. And the landscape along the drive was lovely. It's just such a pretty part of our state. 

In the end, I'm glad we went. And I'm excited to go back and visit the cave.