Merry Christmas, Friends! My, how time flies! It’s Christmas at the Castle!
These are trying times at Castle La Crosse…trying to finish putting up the Christmas decorations, trying to remember where I put my glasses, trying not to eat all the Christmas candy the first week of December, and trying to fit into my favorite jeans after a big Thanksgiving dinner. Trying times indeed!
We hope everyone is doing well. Different parts of the country are experiencing different types of weather this holiday season, and we at the Castle are experiencing a mild winter. Mother Nature can be tricky, however, just as she was last year. Her full winter blast didn’t arrive until what should have been early Springtime. We will keep an eye on things. Unpredictable weather never stops our travelers from braving the highways and arriving at the Castle in time for their stay. The holidays are also the perfect time for guests to use their Castle La Crosse gift certificates from last Holiday season and also to buy new ones to give as gifts for loved ones. This year we decided to add a little of our own special magic to your Christmas Stocking by offering the following:
Holiday Special Offer
Purchase a gift certificate for a two night stay at Castle La Crosse and receive the “Romance Package” at no charge! The Romance Package is a guest favorite and includes a bottle of wine, fresh flowers, and handmade chocolates delivered to the room just before the guests arrive, making their stay even more special. The Romance Package is a $50 value! It’s the perfect added touch for special occasions, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays, or just because!
Our House projects continue; maintenance of the Castle is always an interesting discussion with our guests. Right now, we are in the process of replacing old storm windows and building new ones where some are missing. The Castle has 110 windows, nearly all of them are original from 1892 when Nympus and Jesse Holway built their magnificent dream home. As many of you know, Mr. Holway was a very successful Lumber Baron and made his fortune in La Crosse. Sadly he passed away before the home was finished. Castle La Crosse is a very fine example of grand 19th century architecture and we take pride in maintaining it. A very special Thank You for all of our friends and guests that have made donations using our Contribute tab on the website. Painting projects will resume next Spring, We will also adding some very special decorative glass storm windows to the front of the Castle, way, way up top. You’ll soon see!
Holiday Traditions, Past and Present
As I walk around our home this holiday season, I can’t help but wonder what Jesse Holway did to decorate her home for the season. It was a different time back then, not as commercialized or glitzy. Check out the photo of Mrs. Jesse Holway. Just imagine for yourself what her holiday traditions might have been. Everything we read about her tells us she was a vibrant woman and very active in the community. I see a lot of that character in this photo.
Even the Vanderbilt house, Biltmore, is decorated in a traditional way this time of year.
At Castle La Crosse, we have four trees decorated on the main floor, but we try to keep it simple and tasteful. We do try to add one or two new things each year to the decorations but without taking your attention away from the woodwork and craftsmanship of the home. This year we’ve draped a live evergreen garland with red and green ornaments over the mantle in the library and have set the four foot round lighted wreath to the front of the Castle. Next year I would like to add something similar to the fireplaces in each of the guest suites.
Safe to say, an old world romantic feel seems to fit best at Castle La Crosse. Can you smell the Gingerbread baking in oven? Feel the warmth from the big fireplace in the parlor? Hear that? It’s someone playing Christmas music on the grand piano.
La Crosse is festive and lively this holiday season. ‘Rotary Lights’ is truly amazing! It’s one of the largest light displays I’ve ever seen. Driving through the neighborhood and seeing all the different ways the team has put together the light display this year is one of the must-see things in town right now. And you won’t believe the enormous light up tree atop Grandad Bluff! That is a site to behold!
If you have time, drive across the bridge to Pettibone Park and look back at La Crosse with the Rotary Lights reflected in the Mighty Mississippi River.
Safe Travels to you! Come see us again soon.
Cheers to the New Year ahead !
Billy and Brandon, Castle La Crosse Bed and Breakfast