Sunday, October 11, 2015

An October getaway

Peter and I took a two-day holiday this past week to enjoy fall color and continue celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary. It was, in a word, wonderful. Romantic, in fact.

The weather has been so warm that our leaves are weeks behind their usual schedule, so we headed north and east to the St. Croix River valley where we figured things would be a little further advanced. The birches were glorious tiny points of gold, and the sumac was deep red, and here and there a hardwood was turning red as well. Much of this was contrasted against deep green, and it was lovely. The sun hid behind the clouds both days, but there was beauty everywhere. The photos you see here were taken at Interstate Park at Taylor's Falls, Minn., notable for its scenery including glacial potholes; I've described it before.

We spent the night at the historic Lowell Inn in Stillwater, Minn., once an area favorite and still comfortable despite its age. I try to book a suite when we travel, because Peter needs a place to hang out while he is up half the night. In this case I took the Honeymoon Suite, which also has a Jacuzzi. So in keeping with their historic approach (and probably the limits of the wiring) the suite has no coffee maker and no fridge, but television, free WiFi, and a giant tub in the living room. Frankly, I suspect they should promote it as the Anniversary Suite, because it seems that most of their guests are silver-haired folks like ourselves. On a quiet Thursday night, the dining room hosted only three couples, all celebrating anniversaries.

The hotel's special dining attraction is a multi-course fondue dinner, which was as good as we remembered from decades ago, except that now we know our limits and didn't overdo. The cheese fondue, served with marinated vegetables and several kinds of bread, was accompanied by a wonderful Riesling. In hot oil we cooked shrimp, duck, and steak, all accompanied by an Austrian white and an Italian red that were a little more dry and heavy than we like (we'll never be wine aficionados). The grapes and berries course served as our dessert, and we skipped the chocolate fondue. I've always enjoyed the process of the fondue dinner, and it's even better when you're not the one who has to clean up and deal with the hot oil and messy cheese pot. 

Our drive took us through some delightful small towns including Marine-on-St.-Croix and Taylor's Falls, Minnesota, and Osceola, Wisconsin, all with charming gift shops, antique stores, garden shops, and, oh yes, candy stores. We managed not to buy much, since as Peter reminds me we're in the "de-acquisitioning phase." It's enough to collect experiences, memories, and the occasional photograph. In the process, we celebrated our life together and breathed new oxygen into it. Looking forward to many more years together.



14 comments:

DJan said...

How incredibly lovely, and your pictures pop with color. We are also in the phase of life to de-clutter, and it feels great. I can look, enjoy and photograph. I don't need to buy it. :-)

Stephen Hayes said...

What a remarkable place to celebrate your anniversary. Wishing you many more happy years together.

Teresa Evangeline said...

I love that whole area ... a beautiful place for just such a celebration ... sounds like a wonderful time.

J said...

You described the best part of retirement! I love the freedom to go to fun, restful places during the week (when kids are in school! ha!) and you have no time schedule or agenda...just follow your nose to wherever you go!
Lovely pictures, too!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sounds like a lovely time away to recharge! Fall is coming on strong today:)

Tamuria said...

Your pictures are so beautiful - the colours are wonderful. It sounds like you had an amazing time.The fondue feast sounds yummy. Found you through Grand Social. :)

Kc W said...

Oh my goodness that dinner sounds wonderful! Glad you got a chance to get away and that the leaves were so beautiful for you.

Jeanie said...

I love it! The de-acquisitioning phase! I think a lot of us are doing that! What a romantic anniversary tour you took -- and beautiful, too. I think our Michigan color is similar to yours and Rick and I enjoyed a cottage weekend and "driving around like old people" to look at the color, but alas. No B&B or fabulous dinner for us. (Well, we DO cook adequately -- but that was spectacular sounding!) What a wonderful way to spend a fall weekend!

Beth Moody said...

Funny, the longer I'm married the more romantic the getaways. Sounds like yours was perfect

Vapid Vixen said...

That sounds like the perfect getaway together. And now my mouth is watering for some cheesy fondue goodness!

Green Monkey said...

Now... I'm hungry and visually enticed by places I've never been and gorgeous foliage! Happy, happy, happiest of anniversaries to you and your soul mate!

Retired English Teacher said...

You truly had a lovely trip. Congrats again to you both on reaching this anniversary. I like the reminders that we are at the stage of life where we no longer acquire things. I need those reminder occasionally.

Sisters Carol-Teresa-Kathy said...

Congratulations on your 30th anniversary! Sounds like a truly nice, romantic trip. We will be celebrating 32 years soon and are also really feeling the need to start de-cluttering.

Ms Sparrow said...

My daughter and her husband took a weekend north of Stillwater. How lucky we are to live in such a beautiful area!

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