“…the good ‘ol American front porch seems to stand for positivity and openness; a platform from which to welcome or wave farewell; a place where things of significance could happen.” Dan Stevens
The long awaited season of front porch living is under way! The white wicker furniture is set in place and the cushions are fluffed and plumped. White lights hang overhead to lend a warm glow to the cool evenings.
The days when I can take the time to linger on the front porch with a beverage and a book is a luxury. I settle myself in the wicker rocking chair, close my eyes, inhale the smell of spring and listen to the relaxing sounds of Red Wing.
The majestic magnolia tree that is rooted near the porch has produced an abundance of white flowers this season; the porch is the ideal place for breathing in the sweet fragrance of the many blossoms.
While relaxing on the porch, the sound of church bells and train whistles create a charming sense of nostalgia of a simpler time in this historic rivertown.
Come join us at the Candlelight Inn in Red Wing, MN. Pour yourself a glass of wine, make yourself comfortable with a book or magazine. Grab a game and snack from the library and enjoy our front porch. We look forward to your stay!
It’s that time of year – garage sale season! Many people take the time in spring to unburden themselves by selling their accumulated possessions at bargain low prices in order to lighten up their living spaces and wardrobes for the coming year.
Then there are others who enjoy “feathering their nests”. Garage sales, yard sales, tag sales become a most anticipated treasure hunt. Perhaps a list is made to search for specific items at rock bottom prices or maybe the day is left to chance and a gem is discovered that, unbeknownst to the finder, is essential for life and happiness.
I personally love finding the sales with the fresh, homemade, baked goods that are displayed on a card table, next to the person with the cash box. An assortment of cookies packaged in plastic baggies with a twist-tie or delicious bars arrayed on a white paper plate covered with cling wrap. Yum! Sweet nourishment to continue my quest.
So, get the truck or Suburban out of the garage and gassed up. Make space in your trunk and mark your calendars for May 2-5, 2019 to experience the 100-mile Garage Sale “that spans all towns along Lake Pepin” – Minnesota and Wisconsin side. http://www.100milegaragesale.org/
Reserve your comfortable room at the Candlelight Inn in Red Wing, MN to refresh yourself with a good night’s sleep in our relaxing guest rooms and partake of a delicious 3-course breakfast the next morning before venturing out on your hunt! http://candlelightinn-redwing.com/
We look forward to your stay and hearing about the treasures you find!
Recently Dave and I had the privilege of welcoming a very special guest to The Candlelight Inn in Red Wing, MN. Charlotte Laxen is a dear friend, mentor, and an amazing watercolor artist from Winsted, MN.
I am honored to introduce Charlotte and celebrate her awe-inspiring gift of expressing beauty and emotion, particularly joy, through watercolors.
I first met Charlotte ten years ago after experiencing a devastating loss in my life. My sister commissioned Charlotte to paint a watercolor of a special family memory, from a photo, as a Christmas gift for my children and me. With brushes, paint and a sensitive spirit, Charlotte gloriously captured a whimsical yet tender memory; a treasured image that will never be forgotten.
I was soon captivated with the joy that I saw in Charlotte’s paintings and I deeply desired the ability to express joy on paper, with paints, as well. I was not at all confident in myself when I shyly asked Charlotte if she would be willing to teach me the art of watercolors. Her generous kindness and easy personality quickly put me at ease and I fell in love with painting and the joy that comes in creating.
I have included a sampling of Charlotte’s paintings. Please read more about the artist and person, Charlotte Laxen, and delight yourself in her paintings that are displayed on her website. She is an extraordinary person with an amazing story and exquisite artwork to share. http://www.charlottelaxen.com/
Our teenage son, Mathias, recently experienced his first time snowboarding the slopes of Giant’s Ridge in Biwabik, MN. Being a beginner yet feeling quite confident in his abilities, he decided to forego the “bunny hill” and made a bee line to the top of the run with his more experienced friends. Mathias soon discovered that his Apple watch continuously instructed him to BREATHE when the wind had been knocked out of him after a wicked wipeout.
After listening to Mathias’ downhill adventure stories, Dave and I reflected on our skiing days during our teenage years. Dave grew up skiing Afton Alps, Buck Hill, Highland Hills and Welch Village. He soon became a “shredder” of the slopes; he earned the name “Downhill Dave” by his bros (fellow rippers and shredders).
My experience with skiing was a bit opposite to Dave’s “black diamond carvings”. I was granted the nickname “Crash” because of my not-so-pretty wipeouts. According to snowslang.com I was a Gaper- “A novice skier whose hapless technique makes them stand out.” Yep, that certainly described me. Fortunately, I never broke any bones.
Skiing is a terrific way to enjoy the great Minnesota outdoors and to celebrate the winter season rather than lamenting for the warm days of summer. The clear crisp air that fills the lungs, the beauty of bare trees, contoured hills and the white landscape are all a part of the skiing experience. Yes, I know this winter has not produced a big white winter yet, but we still have many weeks of cold and February/March may bring us a delightful dumping of snow.
Yesterday Dave, the kids and I took a short drive to Welch Village – the nearest ski village to Red Wing, MN (also a favorite in Dave’s youth). A fifteen minute drive from the Candlelight Inn led us to an idyllic setting of a small village nestled amid the high hills and trees of the Cannon River Valley. It is truly a charming place to visit and ski.
With plenty of snow on the hills, Welch Village offers “sixty runs on five distinct ridges overlooking the Cannon River and Belle Creek Valleys.” (welchvillage.com)
A large chalet positioned at the bottom of the runs provide warm and comfortable seating to enjoy food/drink. Large windows give a vantage point to scrutinize the “shredders and gapers”. For even more enjoyment, live music is featured on Saturdays starting at 4pm. http://www.welchvillage.com/
Come and enjoy this charming village and ski the beautiful hills of Welch. If you can’t beat winter, you might as well join it (and maybe even enjoy it too).
It’s been a full five months since the baton was passed to us as keepers of the Candlelight Inn in Red Wing, MN. We have met so many wonderful people and begun to amass a treasure of memories. Threads of lively conversations and stories have been woven together to create a grand tapestry that has enriched our lives.
Some of the threads in the tapestry are the foibles made by the well-meaning but occasionally clumsy innkeepers. One unforgettable morning comes to mind with a bit of embarrassment. The saying, “pride goes before a fall” is true – oh, so true.
One weekend my mom and her husband came to stay at our Bed and Breakfast. It was peak tourist season; Red Wing was bustling and we were at full capacity. Our intended menu for the second breakfast course was two pans of quiche and homemade cinnamon rolls. Dave and I were up and in the kitchen at 5:15 am to begin our morning routine.
Everything was going well and we were right on course – ticking off the boxes on our to-do list. The cinnamon rolls were covered with a white dishtowel and rising on the back of the warm stove. The quiche custard was prepared in the blender and set aside on the counter’s extending bread board.
It was 7:40am and I was rolling out the pie crust for the quiche knowing that the entree needed to be in the oven soon to bake and set for a 9am breakfast. Everything was right on schedule and no problems. Breakfast was going to be perfect!
(Cue my mom.) Mom entered our kitchen with her morning cup of coffee and offered to give us a helping hand with the breakfast preparations.
A sudden pridefulness came over me and I wanted to show off my culinary skills to my mom. I confidently replied, “You sit and enjoy your coffee; I got it all under control.” All the while I’m childishly musing, ” I am doing such a great job! I must be impressing mom. Mom, are you watching me; can you see me?”
And then comes the fall….
I quickly moved around to the opposite side of the small work island to finish rolling out the dough to fit the pie pan. Not only did I move quickly but also clumsily; I hit my hip on the extending bread board that held the container of eggs and half & half.
Oh, the agony! Thick, yellow, sticky egg mixture stretched over the counter, floor and into two drawers that I carelessly left open. I let out a stunned shriek and all motion completely stopped as Dave, mom and I stood staring at the disaster.
The self-admiration came to an abrupt end and I became keenly aware that I needed my mom and Dave’s assistance pronto.
So, with much more humility, I continued the breakfast prep while Dave whipped up a new mixture of custard and my dear mother cleaned up my mess.
Ten guests were served a punctual and filling three course breakfast by a slightly bit more humbled innkeeper and her custard-making confident husband. We have both been truly blessed with a loving and forever caring mother. We love you, mom!
Wishing you all a merry and blessed Christmas! May your holiday meal prep go swimmingly smooth and calamity free.
I don’t think I’ve ever met a pastry I didn’t like. When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered that I was going to be a donut girl because what else could be as wonderful than working with donuts?
As it turns out I did not become a donut girl. My path lead me elsewhere; however, I did develop a love for baking. Food Network was the channel of my choice; Nigella, Paula and Ina became friends. Cookbooks were the books that I read before sleep overtook me. Baking was a way for me to offer something special to people I held dear. Now I use baking to offer hospitality to guests in our Inn and hoping they will enjoy and savor it as much as I enjoyed creating it for them.
We have another baker at the Candlelight Inn who also delights in the art of pastry and anything sweet! She is made of “sugar and spice and everything nice”. A girl after my own heart – our daughter, Gabriella.
This girl is a natural baker. She can conjure up a delicious homemade cake effortlessly all the while keeping a cheery disposition. Much love and joy are incorporated into her baking and she delights in knowing that a little bit of sweetness brings happiness to others.
Our family, at the Candlelight Inn, relish in sharing good food and satisfying desserts with you. Come and stay with us soon. The bakers are in the kitchen and the sweets are in the oven!
It did not take long for me, in fact it was pretty near immediate, to become beguiled with the charms of Red Wing. The history, the beauty of the Mississippi River, towering bluffs and a variety of architecture throughout the stately town have taken hold of my affections.
One extraordinary place that enlivens my imagination and lends itself to awe is the Sheldon Theater. Boasting in Renaissance Revival, the grand theater stands prominent in historic downtown. Built in 1904 to benefit the people of Red Wing the Sheldon Theater continues to captivate and entertain the public.
Intimate, rich, ornate, gilded – “a jewel box”- are words used by theatergoers to describe the interior of this esteemed and enchanted hall. It is truly a sight to behold!
During the month of December, the Sheldon Theater delights its audiences by adding a little “fa la la la la” to a smashing lineup for the Christmas season. Voices singing in harmony, feet tapping to a mesmerizing tempo, graceful ballet with dreamlike costumes and much more!