Friday, October 2, 2015

Our Honeymoon

A Week to Ourselves:

Things at work are settling down a bit for Andrew, so it was ideal for us to finally take our honeymoon. Deciding on a Honeymoon destination was really tough. I didn't want to fly anywhere, because it was a lot of luggage (pic: 4 days worth explained on Facebook), we only had 4 days, and would cost a lot more. We wanted to get far enough away it felt like a whole new place. We aren't big fans of resorts, beaches, or anything like that. Don't get me wrong, I understand why people like them. But, to me they are overcrowded and I get burnt after 10 minutes in the sun. If I spend 1 hour in the sun I will be sick for two days afterwards (I believe it has to do with my skin tone & the combo of all the antibiotics I'm always on).

I started sifting through Midwest Living and they had a decently large article about the top "so-many" towns for get-a-way weekends. It told what the town was known for, along with recommendations for food and Bed & Breakfasts. I'm a HUGE fan of B & Bs. Beautiful and Historic homes, amazing homemade
breakfasts, and fantastic hospitality. When I first came across Stillwater, MN I thought 9 hour drive. Little far, but do-able. I googled my top 5 contenders. However, after reading about the historic and quaint downtown on the riverside, not to mention ALL the FABULOUS restaurant choices, we decided it was the place for us.

                                         I took this 4 blocks from our B & B, I mean look at this place!!!!

It was soooo perfect that we dream of moving there. It was perfect. Here is a description of our days:

Mind you: Most days we had to get up early (for all my nebs).  I took an hour nap most afternoons because I was tired from all the walking and would do more nebs if needed. But other than that and making sure we always had pills, my inhaler, my mints, and a bottle of water on us, it was a trip like anyone else would have. You just have to be organized with Cystic Fibrosis.

Day 1 (MON): Travel 4 hours to the Downtown of Cedar Falls (while doing morning nebulizers in car). Spend an hour  shopping and eating in Cedar Falls, then continued 4 more hours to Stillwater, MN. We stayed at Ann Bean Mansion, I picked it for Andrew. He loves towers, castles, etc. And our room was called the Tower Room, it had a trap door & staircase that lead to the 4th Floor  "tower" which had the best views in the house.
It had bath off to the right with a jetted, waterfall type shower that was HUGE and then another room (the bright white doorway) had heated floors, windows with a scenic view and the 2 person jetted tub. After touring the house a bit and loving all the historic features, I surprised him that night by taking him to Smalley's Carribean BBQ (which has been on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives). Andrew also wants to visit all Guy's triple D spots. In June, while in Milwaukee I took him to the Comet Cafe (another triple D spot). So 2 down! To read about our Milwaukee weekend in June click HERE!

We just shopped downtown and enjoyed the riverside view! Our B & b was within walking distance, so I got to stare at homes built around 1800s by the loggers that worked in Stillwater.

Day 2 (TUES): We got a tour of the Courthouse (the oldest working courthouse in Minnesota circa 1866). It had the jail with original graffiti still and everything. Picture: the Jail used 1866-1970s -the tour guide said they even found a note from one prisoner to another just a few weeks ago. In the note the 1 guy offered "to off" someone upstate for the other guy...

 It once held the famous younger brothers who were involved with
Jesse James. I fell in love learning the history of Stillwater (the Birthplace of MN, where a convention took place and Minnesota was chartered into a state). We even got to touch a Canon that was used in the Civil War.

We drove a little bit out of town to visit the apple Orchard (which is where they give the Hot Air Balloon Rides). It was too windy for anyone to take rides, but down the road was a really good German Restaurant. We had a delicious lunch and we got the 4 beer sampler (I don't usually drink,but it's my honeymoon. I didn't drink a ton but I tried local wines, etc). We drove over the historic lift bridge that crosses the St. Croix River. Then we ate dinner in the George Washington Room of the Lowell Inn, which was built in the 1920's. Andrew took a picture for couple sitting a table away (it was her 82 birthday and her husband brought her there, he hadn't been there since 1940s). Picture: Andrew had the Bre Salmon with Lemon Buerre Blanc Sauce and I had Bacon wrapped scallops in a red pepper creamy risotto.

Day 3 (WED): We decided to do Breakfast in Bed that day. The innkeepers said we could every morning, but we wanted to meet the other guests, so we weren't going to at all. Then on Day 2 the other 4 guests (traveling together had to cancel, because someone broke their foot). So with just us with the whole B & B we figured why not. Picture: How cute was this? The Innkeepers wrote us a little note, even made my smoothie dairy free for me! Erin & Jeremy (& Amanda) were soo nice! Show them love and like Ann Bean Mansion on FB here!

 We walked around more, spent some time in the B & B, did the Trolley tour around town (I'm now an expert on the history of Stillwater and most of the sites. For lunch we went to a place called the Wheel & Wedge. FAVORITE lunch hands down. We got the big board sampler. Which included 4 salami/meats, 6 cheese (Torta from France, imported blue cheese, and meats, along with a couple local cheeses). They told us all about the cheeses and how they were made, shipped, etc. We even bought some and brought it back with us in our cooler.  Picture: Our Big Board from Wedge & Wheel. Told ya we picked Stillwater for the food! 

We sat by the riverside and then that night Andrew arranged for us to have a dinner cruise on the River. It was a two hour excursion on the Adiamo Showboat with a buffet. The views were amazing as the sun was setting! How romantic!

Day 4 (THURS): We bought some gifts up town, like a pair of earrings, some local tea, cran-pear balsamic vineager, and Tuscan olive oil. We toured the Warden's house which was part of the original State Prison. It is said to be haunted, due to the fact there was a great battle between two Native American tribes on the land. Then after the Prison was built, there were hangings in the backyard (the state was pro-death penalty), plus the prison burnt down, etc. The warden's house had a lot of antiques from the town, that locals used and donated. I didn't take any pictures, even though he said we could. I was too busy listening and awwwwing over everything. We found out that Nicole Curtis (from Rehab Addict) helps Stillwater's Historical Society save the older buildings in the town too!

We went back to the B&B and changed. Andrew had a surprise dinner/date planned that night. We went to the Dock Cafe, which sits right on River. They had a rose at the table and our 5 course meal selections. Then after dinner, Guillermo (dressed in traditional Italian clothing) came and got us from the restaurant, handed me another rose and took us to the dock, where we proceeded to have a Gondola Ride. Guillermo
introduced himself in Italian and English. Explained the Venetian tradition of kissing under the bridge was a blessing and sign of true love forever. He proceeded to row the Gondola down the river and back. The first half hour we spent looking at the town on one side of the river and then we turned the other way, facing the other side of the riverbank. It  was pure trees and nature. Andrew being "Star Lab" certified pointed out all the constellations, we even saw all of Pegasus (which apparently we can't in Illinois). It was so romantic and the last half hour Guillermo serenaded us with Italian Love songs.

It was the perfect way to end our stay! We stayed one last night in the B&B, had one last fabulous breakfast and headed back, doing my nebulizers again along the way... (thanks to my Pari Trek portable Machine that I got as an early wedding gift from my Aunt Tam!)

We hope to go back to Stillwater, It was so welcoming, relaxing, fun, and one of the best trips I have ever taken!

Now, tomorrow is the CF Walk in Peoria, so I will posting all about that in the next day or two! Along with other CF Fundraising news :-)


  1. this is really nice pic looking amazing places for honeymoon

  2. This place doesn’t have any 'i'm too cool and busy for you' wait staff. As per me, everyone at venues Chicago is nice, friendly, and helpful and they really seem to like their jobs there and that is important to me. We had an awesome experience here.

  3. I have read your post and find some interesting point and also your image amazing