Disclaimer: All travel and accommodations are planned and paid for by us the owners of The Cedar Journal. We do not have sponsors, or receive discounts or free accommodations for writing about the places we visit or stay at during our journeys. Thus, the opinions and insights we provide are ours. Those opinions are independent and may differ from others who have travelled the same routes. We hope our experiences, entertain, help in your travel/canoe/kayak/hiking trips, and offer an insight into the areas we travel that many people are not able to travel or experience. For that reason we have kept this blog free of advertisements and we do not collect information. Thank you for reading or subscribing to our blog.
Now… that all that is cleared up on to better things! Yes, I was asked several times on my recent travels if the trip was paid for by a sponsor since I blog.
Maybe my accommodations were provided for free in return for a positive blog entry. What?
I must blog because I get huge kick backs from advertising on my site. NO!
These answers seemed to surprise most people I talked with about my blog. I could see others who just could not understand why I wouldn’t be making money from my blog. My answer (not the hubby’s, as I am sure he silently thinks each day that one of my blogs will go viral and he can finally retire to the good life from his day job of pushing airplanes) is I do it for myself. Yes, for my enjoyment! That is all.
So when I pulled into Wabasha, Minnesota from two days of travel smell and road dust on me I am sure I did not look like a sit behind a desk travel blogger. In fact, I am sure I felt and acted like I did when I emerged out of the BWCA three years ago. All I wanted was a shower and a good meal!
Turning Waters B&B and Brewery in Wabasha is run by Brenda and Ford Pearson. A beautiful wood interior house built in 1902 invites guests to stay in one of five modern decor bedrooms. Their B&B is located within walking distance to the Mississippi River and the historic downtown area. Please visit their website and view the professional video as my pictures could not even start to show the true beauty of this location.
After not getting an answer at the front door I made my way back to the Brewery where after meeting all the people tasting Ford’s newest brew I was told that I had just missed Brenda as she went into the back door of the house. I quickly made my way out of the brewery and into the house before my smell interfered with the taste of the beer testers. I found Brenda in this huge open kitchen. She instantly went into guest mode getting me to my room (I had reserved the Wetlands Room) and started showing me the features of the house. Then I was off to shower and find a place to eat.
I had found this B&B on the Minnesota B&B Association website while I was planning for this trip. I am not a fan of Air BNB or Booking.com for my own personal reasons and tend to go with long established B&B association sites. I also tend to stay with locations that have existed for a long time with good reviews. Put it this way, I do my research to make sure it will be a good fit for me and my travel plans. I picked Turning Waters and the other two B&Bs I stayed at on this trip due more to the age of the house. I wanted the 1800’s feel of the Mississippi River and staying in houses from that era I was hoping to keep the slow moving river and it’s early settlement history in focus.
After a wonderful shower (don’t all showers feel wonderful after a couple of days of not showering?), I headed towards the downtown area.
Sunday late evening is not what I would call popping socially in Wabasha. More like sleepy. I encountered very few people. I was delighted in the decor of the town as I walked towards the downtown area. The town was celebrating October Fest. German flags hung from city buildings and pumpkin art lined the streets. The backdrop of the old 1800’s buildings made me feel I had jumped into another earlier time. If a horse drawn wagon had pulled up next to me I don’t think I would have been surprised.
My pictures and insights are not as good as one of the local Minnesota bloggers, Audrey, at Minnesota Prairie Roots that I follow. She has documented this wonderful town of Wabasha many times over the years and I invite each of you to see the town through her eyes.
I ate dinner at a local Irish pub, The Olde Triangle Pub where I added a couple of items into my hummm file along with a good fish and chips meal into my stomach.
Then walked the street towards the National Eagle Center. The center was not open on Sunday evening so I strolled along the Mississippi River and took in the river front sites. I passed beautiful houses with front lawns and porches that looked out over the mighty river as it flowed past. On this warm September evening, Wabasha seemed perfect and in perfect harmony with the universe and the Mississippi River that flows slowly by.
I was told by Ford at the Brewery that the other notable place in town besides the National Eagle Center was Slippery’s Restaurant. The movie “Grumpy Old Men” was based on the location. I made my way to the end of the street and to Slippery’s to find a strange mixed crowd of bikers, locals, and fishermen sitting enjoying the meals with a backdrop of movie memorabilia. I thought the view of the river from the restaurant to be more notable.
I walked back to my B&B with my self guided walking tour now complete and my belly full. I first stopped at the Brewery for a glass of brew before I headed back to the house for the evening. The group of people that were there all seemed like friends and family but many I found were like me, from out of town, and visiting Wabasha. Many had been to this location before and were return customers as Ford traded jabs and jeers with them and the news of the local happenings. It was a warm and welcoming environment for a worn Mississippi River traveller like myself.
When I returned to the house I enjoyed an evening visiting with a fellow guest (Mary) and Brenda the B&B owner. I was happy to find out through our discussion that Brenda knew the owner of another B&B I have stayed with a few times over the years in Pine County off highway 23. Then Brenda finally revealed to us that she was the Minnesota B&B Association Board President. How lucky of a pick for me! What a busy job for her! It was fun swapping stories and she made both me and Mary feel like family instead of just house guests. For me, that is what makes a good B&B, feeling as if you are comfortable, relaxed, and important in the world. Leaving you with the feeling like you just made a new friend or added a member to your extended family.
The following morning I woke to a huge breakfast. I was amazed while watching Brenda, as she effortlessly multi tasked serving the five guests as she entertained us with stories. In fact, I was a bit late getting out of the B&B and back on the road due to the breakfast interaction. Even to the point of forgetting to pay!
I had to turn my Subaru around before I reached the end of town to go back and settle the bill. Luckily, I remembered before she had to call the local fuzz on me.
Day 3 had me heading towards fly fishing at Whitewater State Park. But, that is for the next blog… in November.
Next week will be a return of the “hummm file” blog, very full from my last trip. A blog about a scary graveyard in Scotland. All these are appropriate as the Halloween is celebrated on the 31st. I will dig out a witches hat, stir the blog brew and deliver some scary stuff. All true as I experienced it!
Until then safe travels and canoe paddles from The Cedar Journal.
Do you have stories from Wabasha?
The Great Mississippi River Road? Maybe a favorite B&B experience?
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