Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Traveling Apron begins at A.G Thompson House

It all began one beautiful day as I traveled north
to Duluth, Minnesota to interview local Bed and Breakfasts
for a blog about staycations. I had had an epiphany that I had
been to many around the USA but had seen very few in my backyard.
I was so impressed with what I found

My first stop was  A.G Thomson House, nestled high above
Lake Superior, in the heart of Duluth's Mansion district.
First impressions, they say, are upmost important and this
stunning, statuesque Bed and Breakfast did not disappoint.

It was framed by award winning gardens and large pines
that welcomed you to the entrance to this 7 room B & B.
I was aware that A.G Thomson was award winning
and so it should be.  It was regal in its presentation and so welcoming.
The outside was an tranquil as the interior.
From the Gazebo to the private trail in the back. You are still in the
city but the feel is like a private Chateau.

The richness of the rooms were  made more personal by the warm greeting
by the Owner/Innkeepers. For seven years they had shared their inn with the guests
that visit the North Shore,
The aroma of breakfast was still lingering as I entered and as I was shown around,
 elegance, warmth and tender loving care were the feelings that came mind.
But it also had a touch of hip, fresh and Nauti...
Including the detached Lake Superior Suite for that private get away

If you are in the North Shore this summer and lucky enough to
book a room that this regal, historical Bed and Breakfast, you are
in luck.From the beautiful homemade full course breakfast
 to the cozy romantic rooms A.G Thomson will be a yearly staycation.

On my drive home, my thoughts wandered - as it often does-
What about other places that people don't know about-
Amazing Inn's and B&B that are off the beaten path. I decided that I would
bring them to you and so from that I created
MY TRAVELING APRON to enhance, encourage and enlighten
the public on the merits of staying in these beautiful homes and
being welcomed by incredible Innkeepers.

And so my travel begins and in order to fund it I have set up a
KICKSTARTER project that will extend my current tour that begins
today. More to Follow  Please check it out

There are many more beautiful places just like A.G Thomson
they just need to be discovered and shared with you.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Can I Cook That Book ?

While scrolling through twitter I came across a link
that caught my eye- Well quite a few do but this had me at
CookThat Book
There was a challenge to cook through a cookbook that I love
and have used as a staple for my Innsitting assignments

So after a few clicks I had signed up for the challenge
Each month we will cook through a recipe and share it
on our blog .Culinary excitement will ensue

I must start with a disclaimer
I am not a baker but with that said
I do have a culinary crush on parchment paper and butter
This will be fun 

So into the kitchen and lets see what happens

Dream Slices from Butter Baked Goods

Tip: I have learned to set out the ingredients before I start
        Saves trip to the store 1/2 way in. I know this through 
        experience..Many experiences

Ready Set Bake
My only "not to sure about moment" happened 
with the crust.. Was it suppose to look like this

Well it could of been finer but it baked up fine

So after making just one change in the recipe
I exchanged the Maraschino Cherries with Tart Cherries
Perfect substitution. 
It all blended together like a 
beautiful Rose

The recipe went together amazingly easy
the steps were defined and easy to follow.
And for someone who doesn't follow as well as I should
in many areas LOL, that is a testament to the author

The finished product 
was a mouth full of deliciousness

The Butter Baked Goods Cookbook is a must add to your 
I can't wait to see what I get to bake next.
I am up for the challenge.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Traveling Solo and Loving It - Tales of a Traveling Innkeeper

As a professional Interim Innkeeper, I travel alone a lot.
I have been asked by family,friends and even guest of the inns I
sit for if it is safe, do I get lonely, how do I go out for dinner alone.

Well the truth is, even though I love vacations and trips with family,
I love the adventure of traveling alone. Just packing the car and heading
off to a new location to INNSIT or taking a plane to see family and staying
in the city nearby for a few days is full of fun , surprises and new explorations.

There is something to be said of a woman over 50 feeling confident and empowered
 enough to pack up and adventure out of her surrounds to discover new places and freedoms.

If you are still wondering if Solo Travel is for you .
I have 4 reasons and tips that will help you make the decision.

1. Ever wanted to have a day by yourself.
Imagine getting to have just one more cup of coffee or linger in that bookstore a little longer.
While traveling alone- You Get To. Sometimes traveling with 2 or more, you feel obligated to
stay together or be on a schedule-  Traveling Solo you get to have your schedule or not.

2. Sleeping in Solitude
When I travel alone, safety is key. For me I choose to stay in either small Inns (of course)
or small boutique hotels. As I have traveled across the US in a car- many times, I prebook
so I know where I am going.
TIP - When booking a small hotel- become a loyal member, it is usually free but when you arrive
they welcome you as if they know you. I am a huge fan of Kimpton Hotels and they are my go to because they have a great loyalty program and as as solo traveler and woman, I just feel like I belong
If not - I stay at Bed and Breakfasts - cost saving too because of Bed and Breakfast. YUM

3. Just say Hello over Dinner.
Traveling solo is an adventure and part of that is the sights and smells of the local food scene.
Whether I am in Nantucket or Seattle- The restaurants might be booked but I have always found good conversation and a seat for one at the bar. Most awesome restaurants will serve a full menu at the bar and you will not feel like you a alone- If all else fails, the bartender will talk to you. LOL
TIP - Put down your phone or don't even think about taking out your book. Remember you are there for the experience. I have meet people from all walks of life from a simple HELLO.

4. Discover Yourself on a Random Scout
  It is true that when you travel alone, you might have to pull over and discover where you
are. Getting lost is part of the fun. There are many times where I wandered off because I thought that is where I should be and have found a little antique shop or a lakeside town full of Mansions. Better yet I have found that Local Eatery that serves the best Lobstah Roll. OK maybe getting lost isn't on your list but

Experiencing life through a Solo Travelers eyes is rewarding, exhilarating and a bit rebellious
As Summer of 2014 is here- take a day trip, take a road trip but set out on an adventure.

Wanderlust  A Strong Desire to travel and explore the World
Where are you going? What is your Wanderlust Place
Go Find It...  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Gem's of the Northshore - Duluth B and B's

As an Innsitter, I travel from coast to coast
From Victoria BC to Nantucket
and many Bed and Breakfasts in between
I get the opportunity to go to amazing vacation spots
I realized that I have been east and west
but a hidden gem of Duluth, Minnesota is less than an a 3 
hour drive and I need to explore Duluth and the North Shore.

Being based in Minnesota and 
The Land of 10,000 Lakes, I headed north on a 
day adventure to check out some of the best 
of the best Bed and Breakfasts...of the North Shore

Not everyone has a Lake Cabin (for real)
 Duluth is the Gateway to Lake Superior
and after a day of hiking, canoeing or sightseeing,
checking in to one of these amazing places 
will refresh and rejuvenate you

My first stop was at my personal favorite

Solglimt Lakeside Bed and Breakfast

The name itself means Glistening on the Water
This Jewel  sits on 120 feet of pristine lakeshore,
but what really makes Solglimt Lakeshore Bed and Breakfast "glisten" is the gracious and kind owners. 
Their love of what was once their family home
turned B and B and their love and knowledge of 
Duluth, make Brian and Mary the perfect hosts.

I have personally stayed here and can attest to how the quiet solitude,the gentle sound of the water, and the attention to details in the spa-like rooms gently quiets your soul as you relax and enjoy. You might even fall in love here,

Breakfast is served lakeside when the weather and the winds permit. 
The gourmet breakfast is locally sourced, presented with detail and deliciousness.  
Conversation around the table is lively and enjoyable right up to the last cup of coffee.The delightful hosts will help you plan the perfect North Shore day.
If you are lucky to be there when Brian and Mary are serving Strawberry Soup - You are in Luck

This is an award winning Bed and Breakfast on Lake Superior, just across the famous lift bridge.
Not only for their Inn. You must ask Brian about the 4 year running award at the Rhubarb Festival .

This Bed and Breakfast is a must stay 
when you are considering
a visit to Duluth.

Part 2:
Stay Tuned for my review of the
Majestic A G Thomson Bed and Breakfast