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A November Getaway...

I've just returned from a wonderful little getaway with my husband for our 40th Anniversary!  Yes, 40!  Time goes by so quickly!
We went for a long weekend to my husband's hometown in Decorah, Iowa.  Decorah is in northern Iowa, just south of the Amish byway, in beautiful river bluff country, and is a very scenic Norwegian Scandinavian town!
It's surrounded by beautiful farmland, barn quilts, limestone bluffs, and rolling hills...

Below, is the site of my husband's family's farm where he lived as a child.  Built in the very early 1900's, it was hit by strong winds, tornado or straight line, about 15 years ago and knocked off its foundation...and is sadly gone now...

So much November beauty...

Be sure to click on the photo below to enlarge it!  This buck has a huge rack...I've never seen one in the wild like this before...

We stayed at the Hotel Winnishiek, a turn-of-the-century hotel, on Water Street which has been beautifully restored.  You can click on the link to read more about its interesting history!

The rooms are relaxing and lovely...

You can look down three stories...beautiful woodwork and stairways...

 And the stained glass ceiling...

The town is full of beautiful old buildings...

the Courthouse, with its wonderful clock tower...

the 1878 Jail House...

the High School, which my husband's parents both attended,  is now an elementary school...

I love how the old buildings are re-used for businesses now...the old train depot holds offices...

Decorah is a college town, too, and has great stores, restaurants, and coffee shops to explore!  Look at this retro the old aluminum tree!

The town is full of beautiful old homes...

many with American, Norwegian, and Scandinavian flags...

There are many churches here, too...

This beautiful old house, now a museum, is surrounded by a fabulous rock wall...

The Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum is a wonderful place to learn more about Norwegian immigration to the area!  My husband's family were pioneers in the 1860's.  There are so many Norwegian influences in the town...

even at McDonald's!

We had a wonderful time and look forward to our next visit!

Until next time...I hope to stop by and catch up with what's happening in the blog world!


  1. Wow that rock wall is way cool! I've never seen anything quite like it and have to say it looks quite magnificent.

  2. Linda,
    It looks wonderful. I loved going to Iowa with my husband. The scenery was so wonderful. The old barns, homes and fields. So glad you both had a wonderful Anniversay .
    Smiles, alice

  3. That is my kind of landscape.

    Congratulations on 40 years! And you must have been a child bride!!!

  4. Congrats on your anniversary..Your husband's birthplace is such a quaint town..I love all of the old buildings and that rock wall is neat looking..Have a wonderful week..

  5. Happy Anniversary, and I still say you got married at age 2 or something!!! What a lovely town, and I think it is wonderful that the people have maintained such a strong tie to their heritage. What a shame about your husband's childhood home, but the property looks like it was a wonderful place to grow up.


  6. Linda, first of all happy anniversary! What a wonderful get-away! Love all the Norwegian touches and the beautiful homes, business and all the history. What a lovely inn to stay at. Every little detail just so lovely. We have relatives in Iowa and I've always heard what a beautiful state it is - these pictures and your descriptions make me really want to visit. Thanks for sharing your special weekend. Ann

  7. Linda, Happy Anniversary-40 years!!! You have a couple of years on me. What a nice trip to go to hubby's homestead. It is amazing how things change in our lifetime. Our old homestead was burned to the ground about 15 years ago- I have never been back since then. xo Diana

  8. Happy anniversary,Linda! You sure don't look old enough to have been married for 40 years:) That town looks so pretty, love those gorgeous old brick homes. Glad you were able to get away and have some fun!

  9. Happy Anniversary! What a charming place to visit. It looks as though all the buildings and homes are beautifully maintained. Just like you! I can't believe you've been married 40 years! Time does fly.

  10. Happy Anniversary to you and your Mister!! I can't believe you've been married for 40 years...good heavens, you must have been a child when you tied the knot. That town looks like a wonderful place for a getaway. It's so charming! I'm in love with the train station. Too bad it's sure would be a cute shop :)

  11. Happy Anniversary! It looks like you had a wonderful long weekend visiting your husbands home town. Love all those old buildings and the barn quilt on that barn.

  12. Wow! Happy 40th Linda. This looks like a fabulous place to visit.
    I love the barn quilts and the buildings all through town. My favorite pictures were the ones of the scenery with the gray trees and the deer!
    Lots of beautiful things to see.
    Thanks for showing them.
    Take care!

  13. How lovely!! I have to agree with the others, my first thought was that you were a child bride!! Hope you have many more years together.

  14. My goodness I am speechless!
    What wonderful history and that hotel oh my!!!!

    I would love to live in just such a town so rich in history and culture.

    The scenery makes me want to cry, it reminds me of the winters I miss so much.

  15. Congratulations on 40 years! What a beautiful tour. your hotel was great. I am glad I enlarged the photo to see the buck! Amazing!


  16. Happy Anniversary! What a lovely getaway. The town of Decorah looks like a lovely town. When we had more time, my husband and I would drive to towns like this and just enjoy the atmosphere and a chance to discover new things. We haven't done that for a few years as his job and other things have kept us busy.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  17. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing about this wonderful town. What a fun way to spend your anniversary.

  18. Looks like a wonderful town! Congrats on your Anniversary...40 years is wonderful!! My Grandfather on my Mother's side was Norwegian!

    hugs, Linda

  19. Happy Anniversary!
    Your post reminds me of a weekend trip we took to Dubuque, when we used to live near Rochester. We had friends from there who couldn't believe we would actually pick it as a destination, ha! And no, I don't recall it being quite as quaint as your Decorah, oh well, it was a place to go in the winter, spend a fun weekend in a hotel with a pool for the kids.
    Thanks for stirring up some memories!

  20. What a wonderful getaway! That hotel looks amazing....I love the vintage furnishings. Is there going to be a Bachman idea house for Christmas?


  21. Happy Happy Anniversary. 40 years? Really? You must have got married SO young because you certainly look it (young)

    I loved all your pictures.... it looks like the perfect place, full of history, pretty and oh so peaceful.

    Thank you for sharing :)


  22. I recognize all of those places! Lovely spot to spend an anniversary weekend:)

  23. Oh my, what a sweet little town! I love old stores, houses and train stations. And that hotel is gorgeous! I'm glad you got to spend some time with your husband in a very meaningful way.
    Hugs, Cindy

  24. Congrat's on 40 years of marriage! That says A LOT!!!
    Love the old towns! So much history and awesome old buildings.

  25. Looks like a picture perfect little town! Happy Anniversary!

  26. Here's to 1972 when we were married too! Only in January. Congratulations to you both. Time sure has flown by. We loved Iowa when we drove through last fall. We stayed by the Des Moine River and it was just so gorgeous. I'd love to go back someday. Mimi

  27. Happy anniversary! :) And may you have at least 40 more!
    Decorah looks like a beautiful and interesting town. The Hubster and I took a drive in to the mountains of of eastern West Virginia a few weeks ago and visited several town that are very similar to the pics you've posted. I love the history of them and the repurposing of the old buildings. :) And that courthouse looks SO MUCH like our local courthouse here in my county!

  28. I love old buildings, old hotels, old towns. Nice pictures. Love that museum! And congratulations! Seems like quite a few of us got away from it all in November. Glad you had a great time!

  29. Looks like a beautiful town with so many fantastic buildings and houses, I could not see a Danish flag, was there one from here too I wonder ?
    The hotel also so beautiful ,and cosy ,cosy rooms.The country side of the town,looks very danish ,too- and the photo of the fields could have been taken here :-)
    I`m glad for you, you had a wonderful anniversary tour.

  30. Happy Anniversary! What a beautiful place to visit... I love going back to the old homesteads. I was really enjoying your trip and very interested to learn that many Norwegians settled there. My mom's grandparents both immigrated to the US in 1887 and 1900. They lived in the Spokane, WA area. Thanks for sharing your trip with us... love the McD's touch! :)

  31. I knew of the town of Decorah from the Decorah eagles that are so famous. :-) Looks like a beautiful place to visit. The hotel you stayed at is breathtaking.

  32. Adorable town. So glad
    you two got away to celebrate
    each other in such a special
    way. I almost can't believe
    that you never thought of
    raising your family there?
    I want to talk more about
    Iowa, tomorrow. My friend
    Fiona and I want to take our
    Kathleen there to see the
    covered bridges next fall
    and to vintage shop ~
    maybe you'll have some
    ideas for us!

    xo Suzanne

  33. Happy Anniversary! Look at the antlers on that guy. Those are huge! The town looks like a fun place to visit. So much charm and history.

  34. Oh Linda Happy Anniversary! Mike and I would absolutely LOVE this place. So charming and romantic. Love the churches.


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