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Great day for a hike!

June 26, 2012 by braytonbb

For the past three years Chase and I have taken one day of the summer to go hiking. We have always gone to High Cliff State Park, just North of Appleton. It is a relatively short drive for us and we have always enjoyed ourselves. It over looks the lake and the walks along the bluffs are AMAZING!  This year, Chase asked me if we could go somewhere different.  ”Sure”, I said. “Do some research and let me know where you would like to go within a couple of hours of Oshkosh.”. She came up with Manitowoc. Point Beach Hiking trail goes along the beach on Lake Michigan.  Sounded perfect. We both like it warm and thought this will be great walking along the beach. We planned on June 25 th. When we woke up yesterday though, the temps were pretty cool. Though it was supposed to reach 75 here in Oshkosh,  the weather in Manitowoc and Two Rivers was only supposed to be 65. That was a little too cool for us. So at the last minute we decided to go to Waupaca. The drive was about 50 minutes and we found ourselves at Hartman Creek State Park.  With seven lakes with crystal clear waters, a sandy swimming beach, and miles of different types of trails made this an ideal spot. We hiked about 7 miles with different types of terrain from paved, crushed  limestone to jumping over trees and mud. We even took a bit of a scenic tour back home and went on the great back roads with shaded trees hanging over and wonderful wildlife.

We decided that we favored High Cliff because the trails were better marked, but still it gave it rave reviews. We are planning a trip to Manitowoc later in the summer still though.

Wherever you decide to go, check the websites and find out how far you are willing to drive, what kind of terrain you can handle and what it is that you would like to experience. I would highly recommend.

Strawberry Season

June 18, 2012 by braytonbb

I use to go strawberry picking with my Grandma and Mom when I was small. I remember only going a few times and often wondered why I didn’t go more. When I became a Mom, I took my daughter strawberry picking to Oakridge Farms in Neenah. I think the first time I took her, she must have been around 4. At that time we would pick two flats. I would ask her to pick one and I would another. The usual story went that after about 30 minutes she would start complaining that she was either bored, tired or her belly was too full from eating so many strawberries or I would get frustrated because every other one she would say, “look at this one” or “look how big this one is”. It took a long time to pick two flats.  I remember thinking back to my childhood, now realizing that is probably why I didn’t get to go more often because of the complaining that I just can’t seem to remember me doing.

Each year though we would go and though the time got longer after she would complain, I kind of dreaded going even though she wanted to go, it took so long. By the time she got to be about 8, we were picking 4 flats. With the bed and breakfast, I had to make more jam, freeze  more berries and bake more shortcake. We started going to Prellwitz Produce in Ripon.  The drive was a little bit longer, but the berries were always bigger, sweeter, more plentiful and less weedy and they had a tractor that took us into the fields.  Chase (my daughter) thought this was the coolest!  Finally she got to be about 12 and like every year, I would say that it was strawberry time. That year she said she din’t really want to go. Though I was slightly disappointed, I was somewhat overjoyed thinking that I had some “me” time and I would get through this in no time at all. So, I put on my Ipod and went into the fields. We had been going to Prellwitz’s now for several years so I knew what to expect. I had a great time, jamming out to  music and had four flats picked in no time. I even had extra time to make it home and start making jam

This year strawberry season came a bit early. I told my daughter that I was going and even before I could ask her if she wanted to go, she said “Mom, you know that I am not going with you, right?” I just said, “no big deal. More shortcake for me”. I was kidding of course. I love to share. I was a bit disappointed though this year. This was the first year that I had gone that the berries were much much smaller. The were still ripe, abundant and very sweet, but much smaller than I was use to. I did ask if there was another variety available, but to my dismay, this was it. So therefore, it took me twice as long to pick. I was very precise in the ones I wanted. I left many behind so the people picking behind me probably thought I was crazy.  I did get 4 flats picked though, made jam, froze some berries to use this winter, made some shortcake and treated my guests to strawberry cream cheese stuffed french toast.

Wherever you decide to go for your strawberry picking, have fun, enjoy. Feel free to check out both of these places I mentioned. They always have peas, blueberries, raspberries and so many other wonderful treats as well.

 

Top 10 questions about staying at a bed and breakfast

May 14, 2012 by braytonbb

We get a lot of people that stay with us that have  never been to a bed and breakfast before.  I always gets really excited about this, since we then,  are not compared to anywhere else, and now others have to live up to what we offered.  Before the reservation even gets made, I get some pretty typical questions from those that do not know what to expect. I have the the top 10 that I get asked the most often along with my responses, in no particular order ( in case you were wondering as well). Don’t stop the questions coming though, we like it when you ask and we love to tell you what we offer.

1. Do I have to share a bathroom with someone I don’t know? Nope, not at Brayton Bed and Breakfast. Yes, some B&B’s do have shared bathrooms, so this is an excellent question to ask. All of our rooms and suites have their own private bath. Some with two person soaker tub and steam like showers as well.

2. Do I have to eat breakfast with people I do not know?   The choice is yours. You can eat the main dining room with a group, on our sun porch with individual tables or or even in your room. Interact as much or as little as you like. Each bed and breakfast is unique, so if this is a concern, this is another great question to ask.

3. I have food allergies and restrictions. Is this a problem? Not for us it is not. Just let us know when you make  your reservation if you a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, atkins, etc etc etc. We have a lot of tried and true recipes and love a challenge occasionally too.

4. What kind of breakfast can I expect in the morning? We always offer two choices. A sweet dish choice such as a stuffed french toast, waffles, or bread pudding to name a few and then a savory dish such as a quiche or breakfast burritos which are some of the favorites. Your entree also will come with some type of fruit, bread meat and/or hash browns. We have never had anyone walk away hungry or disappointed.

5. Is there a certain time you serve breakfast? We serve breakfast between 8:00-10:00 everyday.  We try to be flexible on the times to be respectful of other guests wanting to sleep in, but if you do need breakfast earlier, please ask. We will do what we can to try to accommodate.

6. Is there a curfew? Nope. We are not your parents. You have your own code to the house, so you don’t even have to worry about taking keys with you. You can come and go as you like and stay out as late as you want.

7. Do I have to bring my own towels, sheets, shampoo, etc. Nope. We have everything that we think you may need. Not only do we provide fresh towels and sheets, soap, shampoo and conditioner, but everything is the highest quality. Each room also has a hair dryer and our suites have bathrobes to enjoy while you are staying with us.

8. Will we have our own privacy? Absolutely! We are here when you need us. We don’t believe in hovering. We have plenty to do behind the scenes to make your stay comfortable. As for hearing guests in other rooms, not true either. One thing  nice about having a 150 year home is that it is made of plaster and lathe and not drywall. Its so quiet, we never hear people coming or going.  The time is yours to do with what you wish. Our home is your home, so  make yourself comfortable.

9. Will I be able to get online or print something if I need to? Yes. We have WIFI throughout the inn. Most of our rooms have some sort of table, bench  or chest to work on, but if you need more room, we also offer a small work station with a printer on the sun porch and the Casa Suite offers it own work area. If you are meeting with a group of people, they are more than welcome to come over. Our dining room works well for that too, but please let us know so we can make sure that you get the privacy  you need along with our other guests as well.

10. Air conditioning, hot water, squeaky floors? Though our inn is 150 years old, our electrical and pipes are not. When we purchased in the inn in 2004 we did a complete remodel from top to bottom. That means adding all new windows, central air, new pipes for instant hot water, 3 hot water heaters so you will not have to worry about running out of hot water when you fill the tub and outlets that will allow you to plug in your hair dryer and curling iron without blowing a fuse. We have even furnished the inn with all new furniture and warm paint colors to make your stay relaxing and not stuffy. Though we can’t guarantee that the floors won’t squeak, in spots, since they are original we do think that you will appreciate their beauty.

I could probably go on and on, but these are the ones that get asked the most often. As I mentioned, each bed and breakfast is unique, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. It doesn’t matter where you stay, all innkeepers want the same thing and that is to make sure that you walk about happy and think of coming back or staying in another B&B in the future.

 

Did you know? University of Wisconsin Oshkosh….

March 27, 2012 by braytonbb

Did you know that the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is the 3rd. largest university in Wisconsin? Right out our back door and just blocks away from the B&B. How convenient that it is for students growing up in our community and parents sending their kids off to school and parents coming to visit.

Located on the Fox river and with so much to offer such as recreation, arts and culture, service learning and career building, Oshkosh is a great school to consider. Approximately 13,500 students benefit from the nationally recognized expertise of the faculty and a wide variety of courses and degrees are offered — including 58 undergraduate majors,17 master’s degree programs and one doctoral degree (Doctorate of Nursing Practice) — and modest class sizes.  With 80,000 alumni is easy to see why Oshkosh takes such pride in its campus.

Did you also know that the students at UWO have so much at their fingertips. Reeve Memorial Union is the place where students can go to relax, featuring a student involvement center, movie theater, club, food court and coffee shop. Throughout the semester, the University also hosts comedians, concerts, carnivals, workshops and many other events providing entertainment to students.

As a student, they also have free access to the state-of-the-art student recreation and wellness center.  This facility features multiple basketball and volleyball courts, an indoor soccer court, more than 80 cardio exercise machines, a jogging/walking track, climbing wall, aerobic studios, Cyber Café and many free-standing and machine weights. Albee Hall which is home to several racquetball courts and an indoor pool are also provided. For students interested in intercollegiate or intramural sports, Kolf Sports Center is the field house of the university, including a weight room, gymnastics area and large gym with a track. UW Oshkosh’s outdoor intercollegiate sports are played at the Oshskosh Sports Complex. This recently renovated facility is home to UW Oshkosh’s football, softball, baseball, men and women’s soccer, and men and women’s track and field teams.

When it comes to learning, there are ten academic buildings located on campus, which are remodeled on a regular basis and feature up-to-date technology. Classrooms have access to digital projectors, televisions and other forms of technology. All of UW Oshkosh’s colleges and programs are nationally or regionally accredited. UW Oshkosh also features 47 computer labs on campus located in convenient locations, such as the academic and residence hall buildings. Computer labs are kept on a three-year rotation to ensure students have access to the latest technology. Software is updated annually and computers are preloaded with the programs that students require for their classwork.

In addition to a low city crime rate, UW Oshkosh has its own, highly trained and professional state police officer force, as well as trained student community service officers that serve as police dispatchers. Students walking between buildings late at night can request for an escort or take the free, late-night bus service. Located throughout campus, blue light emergency phones provide added security and are a direct line to the University Police.

As you can see, as a community we are very fortunate to be able to offer so much to our children in learning and hopefully staying and building a life in our ever growing city.

What do people come to Oshkosh to do?

March 20, 2012 by braytonbb

That is the question I get all the time, especially this time of year when the weather is not always cooperative with peoples plans.

Hmm. Where do I begin I usually say. Thats the truth though. There is so much to do in Oshkosh year round and because we are the “Event City”, there is always something going on.

Let me just start with the obvious. EAA Museum! Hello, this is a nationally recognized museum. People from all over the world will come here once a year, but anytime of year is a great day to visit the museum.  Paine Art Museum and Gardens. Oh my gosh, this place is gorgeous with the Nutcracker over the holidays, Room of  Blooms in just the last couple of weekends, Faire on the Green, plus all their other exhibits throughout the year.   Oshkosh Public Museum is right across the street from the Paine. Each year they bring several exhibits to the city but also year round exhibits that portray Oshkosh, such as the history of the Sawyer family, The Apostles Clock, and lumbering and logging history are just to name a few.  The Grand Opera House is quite the sight to see as well. This intimate theater sits 668 patrons and hosts nearly 100 performances a year. The Wiowash trail, Menominee Park and zoo and  South Park are not to be missed either. Great walking trails, volleyball and basketball courts plus several events are held here every year.

I don’t want to leave out gallery walk where local artists can show off their work in our downtown retail shops.  Our new river walk will be able to connect area businesses that are on the water and bring in new business to the city as well.

Your going to get hungry with all this driving and/or walking that you will be doing. We are are so fortunate to have so many great downtown restaurants, spas and retail shops downtown. Soiree, Chic to Chic and Apple Blossom Books  are a few of my favorite shopping stores. When I get hungry I love to walk down to Gardinas and Caramel Crisp and then take in a pedicure or massage at Salon Mode. I could go on and on with all the events that Oshkosh puts together from fisheries, to festivals and concerts and free outings for families.  I guess you will just have to come to Oshkosh for a visit each season to take in everything we have to offer.

Jazz Orgy at Beckets on the Fox River

January 9, 2012 by braytonbb

Beckets on the Fox River is a great place to stop in for a martini, glass of wine and a wonderful dinner over looking the river. They are within walking distance from us which makes it the ideal place to go for a romantic dinner or to meet up with friends. Their banquet facilities are a great place to hold a weddings which means you also have us nearby for your honeymoon night or a whole house rental for your wedding party. One of our favorite nights to stop in are on Wednesdays, for Jazz Orgy.  They have $13 bottles of wine and amazing martinis. Ask for their house martini. Its my favorite!

Friday Recipe of the Week – Breakfast Lasagna

December 9, 2011 by braytonbb

I thought I had posted this recipe before, but as I looked back I couldn’t find it. I make this breakfast entree a lot and everyone always comments how unusual and wonderful it is. It is a bit putzy to put together, but I will usually make several at once and put them in the freezer if I am no so prepared at a later date. The combination of the ham, salami, eggs, chives and cheese with the lasagna noodle is wonderful. I served this with with mini hash browns and pumpkin cheese bread (pumpkin bread was in a earlier blog recipe).

Breakfast Lasagna  Serves 8-Can be cut and half and frozen and baked later.

2 Cups white sauce (4TB butter, 2 C milk, 4TB flour), 9 lasagna noodles –cooked and drained, 8 oz. ham –cut into pieces, 8 oz. salami- cut into pieces, 3 C Shredded cheddar cheese, 7 hard boiled eggs, 1 plus 1 TB. Chives,

Preheat Oven 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 pan

Place ¼ C white sauce in pan. Place 3 noodles on the bottom of pan.Sprinkle with ham, salami and 1 C cheese. Sprinkle ½ eggs over top along with 1 TB Chives. Drizzle ½ remaining white sauce over top. Layer Again. Top with remaining noodles.

Spread remaining ¼ cut white sauce over noodles and top with remaining cheese

Bake 40-45 minutes or until bubble and golden.

Sit 10 minutes before you and cut and serve.

Bed and Breakfast vs. Hotels

February 9, 2011 by braytonbb

Many people ask us why they would want to stay at a bed and breakfast rather than a hotel since we don’t give “priority points”.
We tell them this. Though we don’t give points we do give you many amenities that hotels cannot offer.

Our KEY COMPLIMENTARY offerings:

*Full homemade breakfast in the morning at the time you choose either in your room or in the dining room next to a cozy fireplace.
*Weekend afternoon wine and cheese
*Homemade desserts every evening
*Refreshments
*WIFI
*Concierge services
*Parking

In addition to the Brayton Bed and Breakfast experience:

*Gracious and attentive service.
*Unique downtown destination that provides you with plentiful shopping, dining, museums, parks and a beautiful riverwalk – all within walking distance.
*Luxurious rooms
*Private bath, some with soaking tubs
*Premium bath amenities, towels and linens
*Plush robes and slippers in our suites
*Same price if not less than your boutique or high end hotels.

We think the choice is clear. Come see for yourself.

DeYoung and Friedrich wedding

September 29, 2010 by braytonbb

This wedding over Labor Day was truly incredible. The bride Johanna residing in Virginia planned this special weekend for her family and friends who were wonderful. Each guest had  their own play book so everyone knew what was going on every minute of each day.  It was orchestrated like nothing I had ever seen.  I had the pleasure to get to know so many amazing people. Lunch was served with mimosas and a trolley came to pick the girls up to take them to the Paine.

4th of July on the pontoon with guests – I mean friends

August 28, 2010 by braytonbb

We had a wonderful time taking the pontoon out on Lake Winnebago for the Sawdust Days Fireworks on July 3rd. The lake a was a little choppy, but once we settled in the bay it was calm and beautiful all night.We had the opportunity to get together with some past guests that stayed with us again this year that we have become friends with and got to know some new guests who have become friends as well.  Thanks Denise for taking some great pictures.

4th of July on the pontoon with guests- I mean friends

July 4, 2010 by braytonbb

We had a wonderful time taking the boat out on Lake Winnebago for the Sawdust Days Fireworks on July 3rd. The lake a was a little choppy, but once we settled in the bay it was calm and beautiful all night.
We had the opportunity to get together with some past guests that stayed with us again this year that we have become friends with and got to know some new guests who have become friends as well. Thanks Denise for taking some great pictures!

Brayton Bed & Breakfast

June 19, 2010 by braytonbb

Our home is your home away from home.
Forget about the lace, ruffles, floral patterns and country motif; you won’t find any of that at the Brayton Bed and Breakfast. As you enter through the front door of the Brayton Bed & Breakfast, you walk into a bright and airy four seasons room that begs you to sit and enjoy that early morning cup of coffee at sunrise. Step into the foyer with the curved open staircase and you are greeted with casual elegance and deep rich hues that are present throughout the entire home. The Brayton B&B boasts original architecture inside and out for that feeling of authenticity that you won’t find in any branded hotel. But central air, flat screen TVs, wireless Internet, 800 thread count sheets, Aveda hair care products, and fluffy robes and warm slippers in our suites are proof positive your accommodations are up to date and very comfortable. Four uniquely designed and richly decorated guest rooms with their own private baths cater to every personality.

Anyone for some tasty treats?
Each morning, we serve a complimentary full breakfast in our family dining room. On the weekends, a wine and cheese social is held in late afternoon in the living room, and homemade ooey gooey desserts are served later in the evening.

In the Heart of Oshkosh
The Brayton B&B is conveniently located just a block from Historic Downtown Oshkosh and is a short walking distance to restaurants and events. Whether you are in the mood for a tender, juicy steak, a piping hot pepperoni pizza, gourmet caramel corn, or a piled high sub sandwich, your taste buds can be satisfied within a few blocks of us.

If it is gourmet coffee or that special bottle of wine, you will find it in downtown Oshkosh, along with lots of eclectic stores and boutiques to fit just about every shopping taste. Check out “Things to Do” for a listing of current and upcoming activities in and around Oshkosh.

upgraded pontoon

May 24, 2010 by braytonbb

We upgraded our pontoon this year. It is a little nicer and can seat ten more comfortably.
We took it out for the first time on Sunday (90 degrees) and WOW, was it fun and hot!
We know you would love being out on the lake and stopping in for a cold beverage at one of the many restaurants along the river. Scotty would love to be your captain or just ask him for a few tips and you can be out on your own for the day relaxing in the sun.
We will be taking it out again on Memorial Day, so we will try to get a few pictures of Captain Scotty and the pontoon in the lake.

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