The Meadow House
Paul and I have been discovering new (to us) parts of the state, and we are thrilled to report another successful getaway! We spent our anniversary weekend celebrating 6 years of marriage and 13 years of dating in a cabin in the wild hills of Richland Center, WI – but not just any cabin…
YEARS ago, I came across the social media for Candlewood Cabins (soon to be Anaway Place) and fell head over heels with their properties. I was particularly taken by the Meadow House, but the cabin was always booked out two years in advance (with good reason). Young me had so many thoughts of, “two years? I don’t know where we’ll be in two years!” so we waited. And pined. And waited. Until one day, I said F it, we’ll probably still be in Wisconsin so let’s book this.
Our stay in the Meadow House was worth every dollar we spent, and every day we waited.
Not only had the cabin lived up to every single one of my sky high expectations, but the entire area and every activity we partook in was such a delight! Here’s what we got ourselves up to during our stay in Richland Center:
Our first order of business was getting checked in and making ourselves at home at the cabin we’d been waiting literal years to see. It did NOT disappoint. The view of the meadow was breathtaking, as the house was surrounded by glacial ridges that gave you a mountain vibe in the heart of Wisconsin. It felt like we were miles away! The entire property hosts several cabins, but they are positioned so that you feel very secluded even though your neighbors are a short distance away. I was very impressed with how their property was laid out, and incredibly jealous that they get to wake up to these views every day.
The top floor of the Meadow House is surrounded by 360˚ of windows and outer deck, so you can take in the sights from any angle. It was a gorgeous weekend with 90˚ highs, so we were blessed with hills bathed in golden sun and the warm kiss of the breeze. The cabin has a living area/bedroom on the top floor, while the kitchen and bathroom are down on the lower level to allow for a bit of privacy. There was a full kitchen, and we had planned to cook a lot of our own meals there in the house so we could maximize our time there. We only had two nights planned and wanted to savor every moment!
The cabins were intentionally designed to be without distraction, like TV’s or other media, so you could truly enjoy the surroundings. We brought along our Wizard’s Chess set and cribbage board to pass the time, but honestly, you really didn’t need them since the views were so captivating. Our evenings were spent outside watching the light die and listening to the sounds of the animals in the surrounding woods. They’ve got a fire pit and wood available for you to use, but the heat from the day was plenty to tide us over. Every morning, I was greeted by deer moseying through the meadow in the glow of the sunrise – it was like out of a story book, so magical!
In planning ahead, I knew that I wanted to try the nearby winery. Wild Hills Winery had the option of a vineyard picnic experience on Saturday/Sunday, or live music and specials on Friday night. We struggled to decide, but ultimately ended up spending our Friday evening in the barn enjoying music and walking through the gorgeous hillside vineyards. We’ll be back for that picnic experience next time! My wine palette is pretty particular, so when all four of the wines in the Dry-Semi Dry flight hit the right notes I was so surprised and pleased! After a lot of debate, we settled on a white and a red bottle to bring home and snagged a square of the raspberry truffle fudge. Let me tell you, it wasn’t enough. Only the bottle of white made it home, and that baby didn’t last long. If you’re looking for a relatively local getaway, I can’t recommend this vineyard enough!
With a weather forecast that was more reminiscent of a hot summer weekend, we decided to spend a little time on the water. I came across a listing for Pine River Paddle & Tube and set up a time with Mark to rent some kayaks and float down the Pine River on Saturday morning. For $30 each, we parked at our end spot, were driven to the beginning, and were able to float downstream for about 2 ½ hours. The float was blissful! The river really did most of the work, which is ideal for me, and every bend of the river brought about a new view of the glacial ridges to take in. The water was a touch low, so there were a few times when we had to push through the riverbed to get going, but other than that the ride was so peaceful. That is, until we came around a corner and my scream of “holy f*ck!!” pierced the air…
Coming down the bank out of a shadows was a massive black angus cow! I was NOT expecting this, and at first I thought I was being approached by a buffalo or a moose (hence the exclamation of “holy f*ck”), but once I saw the tags in his ears my heart stopped palpitating and I was able to come to my senses. Without a care in the world, he came down the bank and into the river for a drink and a cool down, followed by one of his angus buddies. Paul and I quipped that we were VERY lucky with our timing because if we had come around that bend to find a two-cow river block, we probably wouldn’t have been able to get past them. I’ll be honest, I haven’t gotten past it figuratively at this point. I was shook.
Like I had mentioned, to maximize our time at the cabin we decided to bring groceries and make a lot of our meals! The heat really did a number to our appetites, so of the three meals we brought, we only made one and snacked on charcuterie and small bites the remainder of the time. We did end up making cherry ancho duck breasts with pistachio rice and the red wine we got from Wild Hills for our anniversary dinner and made up a simple but large charcuterie board as an amuse bouche to the main meal. Here’s what I included:
· Two meats – prosciutto and coppa
· Two cheeses – mozzarella pearls and honey goat cheese, both drizzled with balsamic glaze
· Two toppers – balsamic glaze and honey fig spread
· Two crackers – rosemary crackers and butter pretzel rounds
· Grapes to garnish
Usually, I like to add more variety but we were trying to keep things simple. Paired with a little bubbly, this board hit the spot!
The weekend was lowkey, yet blew our minds in the best possible way. Two years seems like a very long time to wait for a reservation, but something tells me that these properties are like fine wines and will only continue to improve with age – so this is your message to book that reservation! I know we’ll be finding a time to try out another one of their properties, at least one! It was the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary, and even if you don’t have a date to celebrate, it’s one hell of a way to spend the weekend. You’ll thank me later.