For years, Don and I have been intrigued with the Alsatian town of Castroville. The European-style village was established by 27 people in 1844.
We finally got to spend a night in Castroville and we slept at the Landmark Inn State Historic Site.
Sleeping in a Museum
I love sleeping in a museum! The original building where we slept, goes back to 1849. That was when Cesar and Hannah Monod built a one-story L-shaped residence. The structure also housed a store, post office and stage stop. Stage stop? I need to learn more about that history.
In 1853, John and Rowena Vance bought the property and built an expansion and second story.
In 1925, the Lawler Family bought the property, along with its gristmill. The hotel was renamed "Landmark Inn" in 1942.
Ruth Lawler donated the site to the State of Texas in 1974. Lucky for us, since it has been preserved well and we were able to stay at the inn/museum, in May 2021.
We checked in at the gift shop in the afternoon. David greeted us wearing a mask and going over their Covid safety measures.
Even though much of Texas had been easing up, the museum and inn was extremely cautious. Our room had stayed vacant the night before, in prep for our stay.
Signs of Old
We were staying in the only downstairs room at the inn. It was simple and spacious and immaculately clean.
Our room had no TV or coffee maker and we were fine with that. It did have a nice copper ice bucket though. And the thick walls gave us impressively deep, shelf-like windowsills.
The no frills bathroom was also spotless, but we were happy to have it.
The bathroom window looked out on the Monod's original detached kitchen and the stone wash house. We were glad we didn't have to walk out back get washed up.
The grounds were pretty on a May afternoon. The white building in the far back was the Vance House, built in 1859.
I walked down the dirt path past some garden plots, to get a good look at our 2-story inn.
After checking in, Don and I explored more of the grounds.
We found the grist mill that processed wheat, cotton and lumber over the years.
The Dam and Mill
It was just a quick walk to see the Medina River, which was dammed back in 1854. The water powered mill once produced cornmeal for the U.S. Army stationed in nearby forts.
The mill was the industrial center of Castroville until the 1920's. Quiet and picturesque, today.
The home where the Vance family once lived, now holds a number of guest rooms.
It was fun to peek inside the old Vance parlor, where inn guests were given breakfast in recent years. We could have lounged around the tables with books or games, but the weather was too nice.
Don and I were determined to enjoy the weather and use the porch. David had tipped me off that no other guests were staying in our building, so we were excited to have the whole space to ourselves.
The porch was just as fresh and clean as our room downstairs. We sat on the green rockers and looked out over the grounds while we chatted and enjoyed the breeze. For dinner, we walked to town and ate at a Mexican restaurant. Perfect!
Wandering in Town
Don and I got up early and walked around the sleepy little town.
What a curious area, with many of the homes built in the style of Alsace, where many of the original residents were from. The community felt quiet and peaceful on a Saturday morning.
Breakfast on the Way Out
Our stay at the Landmark Inn, came with two breakfast coupons at another hotel. It wasn't within walking distance, so stopped in, on our way out of town.
The rain held off and we had a huge feast on the deck! It was a pleasant way to end our visit to Castroville.
The combination of historic inn and historic town, was just lovely.
We spent the third night of our "back to road trips" adventure, in Gonzales. We stayed at the Dilworth Inn Bed & Breakfast.
The inn sits on one of the corners, of the old town square. It's not an historic hotel, but it's housed in an old bank building from 1912.
A Bank in 1912
The historic Dilworth Building, once held a bank. At one time, it held Gilmer's Department store. At some point, it housed a church.
The original interior looks impressive... and Texan. In this photo, you can spot longhorn and deer heads, mounted on the far walls.
The small town of Gonzales has some interesting history, but it doesn't exactly draw crowds of tourists.
That's why it was easy to park right in front, near the side entrance. It looked neat and tidy and I was curious to see what a small town, boutique hotel was like.
By Day 3, Don and I had already tested the post-pandemic travel waters. Actually the pandemic did not end, when the 2 of us got vaccinated. So for this trip, we just put on our masks whenever we headed inside anywhere. It's easier to just wear them, than to waste time overthinking mask usage.
The owner Tiffany, was working behind the desk when we arrived. Her name sort of fit the style of the decor. That doesn't make sense. There were no Tiffany lamps. But Tiffany did decorate with some festive colors and appealing mirrors and lamps.
The lobby had a Ladies Spa feel about it. No criticism there. It just felt like a Boutique Hotel that was catering to women. That's really sexist. But I think there probably are more women who find boutique hotels and B & Bs appealing.
Luckily Don doesn't cringe at either, like some men. Like me, he's just happy when old buildings are preserved. And we appreciated it even more when we talked to Tiffany and heard her story of moving here 5+ years ago and being passionate about preserving some history. It was nice to hear her enthusiasm about the town and how its improvements.
Men in the Hall
Tiffany showed us to the small elevator. As we stepped inside, she cringed at some muddy footprints on the carpet. She made a comment about the oil men who were renting some rooms, then headed off to get a vacuum.
We got off on the second floor. I didn't spot any Antiquing Ladies or Bunco Gals, but we did greet a couple of the very polite men, wearing boots with caked mud from the oil fields. They left a little behind on Tiffany's carpet, near the coffee station. Moments later, we could hear Tiffany's vacuum.
The inn has 14 rooms and we got the prize room. We aren't usually able to afford the best room in a hotel, but this was just over 100 bucks!
I love a corner room, especially when there's a rounded window.
From the Street
Our corner room faced the southeast.
We had a total of 5 tall windows. 3 facing the stoplights and the 2 arched windows to the left.
This photo better shows the rounded wall. I'm guessing this was once office space on the second floor. Bank President?
Sometimes I like authentic and sometimes I'm happy with modern updates. The new carpet (no mud) and modern king bed, bedside tables and TV, were all welcome.
Our rounded window looked out towards the town square. The streetlights and wires, were the first thing we saw.
I didn't get a photo of the "Come and Get It" bar across the street. Much further away, we could spot the courthouse, which is pretty impressive when you get a closer look.
There was a tall window in the bathroom. When the thick velvet drapes were pulled we had a different view.
This Madonna and Child would have been a jolt, if I hadn't noticed it when we parked. It was actually a sweet thing to see.
The bathroom was curiously long and narrow. I really loved having the bench for my stuff.
All was very clean and roomy.
Our dinner was just an elevator ride away. La Bella Tavola was right below us.
Don picked up our pasta sampler dinner and we ate in our room. I'm kind of sad we skipped eating in the dining room. That was the original bank space and I missed out on an opportunity for snooping. I love peeking around and comparing the then and now.
The town went to sleep early, so we slept well in our room on the square. We got up early and wandered in the cooler morning temps.
The giant "Come and Take It" flag was waving as we passed. This was a reminder that Gonzales is the home to the first battle of the Texas Revolution. It was 1835, when the Mexican army demanded Gonzales return the cannon they'd given the community, few years before. The Texans refused and a flag like this, greeted 100 Mexican soldiers when they arrived in Gonzales. Sounds like a movie! Maybe there is one?
Come and Crepe It
Our B & B offered breakfast, but we had to Go and Take It at a breakfast cafe a few doors down.
Tiffany and her husband Alex, recently opened this cute breakfast place just a few steps away from the hotel. The building is from the 1800's. Older than the Dilworth building. It was cozy and comfy, with its twinkly lights.
Alex made our crepes and it was fun watching. He was very chatty and personable, while he did some pouring and swirling and spinning and flipping. That means he really knew what he was doing. I can't talk and cook.
We could have chosen omelets or other breakfast treats, but Don and I both wanted the crepe experience. Don had the Prestige, with smoked salmon. I of course had to try the Come and Take It, with chicken, bacon, mozzarella, creamy dill and BBQ sauce! Both were delicious!
We walked off breakfast, by wandering around the main square and a little further.
We window shopped and peeked in at the old jail. We spotted King's Service Station, that's been run by the same family since it opened in 1940. I found some old houses that I wouldn't mind living in and I eyed some antique stores that I'll visit next time. It was a nice way to end our visit.
This town of around 7,000, doesn't have a whole lot going on. We didn't really need to stay more than a night.
But I'm glad we stopped. It was nice to feel comfy and safe in our second floor room, looking down on the old town. I liked being able to park on the street and walk to breakfast. I liked that it wasn't noisy at night. (maybe weekends?) I liked that our hosts were enthused about their inn and restaurant and the town of Gonzales. It was a simple little getaway that was well worth 110 bucks!
McAllen, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley
Don and I have explored so many parts of Texas, but never anywhere in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. On May 19, we headed towards the border of Mexico in the southern end of the state. McAllen was our destination. Or at least the hotel was.
It took us twice as long to reach our destination, due to torrential rains and road closures. The sun was just peeking through, by the time we arrived.
Why Casa de Palmas?
We never would have known about this old hotel, if years ago we hadn't spotted it in our vintage cookbook. The 1950 recipe below the image, didn't lure us. Sliced Breast of Turkey Mornay on Toast. Ugh.
But the water color image looked festive. When I saw it in the book, I went straight to the internet and breathed a sigh of relief. The old hotel was still in business! When we arrived last week, I breathed a sigh of relief to see the palms. I expected damaged or dead palms, since Texas lost so many in the February 2021 Freeze. These palms had been recently freshened up and showed new life!
I was thrilled to see the 103-year-old, mission/Spanish revival-style building. It looked to be in good shape. So often historic hotels in smaller towns and cities, just don't get the support and care they need.
The exterior looked similar to the illustration, although the palms were taller. As we carried our bags from the car, I could hear a train on the nearby tracks. That was a good reminder of the tourists and traveling salesmen who used to come to McAllen, by way of train.
As we approached the front entrance, we passed two courtyards. The dining and fountain areas looked very tropical and inviting.
I paused to read a sign about the history of Casa de Palmas. Shortly after the hotel opened, it became a refuge for most of McAllen's residents, when the Corpus Christi Storm hit, in 1919. It's hard to imagine this hotel as a storm shelter, filled with frightened families.
The first thing I spotted when we entered, was the twirling staircase, disappearing into the second floor. Ironwork and blue and white tile!
Recent renovations made the lobby very welcoming. New paint and modern furniture and fixtures. The big fat columns and Satillo-tiled floors, were impressive reminders of the past. I wish I could find interior photos from when Marlon Brando and Anthony Quinn stayed here in 1952. That was when director, Elia Kazan set up headquarters at the hotel, for the filming of Viva Zapata.
At the opposite end of the lobby, there was lots of lounging space.
At 4:30 there were a few guests enjoying drinks. They were seated and not wearing masks, so it reminded me of pre-pandemic travel. However the staff and all the guests coming and going, consistently wore face masks. I was happy with that.
I was excited to check out our room on the third floor. It was gloriously large, after our night before at Tarpon Inn, in Port Aransas.
For $119. + tax, I couldn't complain. There was lots or space and large TV and couch area. There had been some paint and decor updates. The bed was comfy, but it looked like it had been made up by a rushed or cranky teenager. (I'm not showing the bad side)
Beams & Brick
I liked seeing some of the original structure. Our little sitting area had exposed beams and painted brick walls. You don't see brick in hotels much. Not sure why there were 2 refrigerators.
After our tiny bath the night before, we were thrilled to have 2 sink areas and a tub for me. I should have been thrilled for a bath at all. In 1918, only half of the 60 rooms had baths.
I would have preferred Spanish or Mexican style decor, to match the building. However, there was a little Western flair going on behind the bed. The floating cowboy hat art was actually sort of interesting! The photos online showed cowboy pillows. I wonder if the previous guests liked it too much and stole ours.
It was nice having a set of double doors, opening to a large balcony. We actually kept the door closed, due to bugs and birds.
Balcony & Pool
I would have loved sitting on the balcony, with its view of the pool. But some nesting birds made the space a little dirty. The patio chairs weren't inviting. They looked like they had been snatched from a conference room. Maybe the next renovation project will focus on balconies.
The pool below could have been all ours, if we'd thrown on some suits...
Instead of pool time, we decided to find the perfect spot for Happy Hour. The bar/lounge had lots of room, but not the perfect vibe for our moods.
Pandemics and masks, make chatting with others less desirable. And the men studying their cell phones didn't appeal either.
So we ordered 2 glasses of wine at the bar and took our drinks with us.
There was a common porch area on the third floor, looking down on the courtyards. There were a few comfy seats left, but the man with a bottle of tequila at the other end, kept us searching for a better spot.
We spent a little while on the second floor balcony. We were intrigued by a big tree, which looked like it was struggling to recover from the big freeze.
I looked up the tree later and it's an African Sausage Tree. We need to come back when we can see its flowers and sausage shaped fruits. Don encouraged me to pose with the ropey vines... since I was wearing a striped shirt. Good eye, Don!
Chairs with a View
Don and I sat on the balcony and studied the palms through the arch. We liked our cushioned chairs so much, we searched for a tag and Googled the brand. Wow! Those are super expensive chairs!
Then we took our wine to the lowest level and enjoyed some people watching. The hotel van arrived repeatedly with airline pilots and flight attendants. They wore their masks and uniforms and rolled their bags to the lobby. I have a feeling the majority of guests during our stay, were
connected to the airlines.
Dinner in the Spanish Room
I peeked in the newly renovated dining room earlier.
It looked very different than the dark dining decor that I spotted on the internet.
Feast for Two
We returned at 7:30. There was only one other couple dining when we arrived. Our cozy booth made it feel like we had the place to ourselves.
The food was pretty amazing. I had Chef Ari's ravioli of the night, which was stuffed with Osso Bucco. Don got the catch of the day, salmon. We were surprised with complimentary salads, since the wait for our food was a little slow.
The best part of our evening was pulling out the old cookbook to share with the chef and our waiter Oscar. How fun that this cookbook inspired our visit to Casa de Palmas... and that Ari and Oscar were amused by that.
Oscar and I decided to pose with our masks down, since we both were vaccinated. Oh the world is feeling better!
Enjoying the Night
After dinner, Don and I wandered a bit and enjoyed the glow...
The moon was pretty above the palms. The strings of lights, looked festive on the dining patio.
The pool looked pretty at night. Again, not a person in sight.
My photo didn't capture the colorful spotlights very well.
From Our Room
I stepped out onto the balcony one more time. The balmy evening and the pool and palms, made me feel like we were on a little getaway to Mexico.
And we practically were. The Mexican border was just 5 miles from our hotel.
We drove a long way, to stay at this historic oasis and it was worth it. The room and restaurant prices were very decent. The lobby and restaurant felt remarkably classy for this small city.
As usual, it's the connection to history that I adore. I'll remember sitting on the porches, looking at the tropical vegetation and imagining the guests from the past who stayed here... in 1920 or 1950.
Cheers to all the people who keep these historic treasures from disappearing.
Unexpected Stay in Kingsland, Texas
Don and I haven't been been seeking out hotel adventures during this pandemic year. But in late March, we were on our way home after visiting our new grand baby, when we ended up with an unplanned hotel getaway.
We had stopped at our cabin in Sunrise Beach and discovered issues with frozen pipes. We could have managed a night with no water, but we were tired. We headed for the nearest hotel, which happened to be the historic Antlers Hotel in Kingsland.
It was a little before 5, when I put on my mask and headed into the lobby. The woman at the desk looked up with a somewhat worried expression. I could see her expression, because she wore no mask... which is a lot more common in smaller towns of Texas.
I don't think the woman thought I was going to rob her. Surely she's seen other masked guests. She was mostly a little anxious because I had arrived, just as she was closing up for the evening. 5:00? Wow. That's early.
March 24, I Think?
I studied the ancient date thingy, while the host checked me in, on a modern computer. I wondered if that metal calendar had been there since the Victorian hotel opened, in 1901.
Probably not. The resort hotel closed down after a brief heyday of 22 years. It sat empty for about 7 decades, before a couple from Austin purchased. They renovated and opened, in the 1990's.
The hotel offered some cabins, as well guest rooms in the main hotel. I knew our poor host wanted to go home, but I asked if I could take a peek first.
She graciously put on a mask and I followed her out the back door. The one story room on the far right, held the Antlers Suite. I took one peek and said it would be fine.
After grabbing Don and our bags, we rolled our suitcases over the brick, to our cute little entrance with screened door AND screened transom, plus our own little sitting area,
There was only one other couple staying in the hotel. They were upstairs and at the opposite end. Yay for isolation during a pandemic... or anytime.
After dropping off the bags, I just had to peek at the other side of our building. What a treat to have windows on 3 sides of our suite.
Our suite had about 8 windows and 2 doors. I wondered what was with that low building. It looked like it was sunken into the ground.
Oldish Sitting Room
We had tons of space for our one night stay. High ceilings, woodwork and wood floors, made it feel like a 120-year-old hotel.
The furniture was an odd mix. Antiques here and 1980's decor there.
There was an equally spacious bedroom, that felt open and airy. Best of all there was no one above or under us! No one within hearing distance! Don and I were ready for isolation.
We I had come to our cabin, at the end of a road trip home from Oregon. In Portland, we spent nearly 3 months lowering our voices, in an Airbnb basement unit. (Owners above us, liked quiet) At Antler's, I was suddenly a loud and giddy guest! TV sound up! Voices at full (even loud) volume, since there were no signs to be Quiet After 9 pm! I could even wear shoes inside if I wanted. Woohoo!
We'd expected to be in our cabin on the last night of our journey. Instead we were in an historic hotel.
It was a lot more fun peeking around at the woodwork and curious pieces of furniture, when I realized what we could be doing at our cabin.
We were killing time at an old hotel, instead of calling plumbers and trying to figure out where our broken pipes were. What fun, to turn off the cabin water and retreat to this old place.
By 6, we were ready for Happy Hour. We decided the little iron table & chair set near our door, was not comfy enough.
Since the hotel was closed for the evening, we took over the front porch. I put the camera timer on, while we sat in rockers and sipped our wine.
We rocked away and watched the skies brewing above the Grand Central Cafe, across the road. There was a tornado watch, but the people sitting on the dining patio didn't seem bothered a bit.
The crowds also did not seem bothered by the pandemic. I did spot some wait staff in masks, but there were no covered faces, coming or going from the parking lot. This was an odd welcoming, back in the state of Texas after months in Super-Cautious-Oregon. Finally, the dining crowd thinned out and I picked up carryouts for dinner. We dined at our own table in the Antlers Suite.
The sky was blue in the morning. We'd woken a few times to storm drama. Oh how I love Texas storms. Luckily no tornado!
I headed out the door early with my running shoes and cell phone. So many beautiful things to see on my quiet morning run.
Sunrise in Kingsland
What fun to be back in Texas, just in time for Bluebonnet season! And the pathway down to Lake LBJ, was pretty in morning light. The hotel even had kayaks available for guests. If only we'd had time to linger.
I spotted the red caboose, as well as a yellow and green one. Don and I actually spent a night in the red one, 6 years ago!
I ended my run, looking at the front of this beautiful hotel, with porches and rockers. I spotted the double doors on the left. The Kingsland Coffee Company now serves coffee and baked goods, in a space that once held a sitting area and kitchen.
I headed back to the room and showered. Don and I made numerous attempts, calling for vaccine appointments, back in Sugar Land. We would deal with the cabin later and head home with fingers crossed. There was a good chance we'd likely be dealing with pipe issues back home as well. Darn that Big Texas Freeze of Feb 2021! But mostly our fingers were crossed that we'd get the Covid vaccine soon!
We loaded the car and I put on my mask to check out. A different woman at the desk greeted me and made no attempt to find a mask. I chose to not fret. Instead, I asked about the history of that "underground" room near our suite. Something about bootlegging, she answered! And some kind of elevator or contraption that carried the liquor to an upper unit, near ours. I love a fun tidbit of hotel history.
Then, I headed to the coffee shop and found myself once again the only one in a mask. Staff and guests looked at me like I was some kind of paranoid old granny... or a bandit. Coffee was complimentary to guests, so I happily took 2 coffees for the road.
Minutes later, I got through to my doctor's office and I got two appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for the next day!
I love this sweet Texas hotel. I don't love that the staff paid little attention to the fact that our country is still in the midst of a pandemic. I will always remember that I was annoyed by that, but my glee outweighed my annoyance! I will always feel like this hotel adventure marked the beginning of getting back to exploring and traveling! At least I hope so!
Texas Hill Country Inn
This is how "Ye Kendall Inn" looked nearly 2 decades ago.
Don and I ate lunch with our kids in the hotel's restaurant. That was long before we were searching for "Notable Night Hotels". But we were intrigued by the inn and the small town... pronounced like Bernie.
The Kendall Hill Country Inn
In January, Don and I returned to Boerne and spent a night at the hotel. The canopy was no longer green and a sheep had been added to the logo. The "Ye" was gone.
There was also a new set of critters. A sweet mama and baby buffalo, greeted us out front!
Then and Now
The town has nearly tripled in size, since we first stopped through, in 2003. I knew the town had grown, but I was eager see what had changed at the inn.
We arrived on a sunny January afternoon. The town of over 17,000 was buzzing with activity. The exterior of the 160+ year old hotel, had changed little... except for the entrance.
Home & Hotel
The hotel history goes further back than this aged image. The old photo was taken after Mr. & Mrs. Reed's Southern Colonial style home (from 1859) became the Boerne Hotel. The original Reed House is in the center.
Early on, the Reeds ended up renting out rooms in their home, to travelers. The Reed Hotel became the Boerne Hotel in 1878. Wings were added to both sides of the old house.
The black and white photo shows lots of land. It's nice that some of that open land has been preserved in a city park.
If we'd had an upstairs room, we could have looked out over the park.
But near the main doors, we found lots of open rockers... and a pair of dogs. We could have rocked away and pondered history for hours! We could have thought about all the activity that occurred on that open property. Instead we wandered and pondered.
Cowboys, Cattle, Horses... Camels!
The grounds around the hotel were used as a key stopping point for cattle drivers and military men. Cowboys and horses camped out on the land.
Before the Civil War, camels also spent some time on this land. Jefferson Davis stayed as a guest in the hotel, while 33 camels from Tunisia were tied up outside. It was part of Jefferson's experimental "Texas Camel Drive"!
Into the Inn
It was about 3:00, when Don and I headed inside to check in.
Clearly, the hotel had spiffed up since our last visit. There was a great blend of old and new.
Then and Now
It felt brighter! When I pulled up some of my old photos, I could see changes. Lots of light paint and fewer rugs.
Don headed for the desk and I checked out both sides of the lobby.
Nicole checked us in. She was wonderful, showing us around and sharing a little history. All the staff seemed enthused about our interest in the hotel's past.
I wanted so badly to stay in one of the original Reed House rooms, at the top of the stairs. But out of 34 guest rooms, only a few are available in the old section.
Out We Go
We weren't sure what we had booked... except that we usually go for the lower priced rooms. We followed Nicole out back.
The hotel doors opened to the back porch. There was no view of the park, but there were nice sitting areas, overlooking the courtyard.
There were tables and trees and strings of lights, to make things festive at night.
And there was a long, one-story addition that made me think... motel?
I was a little bummed when I realized our room was in this new addition. I had hoped for a 160 year old room. But once I learned the addition was from the early 1900's, I was fine.
Our sweet-suite at the end of the porch, was a pretty nice deal!
It was January, but nice enough that I sat on the cushioned chair with a little ivy for privacy.
The suite was small, but we could sort of spread out in two rooms for a bit.
I used the little sofa for some reading. The horse kept me company.
Comical Heating System
The room with queen bed, was cozy and quiet... except when the heat went on.
The sound came on with a distant clanking. The sound made me think of kids, racing up a metal fire escape. Then a rumbling roar, like a jet liner taking off... followed by a simmering, humming vibration in the wall. The sound was more amusing than annoying. Don and I had a hard time falling asleep, because we were giddy with anticipation. Honestly, I've never fallen asleep on the verge of laughter. But somehow we both slept!
The bed was comfy and the bathroom had nice marble and tile. The robes were just the right weight for Texas weather. I can't handle heavy robes.
The cozy, clean space gave no hints of the past. Most guests probably appreciate that, but I kind of missed having creaky doors and floors.
Luckily there was lots more to experience around the hotel.
Right outside our door, we spotted a fireplace. We wondered if some of the fireplace could have been part of the original kitchen.
We found some additional guest house buildings, past the courtyard.
The carriage house was original, but the church and school had been moved to the property, in recent years. All can be rented. We didn't get a chance to use the little soaking pool.
Food and Drink
The hotel's restaurant changed hands and had a new name, since our lunch years ago.
It was Friday, so we peeked in early to see about dining.
This photo shows just one end of the dining room. On a warmer day, there would have been extra dining options on the wraparound porch.
I remembered the cozy bar from our last visit. The colors and decor had brightened, just like the hotel.
There were a few people getting the weekend started before 4.
Past the bar, there was a classy little lounge space, with a scary critter. Without guests, I could get a good look at the puzzle of limestone, covering the walls.
Restaurant or Bar?
We returned at 6 and the restaurant was filling up. We were able to get a table in the bar, where we watched lots of regulars, greeting and gathering together.
We shared a dish of Mac-n-Cheese and devoured Chef Bohanan's, Chicken Fried Quail. An amazing dish, with cornmeal Johnny-cakes and Maple Cayenne syrup!
Night at the Inn
After eating, we stepped out in front to see the building lit at night.
Then we grabbed some coffee from the lobby and headed for the courtyard.
The winter chill, meant we got to enjoy the fireplace! The winter season also meant, we didn't have to share the courtyard with family reunions or wedding parties. I'm sure it's not always so quiet.
We scooted the chairs closer and enjoyed a real wood fire. My camera flash made things way too bright!
Nice Stay and Town
In the morning, we walked a block to town and had breakfast. We strolled through shops and studied old buildings. What a curious history with the town and hotel.
I wish we'd had more time to learn about the community's past. It was first inhabited by German "Free Thinkers". That's an interesting tangent right there! Around the turn of the century, Bourne was attracting visitors with health concerns. The hotel became sort of a health resort for guests suffering lung ailments. So much to think about!
So what will I remember most? Our one night stay was a good combination. Our welcoming inn, plus a quaint town, along with some intriguing history. Having our hotel a block from town, meant we got sort of a package deal. Hotel, Town & History! Perfect!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!