*We were given a two-night stay at Valhalla Retreat Center to help facilitate our review. All thoughts and opinions are based on our experience and are honest and 100% true.
Learning to slow down
My body hit a wall and it didn’t bounce back. It laid on the ground and groaned. Not only did it groan it turned purple and told me to sit down. After my episode of turning purple, I made an appointment with my doctor and one of my prescriptions was to begin to take tasks off of my plate that did not absolutely have to be there.
The idea was great, but how was I actually going to accomplish it. Thankfully God had already begun to plant the seeds and even set the teams I would need into place. My first task was to completely hand over the Southern Minnesota Social Media Breakfast to my team. The next step was to let go of my last social media client. Even though I had given over some of the tasks of the social media breakfast I still held on tightly to it. After I official proclaimed my sabbatical to my team, I still had the day off at the hotel. I wanted to stay true to my decision, but I also knew I would be tempted to continue to go. If I went I would be tempted to jump back in with both feet and I knew it literally wasn’t healthy for me. I knew I needed to get away, but I wanted it to be close to Albert Lea. That’s when I contacted Katie Pestorious to see if Valhalla Retreat Center was available. Sure enough, it was!
The staff at Valhalla Retreat Center made it easy to relax
I made our reservation for Monday, August 27th through WednesdayAugust 29th. We checked in at 4 pm on Monday. Katie warmly greeted us upon our arrival and quickly showed us around. She asked if we had any questions, promptly answered the ones we did have, and she slipped out the door and we were on our own. Maddie, Naomi, Titus, and Timmy did what all kids do. They explored all four bedrooms, every door, hallway, and doorway. The kids picked their room, while Mark and I claimed the master bedroom with a fireplace, a beautiful desk, and a private patio.
Beautiful kitchen with amazing amenities
After I took pictures to document everything as bloggers do, we worked together to bring in all of our bags, groceries, and board games. The kids unpacked their bags, Mark helped Timmy, and I set to work organizing our food into the refrigerator. The kitchen cabinets had everything we would need for our stay. Pots, pans, dishes, food storage containers, cleaning supplies, dish soap. They had thought of everything we would need. It was relaxing to be able to bring our clothes and food and let the Valhalla Retreat staff provide the rest.
When we go on vacation I make a meal plan with the intention to have every meal roll into the next one. For example, we had fajitas one night and the following day we had breakfast burritos as well as leftover cinnamon rolls. This allows us to take as few groceries back with us and makes a good use of our food budget. We planned to grill both of our suppers at the retreat center, but it rained almost the whole time we were there. No problem, they had thought of this as well. Not only do they have an outdoor grill for the guests to use, but they also have an indoor grill! It’s not just a George Forman either. One side of their stovetop is a grill. If you ask as we did, Katie will show you how to use it. Make sure to have the doors and windows open to allow for the smoke to escape and not set the fire alarms off. Thank goodness she had told us this as we were able to accommodate the suggestion and all was well.
Spacious, crafting area to meet your retreat needs
We did not use their crafting room, but I wanted to! It is perfect for a sewing, scrapbook, painting or other crafting retreats. I immediately thought it would be perfect for a Kelly Gau Studio or A-Best Sew & Vac weekend class. They have a place to keep snacks fresh, coffee hot and to keep you fueled while you power through your projects.
I successfully did not get dressed until noon. My kids laid around and enjoyed watching Netflix, as well as playing board games. They even got to enjoy a whirlpool bath. Mark and I enjoyed sipping coffee all day from the coffee pot they had furnished. All six of us enjoyed the fireplace located between the living room and the kitchen.
As I was sitting on the deck of the retreat center I was trying to imagine what kind of groups would enjoy Valhalla. The sky is the limit to the type of groups they can host. Do you and your friends love sewing, scrapbooking, cooking, does your company leaders need a place like Aunt B’s kitchen to hash out new goals, or is your family looking for a place to have a reunion? Valhalla has you covered. To add a dash of awesome to your retreat I know some Valhalla retreats have booked Lindsay Kramer from It’s Worth It Massage Studio.
On Wednesday we packed up our bags. Then took the sheets off of our beds and put them along with the towels we used and placed them by the washing machine. We turned ran the dishwasher, swept the floor, packed up our food, wiped down the fridge, loaded our belongings into the suburban and it was time to say good-bye. I don’t know when, but I do know we will be telling our friends and family about our new favorite, local getaway. I honestly found myself saying over and over, “this is Valhalla.”