Hydrangeas

The Hanson House gardens have several areas where hydrangeas are glamming up the yard. One such place is around the front porch steps. The specimen growing on either side of the steps is a Pee Gee bush variety. It starts blooming conical clusters of white flowers in late July and early August. This is my favorite time of year. Bees of every variety, humming birds, butterflies, and dragon flies flutter about and then sit and drink the nectar in the blooms. The smells on the front porch are like no other. If there was a way to capture a smell in a time capsule, this would be the one I would choose.

The conical clusters turn pink as the birds and bees cake their feet with the pollen and sip hydrangeas dry. The end of summer is just a few days away and the Pee Gee Hydrangeas are as beautiful and pink as ever.


Oscar H. Hanson House Celebrates 1000th Customer

On September 4, 2010, the Oscar H. Hanson House Bed & Breakfast welcomed their 1000th guest. When Sara & Chris Ward checked in on Saturday, Duke & Mary Jane Mihajlovic greeted them with a sign, a balloon bouquet, wine and a Hanson House pottery wine cooler.

“We had no idea. We’ve been coming here for five years. It’s the perfect place to celebrate a birthday or anniversary.”

The Wards were celebrating Sara’s birthday and visit the inn annually. During this visit, they proudly hung their 1000th customer sign on their room door.

“We find that the Oscar H. Hanson House provides a romantic setting that truly is a get away from our daily fast-paced lives. Duke and Mary Jane’s attention to every detail and generous spirit create wonderful memories that bring us back year after year.”

Duke and Mary Jane moved to Cambridge in September 2003 and opened Oscar H. Hanson House Bed & Breakfast with two rooms in February 2005. Since then, they have opened two additional rooms and were award winners in the 2009 and 2010 Best of Madison. The Oscar H. Hanson House Bed & Breakfast is located at 303 E. North Street in Cambridge. For more information, visit their website www.ohhanson.com, call 608-423-4379, e-mail info@ohhanson.com visit their blog, and follow them on Facebook to be the first to read news and take advantage of last minute specials.


Cambridge Umbrella Daze

Umbrella Daze are back. Following a 10 year hiatus, Cambridge once again celebrated Umbrella Daze. The local Girl Scout troop provided family entertainment in Westside Park from 12-4 with a bouncy castle, Kitchen Chemistry booth, Friends of the Library gift basket raffle, kites, Cambridge Historical Museum, games, 4-H petting zoo, Volleyball tournament, ice cream social, food, and music.

In the evening, the new Classics entertained Cambridge in Veterans Park. Vendors served yummy brisket, jalapeno poppers

with cheese and bacon, Rachael’s chips, and other grilled summer favorites. At the same time, the Cambridge Activities Program featured a movie under the stars in Lake Ripley Park. Umbrella Daze was started in 1983. The original festival celebrated Cambridge as a vacation popular spot and grew into a 3-day event.

For more about the history of Umbrella Daze, read Jeff Veesenmeyer blog.  Cambridge welcomes the return of Umbrella Daze.


Hanson House Rolls Out Continental Plus Breakfast!

Continental Plus breakfast is back!  The Hanson House is offering weekday guests a continental breakfast buffet with scrumptious satisfying choices such as homemade granola, fresh baked bread, quiche, our Hanson House sweet treats, fresh fruit bowl, yogurt, coffee, milk and juice.  Cold items are kept cold in our circa early 1900’s ice box.

The buffet is ready in the dining room starting 6:30 AM. Guests are welcome to take their breakfast back to their room or enjoy it our dining room on the front porch.


Building a Better Breakfast

The darndest stuff pops into my head when I am making breakfast.

Saturday, as we were setting up the trays, when it occurred to me that we had included five fruits and one vegetable on the tray: macerated strawberries for the waffles; fresh blueberries, peaches, and blackberries for our starter; kiwi as a garnish on the plate; and lemon rhubarb muffins. This is the equivalent of two servings of fruit and vegetables.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 5 servings of fruit and vegetable servings per day. Got to love those fruits and veggies.


Hey, mambo! Mambo italiano!

When you own a B&B, the world comes to you. This weekend the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B hosted two couples from Italy. Our guests were part of a group of about 20 family members who came to pick up their teenager after a year at Fort high school. We spoke as much Italian as they spoke English. Unfortunately, most of our Italian we learned from Giada De Laurentiis on the FoodTV and named food rather than words that greet or showed our manners..

Our guests arrived at O’Hare at 4:30 PM and arrived at the inn at 10:30 PM. As a point of reference, Cassandra, their host, mentioned that it was 5:30 AM in Italy. They were visibly exhausted and the high humidity was not helping. We showed our guests to their rooms. We all learned that gestures and small words can communicate a lot. First things first, both couples turned off their AC. My grandmother and great-grandmother came from Austria-Hungary. Grandma said they could tolerate heat and high humidity very well. It seems to be the same with other Balkan cultures.

Before their arrival, Cassandra advised us that our guests eat very simply for breakfast. So we were prepared to serve fruit, homemade Mediterranean bread, cheese, and Duke’s smoked mesa, when the exchange student, Davanzoto, stated his family was looking for the American experience and that pancakes or waffles would be great. We served waffles with Wisconsin maple syrup, macerated strawberries, fresh whipped cream, Wisconsin bacon, fresh cantaloupe and watermelon, and apple tart tartin. One gentleman of similar age as the Innkeepers admitted that he had never had waffles before. “Maxim you can scratch that off your list. You have just been your wafflized.”

The house is quiet now. All our guests are on their way home. Chau!

BTW. The mambo is a Cuban dance. The songwriter put these two words together for effect and Dean Martin had us all convinced this was Italian.


Love Back-to-Back

This past week was a busy week for love. On Saturday, I performed a “short and sweet” wedding in Sun Prairie and the next day performed a vow renewal in Cambridge. Rewind one week to Friday, July 1.

Traveling down the I-44 interstate thru Missouri, I returned a phone call from a coworker. We were on our way to Joplin. I-44 speeds are posted at 70 mph. This coworker went on to say that he was getting married July 10th. Today was July 1st. The officiant they hired could no longer marry them and he asked about my availability. Turns out I was available.

So at 70 mph on the interstate with Duke at the wheel, Sirus satellite radio on, the GPS plotting our way, using my cell phone browser, and my laptop plugged into the car outlet, I drafted a “short and sweet” ceremony, wrote 6 sample vows, created a invoice and prepared an e-mail for mailing. In between, I texted the groom once or twice for clarification and we agreed to a follow-up phone meeting on Wednesday July 7th. Duke’s saying for this is “moving at 90 mph with your hair on fire.” After checking into our room, I accessed the Internet and sent out the e-mail. Whew!

The Friday before the wedding came a request for a vow renewal on Sunday, July 11th. Again short and sweet and include their two daughters, 6 years old and 2 years old in the ceremony..

So the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B congratulate Jason &Tami and Daren, Maggie, Tiffany, & Melissa on the occasion of their unions.

Couples looking for a justice of the peace, search the Internet for reverend, minister, officiant, small weddings, and outside wedding, often find Weddings & More. “Like” us on our facebook page


High Fashion Comes to Cambridge

High Fashion Comes to Cambridge

This year the garden and yard are the most beautiful we’ve seen it in 7 years. Image our surprise when the site director for Shopbop.com approached us about using the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B as the background for a summer fashion line.

Shopbop.com heard about the Hanson House from a guest who had attended a wedding at the inn in the spring. The line is called Leisure Class-Summer with the Society Set in the July 2010 “Of Note” section. Check out the photos and perhaps there is a purchase waiting for you.

Photo shoot is now on line, click here


What is “jumping the broom?”

  1. A term used by parents for the creative ways teens get out of doing chores.
  2. A phrase used by novice high jumpers.
  3. Slang for the lowest level in Chinese Jump Rope.
  4. Symbolic ritual at the end of a wedding ceremony.

Jumping the broom at the Hanson House B&B

The answer is D. Jumping the broom originated in Africa and continues in African-American families. Jumping the broom symbolizes a new beginning, a welcoming of the new- sweeping away the old, or sweeping away old cares and worries.  It represents entering into a new life of husband and wife.

It may also occur as part of a Renaissance wedding. In one version, the maid of honor and the best man hold a crossed sword and broom just behind the couple. As the couple starts the recessional, they must jump the sword and broom to symbolize the cutting and sweeping away of ties to their parents. Kristin and Scott were married in a Renaissance-style wedding at the Oscar H. Hanson House B&B on Monday, June 21, 2010. In this photo the mothers are holding the broom. Afterward, Kristin and Scott gleefully skipped out of the courtyard.


Oscar H. Hanson House 2010 Best of Madison Award Winner

Duke & Mary Jane Mihajlovic at Best of Madison 2010

On Friday, June 18, 2010, Duke and Mary Jane Mihajlovic, Innkeepers of the Oscar H. Hanson House Bed &Breakfast received the bronze award in the 2010 Best of Madison Best Bed & Breakfast category. The awards event was held at the Madison Sheraton Hotel in recognition of all the winners in the Best of Madison readers’ poll. The evening featured ice sculptures, small bite appetizers, dainty desserts, balloon bouquets, treats from some of the gold award businesses, a cake walk with treats from the 2010 winners, music by the 2010 DJ, door prizes, and a party photo booth.

Duke and Mary Jane moved to Cambridge in September 2003. They have operated as a bed & breakfast for 5.5 years and have continually made updates to the home and property. Last year the Mihajlovic’s added a second set of stairs off the East side of the porch with a paver walk for easy access to the garden and replaced the fence that separates the lower garden from the upper courtyard. This year they are repairing sections of the flat roof and garage balcony along with some interior work.

When asked what they like most about innkeeping, Duke and Mary Jane stated that they enjoy meeting the many interesting and wonderful people who stay at the inn. “Everyone has a story to tell. We just take the time to listen.” Over the years, there has been a large percentage of returning guests who have brought their friends to the inn. “We like to catch-up with what’s new in their lives…We very much enjoy cooking for our guests.”

Since opening, the Hanson House has been involved in a Friends of the Cambridge Library fundraiser; supported Community Hope events and the food pantry; hosted a library thank you tea, the local writers group, helped sponsor a Mother’s Day concert at the Historic Museum and hosted a Chamber Business After Hours event.

“We meet the greatest people and have the best guests…people are generally celebrating an important milestone when we meet them… In what other business do people hug you when they leave?”