I always seek out unique lodging when we travel. The big hotel chains are predictable - if that's what you're looking for - but I prefer staying at places with more color and personality, so we often look for boutique hotels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and historic lodging options.

We recently were in the Marion area and stayed at the Old Oak Inn, a charming bed & breakfast that was both updated with modern touches and preserved with nostalgic touches, housed in a charming 1903 farmhouse. Our hosts, the Heinckers, completely renovated the home about five years ago, finishing four nicely decorated rooms, each with its own bathroom. I fell in love with the monochromatic theme in our guest room (the North Room) with black and white bedding, wallpaper, bench, and rug and I enjoyed a long soak in the clawfoot tub of the bathroom that was lined in white subway tile.

Of course, the breakfast part is one of my favorite features of bed & breakfasts and this breakfast definitely did not disappoint. Our huge spread included a fresh fruit parfait cup with a sweet, whipped topping, baked egg cups with veggies and meat, bacon-wrapped smokies, hash brown nests, and some fantastic homemade cinnamon rolls along with juice, coffee, and tea. It was a lovely, filling meal to fuel us up for a busy day ahead.



When we arrived the night before, Karen showed us the place, turned on the fireplace for me, showed me how to operate the television remote, and then since we were the only guests on our mid-week early spring visit I had the whole place to unwind, work for a little and then relax. It was a lovely getaway on this 3-acre property that I'm sure will just get lovelier as the season progresses.

The b & b is in a convenient location, just outside of the town of Marion. It's 1 1/2 miles from Indiana Wesleyan University and 13 miles from Taylor University. Visit oldoakinn.net for more information and follow along on Facebook.