Bed and Breakfast, Like a Chicken

The Round Barn Farm B&B&B (Bed and Breakfast and Bread) boasts of 35 acres of woodlands, fields and bluffs, with one of the few remaining historic Round Barns in Minnesota and an outdoor wood-fired bread oven (the oldest structure on the property). Built in 1914, I'll admit, the Dammon Round Barn is pretty darn cool. I imagine a string quartet right in the middle, the music floating up through the circular hole in the ceiling, into the hay loft and out through the small opening in the center of the roof, bidding a lovely farewell to the rooster (weathervane) perched on top. This is a place where dreams are dreamt and fairy tales come alive. And this is the place I chose to take Kurt on our (much needed) FIRST EVER get-away weekend since having kids.

After researching for a week, becoming ever more picky in my list of desired amenities and styles, I narrowed it down to just a few places that had the required private whirlpool tub and in-room fireplace (after all, it would be December and December means COLD) and yet wasn't too fancy for our casual tastes. The Farm sounded perfect. I made a call, spoke to the overly cheery innkeepers who told of the peaceful country atmosphere outside the historic small town and decided that yep, this was the place for us to get-away, escaping the hustle and bustle (and NOISE) of work and parenting. Plus, I figured it gave me the experience of being on a farm yet wouldn't scare Kurt off since it was not a working farm any more.

Fast forward to yesterday: we said our good byes to the children, thanked Kurt's mom for coming out to watch them, told her to feel free to call us at any time (but only in an emergency, tee hee) and off we went. An hour later, we were cruising through Red Wing, the old town, beautifully lit up for Christmas. If we were the sappy type, it was almost magical....until we got a little father down the road and noticed the giant plot of land dedicated to one of Minnesota's State Correctional Facilities. The old buildings were beautiful, as was the extremely high barbed wire fence surrounding them. Kurt thanked me for not booking us at the Days Inn right next door but less than a mile away was our turn which lead us over the train tracks and up the street (only about 100 more yards) to the farmhouse.

We were kindly and eagerly greeted by the innkeepers who took us on a brief tour of the farmhouse which they had built in 1998. I'll spare the details but it is a fine, cozy retreat, right off the main highway, next to the train tracks, and right down from the state pen. Kurt and I chuckled at how they didn't really mention those things in their brochure (details...), nor on the phone. But they were nice enough to have plenty of earplugs for people to use if they felt the train horn would wake them up at night.

"How often does it come by?" I asked, curiously.

"Oh, maybe 5 or 6 times at night, and they always have to blow the horn because there is no crossing guard at our intersection," they cheerily noted.

Oh, how simply lovely, I snickered in a most sugary sweet tone of thought.

So, there we were, a most charming place, in a beautiful part of the country (the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River are truly gorgeous). They showed us our room and handed us the keys on the way out, telling us we only needed a room key because the front door was always unlocked.

"It's always unlocked? Even at night?" Kurt asked.

"Oh, we're in the country," they said, laughing.

Right. In the country. Off of a major road. Less than a mile from the state correctional facility!

After a lovely evening enjoying the comfy amenities of our room, (really, everyone needs to take at least one bath in a heart shaped tub!), we laughed about the little "details" overlooked by the innkeepers.

Ha ha, it's so funny that we are sitting on a train track. Ha ha, how funny that they consider this "away from everything" right off the main highway. Ha ha, they give you earplugs, maybe you'll sleep through the prison escapee joining the house in the middle of the night.

Kurt fell asleep on that king sized featherbed within moments.

I, however, still chuckling, stayed up...wide-eyed, like a chicken...all. night. long. The trains, all six of them, kept coming, blowing those horns and as an added bonus, with each train I was serenaded by an enormous pack of coyote RIGItalicHT OUTSIDE singing happily along....perhaps they were right about it being the country after all....

And I couldn't help but laugh when upon entering the dining room this morning for breakfast the bubbly innkeeper commented:

"I bet it was nice to not be awoken by little children in the middle of the night."

Fortunately we were not yet eating. (I might have choked.) She apparently didn't notice the black circles under each of my eyes. But, she is certainly right about one thing: I was not awakened by a thing! :)

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