A relaxing getaway | Daniel Rust House | Coventry, CT

When you walk into the front door of the Daniel Rust House, there is a sign that reads: “Enter As Strangers Leave As Friends.” After spending a night in the beautiful bed and breakfast, that statement could not be truer.

Over the weekend, Ian and I took a one-night trip to the Daniel Rust House in Coventry, Connecticut. We received this overnight stay as a wedding present, and we were looking forward to celebrating my birthday weekend by taking a step back into history and relaxing for an evening.

The Daniel Rust House was built in 1731 and served as a tavern called the “Bird in Hand” from 1800 to 1832. The purpose was, and remains to this day, to be a cozy place to get away from life’s troubles and rewind.

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There is so much charm in this place—a fire glowing in every hearth, beautiful antiques and paintings, and not to mention so much history! The owners, Germaine and Cathy, are so knowledgeable about the home’s history and did not hesitate in giving us a tour when we arrived. They helped us feel comfortable and were aware of my love for history and historical homes the minute we walked in. We learned that the house was a safe house on the Underground Railroad. Each room had its own story—it was incredible!

The house has a few common rooms including the cooking hearth, the Stone Room where you can read a book in front of the cozy fire, the dining room, a garden and patio, and gorgeous grounds to explore. We stayed in the Anna White Room—the mistress’s room adorned with a gorgeous canopy queen bed, comfy chairs for reading, a fireplace, and a giant bathroom equipped with a jacuzzi tub. We were ready to relax! After a delicious dinner at Nu Nu’s Bistro in Colchester (go!), we made our way back to the bed and breakfast, enjoyed some drinks, and fell asleep to the calming wood cracking in the fire.

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The next morning we headed downstairs to breakfast cooked by Germaine and Cathy. It was absolutely delicious! They are extremely attentive hosts and we thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the dining room; it was like stepping back in time. We felt so comfortable and at home!

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After breakfast, we went for a short walk and toured the grounds. It was a chilly morning, but it was a great way to explore and look at the apple orchards and around the property. When we were checking out, we hugged Cathy and Germaine goodbye. This is something that one would not expect when leaving a hotel or any other type of inn, but it was welcomed by us without any question. Even though we knew them for one night, we felt like guests in their home (which is true; they live in the house). We truly entered as strangers but parted as friends!

If you are in the area or traveling through Connecticut, I highly recommend the Daniel Rust House.

A Spellbound Adventure: Book Barn

Yesterday, I traveled down to Niantic, Connecticut to visit the Book Barn for the first time. The Book Barn is straight out of a fairytale! As an avid book lover, I always take time to go into a bookstore whenever I can, especially if I am visiting a new city or place! After making plans to meet my friend Courtney for a night of nerdom, I immediately checked out their website and learned that they have over 500,000 books to peruse in four different locations. Game on.

Courtney and I met downtown and we had dinner at the delicious Main Street Grille. Full and satisfied, we walked over to the midtown location to check out the children’s books, antiques, and collectibles. We took our time, wide-eyed and excited as we looked at the spines of old antique books. It was magical! I found this 1911 copy of Little Womenmy favorite book! It was only $4!

I also found some books to add to my children’s collection—Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and Coraline by Neil Gaiman. They were $1 each! I quickly discovered that this was going to be a difficult endeavor—I already had to put away 10 books that I wanted to purchase, and this was just the first stop!

We got in the car and drove over to the Main Barn. All of the locations are within one mile of each other, which is not only super convenient but also gives you that serendipitous feeling of being inside your own literary world.

As soon as I stepped out of the car, I knew that this was my place. The Main Barn was established in 1988 and has other buildings accompanying the barn, including the Haunted, a building filled with mystery and thriller novels. It was spooky, and I found out it has its own creepy story of origin! Fun!

All I can say is books. books. books! We spent a few hours perusing the shelves from poetry to fiction, visiting all of the spots, walking through the gardens, petting the adorable cats who came up to say “hello,” and filling up my reusable bag with literary treasures!

At the Main Barn, I discovered some great finds, including some classics I have been meaning to add to my shelves! Again, I made the choice to put some books back, but it only gave me more motivation to come back!

After making our purchases, we traveled to Store Four to take a look at memoirs, travel books, and some incredible antique and leather-bound books. I surprisingly made no additional purchases, but gawked at the beautiful Franklin Library leather-bound books, again, resisting the temptation.

Needless to say…I was spellbound! For those book lovers out there who haven’t been to the Book Barn yet: GO! And take me with you! It’s such a relaxing place where you can grab a book (or two…or 12!) and relax in one of their many cozy spots to read. They have the nicest staff who are always willing to help you find a book or offer recommendations. Families can also come and enjoy a picnic, play some giant checkers, chess, or Connect Four, meet and feed some friendly goats (!), and escape the busy demands of life. I can’t wait to visit again soon.