Have you experienced winter in Stowe? If you have, you understand the wonderful transformation of the Stowe Area and Mt. Mansfield from our summer playground to the most scenic winter wonderland. While of course Stowe is well known as the ski capital of the East, there is so much more to experience here in the winter for those who may not be as enamored with strapping a couple of fiberglass boards or a single snowboard onto your feet and gliding down the mountain, testing the laws of gravity and feeling that rush of sheer joy of being outside.
And while we do happily and graciously host many skiers and snowboarders each winter we actually have just as many guests who come here at this time of the celestial calendar for the sheer beauty of our winter scenery or to perhaps experience this winter landscape in other ways; snowshoeing, cross country skiing, dog sledding, outdoor ice skating, snowmobiling and not just limit their options to downhill skiing or riding. And then many may just be looking for a peaceful retreat with a book, glass of wine or mug of hot cocoa, next to the fireplace in our common areas, or your personal fireplace in your guest room, all the while watching the snow fly beyond the windows. Can’t you just picture that?
We love Vermont for so many reasons, but, certainly the opportunity to experience each of our distinct and memorable four seasons is a huge part of why we think we have such a special place here to share with our guests. We look forward to sharing our “backyard” of Stowe, Vermont with all who, for any length of time, look to call our home their home away from home.
See you outside,
George and Mary Anne
This past December 16th marked our 7th anniversary of the start of this wonderful journey of owning the Brass Lantern Inn in Stowe, Vermont. I still vividly recall putting up Christmas Holiday lights on the Inn on 12/17 on a beautifully clear, crisp, bright sunny day. The temperature that day reached a high of -12. Perhaps, and most likely due to the excitement of finally being here in Stowe and “living the dream” it never really felt that cold (“it’s a dry cold,” I convinced myself…).
And while we recognize winter as our signature season, we soon discovered that Stowe is an amazing place to live and visit in any of our distinct four seasons. Moving here from Baltimore, Maryland, what struck me initially was the enthusiastic embrace of winter by the town, and of course, its visitors. If you going to have winter, you might as well go all the way, right? While we loved our experiences in Baltimore, winters there could be grey and wet most of the time. Schools would close on a forecast of 4” of snow (and then not snow….). Here, in Stowe, for many Fridays in the winter, the school kids get to experience Friday afternoons as a “Friday Program.” The school buses line up at 11 a.m., picking up the students and the educational programs move to the slopes of Mt. Mansfield where the kids learn to ski or snowboard. What a wonderful life, right?
The excitement we feel today when we see that first snowfall of the season or any of our several “freshies” (new snow over old) is just as strong today as it was in that first week of ownership, 7 years ago. Much of the reason for this, I believe, is that we have the truly special opportunity to see and experience our winter landscape through the eyes of each and every guest (new and returning). The dream remains strong through the opportunity to be of service to you, our guests. Thank you all for supporting our dream over the past 7 years.
It has been a wonderful, enriching journey so far, and we are looking forward to what lies ahead. Sign on a shop window viewed today; “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way.”
We are grateful for this opportunity to be here in Stowe, Vermont at the Brass Lantern Inn at all times and certainly at this time and season of the year. We recognize that we are uniquely rewarded by the opportunity to welcome and host so many wonderful people from around this country and the world.
With so much apparent polarization of thoughts and feelings for our fellow human beings in this past year of political rhetoric, perhaps, and hopefully, we can use this time that has been set aside in the governmental calendars of the U.S. to be, dare I say it, a bit more compassionate towards one another. Thanksgiving may just be the perfect transition point to help us all move forward from this year of campaign statements.
The beauty of this current position we find ourselves here in Stowe, Vermont, is that on any typical day we are clearly more focused on this wonderful adventure of Innkeeping and thereby preventing us from paying much attention to the constant “news” feeds from so many electronic channels. Ultimately, I think this has been a good thing. Of course we want to be involved and aware of our local, national and worldwide events, we are intimately aware that our location and special community gives us some “protection” from things that might otherwise give us concern. Not really a “head in the sand” kind as much as, “thank goodness we have a healthy awareness and distance from those things that otherwise may impact our sense of peaceful retreat” here in northern Vermont.
We hope that this Thanksgiving Season gives you time to assess your own blessings and rewards. And perhaps this holiday will also provide a chance to bring us all together in a worldwide family. I know, kind of corny, but as our world becomes more interconnected (at least in a communicative sense, if not geographical) is it not in the best interest of all that we, get along?
This post certainly strays away from the more local focus of the Stowe area that we typically share but feel that we are more alike than different and the opportunity for being thankful just struck me today. And if your own Thanksgiving Day plans are still open why not consider a peaceful retreat to Stowe and the Brass Lantern Inn? Check out our “Thanksgiving in Stowe” special; stay two nights, get third at 30% off. Discounts extend for even longer stays, just call us to confirm.
George and Mary Anne
September 18, 2016
While of course we enjoy each of our distinct four seasons here in Stowe, without a doubt, we love our Fall Foliage Season. We also know that this golden season is one of the most popular with our guests as many of our rooms from late September through mid October have been reserved since February/March of this year.
It is a “bucket list” kind of adventure for many of our guests as most “fall” into the category of retired teacher (typically, always working at this time of year), British (visiting New England with scenery unlike what they would find on the other side of the pond), and photobugs that are here to find that postcard scene. It is also a time for distant guests from across the world, Australia, Japan, and India to make this migration to Vermont at this point in the lunar calendar year.
So far, the colors have been a bit hesitant to show and the temperatures have mostly been above normal, however, there are signs that autumn is just around the corner. As I write this note, the British Invasion is wrapping up and is our official kick-off for the season. This town wide event is a great way to start the season with a Friday night block party with live music, dancing in the streets, with antique and new British cars on display all along Main Street.
Oktoberfest! First one was yesterday hosted by the von Trapp Brewing company at their new Bierhall. What a great day it was, German oompah music, roving singer/accordionist, amazing food, magnificent setting in the mountains and of course plenty of wonderful Trapp Lager. My favorite beer, “Oktoberfest” (of course). I like this beer so much I explained to Johannes von Trapp that after the season he should just change the name – it’s that good!! I think the von Trapp’s have hit a home run with their new Bierhall. If you are in Stowe we think this is a must stop.
Our next Stowe Oktoberfest is the weekend long event produced by the Stowe Rotary Club. Starting on Friday night, Sept. 30 is Rocktoberfest, live music, bratwursts, and Trapp Lager Beer (yep, the Stowe Rotary knows a good thing when they see it and well, Johannes is a Stowe Rotarian and a very generous donor for this event). Saturday and Sunday is a full day each of oompah music, yodeling, and yes, Trapp Lager Beer, all in celebrating the season. We typically see more than 2,500 people through the front door of the big tent. If you are in town you have to check it out.
Recently, I finished a six week Mountain Bike Clinic through Four Points Vermont. In a class of 10 riders with two instructors led by our business to business partner and friend and owner of Four Points Vermont, Rick Sokoloff, I have discovered a new way to enjoy the mountains of Vermont. In each of the classes we typically spent an hour or more in the field going over the fundamentals of this sport followed up by a hour plus of riding beginner to intermediate double and single track trails. As Rick put it, he was working with us to “create a solid foundation that is reinforced through several skills that we will then have in our ‘tool box’ to safely and fully enjoy mountain biking.” As with so many things like this, taking lessons to understand the fundamentals of the sport is critically essential to a., doing it safely, and b., giving yourself a real chance to enjoy it.
Ok, full disclosure, I was a bit anxious to take on this sport that is probably more embraced by those in their mid twenties versus those of us in our ummm, mid fifties (and taking this up at this stage of my life). But, thanks to Rick and his assistant Shelley, I am truly hooked and hopelessly addicted to this sport of mountain biking.
This past Wednesday morning I ventured into what most would consider some real mountain bike terrain here in Stowe; Cady Hill Forest. I have driven past the parking lot/trail head for this area numerous times and always wondered what it would be like to actually ride there as the trail I see from the road seems to just disappear among the trees and dense foliage. Well, I can honestly report, it was the most fun combined with the most intense work out I have probably ever experienced since my days of youth when I used to run road races from 10K to full marathons. I realized quickly that I had not huffed and puffed so much since those running days and also realized I need to do this more to make sure I can continue to experience the outdoor wonders of Vermont directly and personally.
Unlike downhill skiing, which if you follow us on FB, realize is probably our favorite winter sport, in mountain biking you definitely have to earn your downhill rides. Now, with that said, I know there are some smart ski resorts here in Vermont and elsewhere that can provide you a lift to the top of the mountains with handy racks on the back of ski lifts. I’m sure that I would love that assistance against the laws of gravity to quickly transport me to the top myself, but, I mostly realize, I can and will certainly benefit from the healthy work out needed to find myself gliding down a pathway through the woods that’s not much wider than my handlebars. The downhills are so nice, especially when earned.
I just can’t adequately explain the joy and the feeling of riding through the woods. And as there are so many levels of terrain (similar to downhill skiing) you can enjoy this sport whether you’re an adrenaline seeker bent on finding the most technically challenging terrain to someone that is just looking for a way to get off the busy roads and really check out the back roads and bike trails that seem to disappear into the woods!
If we can help in any way to introduce you to mountain biking please let us know and please note that we have several stay and ride packages for the beginner through advanced via the intense single day, private lessons to weekend (two day) clinics on our reservation page.
See you outside,