With great anticipation, the long planned day had finally arrived. I scooped up my mom, and we were off for a fun day with Aunt Fern and Uncle Buster.
The first stop of the day was a visit to my Aunt and Uncle's cozy bed and breakfast, Prairie Path Guest House and Sampler http://www.bbonline.com/united-states/illinois/mt-carroll/prairiepath.html Sadly, we did not plan an overnight stay, but we were treated to a warm slice of Aunt Fern's award winning raspberry cream cheese coffee cake and coffee. The world and all its cares seemed to melt away as we ate and enjoyed the hospitality of this wonderful couple. Afterwards we toured the Sampler, which is filled with antiques, crafts, and quilts. Aunt Fern and Uncle Buster work all winter long to produce these lovely items. I never walk away empty handed!
The next stop was a place I have wanted to see for a long time. It is a different sort of bed and breakfast option in the Savanna area. The difference is that you get the entire house for your stay, and a refrigerator loaded with food to make your own breakfast. Located on an impossibly long lane called Roberts Road, the establishment is aptly named Roberts' Roost. http://robertsroostcountryguesthouse.com/ . So bring your GPS if you are interested in a stay. The remoteness brings with it many positives. It is incredibly peaceful and quiet. Bird watching and star gazing are what brings many guests flocking to this roost. Connie Zink, the owner of this establishment, is a gifted bird (and all things nature) photographer. Her photos can be viewed on Facebook linking either to her name or to Roberts' Roost. Many of the bird photos were taken right at Roberts' Roost. I'd recommend this place to anyone who wants to reconnect to nature, peace and ultimately to themselves.
It was time to refuel again, so we made a quick stop at Baldguyz Coffee and Bistro http://baldguyzbistro.com/index.html (located on Main Street in Mount Carroll) for a sandwich and coffee. There are many good choices here in this lovingly restored building.
The next destination on our trip was a matinee performance at the Timber Lake Playhouse located just south of the town of Mount Carroll. It is a professional summer stock theatre, consisting of 35 - 40 performers, technicians and musicians selected by interviews and auditions in cities across the country. I was impressed by the caliber of talent, and fully expect to see some of these fledgling actors rise to become stars of their industry. The playhouse itself is comfortable and affords a close up experience to the action on the stage.
The perfect final destination of the day was dinner at Mount Carroll's trendiest new restaurant, Molly's. The vibe is surprisingly sophisticated, yet there is still that small town comfortable hospitality. Molly's features tapas style (small plates) dining, encouraging dining companions to share and enjoy all the unique offerings of the day. The menu varies, and the best way to keep up with what is being served is to find them on Facebook under Molly's restaurant. The food is locally sourced, and everything is made from scratch. There are excellent offering of wine, and a bar to serve you your favorite mixed drinks. On this particular night we enjoyed a vegetable tart (featuring roasted vegetables and herbed goat cheese), tempura green beans with a shallot sauce, vegetable lasagna (with house made noodles), smoked brisket on a house made bun, and for Uncle Buster, a hamburger. Something for everyone! Check out the rave reviews on line. I would recommend that if you are planning to dine after a Timber Lake play to make reservations in advance. This is a restaurant I plan to revisit in the near future. I can't wait to see what comes up next on their menu.
And with that our day with Aunt Fern and Uncle Buster was complete. I will, however, definitely return to this region as there are still so many hidden treasures yet to discover and talk about.