A Welcome/Unwelcome Back Yard Visitor

We’ve had a recent back yard visitor that has been fun to watch.  Prior to the past 3 weeks I had seen him only 3 times in the past 2 years.

Minnesota Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker Debarking Our Tree

However, in the past three weeks, he has been here frequently.  I can tell by all the missing bark on our tree.  We have had frequent snow this month and after each snow there is new bark on the ground under the tree.

I have not decided yet if he is welcome or not.  My wife has wanted that tree cut for a few years.  She may get her wish next summer because there will be no bark left.

He is a marvelous bird to watch.  He is at least 15 inches tall and comes to work on the tree long enough for me to watch and run and get my camera.

I guess I should count my blessings because once the tree is gone, I’ll likely never see them again.

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Fall Foliage Abounds in SE Minnesota

Glorious fall colors have arrived in the Root River Valley in South East Minnesota.   Plan a mid-week getaway at the Hillcrest Hide-Away B&B in Lanesboro to enjoy the collage of fall colors.  Read on to learn more.

Hibiscus continues to offer color well into the fall season

Minnesota Bred Perennial Hibiscus

The colorful fall colors are not limited to the hardwood forests that surround us.  A wet summer has extended the summer flower gardening season.  Our hibiscus bushes are typically  finished blooming by now.  However this year they will continue to blossom until frost.

Due to the arrival of cool  nights, fall garden flowers are beginning to bloom. Perennial mums  I planted last year have formed  mounds that are nearly three feet in diameter!  They are ready to burst into bloom with hundreds of blossoms.

Asters add to the array of fall garden color

Asters Just Starting to Bloom

These aster plants are in their second year and they have thrived in our wet summer.   My diligent watering during dry spells has really paid off.

Soybean and corn harvest is well under way around us.  The rolling countryside with  alternating ribbons of green alfalfa and harvested corn rows adds to the patchwork quilt of fall foliage that surround us.

Now is the time to plan your fall foliage getaway.  South East Minnesota is filled with rolling hills covered with hardwood forests bursting with color.  Visit us during the

Old Barn Resort surrounded by fall foliage

Old Barn resort surrounded by fall color

week to avoid the crowds.

The Old Barn Resort (pictured at left) is located along the Root River State Trail.  This section of the trail is newly repaved for your rollerblading and bicycle touring.

Book your fall getaway now at the Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast.  We are located three blocks from the Root River Trail near downtown Lanesboro where you can enjoy shopping, restaurants, a local wine shop, an art gallery and live professional theatre.  Stay 2 nights mid-week and receive $10 off per night.

This blog is administered by Marv and Carol Eggert owners of the Hillcrest Hide-Away B&B in Lanesboro, MN.  Awaken to home-made bread delivered to your door at our inn.  We look forward to your visit.

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Raspberries In Season at Lanesboro, MN Bed and Breakfast

Our ever-bearing raspberries are well into their second season and the fruit is bountiful!  We have been featuring raspberries for breakfast at our Lanesboro, MN inn for the last 3 weeks.

Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Fruit Entree

Raspberries and Bananas Drizzled With Dulce-de-leche

Today we served raspberries and bananas topped with dulce-de-leche.  The crop has been so good I  have been freezing the extra raspberries for use later in the season.  Carol uses them in our entrees for Raspberry Cornbread, Yummy Raspberry French Toast, and fruit topping for pancakes.

Lanesboro B&B Pastries

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Carol uses the fresh raspberries in baking too!  Two of my favorites are Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins and Sour Cream Scones with Raspberries.

Last year the frost got the last of our raspberry crop.  This year with an earlier season, we’ll get more for the freezer and the guests.

The fall colors are just starting to appear in Southeast Minnesota.  The cooler days offer great conditions for  biking the Root River State Trail.

The mums and the asters in my garden are just waiting to pop out their colorful blossoms.  I’ve got some hardy perennial mums that will soon become a mound of color.

Consider Lanesboro (the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota) as your destination for your fall color getaway.  We offer a mid-week discount at our inn.  See the details on our web site.

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Minnesota Fall Color Getaway

After a sultry, humid August it was welcome relief this week to feel the cool breezes that remind us that fall is soon upon us.  We have gone from running the air conditioning all night to sleeping with the windows open.  What a relief!

Root River Valley Fall Colors

Southeast MN Fall Colors

Southeast Minnesota beckons you with vistas and valleys, colorful hardwood forests, clear trout streams, beautiful rivers and plentiful wild life.  Farms form a patchwork quilt of crops awaiting harvest on the rolling country side.   The Amish dry their corn the old fashioned way with rows of corn shocks standing tall to catch the fall breezes.

Fall Colors on Root River Trail

Root River Trail Bridge

Lanesboro, Minnesota and the Root River Trail offer an excellent venue for enjoying the fall colors.  Freshly fallen leaves crunch under your bike tires as you ride under the tree lined canopy bordered by bluffs on one side and the Root River on the other.

After an enjoyable day of biking, savor dinner in one of Lanesboro’s fine restaurants and then take in an evening at the Commonweal Theatre.  The theatre features 2 plays this fall season: “Enchanted April” and “The Turn of the Screw”.  Shows are performed Thursday through Monday each week.

Lanesboro has lodging options suitable to any taste from hotels, to inns, and bed and breakfasts.  Your bed and breakfasts hosts are there to help you get the most out of your stay.  Make Lanesboro your destination for your fall color get away.  Mid-week is a great time to visit when you can have the bike trail or the river to yourself.  Check out the week night bargain on our web site www.hillcresthideaway.com for more details.

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Serving Peach Chutney at our Bed and Breakfast

Minnesota Bed and Breakfast Peaches

Fresh Peaches from the Food Co-op

We usually serve the peaches as fresh fruit with breakfast.  This year Carol is expanding her horizons by canning peach chutney.  We came home from the food Coop in Decorah, Iowa with a box of peaches and Carol started slicing and dicing the ingredients.  Three hours later we had 14 jars of canned peach chutney.

Freshly canned Peach chutney

Chutney is defined as: “A pungent relish made of fruits, spices”.  Carol plans to serve the chutney as a side dish with some of our savory breakfasts.  Carol alternates between sweet and savory entrees for our breakfasts.  So if you stay with us at least two nights, you might get to sample some of Carol’s new peach chutney.

This blog is written by Marv Eggert innkeeper at the Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast in Lanesboro, Minnesota.  We start your day with a just-baked loaf of home made bread delivered to your room – followed by a hearty breakfast in our dining room.   Lanesboro is located in Southeast Minnesota and has been named the Bed and Breakfast capital of Minnesota.  To learn more, visit www.lanesboro.com.

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Canoe Trip Down Minnesota’s Root River

According to www.RiverPaddling.com, “Southeastern Minnesota is a paddlers paradise for both canoeing and kayaking. The Driftless Area of Southeastern Minnesota is quite different than the rest of Minnesota as it contains no natural lakes and the terrain is quite rugged with spectacular scenery.”

Canoe Minnesota's Root River

North Branch of the Root River

On Saturday, I paddled a section of the North Branch of the Root river northwest of Lanesboro, MN.  We put in the river on near Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center.  The weather was hot and muggy.  But the river was cool and clear.  A nice breeze wafted through the valley making for a pleasant afternoon on the river.

The river is great for canoeing and kayaking.  The river is shallow and clear allowing us to see bottom for the entire stretch.  With extra rain this summer the river is high enough so there is no danger of bottoming out.  For a canoe novice like me, the river is just perfect.

The stretch of river surrounding Eagle Bluff is quite scenic with Bald Eagles and Turkey Vultures riding the updraft along the 400 foot bluffs that border the river.  Fishing is great along the tributaries of the north branch of the Root River upstream.

Minnesota River Kayak

Kayaks on the North Branch of the Root River

The Root River’s superlative scenery and characteristics make it suitable for many types of recreation.  Family canoe trips are very popular.  Those more adventurous can take advantage of the canoe campsites for overnight trips.  A map showing camp sites and canoe launches can be found on the Minnesota DNR web site.

Outfitters in Lanesboro, MN offer canoe, kayak and tubing trips on the North and Middle branches of the Root River.

Lanesboro, the Bed and Breakfast capital of Minnesota offers 25 lodging establishments to suit any taste.   The historic downtown offers shopping, restaurants, an art gallery, and a live theatre that performs 5 days a week during the summer season.

This blog is edited by Marv Eggert co-owner of Hillcrest Hide-Away B&B in Lanesboro where you awaken each morning to a just-baked loaf of bread delivered to your room.  Come mid-week to enjoy the peace and quiet of the river.  Stay 2 nights and receive a $10 discount per night on your stay.


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Mid-week Live Theatre in Lanesboro, Minnesota

The Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, Minnesota announces a mid-week theatre series from August through October 2010.  Treat yourself to the theatrical tour-de-force of one-person shows! Commonweal’s 2010 summer series features performers from across the world taking to the Commonweal stage in solo performances that’ll bring you to tears, to laughter, and everywhere in between!

Tickets:
General Admission – $15
Season Ticket Holders & Students – $10

To reserve tickets e-mail the Box Office or call (800) 657-7025.

Curtain time for Commonweal Presents is 7:30 PM

Blue Collar Diaries – August 10 & 11
Written and performed by Michelle Myers Berg

Minnesota Live Theatre

Michelle Myers offers a glimpse of some of the memorable characters that drifted through her St. Paul blue collar neighborhood in the 60′s and 70′s. Their personal stories go far beyond the names stitched above their left breast pockets. Exploring both the larger world of the neighborhood around her and the epic silence of her Korean War vet father with humor and poignancy, Myers celebrates the individual inside the uniform in this original one-woman show. Named one of the top ten performances of 2009 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press’ Dominic P. Papatola.

RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 10+

Min mor (“Mother”)
Dramatised and directed by Anne-karen Hytten
Performed by Bente Børsum
Wednesday September 15 – one night only!

Minnesota Performing ArtsBente Børsum, actress with the National Theatre in Oslo, Norway, presents Min Mor (translated “Mother”), a collection of monologues based on the books, articles, and letters of Lise Børsum, the upper-class-wife, war-prisoner and fighter for human rights, who, in 1943, was arrested and sent to Ravensbrück, a concentration-camp in Germany. The Commonweal is proud to welcome one of Norway’s most prolific actresses in a piece that has received international recognition. “An incredibly forceful show about a past that repeats itself every single day in every scene of war in our own time.” Arendals Tidende

www.minmor.no/omabout/about-the-show/

Passion of the Hausfrau
Adapted from the novel by Bess Welden, Annette Jolles & Nicole Chaison
Performed by Bess Welden
October 5 & 6

A one-women show about the hilarious misadventures of a mom who discovers that the roller coaster ride of raising young kids is actually the path to creating her own masterpiece. “Bess Welden made it impossible not to laugh, as she dramatized the trials and hysterical tribulations of motherhood . . . Kids or no kids, this energetic woman’s portrayal of the crazy life and conflicting demands of a young mother . . . is comic genius.” The Portland Phoenix

www.thehausfrauplay.com

RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 16+

Lessons from Cancer College
Written by Nancy K. Barry; Directed by Eva Barr
Performed by Kristin Underwood
October 19 & 20

Lanesboro Minnesota One Man ShowWhat happens when a middle-aged college professor finds herself enrolled in a nine-month course of treatment for breast cancer? This one-woman show explores the anxiety and questions that emerge when the teacher becomes the student–of a disease, of a battery of treatments, and of her own changing body. Assuming it will be a manageable task to continue teaching through cancer, she’s is surprised–and ultimately healed–by the revelation that somehow cancer is teaching through her. Kristen Underwood performs this original adaptation that resonates with power and humor.

RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 13+

Need a place to stay in  Lanesboro?  The Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast offers midweek specials for guests staying 2 nights Monday through Thursday. Visit our web site for more details.

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Sweet and Savory Eggs For Breakfast

Carol (resident chef at Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast in Lanesboro, Minnesota) likes to alternate between sweet and savory entree’s for breakfast.  Some days when she can’t decide, Sweet and Savory Eggs fit the bill.

Minnesota Bed and Breakfast - breakfast entree

Sweet and Savory Eggs with tomato and fresh pepper garnish

Carol likes to use fresh ingredients as much as possible in her recipes.  We have large sage and chive plants in our garden that provide two key ingredients to this recipe.

Apples offer an unexpected sweet surprise once you bite into the omelet.

Paired with one of Carol’s scones straight from the oven, this breakfast is one you’ll remember.

People have visited Lanesboro, MN for more than a century to enjoy its natural beauty. Located south east of Rochester, Minnesota, bluffs, valleys, meadows, rivers and wildlife are all part of the natural collage that surrounds Lanesboro.

Whether you enjoy the arts, biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, shopping – or just relaxing, Lanesboro has something to offer.  Remember us when you plan your next getaway.

Carol’s Sweet and Savory Eggs recipe is in her recipe book  “Hillcrest at Home“.   Here is the recipe for you to try at home.

Sweet and Savory Eggs

Served at Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast – Lanesboro, MN

2 tsp. butter or margarine
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1 small sweet onion, finely diced
6 oz. ham, chopped
8 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped chives or green onion tops
freshly ground pepper to taste
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 T. fresh sage or 1 tsp. dried sage

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In skillet, saute’ the onions in the butter or oil.   Add the ham, apple, chives or green onion tops, and sage.
When onions and apple are soft, spread mixture evenly in bottom of 8″ square glass baking dish.
Mix eggs and cheese; then pour them on top of other mixture in baking dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let it sit about 5 minutes until set.  Cut and serve.

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Bed and Breakfast Guests Arrive By Bike and Tractors

Our guests have used unique modes of transportation in the past few weeks.  Two weeks ago a couple arrived by bike – having parked their car at the trail head in Houston (32 miles away).  They packed their clothes in  saddlebags and rode the bike trail to Lanesboro.  On Sunday they biked back to their car, showered and drove home.

On Friday Lanesboro was visited by over 172 farm tractors on the North Iowa Tractor Ride.

Tractors visit Lanesboro Minnesota Bed and Breakfast

Tractors from the North Iowa Tractor Ride

Tractors of all sizes and vintages participated in a scenic ride through South East Minnesota.  Old tractors like “Johnny Poppers,  IH Farmalls, Fords, Allis Chalmers, Minneapolis Molines and Olivers were included in the group.  My Dad would only drive Case tractors when I was a kid and there were 2 of them among the tractors on the ride.

Breakfast had to be early for this group.  We normally serve breakfast at 8:30.  The farmers rose early and enjoyed muffins, an egg bake, sausage, fried potatoes and fruit for their 7AM breakfast.

First Group of Tractors Depart

By 8AM the first group hit the road with fresh home made bread to sustain them on their sunny ride back to Cresco, Iowa.

Many of the farmers promised to bring their wives back for a visit in the future.  We hope they do.

What unique sort of transportation can you use to visit us?  Include the Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast Lanesboro, Minnesota in your future travel plans.

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Lanesboro, Minnesota Live Theatre Season in Full Swing

The Commonweal Theatre in Lanesboro, MN is in the midst of their summer theatre season.  Each summer the Commonweal Theatre hosts two plays  in repertory.  This year’s live theatre offerings are: Enchanted April by Matthew Barber and Picasso at the Lapin Agile by Steve Martin.

Enchanted April Play Character

Enchanted April: This 1920s romantic comedy breathes new life into the most stifled of souls.  On the most basic level, Enchanted April is a success as a romantic comedy because it’s both comic and romantic. In telling the story of four English women who break free of their rain-drenched sorrows and oppression for a month in a rented Italian castle, there’s plenty of opportunity for surprises and redemption, hopes that Barber never squelches.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile: Steve Martin’s comedy is sure to have you roaring with laughter from start to finish!  Two guys walk into a bar, order up one part Einstein, one part Picasso, and add a splash of the zaniest characters to ever hit our stage “all shook up.”  We promise a rollicking good time.

Plays are performed Thursday through Saturday and Monday evenings with matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday.  Visit the Commonweal Theatre Lanesboro, Minnesota web site for schedule details.

Theatre is just a part of what makes Lanesboro a great destination.  The Root River State Trail, winds 60 miles through bluffs, forests, and rolling fields. The trail traverses Southeast Minnesota’s Bluff Country offering a variety of attractions for all ages and interests with welcoming trail towns often along the trail.

Lanesboro is near one of the largest Old Order Amish settlements in America. The rolling countryside offers an ideal location for their life style. Educational tours are available to see the Amish as they really live, and the items they produce and sell (baskets, quilts, furniture and crafts). The tours offer an appreciation for the Amish way of life.

Lanesboro’s historic downtown has been revitalized; the arts flourish, gift shops intrigue, and restaurants satisfy a variety of tastes. Horse drawn buggy rides offer a perfect ending for the day.  Come and see for yourself why people return time and time again to renew themselves in Lanesboro’s riches and immerse themselves in the “ Art of Living Well”!

As the Bed and Breakfast Capital of MinnesotaLanesboro offers lodging to suit all tastes: country inns, restored Victorian Homes, and a restored mill.  The Hillcrest Hide-Away B&B offers large comfortable rooms, hearty breakfasts, and welcoming gardens.   When you stay with us, you are eligible for a $5 discount voucher for attending plays at the Commonweal Theater.

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