Of the many “perks” that we feel come with this “job” as Innkeepers, certainly, one of the most rewarding is the opportunity to welcome back friends from one or many more previous stays. This past weekend we were so very fortunate to have a full house/”no vacancy” sort of weekend with six of our nine guest rooms filled with returning friends.
We had Louise (Weezie) and Allen here (all the way from southern Vermont!) returning to the Brass Lantern Inn to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. These friends enjoy Vermont so much that they actually stay here and we are so richly rewarded to have this opportunity to host them again and again. And we were so humbled that they felt that the Brass Lantern Inn was the “perfect place to be to celebrate our 40th anniversary!” Thank you Weezie and Allen.
Bruce and Sheila have been coming to the Brass Lantern Inn for more years than we have even been the Innkeepers here. They come at least once a year, typically for the winter activities of cross country and downhill skiing but have also come in the summer with bicycles in tow. This past weekend, like all previous examples of their stays, they bring their guitar, beautiful musical voices and warm, infectious laughter. This time they brought family with them taking over four of our nine guest rooms. Thank you Bruce and Sheila.
Paul and Maria made their yearly trek from the Boston area. We joked that they had to come north to great a break from the record snowfalls that the Boston and southern New England area experienced this year. At least here they can do something with the snow other than just shoveling it out of the way. Thank you Paul and Maria.
This past Friday, the main gathering room of the Brass Lantern Inn was filled with music and good times thanks to the Bruce and Sheila. We sure wish we could have them here every weekend as it was such great way for all of our guests to get to know one another gathered around the fireplace, sharing Cabot cheddar cheese, wine or your favorite local micro brew. Our music night was shared with Weezie and Allen, Anthony and Carol from Nashville, Tennessee, as well as Susan from Toronto (and family of Bruce and Sheila). I think we all made new friends this past weekend.
I miss my family back in Columbus, Ohio and our friends from our former lives in Baltimore, Maryland. While that loss can be tempered by phone calls, social media, and the occasional off-season trips to see family and old friends, our lives are so full now with so many new friends through our current position in life here as Innkeepers of the Brass Lantern Inn. We have also had the occasion to host family and friends which is even more special here in Vermont!
How can this role as an Innkeeper be classified as a job when we have the greatest opportunity to meet so many wonderful people? Ok, when the printer breaks down during the busiest weekend of the winter or a heating valve sticks in the closed/off position on a night where it is 18 below, or the housekeeper quits on Valentine’s Day Saturday morning or any number of small issues like this you get a sense of why it might be considered a job. But truly these are all trivial matters in the larger context of this wonderful experience.
And this is all before you realize you are in this wonderful corner of paradise called Stowe, Vermont! Yes, we are so very thankful to be here and it is only through the support of our guests and friends, both new and returning that allow us this unique opportunity. We never take that for granted and hope you see that in return from us through our service and warm welcome. Thank you all!
We are currently in one of our “quiet seasons” that is known locally as “Stick Season.” This being the time after all of those beautiful Vermont leaves have fallen and the snow has yet to begin to fill in the voids. It is a great time to be here as the weather is typically moderate, and of course I mean moderate by northern Vermont standards. Though today, 11/14, it was a balmy 58 degrees in Stowe, Vermont. The village is quiet, and has the feel as if a big party just blew through and now everyone is catching their breath waiting for the next big season. Of course that would be winter.
Stick season allows me to jump on my bike for a brisk ride on our paved Rec. Path without the need to constantly call out, “on your left” as we do in the summer and fall (and hope those ahead of me a., hear it and b., understand that statement) and now experience this ride as if I were on my personal trail. The cool crisp air as I ride along the trail certainly gives me pause to consider how many more trips I can get in before this trail becomes a cross-country ski trail? And then, when I get a glimpse of the mountain and see the upper ski trails coated with the first layers of snow (both natural and with a little help from the snow guns) I know it will just be a matter of weeks till I am gliding down those trails on skis. Winter, bring it on, please.
Our hiking trails in Stick Season yield views and vistas previously shrouded by our dense forest of trees. The openness of the forest may also provide you with a glimpse of deer, moose or even a bear, though most likely those bears are beginning to settle in somewhere deep in the forest for their long hibernation. And I am thinking, why would I want to hibernate when one of the best seasons of the year is about to begin? Yes, winter.
At this time of year it is definitely easier to find a table at one of our amazing restaurants and the slower pace gives us the opportunity to catch up on the latest local news with our restaurant owner friends. The town and businesses are busily preparing for the holiday season, pulling out the Christmas lights, ordering the garland and wreaths and even, in my case, putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door (lots of traffic through that door this year and the door was starting to show some wear and tear).
The firewood is all stacked, and the first fire in the main living room fireplace has been set. Guests are now happily congregating around the hearth with a glass of wine, some Cabot Cheese and crackers and enjoying the opportunity to share stories with other guests and with us Innkeepers.
So, the nesting instinct is in full swing here in Stowe, Vermont and we would be happy to share this quiet time with you. And, if you have managed to get all the way to this point in this lengthy blog, we offer you a deal as a reward – take 10% off any room any night. This discount on top of our already discounted quiet season rates, is based on a two night minimum stay and valid until Thursday, Dec. 14, 2011. This special offer is good only for phone reservations directly with us and other restrictions may apply. Call us to confirm availability and don’t forget to tell us you read this in our blog!
Happy Stick Season!
We are very fortunate to have some pretty amazing sunsets here in Stowe. This past Sunday afternoon/evening, for example, Mary Anne and I attended the “Music in the Meadows” Concert Series at the Trapp Family Lodge Meadow. What a beautiful venue to watch the day turn into night.
With a generous glass (or two…) of Chardonnay, some Extra Sharp Cheddar Cabot Cheese, French bread with a little prosciutto, live music, in this case, from “Crooked Still” (folk/bluegrass “with a contemporary twist”) and wonderful weather, I found myself absorbed with the ever changing natural light of the background scenery and keeping only an ear on the great music. It is amazing how quickly and dramatically the light changes the sense of depth and scale of the Sterling Mountain Range. As any amateur photographer can easily attest, it is impossible to capture that sense with a photograph, no matter how fancy of a camera you may or may not have. Ok, and maybe that glass of Chardonnay had some effect as well…
At this concert we shared the evening with some good friends that happen to also be Innkeepers in this small New England town. Like most people, our community of friends and neighbors is also closely tied with our type of business and profession which in our current station in life happens to be Innkeeping. We all have a feeling of deep appreciation for where we live and the opportunities we have at this point in our lives to participate in this lifestyle.
Last night, the sunset from our back porch was as dramatic as last night but without the live music. Instead, we shared that moment of the sun slipping behind “the slumbering man” (Mt. Mansfield) with some wonderful guests from Boston as they played a rousing game of scrabble on a blanket stretched out on the floor. The sun going down behind Mt. Mansfield, highlighted by streams of light through the distant thunderhead clouds, again memorable, but so very difficult to fully capture or permanently record. Good thing we can see this event repeated many times over in a typical summer!
Summer in Stowe, Vermont, filled with great memories…. Why not come on up to Stowe and create your own here at the Brass Lantern Inn?