Last year we took our honeymoon in two stages, first a trip to Stillwater (about an hour from home) to relax at a bed and breakfast, then second, a trip to Boston in the fall to explore the city and see a friend get married. We loved the bed and breakfast in Stillwater so much we couldn't wait to get back. We debated taking a winter trip so we could take a romantic walk in the snow and return to warm up by the fireplace but in the end we held out until our one year anniversary. It was great to revisit a lot of the memories from Stillwater and this time we brought our camera which we had forgotten on our honeymoon.
Here's the bed and breakfast we've visited twice now, the Ann Bean Mansion.
They have five guest rooms, both times we've stayed in the E.L. Hersey room but we might try something new next time.
We thought it was really creative how the mini fridge was hidden in this built in. We have a mini fridge for drinks in our basement so we're debating on using this idea when we build our bookshelves!
We were super excited to see this piece of furniture in the corner.
It's a dress boy! We've never seen one in person but it's what inspired us to cut a chair in half in our bedroom. Here's the dress boy without the blanket.
The room also has the coolest built in shutters we've seen. The walls are really deep and there's a shutter folded into each side of the window.
If you pull out the shutters from both sides you can close off the entire window. It's so clever how they built these in.
Down on the main level they have a beautiful dining room. The owners will deliver breakfast to your room or you can eat in the dining room - and it's the best breakfast we've ever had! We really like talking to the owners and other guests so we chose the dining room this time around.
The front of the house has a large porch that we would have spent a lot more time on if it hadn't been so hot and muggy while we were there.
The owners let us check out some of the other rooms that had just been vacated, we definitely need to try staying in some of these rooms! We liked the Tower Room which has a steep staircase that leads to a small sitting room with a great view.
And check out this shower... 4 shower heads!
We're not sure when we'll visit next. We kind of want to stay in the winter sometime. Stillwater has a big Christmas festival in November. Or maybe we'll just wait till our second anniversary. Either way, we can't wait to get back.
If you're in the Minneapolis area and want to get away, check out the Ann Bean Mansion Bed and Breakfast. For the record, we're not being paid or reimbursed to say nice things, we just genuinely like this B&B.
We also put up more pictures of our trip to Stillwater on our facebook page, check them out!
On July 31st Mike and I celebrated our first year wedding anniversary. I wanted it to be special, but with the basement renovation and saving plans, we wanted to set a budget for any gifts. The traditional first year anniversary gift is paper. I easily found something made out of paper which was perfect for Mike - a book! Mike is like a sponge with books and how quickly he reads them and learns the information. (To learn something new I need at least a visual picture, if not someone to walk me through the process more than once!) So I found him a book about Bungalow houses and a camping cookbook which were both in our $30 budget and are two subjects that Mike likes. I wasn't sure what Mike would decide to get me, so when I read that a common modern gift for first anniversaries was a clock, I hinted to Mike that I would love a watch! Well, Mike took my hint and gave me a fun bracelet/watch, but added such a creative and romantic paper gift too: paper flowers!
Mike researched how to make these paper flowers (see, he's such a sponge!) and spent an evening working in the office to pull off four of these beauties. In addition to being beautiful in their simple creative design, these paper flowers have more meaning since we spent days making about 300 flower name markers for our wedding. On our honeymoon, we found a handmade paper flower (with button middle) at a little shop in Stillwater to add to a bouquet of the extra wedding paper flowers in our home. Mike handpicked all the paper for the flowers to reflect things about me or us or our house. He changed the pattern a bit to have four instead of five petals (so he could use just one piece of scrapbook paper instead of two with leftover paper) but you can find a great tutorial to make the five petal version here.
Isn't Mike a sweetheart! And then he went and wrote a surprise post about the yummy wedding cake we pulled out of the freezer to celebrate making me beam with pride and tear up at the same time! So all that to say, we had a wonderful anniversary and celebrated to the fullest with a stay at our favorite bed and breakfast in Stillwater, meaningful but not budget breaking gifts, delicious cake, and lots of love.
I remember the first taste of our wedding cake, how delicious it was and how perfectly it refilled what a long day of heat and butterflies had taken away. So perfect, in fact, that the few bites we took for the cameras weren't enough. We snuck away from the band and the dancing and the laughing to get a second, proper, helping.
It was eerie how quiet the dining hall had become now that the party had moved to another floor, bringing all of our guests with it. It was like the party had stopped, the world slowed down, and it was just us - left to enjoy each other, and of course, our cake. We knew the celebration was still going strong and soon we'd be swept back to the thick of it but we put that out of our minds and savored every last moment and bite.
A full year later life is still moving fast and the celebration raging. Amongst the chaos I love the times when the noise quiets and we're able to savor the moment. You're an amazing wife, friend, and partner. I'm continually surprised at how deep our love has grown and continues to grow. I had no idea love could ever be this strong.
Thanks for a great first year and for the many more to come.