I've never stayed at a bed-and-breakfast before. What's it like?
Every B&B is a little different, reflecting the style and tastes of the owners. As the name implies, they offer a bedroom, bathroom, and breakfast. Most have common areas where guests can gather. Unlike most chain hotels, B&Bs are often historic homes that offer unique guest rooms furnished with antiques and premium linens. Breakfasts vary greatly. Breakfasts range from small, continental offerings to large, organic, locally-sourced meals. Breakfast is usually served in a formal dining room allowing guests to chat with each other.
Families often operate B & B’s out of their homes. Since you are staying in someone’s home, treat it as you would a family member’s home. Let them know when you’ll arrive, be respectful of their property, and others staying in the home.
How is the B & B on Broadway different from hotels, Airbnbs, and other B&Bs?
Travelers have lots of options for sleeping and enjoying their travel destinations. Where you sleep can be a major part of your trip or just a place to sleep. Hotels and Airbnbs may offer luxurious accommodations or just the basics. They may have breakfast or not. B & Bs are somewhere in between luxury and basics, depending on the property. B & Bs provide breakfast and access to a home, usually historic and often belonging to a local family who may live at the B & B. You are a guest in someone's home when you stay at a B & B.
At the B & B on Broadway, we love old homes and believe they are at their best when shared. We’ve created a comfortable home for all of us to enjoy, not a museum full of antiques. We provide a full breakfast of local and organic foods everyday for our guests. We welcome questions about our home and what to see and do in Decorah. That said, our priorities are our family, Mother Earth, social justice issues, writing and creating. We believe the Earth and its people come before our creature comforts.
What's the protocol at the B & B on Broadway?
We have only three rules for all our guests:
- Please lock the front door since people may wander in to check out the cool old house if we don’t.
- The kitchen, downstairs, backyard, and carriage house are our private family areas. Please don’t enter these areas unless accompanied by a family member.
- No smoking anywhere on the property outside or inside.
We are an easy-going, active family of four (mom, dad, son, and dog). If you want to interact, talk to our extremely extroverted son, Axel. He loves to meet the guests. Seriously, we also enjoy talking with our guests, sharing our story and learning yours. We are introverts and have other jobs – Melissa writes nonfiction children’s books and Matthew is a mechanical engineer. If you need privacy, we are happy to let folks enjoy their space. Guests who have the best stays with us tend to love historic homes, appreciate organic local food, go off the beaten path when they travel, and are easy-going themselves.
OK, maybe there is one more rule: Be kind. Treat us and the other guests as you would like to be treated in your home.
You live in the house?
Yes, it’s a beautiful, welcoming home. We have bedrooms, an art area, family room, laundry, and bathroom downstairs. Offices, workshop, garage, and workout area are in the carriage house. The kitchen is our family kitchen and where we prepare the B & B breakfast. We also make use of the living room and dining room.
What’s that tall, round area on the house?
It’s called a turret. Turret is an Old French word meaning small tower. Victorian homes often have one or more turrets as decorative, castle-like features. While not watch towers, turrets do provide great views and add architectural interest. The witch’s hat is the tall, pointed roof of the turret.
Do you share recipes?
Axel’s Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies
3 cups quick cooking oats (be sure to use gluten free oats if needed)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tsp baking power; 1 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup mashed banana or about 3 bananas
¼ cup raisins ¼ cup chocolate chips
1 cup rice crispies
Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Add a touch of whole wheat flour (gluten free) if the dough is too runny.
Drop by the spoonful onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
Honey Lavender Granola
2 cups old fasnioned oats
½ cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tbsp dried lavender
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees completely before putting in granola.
In a large bowl, mix the oats, seeds, almonds, coconut, and sea salt
In a separate bowl, mix the lavender, honey, and vanilla. Pour these ingredients over the ingredients in the large bowl. Mix till evenly cated.
Spread mixture onto aluminum foil on a cookie sheet.
Back for 10 minutes. Stir.
Back for another 10 minutes. Stir.
Lower heat to 200 degrees. Bake yet another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven. Stir. Let stand and completely cool before storing in airtight container.