Posts Tagged Stowe Vermont

Last Run of the Season

12 April 2014

This time of year is always somewhat bittersweet in Stowe, Vermont.  While I enjoy the longer days, warming temperatures, the emergence of our garden beds, and the opportunity to bring out the bikes I recognize my ski days are coming to an end and I’m not really looking forward to that last run.  I still keep the skis in the car and try to sneak in a few early morning runs when I can.  This past Thursday, 4/10, was one for the books; a bluebird day, clear skies, temps. in the mid 50’s with soft snow and a wonderful sense of solitude (just a few fortunate people on the mountain able to adjust their life schedules to fit in a ski day).  Now, also have to admit by noon the conditions got a bit like mash potato but that’s when the tailgating begins!

Now that the snow has finally all but disappeared from down here in the valley, I get to reconnect with the gardens that have been asleep under a blanket of snow since late November.  I know this may sound strange but without our winter white we now long for some color.  Yesterday, I stopped off at our local plant nursery and picked up some pansies to dress up the front entrance  with some hanging baskets as the ground is still too firm for a shovel. 

I know I will ultimately be happy to move the skis out of the vehicle soon to make room for the golf clubs and planned-for mountain bike!  These days I like to drive past the Stowe Country Club on my way to Mt. Mansfield to “check on things” and make my guess as to an opening day for the golf season here in Stowe. 

Our last run for the past couple of years, has coincided with Easter Sunrise Service at the top of Mt. Mansfield.  This year, due to the generosity of a neighbor here in town, we will actually be in Boston on Easter Sunday for a Red Sox/Orioles game!  So, last run, sometime this week, and look forward to another fabulous spring, summer and fall here at the Brass Lantern Inn in Stowe.  Come join us for an escape from the ordinary! 

Happy Spring, George

Left Turns in Stowe

2 April 2014

I love small towns on so many levels. Just one attribute of this peaceful, New England town that draws us closer to its heart ever day; left turns in Stowe, Vermont.

Moving here from a major metropolitan area of the Baltimore/Washington D.C. we were immediately struck by the courtesy and politeness of drivers with “green plates” (of course that would be Vermont). One of our frequent errands includes going to the Post Office, which, from the Brass Lantern Inn, requires a left turn off of Main Street onto Depot St. A driver with green plates, with several cars behind them, stopped in front of me, flashed their lights, and gave a nice little wave yielding the right of way.

Of course this is just one of those infectious courtesies that can be discovered in Stowe, Vermont. Like holding the door open for the next person behind, you immediately realize this is not the big city and to feel part of it your responses and actions should reflect those around you in similar regard.

Downtown Stowe is marked by the only “traffic light” in the town, a flashing red, three way, stop sign. I am consistently amazed at how efficient this system of traffic control is to our community’s needs. In fact, the nearest full red, yellow, green traffic light is a good 10 miles from here. And if there is ever even the slight discussion in town to add a light at a particularly busy crossing (“busy” being a relative term where you might have a back up of say 4 or 5 cars), you are met with some polite local response of “we like our small town feel just the way it is, thank you very much!”

So, if you are traveling through Stowe and need to make that left turn, don’t be surprised if someone flashes their lights and gives you a friendly wave. And don’t forget to pass along the courtesy. – George

“Spring” is here, well, sort of…

22 March 2014

What a winter it has been here in the north country of Vermont. And while the calendar says we are into day 3 of spring, the snow and the conditions for outdoor enthusiasts are probably the best they have been all winter. Truly!

All outdoor activities of skiing, riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ok, you name your favorite winter activity, is still on here in the month of March (and most likely well into April) in Stowe, Vermont.

There are signs, however, that winter is losing some grip as our recent warm sunny days, cool crisp nights are also perfect for the true spring event in Vermont; Maple Sugaring. The sap is running now that we have the temperatures swinging from below freezing overnight and well into the 30’s and 40’s during the day. Have you ever tried “sugar on snow?” It is an amazing “culinary” experience and the whole experience of how those maple sugar farmers turn maple sap into maple syrup is well worth the trip to a local sugar house/shack to see for yourself.

And preparations for spring in Stowe and here at the Brass Lantern Inn are well underway. We plan to expand our wildflower meadow out back as the 8 pounds of flower seed mix has just arrived (now just waiting for the couple of feet of snow to melt…). Building Plans are being drawn up from retired architect, George, for a new deck off the dining room. We are looking forward to offering breakfast “al fresco” this summer with Mt. Mansfield as the perfect backdrop to that setting!

We hope you had a wonderful winter and if you haven’t had your fill of winter activities or perhaps you were too busy with life and just couldn’t fit us into your calendar this past season there is still time to enjoy it. The Stowe Mountain Resort is scheduled to be open for skiing and riding until April 20th. We know, great stuff, huh?

Outdoor Enthusiasts Welcomed!

16 July 2011

We very much enjoy the opportunity to help our guests plan either a full day of outdoor activities or help them find the right place for dinner. Ultimately, we then get to live vicariously through our guests. Especially during this busy time of the year, we tend to be so involved with our guest relations and keeping the Inn in top shape inside and out that we have to make sure we schedule our own personal time to enjoy this great area. I mean, we moved here as we wanted to experience this area… right?

As with any business, profession or vocation that you love, you should find it easy to literally pour yourself into the day to day operations and to a great extent, blissfully lose track of time. It is very easy to do, I know from personal experience now as an Innkeeper!

So, here is how we insert some Vermont time into our day with some of our/my favorite Outdoor Pursuits -

Bicycling – the Rec. Path is just a 1/4 mile away and provides a wonderful lunch hour break. The trail is 5.5 miles one way and typically I can make that roundtrip of 11 miles or so well under an hour, unless of course I stop to take photos and get distracted by the ever changing scenery along the Path.

Hiking – there are several short hikes within minutes of our Inn – Moss Glen Falls is one of our favorites and an easy one to slip out of the Inn and enjoy.

Golf – unbelievably beautiful vistas from every hole of the Stowe Country Club. The SCC is not a fussy, high brow kind of place but one where I am likely to see a neighbor a fellow Rotarian, our own guests or get partnered with a tourist and have a great time and a good conversation over a Trapp Lager at the 19th hole. It feels more like a club that happens to be in in the country.

Sailing – ok, I have to admit, I do miss the Chesapeake Bay (our former home of 20+ years). Stowe, VT is a heck of a long way from our other favorite town, Oxford, Maryland, where we used to spend some great family time in the summer sailing our 19′ Mariner. “Oh Chessie,” though most would consider as a small sailboat (at least by Chesapeake Bay standards), is still a bit big for most of the bodies of water near us. While Lake Champlain is really only about 50 mins. away, typically it is difficult to fit this into the time schedule of a Innkeepers life. And Lake Memphramagog is just 60 mins. north along the border with Canada, that too is even more difficult to squeeze in.

As most of us inherently know, of all of thie “things” we can possess, time is probably the most precious (though I guess one could argue or question whether or not you can actually possess time). We typically do not know how much time is left in our personal account and unless you have “hit the lottery” or “have other means” we all of course have to “make a living” and consequently have to strike some realistic balance in our pursuit of happiness and surviving.

That is why it is so critically clear to this dreamer, now Innkeeper, that prior to creating this Chapter 2 in my/our life I had better find a balance in my life for the things “I have to do” and the things I truly “want to do.” And if you are really lucky, as I believe I am, by witness of being here in Stowe, Vermont, you find a way to do both. I am still challenged with that pursuit to find that balance each and every day and can’t imagine it any other way.

We look forward to helping you find your passion or perhaps retreat here in Stowe and hope you feel comfortable while here to share your Stowe experiences with us on the back porch at the end of the day. Happy Trails All. George

Innkeeping in a Stowe Vermont Lodging Business

7 July 2011

Even in our relatively short tenure as Innkeepers of the Brass Lantern Inn we have spoken to many, many guests that tell us, “you know, my husband/wife/partner/better half and I have always talked about running a Bed & Breakfast.” We realize that this lifestyle may inspire some romantic notion of a wonderful alternative to the corporate 9 to 5 work style but please note this innkeeping gig is not just about baking cookies or sharing life stories over a glass of wine with our guests. Though these are a couple of the perks.

We tell our guests, with a very sincere smile, “perhaps you would like to take the Brass Lantern Inn on a test drive.” “We would be happy to let you step in and get the experience of what it is like to own and operate a B&B” here in Stowe where there are numerous choices for owning and operating a Stowe Vermont Lodging experience.

Even our local banker, when completing the final loan approval documents, asked me this one final question “This isn’t the Bob Newhart syndrome is it?!” And if you are too young to know that reference just Google it. I’m sure the local bankers have seen these corporate type burn-outs looking for utopia here in Stowe, Vermont, many times over. Perhaps even a place like ours in the form of a romantic and historic farmhouse. And perhaps there have even been a few, or maybe, unfortunately, more than a few who never fully understood the risk of this type of business and somewhere in pursuit of the dream they lost track of reality. You have to do your homework.

And we did our homework. Among the many “due diligence” items the number one item was attending a three day seminar for “Aspiring Innkeepers,” through the B&B Team, www.bbteam.com . The setting for this seminar was at a beautiful Bed & Breakfast, the Captain Jefferds Inn, in the picturesque coastal resort town (and summer home of George Bush) Kennebunkport, Maine. The B&B Team, which at the time included Peter, Rick and Jan gave us an amazing level of personalized service from this first seminar to our initial searches of B&B’s for sale through in-depth due diligence analysis of the purchase of the Brass Lantern Inn. Completing your homework is essential. Remember what your high school teachers told you about completing your homework assignments? They were right.

Make no mistake, this isn’t a hobby or a side venture, it is a business that we have developed, work on daily to maintain and is the basis of the support our family. It is our livelihood. And it is through this business that we now have the luxury to call Stowe, Vermont our home, with a commute that requires only a walk down our hallway and the incredible opportunity to welcome guests to this beautiful area, guests that quickly become our new friends. And as you would imagine, it is the opportunity to meet incredible people from around the world that becomes the real reward of this business/lifestyle.

So, you still want to be an Innkeeper? Give us a call, we would love to chat about it and perhaps even give you a chance to take her out for a spin around the block.