Waking Up in Stillwater

We arrived in Stillwater and at the Water Street Inn last night – Friday evening.  The Inn is cute and unique, but it seems that management has let things slide.  There are little tell-tale bandaid fixes everywhere you look – cheap, poorly painted molding, broken lamps and inexpensive lampshades, dented and scratched wallpaper (and poorly applied in the first place – you can count the panels from across the room) and mismatched wooden furniture every where you look.

But the room has such potential!  It is truly a two-bedroom suite, with the four poster bed and a small desk in the main entry, and then a pathway passing by the spacious bathroom and opening into a large, sparsely-furnitured room.  This second room holds a wonderfully modern and working fireplace (it warmed the room in minutes) and a large double-tub jacuzzi.  The balcony is small and narrow, but on this cold and foggy March morning it does provide a somber view of the frozen expanse of St. Croix river and the bridge connecting Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The room is colored in green carpeting and what one might call a daring mix of dark floral wallpaper in one room and green stripes in the next.  The wall sconces are lit with low watt bulbs, and small lamps are littered throughout  both areas, giving the rooms a dim, romantic atmosphere. 

As part of the “weekend get-away” package that we purchased, a four-course meal was provided in the fancy-looking restaurant.  The meal was simply alright.  Like the rest of the inn, it attempted to appear more high-falutin’ than it was.  The presentation was decent – large platters, candle light, champagne on the table (mismatched silverware). The artichoke dip was good, but the tortilla chips were obviously out of a plastic bag…one that had been open for a while.  My NY Strip steak was nothing special, and although I ordered it medium rare, it was a nice toasty well done.  The risotto cakes were flattened and underdone.   Aaron had a chicken and portabella mushroom pasta in cream sauce entree, and while the sauce was divine, the chicken was stringy.  The house salads were works of art, with expertly, artfully-sliced vegetables of many varieties on a bed of crisp, fresh mixed greens.  The ranch sauce also tasted homemade.  This place is a strange dichotomy of fancy and trashy!

We had a blast at the Irish bar in the hotel after dinner.  A violin-guitar duo was playing rousing Irish drinking songs, and they were the type of performers who don’t let their audience ignore them.  Every time someone new walked into the bar, they were greeted boisterously and asked for song requests.  We came back to the room at about midnight.  Aaron fell asleep in front the fireplace (have you ever seen one of the “cute baby animal falling asleep” youtube videos?) and I filled up the jacuzzi bathtub.  Geez, that’s a lot of water –  I could never own one of these things. 

Aaron is sleeping away the morning.  I don’t understand this whole “sleeping” thing.  He’s woken several times to visit the bathroom, to stretch his arms over his head and glance out at the river.  But then he ambles back to bed, snuggles in under the feather comforter and starts snoring again.  And if I know him at all, he’ll want to take a nap later this afternoon.  What up wi’ dat?  Doesn’t he know there are adventures to be had?  Books to read?  Meals to share?  Blogs to update?  But, it makes him happy, and I don’t need him to be awake for me to start my day, so I’ll just grab a book, settle in and cast the occasional bewildered glance toward the bedroom.

More adventures – and pics! – later.

Waking Up in Stillwater