I have two firmly established goals for retirement. One, I plan to bicycle across the United States with my husband. My friend Vonda and I sat enjoying a meal at my favorite restaurant one afternoon when seated several tables down from us was a man resembling Lance Armstrong in all his bicycle gear. I asked him, gazing at his packed-down bike, how far he was traveling. He said, "Across the country." From that moment, I decided I would keep this goal in my heart for my golden years.
My other dream is to one day run a B&B. The spirit of this goal was rekindled last weekend when my husband surprised me with a trip into our wine country and an unforgettable stay at The Hiding Place. It was love. Me. The decor. And this place. As soon as we walked in, My Man said, "Oh yeah. You're gonna love this." Literally, I asked Debbi, the owner, what paint colors she used on the walls. It was perfect from entry to guest bath.
As part of our weekend, we walked through a quaint German town established on the hills of the Missouri River. And there, amidst the grape vines and country stores, stood this. My dream.
Oh, it might not look like much. But I have the whole place planned. On the bottom floor, The Principal's Office. That's where my father-in-law will make and sell his woodworking. Across from his shop, The Cafe. I'll be up late at night perfecting my latest baked good --- festive cakes for the community and coffee cakes for the morning guests. First floor, four rooms to be rented out (First through Fourth Grade, of course. Maybe I'll name them after my teachers...Let's see, that would be Mrs. George's First Grade; Mrs. O'Riley's Second Grade; Mr. Buholt's Third Grade Room; and Mean Mrs. Wohlfard's Fourth Grade Room (maybe that one'll be haunted ---- nah, just kidding. She taught me a ton. She was just REALLY scary to a 9 year-old!). Then, finally, on the top floor, our family's living quarters. The whole thing's for sale for only $395,000. In the scheme of things, that's really not that much money (except for the asbestos removal and $1.4 million necessary to renovate...but who's counting. I just need a really big loan, and I'll cross my fingers behind my back and wink at the loan officer that really, I will pay it off (wait, that's a different soap box for a different day...)
So, alas. Here I am. With the dream of owning a B&B. And maybe even starting a bakery. Until then, come back tomorrow night - I hope to post pictures of some AWESOME cakes I've been working on tonite. Three cakes. Two and three layers apiece. Hope I remembered the vanilla in all of them...