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Category Archives: News from Brayton Bed and Breakfast

New Packages

October 13, 2014 by braytonbb

[MAYMA-tiiii♥♥♥......]

New Packages, just in time for this upcoming winter.  We always have some great packages and add-ons to your stay, but each year we try to come up with something new and fresh for a limited time. This year, we have really outdone ourselves. We have 5 new packages we want to share with you and 4 of them are for a limited time only. These are just brief descriptions of what we are offering, so if you are interested,just go to our website and find out more.

1. We always have our Packer Package but it is worth mentioning so make your reservations and catch the bus at Ratch and Deb’s Pizza where you don’t have to worry about parking or driving and we serve you a full breakfast in the morning.

2. Pick up your Paintbrush on Sat. Dec. 13 where we will all be walking down to the Artspot to do some Painting. It will make a great gift for Christmas or to keep for yourself the painting on our specials page will show you what we will be doing that day.

3. Nutcracker in the Castle from Nov. 21- Jan. 5th. The busiest of seasons when the Paine Art Museum puts on quite a show with over 100 Christmas trees and Candlelight and guided tours are set to the Nutcracker theme. Stay 2 nights and get 20% off your stay with the Nutcracker purchase.

4. New Years Eve Comedy Dec. 31st. Lets end the year right and have a private party at Backlot Comedy House in downtown Oshkosh. Reservations need to be made by Nov. 17th.

5. Grand Discount! 1 Free ticket to the Grand Opera House with a two night stay through June.

6. Guided Ice Fishing Package – Captain Scotty from Scotty’s Pontoons will take you out on the ice to do a little fishing or to just check out the scenes. Everything included from the shanty, to the bait and we will even pack you a lunch.

Autumn in Wisconsin

September 29, 2014 by braytonbb

fall 2011There is nothing like Autumn in Wisconsin! Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a warm weather kind of girl. I love the hot temps, summer breezes and spending the day on Lake Winnebago on Scotty’s Pontoons. However, digging out those jeans, cozy sweaters, taking in the early morning sunrises, brisk walks in the evening and admiring the beautiful array of colors on the trees is a close seconds to those warm summer days.

We are so fortunate here in Oshkosh to have beautiful tree-lined streets that showcase the wonders of Fall and reflect off of Lake Winnebago. Menominee Park and South Park both showcase the colorful sanctuary that we should be so proud to display to our guests that come to our city.

Want to take a road trip though and experience all the colors of Wisconsin. Check out the Travel Wisconsin website to know how locally we are progressing along with the rest of the state.

We are heating up the apple cider and bringing out our pumpkin recipes for breakfast and desserts.Get all our latest and greatest recipes by following us on our Facebook page or on our blog.

Fun with our EAA guests

August 25, 2014 by braytonbb

This picture was a memorable evening out with some of our EAA guests. Yes, it should have been posted a month ago, but we have been pretty busy around here. Thank you so very much for that by the way! We love it!

We usually have the same guests every year, for the exception of one room that sometimes rotates out with new guests. That being said, we have become great friends with these guests, that unfortunately, we only see once a year. They are usually so busy working that they have little time to play, but this year, some of them made the exception. We introduced them to the best cheese curds in town and yummy burgers.

Don’t ask me what is going on with Scott. He always has to be the unique one in the photo.

petes 2014

 

Top 10 B&B’s for winter travelers

January 13, 2014 by braytonbb

The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association has named the top 10 Bed and breakfasts for winter travelers again this year and Brayton Bed and Breakfast made the list again. We would like to say thank you and congratulations to all the the other B&B’s that made the list as well. If you can make it to Oshkosh this year, come and stay with us and see why Lake Winnebago is home to some of the best ice fishing and sturgeon spearing around and then warm up back at the inn with some homemade hot chocolate. If Oshkosh is not in your travel plans this winter, the top four B&B’s offer anything from dog sledding to candlelight breakfasts’.
1. Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield: A leader in the green travel movement, the inn is all about the white stuff this time of year. They offer a dog sledding package in partnership with Wolfsong Adventures and you’ll want to ask the owners about a hike out to the ice caves on the Apostle Island National Lakeshore too. Added tip – make time to enjoy the on-site sauna.

2. McCormick House, Hayward: The city is home to America’s largest cross-country ski marathon, the American Birkebeiner, and has some of the finest trails in the country. The sophisticated McCormick House, a restored Victorian with a contemporary twist, has a full a la carte breakfast menu to help you get your energy levels up in the morning and wine to help you warm up in the evening.

3. Canyon Road Inn, Turtle Lake: Six fireplaces, one in each suite, are perfect for defrosting after a day of snowmobiling or ice fishing out the back door. Guests can snowshoe the 14-acre grounds for a good cardio workout.

4. Apple Tree Lane B&B, Waupaca: There’s ice fishing on the chain of 22 spring-fed lakes in the area and cross country skiing around the 7.5 acres that surround the inn. The owners of this circa 1880 farmhouse serve a gourmet breakfast each morning set with candlelight.

5. Brayton B&B, Oshkosh: This is a warm landing spot for those who like ice fishing on Lake Winnebago (sturgeon speaking, anyone?) and Lake Butte De Morts. This Cream City brick Italianate home is doily-free and the innkeepers offer a breakfast-to-go for early risers.

6. Tie: Justin Trails B&B Resort and Grapevine Log Cabins, Sparta: There are seven miles of cross country ski trails groomed for skating and striding on the grounds of Justin Trails B&B, to say
nothing of the four miles of snowshoe trails (30 pairs of snowshoes stored at the B&B, rental is just $5, plus free guided hikes), and skijoring with your dog. At Grapevine Log Cabins, there’s a cute stove in each of the three cabin-style guest houses and homemade quilts on the beds, a nice welcome in for snowmobilers and cross country skiers.

7. Pine Grove Park, Reedsburg: A stay here puts you in perfect proximity to cross country skiing at Mirror Lake State Park (with candlelight skis too) and Devil’s Lake State Park, plus downhill skiing at Christmas Mountain, Cascade Mountain and Devil’s Head Resort. The innkeepers also provide snowshoes for stomping around the trail system on the grounds of the B&B.

8. Inn at Wawanissee Point, Baraboo: This new villa-style estate on 42 acres has snowshoes for guests to get around the three miles of trails on the grounds. The innkeepers even recommend snow walking by moonlight when the snow sparkles like diamonds. The view to the Lake Wisconsin Valley from both the Great Room and the breakfast area is stellar. Downhill skiing at Devil’s Head Resort is just two miles away.

9. Honeybee Inn, Horicon: After a day of cross country skiing on the trails of Horicon Marsh, you’ll have plenty of choices for warming up at Honeybee Inn in Horicon. The inn has eight fireplaces – two electric, one gas, and five wood burning. The innkeeper is a State Fair Blue Ribbon winner and her made-from-scratch bakery is legendary.

10. Token Creek Eco Inn, Madison: The innkeepers here have been known to snow shoe to the chicken coop when the snow gets deep. They offer free snowshoe rental to guests so they can explore the grounds of the inn and the 150-acre headwater springs to the Madison Chain of Lakes. They also endorse the lit cross country ski trails at night at Token Creek County Park.

About the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association
The WBBA is the one of the largest associations of its kind in the United States and the only quality-certified B&B organization in Wisconsin. Its 140 member inns range from historic mansions to waterfront cottages to contemporary urban retreats. Full descriptions of the inns may be found at www.WisconsinBandB.com.

We did it again!

December 2, 2013 by braytonbb

Well, we decided to do it again! All the Christmas decorations are up along with our guest Christmas giving tree.It is adorned with beautiful christmas gift tree 2012lights, large bulbs and ribbon and clear ornaments that each have a special surprise inside.  It was such a big hit last year, that we decided to spread the joy again. For all of our guests staying with us again this year, in the month of December, you will be able to pick a clear Christmas ornament off of the tree and open it to find a surprise inside. Like last year, we have several 10-40% off night stays, two 50% off night stays and 1 FREE night stay included in the bulbs. This year we have also added FREE cookbooks, B&B coasters and mugs as well for gifts.

All return guests that have stayed with us in the past will be able to use their discount or receive their gift right away. All guests that are new to Brayton B&B, will be able to use their percentage off in a gift certificate form for the next time they come back. Spread the word, we would love for you to see our tree first hand.

If you are not able to make it this year, we also offer gift certificates for those hard to buy for people on your list.

 

New video to match our website.

August 19, 2013 by braytonbb

I don’t know about you, but this summer has flown by. It even seems more so these last couple of weeks with Fall school sports practices beginning, school registrations, physicals, hair cuts, pictures, school shopping…I am giving myself a headache just rethinking about all the running around I have been doing plus still trying to run a bed and breakfast.

If I can add one more thing to the mix, we are having a new video shot tomorrow for our website. Laurie Marie Photography will be coming in and taking some pictures and video of guests checking in, enjoying wine and cheese, socializing and having breakfast. I think she may even add in me making breakfast and the joys of keeping the inn in tip top shape. We are really excited to update to our video since our website was just updated over the Spring and we want our new video to have the same type of fun vibe that our website carries over. It will be a few weeks before it is completed, but I promise you, once its done we can’t to show you.

Backyard Remodel at Brayton B&B

July 17, 2013 by braytonbb

We have been busy remodeling the back yard. The rain added on a few weeks and then there was the tree roots and curb that ran about 4 foot down that had to be removed to put up the fence. Man, the things you run into when doing a remodeling project. You would think we would know better, but no, we always wish for the best. Scott is just putting the finishing touches on adding lights and I am still adding a few more greenery items, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak. Great place for a wedding or family reunion.  A few guests have enjoyed breakfast out here last week and couple glasses of lemonade and wine have been served as well. We are really enjoying it and I hope you will come and visit so you can too.

 

Brayton B&B gets an intern

June 18, 2013 by braytonbb

For the last couple of years I have been talking about getting an intern. Fox Valley Tech, here in Oshkosh, has a hospitality and tourism program.  I thought it would be great to be able to give back to someone by providing experience and possibly a career path. I wasn’t seeing the big picture though until a past guest and I got talking about social media. I know many of my other innkeeper friends will agree that we all spend a great deal of time promoting our businesses through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. It seems endless  and at times mind boggling trying to shuffle running an inn by physically doing all the tasks at the inn and then behind the scenes as well with things such as this. So for the time being, instead of training someone to do everything at the inn, I decided to get an intern to do some of my blogging to start off with.

If you don’t know this about me, I like to do everything myself. I have a hard time giving up control. Ask my family and friends. So, having someone blog for me is a huge step of trying to let go and manage my time a little better. This process though will be baby steps. I will still be blogging every week myself with recipes, since sometimes I don’t even know what I am going to post until the day of. I will also still blog about personal events, and things that happen at the inn( I think), until I can give up more maybe down the line.

So, I would like introduce you to Kyle. No, you can’t see him, but you will be able to get a sense of who he is from his blog entries. Kyle attends UWO, works a full time job and now interns for me. Kyle is interested in marketing, so he hopes to gain experience from blogging, analyzing  my Facebook page and working with Google. My hopes is that he can take away some experience by using me as his learning device and I can gain a little more freedom from my computer. Thanks Kyle!

New Website Launched

May 10, 2013 by braytonbb

Scott and I went to a national B&B conference known as PAII out in Las Vegas this past January. We had never gone to one of these national conventions before, so we really didn’t know what to expect. There were B&B’s from all over the country ranging in size from 1 room to literally the size of a small hotel up to 30 rooms. We met a lot of really nice people and came back with so much information. Because they are catering to a wide range of different size inns, some information didn’t pertain to us like how to brew beer at your inn. Hmm, that got Scott thinking that maybe we should think about getting bigger. Ha! Back to reality.

The biggest thing I walked away from was some new marketing ideas though. Being in the bed and breakfast industry is not a get rich quick profession or EVER for that matter. It really is all about the lifestyle though, which is why Scott and I love what we do. It works for our family.  We constantly get told from locals that they did not even know that their was a bed and breakfast in Oshkosh. You have no idea how many times we hear that. Our marketing budget is so small that we have to be sooo choosy on where we spend our marketing dollars. Because the majority of our business comes from our surrounding states, we tend to focus our efforts in trying to get our inn noticed by the greatest number of people. Our website is the window to that world. Now, don’t get me wrong, we want Oshkosh to know that we are here and hope that our Facebook and word of mouth referrals  will keep coming our way but we figured a new website might not hurt either.  One statement grabbed my attention while in Vegas.

It was said, that if you have a limited dollar amount for your marketing budget, put everything you got into your website if it is three years or older. Our website was just past that mark.  We have always gotten great reviews from it and I hated to change it, because I did like it so much. Now, I have always been one that appreciates honesty, whether you want to hear it or not. I have never been one to hold back so I hoped they wouldn’t either and they didn’t.  This presenter that we were listening to, put our website along with many others up on a big screen in a convention hall and started picking it apart. Man, I felt like I had a lot to learn. As small as I felt, I needed to hear the bad news which lead us to where we are today.

I decided to work with a company that we had been doing business with the last couple of years who focuses on the bed and breakfast industry in website design.  We spent almost a half a day just trying to come up with a font that was easy to read. Scott still isn’t happy with it, but I would love to know your thoughts. This company went out of their way to find out who we were were as a family, as innkeepers, information about Oshkosh , our clientele and our style. All things important when creating a website or our storefront for that matter, that appeals to the masses. The last couple of  months have been tweaking everything from information, to pictures, to the behind the scenes that only Google and many other search engines will appreciate. Our website just went live yesterday with a  few minor things that need to be completed.

I hope you like our new site and find it easy to use and navigate through. If you should have any thoughts one way or another on it, please feel free to share.

 

Hey, look we were mentioned!

April 22, 2013 by braytonbb

brayton_family-4Every once in a while, our name appears in an article, not necessarily promoting us specifically, but what may be around us or things to do in the area.  The first article is from Travel Wisconsin and as you can see Oshkosh made the list of things to do, see, and places to eat. The second article is a feature story for the Circus World Museum in  Baraboo. Though Baraboo is roughly a 2 hour drive from Oshkosh, it is an easy enough day trip for those who are looking for something different to experience. I hope you enjoy both articles as much as I did.

 

“Wisconsin’s Event City,” Oshkosh is home to over 1,000 events and festivals, including the famous EAA AirVenture and the Country USA music festival. The city on the western shore of Lake Winnebago also has more than its share of year-round fun. Here are our top picks for an Oshkosh weekend getaway, any time of year.

Where to brunch

Pilora’s Café dishes up the café essentials – friendly service and wholesome food – with a dash of originality. From jazz music in the background to some unusual menu items (like cornbread pancakes with Door County cherries and the Moroccan ham sandwich) Pilora’s makes a point of offering something different. They also brew Alterra coffee, so you can fuel up on a proper cup of joe before heading out for your Oshkosh adventures. 

Where to explore

The EAA’s AirVenture fly-in every August isn’t your only chance to experience Oshkosh’s world-renowned Experimental Aircraft Association. The EAA AirVenture Museum, open year-round, features over 200 historic airplanes, plus movie theaters, galleries, flight simulators, and two “hands-on” interactive galleries for all ages.

Where to shop

You’ll find a lot of unique shops on (and just off) Main Street. A few to get you started:

If big-name stores are more your style, The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh, across from the EAA, is home to 55 of the best. We recommend adding a whole day to your Oshkosh itinerary if you want to hit the outlets!

Where to get your culture on

The Grand Opera House, built in 1883, is the oldest operating theater in Wisconsin. It puts on a fun variety of entertainment, from the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra to musicals, rock ’n’ roll shows, and karaoke nights. The Paine Art Center and Gardens is a 1920’s estate with an amazing art collection and display gardens. Their Family Discovery Gallery offers hands-on art experiences for children. Admission: $9 adult/$5 youth. 

Where to go for dinner

Gardina’s Wine Bar & Café has a great menu of American/Mediterranean starters, cheese plates, salads and sandwiches, with nightly entrée specials. But it’s their pizza that steals the show. Bring an appetite and brace yourself for some tough decisions: there’s an impressive selection of wines, craft beers, and – bonus – individual-sized cheesecakes. Jam to live music Friday and Saturday nights. 

Where to stay

The Brayton Bed & Breakfast is just a short walk from Main Street. Warning: if you stay in this beautiful, friendly B&B, you might not want to leave…especially on the weekends, when you can enjoy an afternoon wine and cheese social in the living room, and homemade desserts later in the evening. Rates: $129.00-$299.00 nightly.

Learn more about all the fun Oshkosh has to offer here.

Liven Up Your Vacation: Visit the Circus World Museum

If you have enjoyed luxuriating yourself in your suite at Brayton B&B, drinking fine wine, eating local cheeses, and visiting the occasional museum, take a vacation from your vacation. Plan a day of highly charged entertainment at the Circus World Museum. The Circus World Museum is a two hour drive from Oshkosh; far enough away to be a significant day-trip, but close enough that you can still make it back to your suite for an evening drink. A premiere Wisconsin attraction, the Circus World Museum is a historical site that attracts thousands of visitors a year, and is loved by both children and adults.

History

What sets the Circus World Museum apart from your average circus is its remarkable history. The circus, originally named ‘The Ringling Bros. Circus’, was founded in 1884 by the five Ringling brothers. The Ringling Bros. Circus ran for thirty-five years, and in that time expanded to an empire consisting of the three largest circuses in America. In 1959, after the circus industry had gone into decline and The Ringling Bros. Circus had long been closed, its gates once again opened. This time it was named the Circus World Museum, a museum with a mission to preserve the circus industry, so it could be understood and loved by future generations.

Sights

The Circus World Museum is home to several of the original buildings used by The Ringling Bros. Circus; these buildings are the largest groups of original circus buildings in North America. Located on the north bank of the Baraboo River, they date from 1897 and 1918, and the area they comprise is now a National Historic Landmark. As well as these historic buildings, artefacts from the old circus are displayed in the many exhibits on offer across the site. Here you can see everything from the cage wagons in which lions were kept, to original poster art advertising circus shows.

Performances

Of course it would be unheard of to go to a circus and not see a show. With the spirit of the original Ringling circus, there are a variety of shows on offer to suit a multitude of interests and tastes. Gymnastics, acrobatics, elephant shows, clown shows, and contortionist shows, are just a few of the performances on offer for visitors. Just make sure to look at the performance schedule on arrival so you won’t risk missing your favorite.

Eating and Drinking

If your trip to the Circus World Museum falls during the summer season, then their deluxe onsite restaurant, Cookhouse Grill, is open for business. If not, or if you would prefer to eat away from the circus, why not venture into Baraboo? Baraboo is a bustling city with a diverse range of eateries. Here you can sample the best burgers American cuisine has to offer, as well as some top-notch Mexican and Italian food.

Getting There

Driving is certainly the easiest, and most cost-effective, way of getting to the Circus World Museum, and will give you the chance to experience some of the beautiful scenery of Wisconsin between Oshkosh and Baraboo. It is important, however, that you consider safety before hitting the road. Whether you plan to rent a car or bring your own with you to Oshkosh, you must ensure that you are covered against breakdown in the Wisconsin area. Purchasing breakdown cover is simple, as it can be bought quickly and easily online, and there are many cheap deals to be found. While it is unlikely you will need to use it, breakdown cover is priceless for the piece of mind it will give you during your trip. Once you’ve got your breakdown cover in the bag, and have set a date for your trip to the Circus World Museum, simply jot down the directions below and you are ready to go.

Directions:

1.    Head northwest on Church Ave towards Central St(0.4 mi)

2.    Turn left onto Wisconsin St (0.5 mi)

3.    Continue onto Ohio St(0.9 mi)

4.    Turn right onto W South Park Ave(2.0 mi)

5.    Turn left to merge onto U.S. 41 S toward Milwaukee (2.4 mi)

6.    Take exit 113 for WI-26/County Rd N toward Waupun (0.4 mi)

7.    Turn right onto WI-26 S/WI-26 Trunk S/Co Rd N. Continue to follow WI-26 S/WI-26 Trunk S (21.5 mi)

8.    Take the Wisconsin 26 S/U.S. 151 S ramp to Waupun/Madison (0.4 mi)

9.    Merge onto US-151 S (1.0 mi)

10.  Take exit 147 to merge onto US-151 BUS S/WI-26 S/WI-26 Trunk S/Fond Du Lac St toward Waupun. Continue to follow US-151 BUS S/Fond Du Lac St.(1.6 mi)

11.  Turn right onto EMain St.(1.0 mi)

12.  Turn left onto WI-68 W/Fox Lake Rd. Continue to follow WI-68 W (9.5 mi)

13.  Continue onto State Hwy 33 W/W State St. Continue to follow State Hwy 33 W (44.8 mi)

14.  Turn left onto Washington Ave(0.6 mi)

15.  Turn right onto Water St. Destination will be on the left.

New space, New items

March 25, 2013 by braytonbb

When we first opened the inn, we decided that we were not going to have a gift shop. I didn’t want to clutter the space we did have with things other than what we used everyday.  Since we have been open though, there are a few items that people ask for all the time such as our cozy bathrobes, amazing sheets and our seasonal soaps. We started selling these items a few years ago since these companies that we buy them from only sell to spas and inns. We figured that it is pretty great that you can purchase these items through us after you have tried them out first hand.  I never did  put them on display,but rather just waited for someone to ask me about them.

It seems like the last year or so though, our guests have been asking for more items that they can purchase to remember there trip here in Oshkosh. So, since you asked for it, we made a few more items available. We’ve taken the sunporch, that had extra seating for when we are full for breakfast and cozied it up a bit.  We left a couple of tables, but we have also  added a couple of comfy chairs that our guests can seat around the fire and read a good book, an area rug and lamp and a couple of bookcases that now hold all our products we use at the inn, that are now available for sale along with information on what to do in Oshkosh when are you visiting.  We partnered with a local company in Neenah who made these fantastic coasters and mugs with our logo on it that are also now available for purchase.

We still have a few Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbooks available and as always our sheets, bathrobes and soaps too.

 

 

 

Packer Alumni stay at Brayton Bed and Breakfast

March 4, 2013 by braytonbb

What, you say? Yes it is true! It was also my birthday on the 22nd and I have to say that I could not have dreamed up a better 40th birthday weekend.

Okay, let me start from the beginning because it only gets better as the story goes on. I found out about a 8 weeks ago that some of the Green Bay Packer Alumni were coming to town for Battle on Bago that took place Feb. 22-23. Glenn Curran who is one of the founders of Battle on Bago does an amazing job of putting everything together. There is so much to get done to pull off something of this magnitude.  Proceeds from this event have primarily benefited over 20 Youth Fishing Events and the purchase of fishing poles, tackle boxes, and bait for kids.

We  are so close to the event that took place at Menominee Park and we were able let the guys have the entire inn to themselves. It’s nice to be able to be away from home and still feel like your at home.  I didn’t really have any idea what to expect, but it was beyond my wildest dreams.

Five Packer alumni and alumni coordinators were expected to arrive on Thursday night, but because of the snow storm, Lynn Dickey who played for the Packers as quarterback from 1977-1984 and Paul Coffman as a tight end from 1978-1985 were stranded in Kansas City and would not be able to make it.

Frank Winters was the first to check in. Frank played for the Packers as a center for 9 consecutive seasons. This guy is HUGE but he is also a big teddy bear too. I don’t know if he would appreciate me saying that, but he’s a really nice man. We had the opportunity to chat for a couple of hours before Dave Whitehurst arrived.

Dave Whitehurst was a quarterback for the Packers who played for 7 seasons. Dave was  probably the most humbling man I have ever met. I felt like I knew him for years. He could be anyone’s best friend. His son Charlie now plays for the San Diego Chargers as a quarterback as well.

Jerry’s Bar was the place to be Thursday night if you wanted to say hello to the boys. They got to experience a little bit Oshkosh history.

It looked like I would have to wait for rest of the crew to come in the following night. Friday night was my birthday which my parents drove up 21/2 hours to come and share with me. My husband, daughter, parents and some close friends dined out in Appleton and were back at the inn by 11:00.

At which time Bill Schroeder was waiting in my living room relaxing with Dave.  Bill Schroeder played for Packers for 7 seasons as a wide receiver. He was born in Eau Claire, attended Sheboygan High School and went to college in LaCrosse where he starred in track and field. I didn’t have much of an opportunity to talk to Bill since he was here such a short time, but I hope that I get the chance to meet him again someday. He couldn’t have been nicer in the time I did have with him.

Casey Rabuck who played for the Wisconsin Badgers stayed for a short time, but I never go the chance to meet him. The guys were up early on Saturday morning to do some ice fishing and head down to Battle on Bago where I got to spend most of my afternoon hanging out with some of them.

Later that evening, my husband and I had the pleasure of dining out with Dave. We decided to take him to Ratch and Deb’s for some great pizza and show him the shrine of Packers legends.

By Sunday, I was beat but still grinning from ear to ear. I only hope that we will get this opportunity again someday. If not though, this will be something I remember for many years to come.

Pack

I am in 7th heaven with Dave Whitehurst and Frank Winters

Did you hear?

February 25, 2013 by braytonbb

How exciting! Did you hear that Brayton Bed and Breakfast was nominated for Best Wisconsin B&B’s for Ice Fishing?

We are so honored! I mean we know we live in this great city where we are surrounded by beautiful lakes and architecture, but to be nominated! What an privilege! Check out some of the other B&B’s in Wisconsin that were nominated along with us but also for skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

AND THE NOMINEES FOR THE BEST WISCONSIN B&Bs FOR ICE FISHING, SKIING, SNOWSHOEING AND SNOWMOBILING ARE… 

 

MERRILL, Wis. (February 7, 2013) – For those of hardy stock – and really, who doesn’t that describe in the Midwest – the idea of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling out the front door is the ideal.  Now take that notion and apply it to a winter getaway. While the front door for most hotels and resorts leads to the parking lot, at many Wisconsin B&Bs the front door leads you to the great outdoors. A quick survey of Wisconsin inns produced a slew of ideas for travelers who like to take in the fresh winter air.  So, in the spirit of the film and music awards season, we bring you nominees for “best of” in the following categories:

Best Wisconsin B&Bs for Cross Country Skiing

  • The Justin Trails B&B in Sparta deserves the lifetime achievement award for winter sports of all sorts, but especially for cross country skiing. They have a 10K trail on their property groomed for both striding and skating styles of skiing, and you can literally ski out the back door of the inn.
  • At Apple Tree Lane B&B in Waupaca, enjoy a hearty breakfast, then go for a brisk ski on the property, in that order so advises the owner.  Warm up at the outdoor fire pit with hot chocolate after.
  • Another strong nominee is Eagle Centre House in Eagle, given their proximity to Lapham Peak park in the Kettle Moraine State Forest with nearly 20 miles of trails of which 2.5 miles are lighted for night skiing.
  • Other inns with cross country skiing right on property include www.WisconsinBandB.com.

Crusty Bread

January 30, 2013 by braytonbb

I will quote another Pinterest pinner. I am addicted to this bread!  I have made three loaves and probably would make more if I had another cast iron pot. The bread takes time to make, but it is so easy. You literally take 5 minutes to make the dough and then walk away for 12-24 hours and then come back to it. That’s it! The best part of about it is that you can add whatever ingredients you want for what you are using it for.

The first day I made just the original and shared with my husband that evening with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, grapes, cheese and red wine. That actually could be my go to, staying in dinner every night, but my daughter might start to complain.

The second day, I added some craisens, walnuts and honey to the loaf. YUM! That was breakfast. I am thinking I may be using this for a french toast or sandwich for another recipe.

Finally the third day I was looking through the fridge to see what I could incorporate into this loaf. I found some cheddar cheese, and fresh thyme and sprinkled a little parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper to to the loaf. Excellent again. I think next time, I may add jalapenos!

I can’t wait to come up with some other great recipes. In the meantime though, if you come up with something, please pass it along. I would love to try your creations as well.

Okay, back to the recipe. So 12-24 hours seems like a long time to proof the bread, but trust me! It is necessary! If I start it at 8:00 in the morning, I have to wait until 8:00 at night to bake it. I am too tired by that time so I have waited until the next morning to bake and it has turned out great every time, but be my guest. Do what is ever easiest for you. No matter what though, wait at least 12 hours.

Crusty Bread – 3 C all purpose flour, 1 3/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. yeast, 1 1/2 C water and then whatever else if you want to through into it. Also, you will need a cast Iron bowl. I have never tried a regular stew pot, so I am not sure if it would work as well. Its worth a try though if you don’t have cast iron.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast. Add water and  mix until this shaggy looking mixture forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12-24 hours.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 450 degrees. When the oven has reached this temp, place your cast iron pot(empty) with the lid on in the oven and heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour dough onto a heavily floured surface and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic while the pot is heating.

Remove pot after 30 min. and add dough to the pot. Cover with a lid and put back into the oven for 30 min. After 30 min., remove the lid and back for additional 15  minutes.

Carefully remove bread from pot when done and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy when cool, if you can wait that long!

2013-01-24 10.10.50bread slice

 

 

 

 

Family history this holiday season

December 31, 2012 by braytonbb

If  you have ever been to our place or been to our website, you will know that we are not like your typical bed and breakfast. You won’t find lacy pillowcases, flowered wallpaper or that 80′s country motif and we are completely doily free, and proud of it. Now, we know that there is a place for that. We have stayed in many lovely B&B’s that do a great job with these themes.  We hope that you can appreciate the architecture that our Creme City Brick Italianate home offers. We have brought in a lot of dark, warm colors to compliment the high ceilings and tall windows and doors.

Now we appreciate history just like you do. We love to tell people that our home is almost 150 years old and that it has gone from a residential home, to a boarding house, to group home to now our home and bed and breakfast. “Full Circle” is how I feel and what I tell most people. That is why we do have a few antiques in the home. Maybe a handful at the very most. In fact the ones I am the most proud of, are a piece of my own family history.

rocking chairWhen I was pregnant with my daughter I had a baby shower just like many. The best gift of the day came from my Grandmother who gave me her Fathers rocking chair. I never had a chance to meet him, but this rocking chair was always in my Grandparents house and I had never known the history.  She had cleaned it up and tweaked it to be squeak free. On the bottom of the chair seat she had written me a letter describing how her Father had sat in this chair every day on the porch smoking his pipe. It brought tears to my eyes that she was giving me something so precious, that meant so much to her and something that I could rock my baby in. Now my baby is teenager, so  it sits on the front porch at our other property where I can enjoy it just like my Great Grandfather.

 

floor lampNot long after we opened, my Mom gave me a floor lamp that was my Great Grandmothers. I was lucky enough to know her. In fact she passed away just a few weeks after my my daughter was born who is now 15. Its pretty cool that my daughter got to meet her Great Great Grandmother. She may not remember, but I do have a picture of the 5 generations. This lamp fits perfect in the B&B. It has a wonderfully warm glow that shines through the delicate beaded rice paper shade. I am so careful not to touch it too often, since it is in such fragile condition, but I love to show it off.

 

 

table lampMy family is very generous. Not just around the Holidays, but all the time. A couple of Christmas’s ago, I was unwrapping one last present. To my surprise, my Grandfather gave me a table lamp from my Great Grandmother. It is a very simple Tiffany design but something I adore. It is one of my favorite gifts that sits by the front door and illuminates the desserts I put out each evening.

 

 

 

rug2When I was a teenager, I was allowed to walk through the home of my Great Grandparents that they no longer resided in or had resided in for many years, but still kept full of clothes, dishes and furniture. I was asked at that time if there was anything I was interested in. At 16, at least for me, many things were beautiful, but I really did not have a use for anything. I spotted an area rug that I thought that maybe someday I could use, somewhere. I left and that was it. It was never brought up again. The home stayed empty until this last summer when they decided they would finally have an auction. There was this area rug. Water had been on it from a leaky ceiling and the years of mustiness had gotten to it, but it still looked incredible to  me. I put a bid on this rug along with one other one and they ended up being mine.  These rugs were steam cleaned twice but still had a long way to go to bring them back to their luster. My wonderful husband hosed them down and hung them on the clothes line over the summer where they were sun dried and cleaned again.  We rolled them up and stored them until we were ready. A week ago, I convinced my husband to help me bring one of the rugs inside the inn and replace it with a newer one that we had. He wasn’t so sure, but once it was among the other furniture and colors of the inn, it felt like it should have been here the whole time. I still have  not found a place for the other rug, but I know I will.

I felt like this was the ideal time to share a little piece of our homes history along with a little piece of mine as well. I am very fortunate to have a such a wonderful family who allows me to share  the history of my family with the history of this wonderful place we call home. Happy New Year and thank you to  my Great Grandparents, Grandparents and parents and to all of you who we have had the pleasure of seeing and meeting this year.

Nicole, Scott and Chase

 

Proudly displaying local artist

December 17, 2012 by braytonbb

Scott and I were out one weekday evening enjoying a couple of glasses of wine at one of  our favorite establishments in town. Gardinas. We love that we can just walk a couple blocks and check out downtown Oshkosh and enjoy so many wonderful treats. I am pleased to say that so many local places display great artwork by so many of the wonderful local artists that we have in our city.

Immediately my eye went to this amazing painting on the wall inside Gardinas.  I knew exactly where I would put it.  I just had to have it! Sometimes I can look for a long time for something that I want, not really ever knowing what it may be, but knowing that when I find it, I will just know.  That was the same in this case.

The following day I got in touch with the artist, Leif Larson, whom I had never met before. He was so kind to hold this piece for me until I was ready for it.  A few days ago, I called him up and said I was ready, at least for the most part. He was so gracious to deliver the piece for us.

I am so proud to be able to show this piece at the B&B for the sake of displaying a local artists piece of work, but also showing off the beautiful Algoma Club building, which is only a few blocks away from us.

If you are ever looking for a piece of local art, abstract, or figure painting, I highly recommend the work of Leif Larson.

What to get for the person who has everything?

December 10, 2012 by braytonbb

How about a gift certificate to a bed a breakfast? Gift certificates are that perfect gift to give anyone. Especially one to a B&B. They know you are thinking about them and want to pamper them to a relaxing stay. We will be the first to tell you that a gift certificate to our lovely establishment is the way to go, however I will not be stingy. There are a couple of options for you this season.

1. You can purchase a gift certificate from us in any amount- even for packages.  We can email you the certificate, put it in the mail for you or mail it directly to whomever you are gifting it to as a surprise.  If you have stayed with us before, we always enjoy meeting your friends and family. You can purchase one directly from our website or call us and we can take care of everything.

 

 

2. You can purchase from WBBA which is our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association. A gift certificate through them gives your recipient the option of choosing any B&B they would like to stay in within the association. There are over 150 bed and breakfasts to choose from. WOW! We have a few of our favorites as well.

Either decision, will be the right decision. Any questions about either one of these options, please don’t hesitate to ask. We will be more than happy to help guide you in the right direction depending on what you are looking for.

 

Hot Ticket Giveaway!

November 28, 2012 by braytonbb

Oshkosh has so much to offer. Why do you think we are called the Event City? Unique retailers, amazing restaurants and all different types of  festivals for all ages. The Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau likes to share these great finds each month by giving a small of piece of the city in their Hot Ticket Giveaway! It could be an overnight stay, tickets to a show or a gift certificate to our city’s many great shops and restaurants.

This month, we are happy to tell you that we have paired up with the CVB to be a part of that prize package.  There will be an overnight stay here at Brayton Bed and Breakfast, a gift certificate to Gardinas Wine Bar and Trillium Salon. All downtown. Wow! I wish I could win. All you have to do like “Visit Oshkosh” on Facebook and click on the “Hot Ticket Giveaway” button and enter all your information. It couldn’t get much easier. You can enter every month too for a different package giveaway. We can’t wait to find out who the lucky winner will be.

 

Holiday Surprise at Brayton Bed and Breakfast

November 26, 2012 by braytonbb

So this idea popped into my head this summer and I have been anxiously waiting to pull it all together. Originally, I was just going to have a  Christmas Tree with only clear ornaments, with each one having a surprise inside. I have embellished a little though. I have decided to have a few trees this year.

First,  a Charlie Brown tree or twig tree, is what I found they were called,  on the front porch. I saw one on Pinterest and started looking online for one like it. After seeing them for $80.00 I showed the picture to my husband and had him build me. I love it! Thank you honey! Its simple and my favorite. We get several Christmas cards each year from our guests so I think this will be the tree I string them on.

Secondly, a romantic tree at the top of the stairs , small, pink, glittery and a lot of fun!

Finally, my last and of course my somewhat traditional tree in the living room where my idea is born. For anyone staying with us in the month of December, you can pick a clear ornament from this tree, among all the fun, colorful, large bulbs and trinkets that adorn this tree.  Open up your ornament to find your surprise. Many bulbs will have 10, 20 and 30% off stays inside.  Two bulbs will have 50% off stay and one bulb will have a free one night stay.  All returning guests can use their surprise for that stay. All new guests will have the opportunity to use their surprise for for a future stay. We like to reward our return guests just a tad bit more when possible.

If this is a hit, I may do the same thing around Easter with eggs. So, that being said, come and relax with us after all that holiday shopping and enjoy some home made hot chocolate while sitting by the cozy fire.

Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Cookbook is here

November 14, 2012 by braytonbb

cookbookWell, they are finally in. The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast cookbook is here. If you pre ordered your copy, it is waiting for you to come and pick it up anytime. I did order 10 additional copies for those of you have decided they just can’t live with out this years addition or if you have decided that they will make excellent Christmas gifts.

This is the largest collection of recipes EVER from the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association. These recipes are from many of my friends and other innkeepers around the state. Some of these recipes are old family secrets (not anymore), some are recipes born from mistakes and some were tweaked from other recipes. This is the Eighth  cookbook that WBBA has put out. Every prior addition has sold out.  These are not just breakfast recipes either. You will get everything from appetizers, lunch, dinner, desserts and special dietary recipes as well.  You can find a recipe by inn or by category.

We have a total of 6 recipes in the book which I am sure some of you have tried. I tried to add recipes that were not in the previous books in case you had copies from the past.  I look forward to making a few of these myself from other inns. Its great to share recipes that you know are a hit.

Need advice

November 8, 2012 by braytonbb

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce puts on these great seminars that are free of charge. Its hard for me to get to them most of time since they are at 7:30 in the morning and I am usually making breakfast.  A few weeks ago, I noticed they were having a seminar on blogging being presented by Dealer Fire. Fortunately, I was able to attend this on. I have been blogging now for over year, but I knew that there was so much more than I needed to know. First, off let me say, the folks at Dealer Fire are really nice and really knowledgeable. I learned a lot, thanks!

One thing in particular that was mentioned though to me was to try and post Monday-Thursday between 12:00 and 3:00 on my social media sites (Facebook, twitter, etc.) The logic to this is that  a lot people do not look at their social media sites right away in the morning or later afternoon and never on Fridays. I had not really thought about this, but it seemed to make sense. The problem I was thinking about was that I always posted what was happening in Oshkosh every Monday morning and my food blog every Friday morning. Apparently two big no no’s. This week I decided to post my food blog Thursday around lunch time and  not mention that I was doing it differently.  Now, it hasn’t been that long, but  too many people have not seen the recipe this week. By the way, it is scrumptious and perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

So, my question goes out to you. What you think? Stick with the Friday morning recipe or do you think I am better off switching it up to lets say, Thursday afternoon? When do you log on?

We sadly say goodby

October 8, 2012 by braytonbb

Many of you will know Georgia in some form or another. You may have read about her in the journals in your room. She has either met you by the door by sliding into it if you rang the doorbell or barked to let me know someone was inside. She may have nuzzled by your leg during wine and cheese hoping that you would pet her. More often then not, she would be in the kitchen with me in case anything fell on the floor and then followed me to the table with your meal in hopes that you might feel sorry for her and slip her something under the table. Cold winter mornings, she would scoot right up to the pellet stoves to keep herself warm. She was not a big barker like some Schnauzers  and she never jumped on people or the furniture. However, some of you missed your own pets so much that we did find her in your room at times cuddled up with you in bed. Attention is one thing she did not lack.  Some of you even inquired about finding a dog just like Georgia. She looked at you with those cute eyes, that it was hard not to love her back.  My Mom, who lives near LaCrosse raises Schnauzers.  So a few puppies have even been purchased from her that are Georgia’s relatives so you could have one for yourselves.

Over the summer, she became irritated with her back hind leg. We took her to the vet and found out that she had liver cancer. Her tumor was quite large, so she had probably had it for awhile, but it had grown enough that it had bothered her to not want be touched in a certain area.  Up until last Monday it would have been hard to know that she was sick. She loved treats and still chased squirrels around the yard. By Monday evening, she was pretty sluggish and didn’t want even want  a treat. Tuesday night we said our tearful goodbyes to a family member and innkeeper if you will. I have added a few photos soon after we got her when our daughter was small to recently. Good by dear friend.

 

 

 

Meet our friends that have been coming the longest!

September 24, 2012 by braytonbb

Phil and Robin-butternut

 

 

I want to introduce you to two AMAZING people. Robin and Phil started coming to see us in 2007, soon after we first opened. We donated a gift certificate to our Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau where in turn, these two won a stay with us, along with dinner, a salon package, tons of coupons and trickets and I am sure a lot more things that I am forgetting to mention. Since 2007, we have seen Robin and Phil more than a dozen times.  Sometimes participating in our murder mysterys and sometimes being introduced  to their family and friends.  Not only have they brought others to stay with us, including children, Mom, Sister and Brother in law and several friends but we have visited them as well. These two people are our guests, but they have also become our friends. We chat often over Facebook and try to stay up to date with everything going on in their lives. I count my blessings often that we have found such dear friends through a chance meeting that would have never existed if I didn’t do what I do. This is for two positive people that always seem to find sunshine around every corner.

Where’s Waldo?

June 30, 2012 by braytonbb

Where’s Waldo? In OSHKOSH, of course. He’s turning twenty-five this year, and to celebrate, the famous fellow in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting twenty different local businesses all through the month of July. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, books, and more. From Brayton Bed and Breakfast, Crescent Moon Antiques, to Caramel Crisp Café.  Waldo figures are showing up in public areas of local establishments. Anyone who wishes to participate can pick up a “Find Waldo in OSHKOSH!” search list with the names of all the businesses, and collect an “I Found Waldo at ___________” card for each Waldo they spot. Collecting cards in sixteen or more businesses and turning them in at Apple Blossom Books will win a Waldo button and an entry for other, larger prizes to be drawn at a Waldo party on July 31. The Grand Prize is a complete six-volume set of Waldo books. People who prefer a shorter version of the hunt can collect the cards from eight businesses and pick up a Waldo button at Apple Blossom Books.

Waldo is the creation of Martin Handford, whose entertaining drawings of crowd scenes swept the world in 1987. Since then, the Where’s Waldo books have held a cherished spot on bookstore shelves the world over. There are now over 55 million Waldo books in print worldwide and they’ve been translated into eighteen languages. An entire generation has grown up searching for Waldo and his cast of wandering companions.

In celebration of Waldo’s longevity and popularity, his American publisher, Candlewick Press, is teaming up with the American Booksellers Association and 250 independent bookstores all across the country, including Apple Blossom Books here in Oshkosh, to have fun and encourage people to visit local businesses. There is no charge to participate, and the game lasts for the entire month of July. For more information about hunting for Waldo in OSHKOSH, call Apple Blossom Books at 920.230.3395.

Waldo is hidden somewhere on the front porch of Brayton Bed and Breakfast. If you find him, grab a card. If we are around when you are there, please find us and sign up for our drawing where we are giving a gift certificate for a percentage off your next nights stay with us. Please be courteous of other staying with us and only look for Waldo before 8:00 PM. Thank you!

 

 

 

Finally, garden is completed!

May 29, 2012 by braytonbb

I feel like I am behind this year, and with all this early warm weather, you wouldn’t think I would be. Needless to say though, I am.  The garden is now weeded, new mulch laid down, flower pots galore surround the inn and new flowers and hostas are filling us the garden. Things are looking pretty good though I have to say. Now, its just keeping up with all the watering and weed pulling throughout the summer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining one little bit. I love this time of year and wish it would last longer than it does.

Oshkosh has so many great things that are coming up this summer and my future blogs in the upcoming weeks will be filled with things to do, places to go and people to see.  A little insight is Irish Fest,  Saturday Farmers Market, graduation ( my daughter enters  high school…sigh…, waterfest, festivals, etc etc etc. You’ll have to check back for everything that is going on. Enjoy Summer!

 

 

 

 

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