When you are in Minnesota at this time of year, you are in for a treat if you take a little ride and end up in an apple orchard. Minnesota skies in September and October are crisp and clear and a heart stopping blue. Right now you can pick honeycrisp apples, cortland, macintosh, haralson and many others. Some of the apples were actually started at the University of Minnesota Agriculture department.
Our favorite orchard to visit is Whistling Well Farm.
It is so appropriate to write about the Marjorie McNeeley Conservatory. It is a Victorian era building as is the B&B. It has been renovated recently (as is our B&B continually). It lifts the heart as we hope your stay here does for you.
This is one of the few remaining glass domed Victorian style gardens in the U.S. Its construction, finished in 1915, was a decades long dream of Frederick Nussbaumer, the Como Park gardener who became St. Paul Park Superintendent in 1890. He had worked as a young man at London’s Kew Gardens and remembered well its enormous glass palm house. His determination to build a similar structure at Como Park finally lead to its funding through a city bond issue. Once this “folly” was complete, it becam a popular success. People loved its 64-1/2 foot tall central domed palm house and the two 26×100 foot wings that flanked it. One of these wings holds the sunken garden, which hosts colorful seasonal flower displays. This wing, for much of its existance, has been used for marriage ceremonies. Around 275 weddings take place there each year. The north wing is home to plants that are useful to man for foodstuffs or medicines. The fourth longstanding section of the Conservatory is the fern room with its cooler, moister atmosphere. Within three years of its opening, the Conservatory had some 77,500 plants and some of the originals still survive. It now maintains over 260 major varieties of plants from six different continents. Many of the plants are labeled. In 1974, the structure was placed on the National Resister of Historic Places. In 1983, refurbishing began and much of the original sparkle of this “jewel in the crown” of Como Park returned. Other, newer displays have been added. In 1996, both a gift shop and a bonsai tree collection found space in the Conservatory. Five yearly seasonal flower shows occur in the sunken garden. Classes and concerts are also hosted within the conservatory.
Cathedral Hill B&B is located in St. Paul, but Minneapolis, believe it or not, is only about 15 minutes away by I-94. So why not have a great stay in a comfortable and elegant B&B and catch a Vikings game while you are here. Here are the dates when the Vikings play at the Metrodome.
Sepember 27 San Francisco 49ers
October 5 Green Bay Packers (that should be a good one!)
October 18 Baltimore Ravens
November 15 Detroit Lions
November 22 Seattle Seahawks
November 29 Chicago Bears
January 3 New York Giants.
Here’s where you can buy tickets.
Starting today and ending on September 30, 2009, tap into your creative genius and help us name our rooms. When we first started the B&B we started with a room with a king size bed. Guess what? We called it the King room! (not exactly brilliant). Then we added another room and it had a queen sized bed. Guess what again. The Queen room was born. Finally we added a suite and we cleverly called it the Master Suite. We now want names that are more interesting and are counting on our friends, family and guests to come up with a new name for each room. You can see the rooms at www.bbonthehill.com. When you come up with an idea, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. She will pass the room names on to us without revealing who the author is (thus allowing all to play even family). Please limit your entries to one name for each room. We will pick the three names we like best and announce the winners.
This weekend Cathedral Hill B&B had four sets of guests, and all four sets were parents who were in the process of saying goodbye to their college age freshman children. It struck me what a momentous time this is for both the parents and their offspring. I noticed that the parents were quiet and that they had a resolute air about them. I noticed that the students had already left their parents behind. They didnt seems afraid or in the least bit nervous about this huge change in their lives. We at Cathedral Hill B&B wish all those involved, nothing but the best.
At Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast, we have the privilege of meeting new people almost every day. At first, the business of running a B&B just seemed like a natural extension of the kinds of things we have been doing for years: cooking for, conversing with and caring for those who lived in our house. Of course, it is still all of that. But, in addition, we realize that those who stay within our walls, are teaching us new attitudes and new ways to be in this world. We have become the beneficiaries of the results of radical hospitality. What a blessing.