For the past few days, work took me to our hospital in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The initial excitement for me was that, after almost ten years, I was going to have visited all of the hospitals within our system. But then, I got to meet Baraboo, population 11,244. We arrived fairly early, so we were able to go to their eclectic little downtown, eat lunch and check out galleries and shops. They had everything from an acupuncturist to a spa to a clown hall of fame to this theater…
Some background on Baraboo. In addition to being close to the Wisconsin Dells and Devil’s Lake, Baraboo is where the Ringling Brothers founded their circus in 1844. More about that in a second (it’s the second “B” in Baraboo). But here was one of the best stops, The Village Booksmith & Coffeehouse, which specializes in used, rare and out-of-print books. I picked up a first edition copy of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown that is older than I am. And the lovely Miss Elly greeted us at the door. What a great life that puppy has.
But the first “B” in my trip to Baraboo was our accommodations, a bed & breakfast called the Gollmar Guest House. This was not the plan, just an extraordinary stroke of luck. When we tried to check into our original hotel (a chain), our rooms (get this) had no running water and the air conditioner was turned off. Equally as disturbing, my room was a “jacuzzi suite,” which meant that I had an enormous jacuzzi two steps from the bed. Complete with mirrors all around. Okay, eww. It seemed so… inappropriate. I would have wanted to take a shower, but there was no water. We checked out without penalty, which is the only good thing I can say about the experience. But thankfully, Sharon and John at the Gollmar House took us in and made us feel right at home.
The Gollmars were another circus family in Baraboo during the late 1800s, early 1900s. I’m assuming they sold out to the Ringling Brothers, but I don’t know that for sure. This bed & breakfast was their family home.
How cool is that? Sharon and John were adorable and so sweet. After we settled in, we went to the hospital to begin our work and called it a day well after our hosts were in bed. But they had the light on for us. Not to mention running water and air conditioning.