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Author: wplogan

The Magic of Spring’s Bloom

By Lorelei Savaryn

Walk outside The Astor House, and you’ll be transported to a quiet oasis of nature in the middle of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Birds chirp and land on one of the many beautiful bird feeders, wind rustles through the leaves, and delicate flowers pop up in beautifully diverse beds tucked away all across the lawn.

And this summer, guests will find even more delightful surprises than ever before. I am lucky enough to be the daughter/step-daughter of the owners, Linda and Tom. I am also an author of novels for middle-grade readers. My new book, The Edge of In Between,is a magical reimagining of The Secret Garden, and you can find a miniature version of my magical garden right outside this beautiful B&B.

Discover the magical poem that leads you into the garden carved onto paving stones. Inhale the scent of forget-me-nots and irises popping through the soil after a long winter’s thaw. Peek into the hive where you might find the magical sleeping Tickles if they aren’t buzzing about. And if you spot a bright red cardinal, it might just be a lost loved one visiting from Ever After to let you know they’re okay.

You can purchase signed copies of The Edge of In Between from the parlor and follow Lottie on her journey from deep gray sadness to color and hope again while you sit on a garden bench, immersed in the story as it comes to life all around you.

Spring is the perfect time to visit The Astor House and to step foot inside the magical world of the In-Between, where anything is truly possible.

Family Weekend 2022 at Astor House

As springtime approaches, we’re excited to offer our very first Family Weekend at the Astor House!  The event will be all about the magic of reading and sharing adventures together.  Tom and I have enjoyed hosting many guests who have traveled to the Inn with their kids.  We felt inspired to create a weekend, especially with our young visitors in mind.  May 13th-15th will be geared towards middle graders who visit the Astor House with a parent or guardian for a memorable and meaningful experience.

We’re honored to welcome Penguin Random House author Lorelei Savaryn as our special guest for this fun event!  Lorelei is the daughter/step-daughter of your innkeepers and we couldn’t be more proud as she prepares for the release of her second fantasy novel. Lorelei is the author of “The Circus of Stolen Dreams, released in 2020, and “The Edge of In Between,” a magical retelling of the Secret Garden,  which comes out April 19, 2022.

Both books have received Booklist Starred Reviews and are beautiful fantasy novels geared toward middle schoolers.  Read more about these novels here:  https://loreleisavaryn.com/

The Edge of In Between is the theme for this fantastic family weekend.  Guests will receive a Welcome Gift including an autographed copy of each of Lorelei’s novels, a certificate for Happy Joe’s Pizza, and other surprises.  The event will include some social time with Lorelei, a former teacher, and teacher’s coach,  and she’ll read excerpts from her novels as well.  You and your middle grader will be inspired by her personal story of success and by the deep and meaningful themes of her novels.

There’ll also be a Scavenger Hunt in the garden where our guests will be given a list of book-related items they’ll need to hunt for and find in the gardens surrounding the Astor House.  Once they find the items on their list, they’ll be rewarded with a special prize to redeem after the weekend of fun is a memory.   As the warm-weather season rolls on, an entire section of our garden at the Inn is being permanently dedicated to  The Edge of In Between, drawing our inspiration from Lorelei’s captivating descriptions in the pages of her book.

We’re going all out with special kid-friendly breakfasts, like my Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes with Homemade Strawberry jam.  There’ll also be a very special breakfast to match the one described in The Edge of In Between when Lottie, the main character, shares a meal with a family.

We only have four rooms available for this very special event, so please don’t hesitate to make your reservation and secure your space.  We can’t wait to roll out the red carpet for our young visitors this spring at the Astor House Family Weekend.  Reservations by phone only at 920-432-3585.

Writer’s Workshop Weekend at the Astor House August 20-22nd!

Have you always dreamed of writing a book and getting it published? This weekend was planned with you in mind!

This is an amazing opportunity for budding authors to spend time with published author, Lorelei Savaryn! Lorelei is the author of THE CIRCUS OF STOLEN DREAMS, which released by world publishing giant, Penguin Random House, in 2020. Her second novel, THE EDGE OF IN BETWEEN, a magical Secret Garden retelling, comes out in Spring 2022. She is also currently working on a third novel through Penguin, set to release in 2023.

Here’s what’s in store for this motivational and inspirational weekend for writers:

  • Writers will arrive at the beautiful Astor House between 4 pm to 6 pm on Friday, August 20th. They’ll settle in for a two-night stay and enjoy a literary-themed gift basket to start the weekend out right. Friday evening is free for writing time, exploring the town, or relaxation.
  • Writers can send the first chapter of their work and their query to Lorelei prior to the retreat and will receive a 30-minute individual writing critique session and discussion with Lorelei on Saturday morning.
  • Writers will also enjoy a 45-minute Introduction to Publishing session and a 45-minute Plotting 101 session with Lorelei as a group during the day.

Lorelei will be participating in an author event through Untitled Town and The Lion’s Mouth Bookstore in Green Bay on Saturday, August 21st. All workshop sessions at the Astor House will be scheduled around Lorelei’s speaking engagement. (Final itinerary for our workshop will be established once the festival’s schedule is announced.)  Those who wish can attend Lorelei’s one-hour talk with the festival.

Writers will enjoy a “Q&A Coffee and Dessert Social Hour” with Lorelei at the Astor House Saturday evening. Social time will also include an authors’ excerpt reading from Lorelei’s first novel “The Circus of Stolen Dreams.”
Join us to further your craft in a luxurious, quiet, intimate setting with home-cooked breakfasts, time to write, and this amazing opportunity for insight and tips from Lorelei Savaryn

This amazing opportunity is still available for two more writers only.  Virtual attendance is possible for an enrollment investment of $100 or take part in the whole experience and stay at the Astor House B&B for the following rates:

Rates for Friday and Saturday night for one writer and a (non-writer) guest:  $550

Additional rate for a second writer to share a suite and participate in all Writer’s Workshops:  $180

Space is limited!  Call 920-432-3585 to reserve your spot today!!

Now Serving Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee

“So shines a good deed in a weary world.”

― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

Willie Wonka said that too when, after being disheartened by the behavior of some folks, his faith in humanity was restored by the gesture of one.   Living through a pandemic is worrisome.   We can all cite moments of fear, anxiety, and frustration.  But there are those moments, too, when dreamers remember there’s a heap of good in the world. Perhaps it shines a little brighter in the midst of all the uncertainty.  I thought I’d share a true “feel good” story with you in hopes it’ll warm your heart as it has ours.

This place we’re living in and sharing with others is a dream.  And some of the things that have unfolded throughout the world pandemic have added a bit of unexpected magic to life. In 2002, my late sister called me to tell me about a show. She said my daughter, Lorelei, and I HAD to watch it.  The show was called Gilmore girls.  My sister said it reminded her SO much of the relationship between my daughter and me.  After she persisted for many months, Lorelei and I promised to sit down for the pilot episode once the first season was available on DVD.

We were hooked.  Admittedly, it felt like someone had been peeking into our lives a bit as we watched each episode.  We could relate to so much of the banter, the quirks, and the lives of the characters.  Lorelei dreamed of a career as a writer and could relate to the character of Rory who aspired toward a career as a journalist.   I worked as an Apartment Manager for large complexes and my husband and I loved staying at B&B’s.  That is where the dream of running an Inn was planted.  I found watching Gilmore girls inspired that dream further.

The show offered a platform we could deeply relate to and gave us a little escape to Stars Hollow each week.  It quickly became my favorite show of all time.  A favorite character mine and my daughter’s, and of so many people who love the show, is the owner of the diner in Stars Hollow, Luke Danes.   Throughout the series, he was known for having “The best coffee in town.”

For the show’s creator to put “Prince Charming” in jeans, a flannel shirt, and a backward baseball cap was nothing short of brilliant. Lorelei and I decided we didn’t like any of Lorelai Gilmore’s other suitors. We liked Luke.  As so many fans did, we hoped the two of them would eventually end up together. We were heartbroken when the series ended.

In 2010, Tom and I made a serious run at purchasing the Astor House; however, the timing wasn’t right.  But we never lost sight of that dream.

In 2016 Netflix produced 4 ninety-minute continuations of the Gilmore girls so we could learn what became of Luke, Lorelai and her daughter Rory.  My daughter and I got together to watch the Netflix series and we enjoyed every moment of it.  You can view the series at https://www.netflix.com/title/70155618 

Fast forward to 2019 and two amazing littles were added to the two beautiful children Lorelei and her husband had welcomed into the world between 2012 and 2014.  Tom and I absolutely adore our four grandchildren.  Lorelei was also on her way to becoming an author in 2019, as her first novel is being released this fall by Penguin Random House.  She signed a two-book preemptive deal.  It’s a dream come true.  Here’s a link to her page on the publisher’s website.

We had so many blessings to count over the years.  Lorelei’s husband landed a fabulous job.  Our son and his wife had the blessings of amazing career and travel opportunities as well, and Tom and I purchased the beautiful Astor House we’d had our eye on since 2010.   In February of this year, Lorelei decided to arrange a cameo video, as a surprise for me, from Scott Patterson.  (The actor who played Luke Danes on Gilmore girls.)  I was amazed, to say the least, and the video definitely made me smile.

Shortly afterward, I received an email from Scott’s assistant, letting me know he’d started a coffee company. She told me they’d looked up our B&B online after Scott had done my cameo video and they found our Inn delightful.  She wondered if we wanted to try a sample of Scott’s coffee brand.  Of course, we accepted.  That was in February. Needless to say, we fell in love with the coffee to the point we knew we’d never serve anything else to the Astor House guests. It was the best coffee I’d ever tasted. Additionally, we learned there was great integrity at Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee, like doing things to help the environment in source countries.

Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee is a perfect match for our home cooking and award-winning baking at the Inn.  We also learned we could easily become Wholesale Partners with Scott’s company. A fella I already admired for his acting skills.  Imagine that.   We all know what transpired in the US in March.  Tom and I never could have anticipated the world pandemic occurring just a few months after achieving our dream of living in and running the Astor House.

As with all adversity we’ve faced, and our family has had our share, we persevered through this challenge with a lot of faith and a lot of helpers.  One of whom was an absolute surprise and a delight, especially for me.  When we were finally able to open our Inn again after Safer at Home orders were lifted, we finally put in that order for the best coffee on earth.

We received so much incredible support from Scott’s assistant, Elaine, and we’re a small player in the grand scheme of things.  But even throughout the quarantine time, she reached out to us to find out how we were doing.  Once we were ready to place our order she helped us navigate our options.  She answered every question we had in a timely manner. She gave us pointers on our social media posts to help increase our visibility.

She even arranged a phone call between me and Scott Patterson himself.  This I found to be an exceptionally grand honor.  I have to say it was incredibly surreal to talk with Scott.  I’d heard his voice hundreds of times over the years of watching Gilmore girls and here he was on my cell phone.  He spent about 20 minutes sharing his enthusiasm at having us as a wholesale partner. He gave us tips on everything from displays to marketing.

It speaks to the integrity of Scott and his company that he would take time to chat with me about the Astor House and our partnership. Scott and Scotty P’s have been unbelievably gracious in helping us kick-start awareness of the Inn now that we’ve reopened.   We owe many thanks to Scott and Elaine for so kindly taking time to get the Astor House before so many people through their social media platforms.

Our loyalty was firmly in place because of the taste.  The interactions with Scott and his team have made us iron-clad wholesale partners and customers for life.

I’ve hit the jackpot in a few incredible areas of life.  Motherhood is one of those places.  I have two amazing adult kids to whom Tom is step father.  Lorelei and Kyle are my dreams come true.  Seeing them pursue the desires of their hearts brings such joy. They and their spouses have offered incredible support of this dream of the Inn.

Tom is my real-life “Luke Danes.” We’d been part of each other’s circle for a long time before we realized true love was right in front of us. He wears flannel in the winter.  He sometimes wears a baseball cap.  He finds my dozens of quirks amusing and he tolerates them with a smile and gentle teasing. He pays attention to the little things and his occasional rants make me laugh. He even cooks amazing breakfasts.

I still watch Gilmore Girls reruns and the Netflix “A Year in the Life” series continuation.  The parallels we can draw between our real lives and the show Lorelei and I love aren’t lost on us. Our story, too, involves a mom with a dream of finding true love and of running an Inn and a daughter with a dream of a career as a writer.  We’re honored to have Scott Patterson’s picture in our parlor at the Astor House, in a glass hutch along with bags of his coffee for sale.  I walk by it and think, “How did this happen??”  We’re enjoying the opportunity to introduce this fine coffee and company to everyone who comes to the Inn and everyone we know.  The guests, and our friends and family, are falling in love with Scott’s coffee.  We knew they would.

To any business that serves or sells coffee, we encourage you to look into Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee.  It truly is the best coffee on earth.  And you won’t find better a better team to inspire you and support the success of your dream.

Check out Scott’s amazing coffee blends and learn more about the company at https://www.scottyp.com/ And by all means, come enjoy a cup of Scotty P’s while you enjoy a relaxing stay at the Astor House.  With all of the uncertainty and unrest in the world, everyone could use a getaway.  And we thought everyone could use a true feel-good story, where a small B&B in Green Bay was helped through a pandemic, in part, by a beloved actor the family has admired for years.   Two worlds have delightfully collided.

We have so much to be grateful for as a family.  And helpers, in life, come in unexpected ways sometimes.  Scott’s efforts have reminded this dreamer of the good in life.  Faith in humanity can, sometimes, be restored by the gesture of one.

Indeed, “So shines a good deed in a weary world.”


Spring Birding in Green Bay in 2019

Best Places for Birding in Green Bay in 2019The spectacular Bay of Green Bay is one of the largest freshwater estuaries in the world, making it prime habitat for waterfowl that migrate through northern Wisconsin.  Birding enthusiasts from around the country flock to the shores of Green Bay, where some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Wisconsin are found.  In Green Bay, you’ll find a great variety of wildlife sanctuaries, preserves, and other natural spaces to enjoy, each home to a unique subset of habitats and bird species to enjoy.  No matter whether you’re an experienced birder or new to the sport, this spring is a great time for a birding adventure.  Pack your binoculars and book your room at our historic Green Bay Bed and Breakfast. Continue reading

2019 Fishing Seasons in Green Bay

Fishing Season in Green Bay in 2019Fishing in Green Bay is, unsurprisingly, a very popular activity among both locals and visitors. The waters in Green Bay are truly exceptional, with year-round fishing opportunities available.  Fishermen and women from across the country come to try out the local rivers and lakes, and leave pleasantly surprised at both the quality and variety of fish found in Green Bay’s local waters.  Fish will vary by season, but the primary waters for fishing in Green Bay include Lake Michigan, the Fox River, and the Bay of Green Bay. Book your room at our historic Green Bay Bed and Breakfast, as you start planning your fishing trips for 2019. Continue reading

Spend Your Wedding Night at our Romantic Inn

Book your Wedding Night Lodging in Green Bay for 2019Though at first glance it may not seem like a romantic destination, Green Bay has been a popular destination for romantic getaways, weddings, and honeymoons for years.  Green Bay is truly so much more than football.  There’s something special about the charming town of Green Bay, where you’re bound to find unexpected hidden treasures around every corner. Whether you’re an art lover, a musician, a foodie, nature lover, or an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll find there’s something for everyone in Green Bay. Just like everything else, the wedding venues in Green Bay are Northern Wisconsin’s hidden gems just waiting to be discovered, and our romantic Inn is the perfect place to spend your wedding night.  Plan your dream wedding in Green Bay, and waiting for you afterwards will be our own historically beautiful Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast. Start planning your romantic wedding night at our Green Bay Bed and Breakfast today! Continue reading

Craft a Green Bay Brewery Tour

Take a Craft Brewery Tour in Green Bay This WinterWithout a doubt, craft brewery tours have become as popular as wine touring, and in some areas are far more accessible. Wisconsin’s long been a beer-loving state, and with breweries of every size and style popping up across the country, there has never been a better time to enjoy the very best craft beer Wisconsin has to offer. Craft breweries are known for their ingenuity and with such a collaborative community here in Green Bay, they are coming up with exciting new beers that offer something for everyone to try. Book a room at our Green Bay Bed and Breakfast this winter, and enjoy a day touring Craft brewery. Continue reading

Bird Watching in Green Bay

Bird Watching in Green Bay, WisconsinThe spectacular Bay of Green Bay is one of the largest freshwater estuaries in the world, making it prime habitat for waterfowl that migrate through northern Wisconsin.  Bird watching enthusiasts from around the country flock to the shores of Green Bay each year for opportunities to see these birds up close.  In Green Bay, you’ll find a great variety of wildlife sanctuaries, preserves, and other natural spaces to enjoy, each home to a unique subset of habitats and bird species to enjoy.  No matter whether you’re an experienced birder or new to the sport, this spring is a great time for bird watching.  Book your room at our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast today. Continue reading

Explore the Fox River Trail

Fox River Trail in Green Bay, WisconsinThere’s one thing that keeps Green Bay from being like every other large city in the Midwest, and that is the incredible green spaces that surround us here.  Even though it’s still a little chilly up north, spring has officially arrived in Green Bay, which means Mother Nature’s grand reawakening is underway. It’s one of our favorite times to be is beautiful nature-driven city.  The flowers are blooming, the birds are migrating through the area, and the parks are beginning to green up again.  The lush nature and distinctive landscapes along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan offer visitors to the area a variety of ways in which to enjoy the great outdoors, but one of our favorite things to do is walk along the Fox River Trail.  Book your room at our historic Green Bay Bed and Breakfast this spring, and explore the many miles of this trail with us this spring. Continue reading

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