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Bed and breakfasts are unique compared to regular hotels. At The River Nest B&B you get some terrific amenities, private bath, walk-in shower, separate bedroom with queen bed, sitting room with jacuzzi, in wall fireplace between the bedroom and sitting room and a private deck. But a great part of B&B’s usually is THE BREAKFAST!! I will admit I have been to B&B’s that did a poor job of breakfast. Some were just POOR and blase’. One we had to beg for something besides cold cereal (They had eggs etc, but you had to ask and the help really did not want to be bothered.), and once we got a voucher to go next door to a coffee shop. Are you kidding me???? Not at The River Nest B&B! Mrs. Dunn takes pride in her breakfasts, and makes them special. (Everything is made right here in our kitchen from scratch.) You will get treats (caramel rolls, scones, or muffins) in your suite with coffee (or breakfast beverage of choice) an hour before the real breakfast—nice way to wake up and get ready for the day. After the hour, you come out to the main dining area and have BREAKFAST. Always a fruit dish which varies depending on season (Have you ever had a poached pear?? They are wonderful.). Next you get the main entree which will be an egg bake of some kind. Quiche, Mexican egg bake, sausage bake (which is served with Dr. Dunn’s fantastic applesauce pancakes)— or one other alternative is Creme Brulee French toast (This comes with a side egg cooked to your liking, and sausage links.). Mrs. Dunn has a special recipe for orange-cinnamon bread that she uses in this one. When is the last time you had fresh, warm, home made buns? Always you have coffee, juice, water and milk with your breakfast. Our coffee is a special roast we get from Gloria Jean’s called “Mudslide“. Our guests generally really like it.—— ——AND—drum-roll—–you will get dessert!!! We serve heart-shaped chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (birthdays and anniversaries get candles and singing), apple crisp, hot milk cake with fresh strawberries or raspberries (in season) or crepes. Occasionally you get your own pie! Not only do you get fed very well, we can cater to special dietary needs. When you call to reserve a suite, we will ask about any dietary restrictions. Mrs. Dunn can do vegetarian, sugar free, and gluten free. She has even had request for dairy free and MSG free (Those are not easy, but doable.). How easy is it to get this kind of special treatment at other bed and breakfasts or or even at restaurants???
Here we are at the 24th of March already. After several weeks of lesser eagle activity, we have had a lot lately, especially in the mornings. It seems they are slowly moving back farther north to the summer breeding areas. The 3 nests close to us all have birds sitting on them. Do not know if they have eggs. The snow has melted to the point where things are brown, ugly and dirty. We need some heat for green, but this winter just will not give up–6 degrees yesterday am and 12 today. The coming weekend looks promising, but that could change. (The picture with the 3 eagles flying got over 1500 hits on facebook!) Two weekends ago we hosted a young couple making their first visit at a B&B. We do have a relaxing, romantic setting, and it worked out great for them. Peter proposed to Ashley, and she accepted! They proudly announced it at breakfast Sunday morning. We wish them the best, and hope they spend the honeymoon here!! Three weekends ago we were booked up and both couples called on Thursday and cancelled, leaving us empty for the weekend. That is a first, and hopefully a LAST. This past weekend we were full and next weekend we are full again. SOAR at The National Eagle Center ended this past weekend. They really draw the people into Wabasha and the area as they will have 800 to 1300 people visit a day on the weekends of SOAR. Watch for info about it next January and plan ahead. I keep forgetting to let people know that we are right on the state MRT, which stands for Mississippi River Trail, a marked biking route along the Mississippi River and it goes right by our door. We would make a good over night stop. The next big event to get your bookings in for is the 100 mile garage sale the first weekend in May. We have Thursday bookings, but not Friday and Saturday yet. We are right in the middle of the action-you can garage sale all day then come relax in the jacuzzi with a glass of wine afterward. We do enjoy hosting couples and finding out what other lives are all about, and look forward to meeting YOU. An eagle just landed in the “flare” tree out front. Gotta get my camera. Until next time……. Bill
The winter of 2014 will go down in this house as the winter with the teeth of a wolf. It latched on and would not let go!! Yet another week of highs in the teens and lows below zero – and it is to last util next Sunday at the minimum. POOP. We continue to have some guests, although one couple cancelled last weekend due to poor road conditions. Funny how the couple from Kasson, MN could not make it, but the couple from Arlington, SD did make it. Such is life. Even the eagles are not liking this winter near us. We usually can count over a hundred right out front each morning, but this year only 40 to 50, which is still many for our guests, for whom they are rare, just disappointing to us. We are spoiled. We did have guests 2 weeks ago who had a digital camera and had taken some classes on use. They got some fantastic pictures of eagles in the area and agreed to let us share them with everyone. I have put some on facebook (www.facebook.com/therivernestbedandbreakfast), and will put some in this blog. So special thanks to Curt and Lisa. We hope they visit again. Coming up in March is SOAR With the Eagles month at The National Eagle Center in Wabasha. They have many extra programs planned. Please check their web page for all the info (www.thenationaleaglecenter.org). We are usually pretty full during SOAR, but do have some openings. Call and check with us – the weekend of March 1st is full however. My orchids started blooming again a week ago. They are doing well, and so pretty. Will share a picture. Last and not least, DOES ANYONE really read these blogs??? I have no way of knowing. It is too much work if no one is reading them. So drop me an email and let me know if you read them (email@example.com). I would really like to hear from you. Our web guru really pushed the blogging, but didn’t let me know how to get any feedback. Please remember to “like” us on facebook and go to Trip-Advisor and give us a review (good would be preferred!!).
We are all spruced up and ready for visitors. Last fall we had both suites repainted and freshened up. This past month we redid the living room and dining room on the main floor as well as the stairs, hallway and lower level family room. It really brightened things up, and gave us a chance to redo some pictures (move them around and hang up some different ones). You can see from the picture we did a lot of shuffling around for this job. We are fully booked for Valentines weekend, as well as this one coming up. We do have openings for the month of March, which is a great month to come to our area and participate in the SOAR activities at the National Eagle Center. We usually fill up pretty well for March because of SOAR. We don’t require a two night stay like some places either. Maybe the weather will even be more pleasant! We still have numerous eagles to view right out front of our B&B. You can plan on seeing at least 60 every morning. We are ready to host you, so give us a call and book a room. We offer flexibility with our breakfasts also–we can make sugar free, meat free, gluten free, and have even done MSG free. Mrs Dunn can work wonders in the kitchen, with fantastic tasty results.
Just past 11:30 am and it is 11 degrees below zero and a modest wind. Just went out and refilled the bird feeders and it is cold, but have been through worse I think. I am grateful for my geo-thermal heating system today. It is keeping up quite well without any back up. New construction in 2005 and good insulation likely help. I do have gas fireplaces if needed. They do nicely in the colder evenings after the sun goes down. Each suite has its own fireplace—get those reservations in. Valentines weekend is almost full. We still have a room for Sat and Sun night. February 1st weekend we have room yet. Cold on the outside, warm and cozy on the inside!!
Well over 100 eagles out from in the trees today!
January is slipping away. We do have openings the next two weekends in Jan, and it is PRIME eagle viewing time. I counted 243 last Thursday morning on the weekly count (for the National Eagle Center), and that was just in Reads Landing. 159 were right across the river from The River Nest B&B. Check out the facebook pictures at www.facebook.com/therivernestbedandbreakfast. Valentines weekend is always a great romantic get away weekend, and we are booked Friday night, but have both suites open Saturday night so far. It will be great for eagle watching also. Get your reservations in guys!. We can supply chocolates and flowers if you line them up ahead. During the first 4 weekends in March, the National Eagle Center is celebrating with SOAR. This means many extra programs at the eagle center and at St. Felix auditorium. Soar usually brings hundreds of people to the eagle center. Check out their web page www.thenationaleaglecenter.org for details. Each weekend offers something different. We have openings all 4 weekends in March so far. Give us a call to book your suite. Also, the eagle center offers eagle viewing trips during January and February. Find that info on their web page also.
After most of the Mississippi River freezes over in the upper mid west, we have a unique situation here in Reads Landing. The combination of Lake Pepin just up river and its huge reservoir of relatively warmer water and the turbulence caused by the Chippewa River entering the Mississippi right at Reads Landing keeps our portion of the river open even at 15 below zero. An open river means available food for the eagles – fish- and they congregate here all winter. I mean 50 to 300 seen right out front of the River Nest B&B at any given moment in time. Just 20 minutes ago I counted 86 just looking out my living room window. It is January 8th and the temperature is 9 degrees below zero with plenty of sunshine. You could be sitting in the jacuzzi in your private suite with the fireplace on behind you watching the eagles right now. We would love to host you. All this eagle viewing and a fantastic breakfast besides. We have openings during the rest of January and February and March. These are the best eagle watching months of the year here at The River Nest B&B. Check us out on facebook at: facebook.com/therivernestbedand breakfast. I post new eagle pictures almost daily
Life on the river has been unusual this winter. The weather got COLD and the river froze over and it just did not open up like normal. It usually opens within 24 hours, but this year it took almost 2 weeks to open. That kept the eagle population low out front. Four days ago it started to open and now we have MANY eagles out front, as well as 2 dozen Trumpeter Swans.
Two weeks ago we took the two grandsons out to a tree farm and cut down our Christmas tree. They really got into it and drug several extra “trees” (branches) along to take home. After due diligence we got the tree up and situated and the boys helped decorate. They did a splendid job of it too. The big prize at the end of decorating is to set up the Christmas train that runs around on a track under the tree. The train makes steam engine noises and Santa goes HO HO HO Merry Christmas! and bells ring. A little one can watch it for some time and never get bored.
We have outside lights up and wreaths and the inside is decorated very nicely. Carol did a fine job of putting up inside decorations and the house looks very festive. Today we are hosting the Villa Maria (from Frontenac Mn) Christmas party. The food was terrific and now the group is into games. I choose to do this post instead.
We have guests lined up this weekend, then the house will be full of family midweek. We have openings for New Years and the weekend following. The eagles are back, and the jacuzzi and fireplace are ready to enjoy. If you want to see eagles, book now up to the end of March for the best sightings.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Carol and Bill Dunn
It has been an active week here at the River Nest. Last Thursday was “give to the max” day in Mn. The National Eagle Center did their version with a Bird to the Max day. They invited Birdchick down to go head to head with the center’s Scott Mehus in a contest of who could count the most eagles and see the greatest number of other species in 12 hours within 50 miles of Wabasha. We hosted Birdchick at our B&B, and had breakfast for her and Rolf Thompson (executive director of the Eagle Center) and his wife CJ at 6 am. The birding got started at 6:45 and Birdchick counted 20 some eagles from our deck right away. She got the picture of the day when she caught a pair mating in the “pepper tree” across the river from us (see facebook.com/therivernestbedandbreakfast for pictures). Scott won the competition (home field advantage). The Eagle Center was trying to raise $5000 dollars for their new exhibit “Masters of the Sky” in the rotunda, and kick in a $5000 match. They succeeded! It was great to be in the middle of the action and get some terrific exposure as well. Saturday night we hosted a dairy farmer and his wife from the River Falls area. That was especially enjoyable for me as we could share veterinarian stories. They spent the evening at “Dueling Piano’s” at Moonlight Showcase here in Wabasha and totally enjoyed it. Sunday and Monday nights we hosted a young couple on their honeymoon. They were married on Saturday and spent 2 nights here. We wish them a long happy life together and hope they will spend their anniversaries at The River Nest. The eagle population in the area is increasing slowly. Book a room and come relax and enjoy the sites. I post many pictures on facebook and people from all over the country “like” them- even have a fan from Germany who watches for them. Hope to see you soon. Bill.
A rare Sunday morning as of late, no guests to prepare for. We got the clocks all switched back one hour and slept in a bit. There was an up-tick in the eagle population this am. We had 7 at 7 am. I have added pictures that show the 7, 3 juveniles and 4 adults. Two of the juveniles are getting white heads, meaning they are 4 or 5 years old and will be all white-headed and white-tailed next year. The other juvenile is pretty mottled underneath, so is maybe first year or possibly second. I would expect that the number of eagles will keep increasing over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Don’t forget to check out the “Bird to the Max” competition on Nov 14th. See www.thenationaleaglecenter.org for more details. I hear that the Reads Landing Brewing Co. has a new beer to enjoy. It is a pumpkin beer and is quite good according to our guests. I have not tried it yet, but will soon. You can view these pics on facebook.com/therivernestbedandbreakfast.