News from the Mad River Barn

Can you believe we’ve been here four years already? Yep, December 31st was our four year anniversary of owning the Mad River Barn. What a tremendous blessing it has been. We are so grateful for the friends that we’ve made and for the support shown to us by the community and our customers.

On that note, we’re excited to take this opportunity to update everyone on our latest project: The Mad River Barn Wedding & Event Pavilion. Over the past four years, we learned that in order to survive in the Mad River Valley cyclical economy, you have to diversify. For us, the natural path forward was hosting weddings on the weekends in the warmer months. Weddings ensure our Inn rooms are occupied, our kitchen crew can stay busy, and we can keep our beloved staff employed year round.

Over the past couple of summers, we did have the opportunity to host several weddings in tents on the Upper Landing (the flat grassy area behind the Mad River Barn). Through this experience, we learned that tented weddings pose a lot of challenges… there is a tremendous amount of labor involved in setting up the tents each weekend, and that labor gets passed onto the wedding couple in the form of pretty expensive tent rental fees. The wedding couple also has to rent all the furnishings (tables, chairs, plates, glasses and flatware)… adding to the expense. We provided the food service, but that was also a challenge – we cooked all the food in our restaurant kitchen and then transported it up to the tent for service. After two summers of this, we were exhausted! So we decided to invest in some proper infrastructure. While surfing Pinterest, we found the perfect inspiration: a gorgeous post & beam pavilion:

Mad River Barn Pavilion Inspiration

Our pavilion will look very similar to this – it will be a bit bigger (40’ x 100’) and will include a commercial kitchen and men’s and women’s bathrooms. To help manage noise, we modified the design to add a solid wood wall on the fireplace end and an acoustic glass wall on the 80’ length facing Route 17.  The opposite 80’ length will have motorized roll down clear vinyl panels designed for weather protection for guests. Heaters in the ceiling ensure we can keep guests warm, even on chilly fall nights.

After contacting several post & beam construction companies, we found one in Connecticut that we really liked: The Barn Yard & Great Country Garages. Why did we like them? The people! It’s a multi-generational family run business and we just loved the people. And after looking through their portfolio, it was clear they do really beautiful work. We showed them the picture of our inspiration, and the project took off from there!

Construction began in May with the well drilling process. We hired Chevalier Well Drilling, and after drilling only about 225 feet, our well was producing 25 gallons per minute (an excellent supply!). We were relieved and grateful for that, as lack of water can kill a project faster than anything. After we drilled the well, we were ready to commence with filing for our local and state building permits.

We sailed through the local permitting process – the Fayston Development Review Board were thorough, but fair. They drafted a permit with reasonable limitations that ensured protections for our neighbors.  The Act 250 permit took a bit longer to conclude, ultimately finalizing late November. We started site work the very next day. Kingsbury Construction arrived with their earth moving equipment and began prepping the foundation, expanding our septic field, and trenching water and gas lines. Alliance Mechanical installed the under-slab plumbing. We started pouring the foundation and kitchen slab early December, and finished the week after Christmas.

Great Country Garages arrived onsite January 16th to “raise” the pavilion. It is truly a raising in every sense of the word. They brought 11 guys to help including a crew of Amish craftsman who are exceptionally skilled in this sort of work. After the first week, the side posts were up and the trusses were assembled and ready to be put in place.

Next week, they pavilion crew will be back with a crane to set the trusses onto the posts, and then to frame out the rest of the pavilion. The raising will be complete by next Friday. Following that, the mason will begin work on the fireplace and we’ll proceed with electrical, plumbing, and finish carpentry.  In the spring, we’ll pour the main pavilion slab. Then, onto the finish landscaping. Our schedule calls for completion by end of April so that we can be ready for the wedding season!

Watch the blog for future posts for continued updates, and check out the construction pictures below!

Our best,

Andrew & Heather

Hand Craftsmanship

Setting Side Posts

 

Trusses

 

Posts are Up!

 

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The lagoon at the Mad River Barn

“Project Season” at the Mad River Barn

Although it would seem that Olde Man Winter decided to go on strike for the majority of last year, we were lucky enough to have a wonderfully busy season what with the many new and repeat guests to our inn rooms, as well as the continued patronage of said inn guests, loyal locals, and every other much appreciated customer who walked through the doors to the Pub and Restaurant.  With that being said, it is hard to deny human nature, and by the umpteenth round of snow shoveling and ice-salting (a.k.a February) one cannot help but to start daydreaming about what equally productive activities one could be accomplishing outside when the ground starts looking a bit more green… and one’s fingers start feeling a bit less frostbitten ; )

This may not be common knowledge to visitors of our lovely Mad River Valley who are accustomed to seeing it marketed as a 4 season resort destination, but year-round residents know the real truth of the matter. Vermont actually has SIX seasons-  Spring, Summer, Fall, Stick Season, Winter, and Mud Season.  This last weather phenomenon could also be referred to by many other pet names- “Dead Season” to Restauranteurs, “Wake up and raid the Birdseed” season to Black Bears, “Sleep/Recovery Season” to Snowmakers, “Hubcap Eating Season” to our dirt road dwellers, etc. And while occasionally a few of these monikers could, theoretically, be prefaced by some rather… ahem “colorful” language, here at the Mad River Barn we are choosing to view our Lawson’s glass as half-full and have decided on a more optimistic nomenclature- “Project Season”!!!

Another bit of lesser known trivia, is that sitting a little ways back on the upper field, hiding beneath the boughs of some lovely and established Pine Trees, there lives a tiny building formerly known as Poolhouse.  Now, lest some people get all oddly excited at the prospect of a swimming pool hiding back there as well- perish the thought.  That particular feature has long been retired and returned to the earth, and everyone knows that summers are for swimming in the Mad River.

The Pool  House

The Pool House

Leave it to the ever present creativity of Joanne Palmisano to conjure up a vision for the next chapter in the life of the building (formerly known as Poolhouse).  Anyone who is familiar with the history of design work at the Mad River Barn (and if you aren’t you should be!) will know that it physically pains Joanne to watch anything that still has use or value be discarded… and that encompasses pretty much everything she sees. With the continued popularity of DIY weddings, and the seemingly endless imagination with which one can create in an Etsy and Pinterest era, the Barn has amassed quite a collection of decorations.  The only logical next step for Joanne’s mind to take was that of COURSE these materials should be given the opportunity to be further enjoyed, and what better use for our little building than to be re-incarnated as a centralized home for all of them?  (Believe it or not, more than one employee had been heavily campaigning to convert it into a summer residence for their horse, and even WE… I mean… THEY have had to begrudgingly admit this was a much better plan)

Dubbing the idea “Rent-a-Shed”- the endgame objective is to have all of our decorations housed and displayed inside and it will become an option available to any prospective client. For a nominal fee they can “Rent” the Shed and have carte blanche to utilize as many objects as they desire in whatever way they feel would make their day most special.

Wedding decorations

Wedding decorations

In the meantime, however, one of the projects tackled so far this year by the Barn team has been a massive cleanOUT of said Shed’s interior, as well as a cleanUP of the exterior and surrounding land.  The phrase “many hands make light work” truly proved itself accurate during this (rather daunting) endeavor and lucky Andy spent the better part of three days with a ragtag crew of Barn employees gittin’er done.  This brings up yet another reason why Project Season has been proving itself to be invaluable this year beyond just the usefulness of the finished products themselves.

Andrew building benches for outdoor seating

Andrew building benches for outdoor seating

One of the ugly truths to living/running a business in a seasonal resort town is the unavoidable oscillation of tourism. During the slower shoulder seasons the pace dwindles tremendously.  At this juncture you are faced with the difficulty of trying to figure out a way to maintain and utilize the employees that are so integral to running the business during the busier seasons when faced with a comparative trickle of revenue.  It is nothing less than fortuitous that our kitchen crew is full of many multi-talented employees who are agreeable enough to work their hours elsewhere once the insanity of ski season dies down (and between the grounds, guest rooms, and multiple buildings on premise there is no dearth of jobs to be done).  We were able to poach both Josh and Taylor and employ their skills in a plethora of tasks.  Painting, touch-ups, landscaping, carpentry, masonry, chainsaw work, tree work, running an excavator, butcher, baker, candlestick maker.. and one can never discount the importance of sheer muscle (and my personal favorite- eye candy!).

 When the first big renovation was underway in the central Barn Building one of the main concerns was how to keep the basement dry throughout the year- no mean feat with an older building that is happily situated at the base of a mountain range.  The solution was a series of piping that leads underneath the barn and carries the runoff to the base of our tiered gardens and eventually travels through a culvert into the Millbrook across the street.  While the basement has remained drier than British wit ever since its rehabilitation, the last lingering concern regarding our run-off was the ecological effect said water may have on the health of the Millbrook itself. Even with the filtering effect of the soil from the garden there was always the question of whether or not any temperature variation between the original stream and the water our business contributed would affect the natural order.  It was during a pre-Mud Project Season walk around the grounds that Heather expressed yet again her desire for Peeper Frogs to take up residence on the property and the answer to both conundrums became clear- if we built it, they would come. Enter Project Lagoon.

Josh and his helper trenching the lagoon

Josh and his helper trenching the lagoon

The purpose of the Lagoon is multi-faceted. Besides the most important goal of becoming known as the #1 destination community for Peeper Frogs on TripAdvisor, it solves the ecological question by serving as a holding tank for runoff water from the Inn and allowing all the liquid to reach the same temperature before it continues on its journey under the road and into the MillBrook. The Lagoon will also figure into our longer vision plans of utilizing all the different areas around the MRB grounds and allowing them to play various roles during our Wedding weekends (and, of course, a spot where our non-nuptially motivated Inn residents could enjoy their stay).  We envision hosting a reception or cocktail hour among the raised beds of the garden where guest could grab a libation and wander up and down the terraces, across the water on our bridge and back- just in time for a refill- before moving on to their next location for dinner.

Josh and Taylor building the bridge over the lagoon

Josh and Taylor building the bridge over the lagoon

We feel so very lucky to be a property with options for our Wedding Guests to enjoy over their entire weekend stay- Breakfast in the dining room, a walk or run on the Catamount Trail right outside the front door, maybe a hike up the 9th hole ski trail to explore Mad River Glen, a quick game of afternoon shuffleboard in the Game Room is an excellent way to bond with future family members, afternoon cocktails in the garden, Dinner and Dancing on upper field Landing, S’mores and a Bonfire around the fire pit, back to the Pub for an afterparty… The possibilities are endless!!!

The lagoon at the Mad River Barn

The lagoon at the Mad River Barn

 

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you soon!

Meredith Marble, Assistant Innkeeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creating an Authentic Vermont Wedding Experience

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Photo by Todd Wilson

It’s official (in our minds) we’ve become a Vermont Wedding Destination. One of our recent weddings was written up on the amazing site, June Bug Weddings! WOW! “Stylish Doesn’t Even Begin to Describe This Barn Wedding in Vermont..” June Bug Wedding said that not us! The pictures you’ll see below say a thousand words about Mad River Barn and the memories created here.

We’re thrilled that we’ve been chosen to be the wedding venue for couples who wanted a relaxed, yet chic Vermont country wedding. Some of the amazing displays of rustic décor and cool wedding design ideas our bride and grooms have come up with amaze us.

We’ve finally created a Wedding Brochure(we are happy to email to you — going to link the PDF to our site very soon) about the variety of wedding and events you can have here. Inside and out! Big or small…we can put together a wedding package that fits your needs.  What is great is that families usually take over all 18 rooms in our Inn and the wedding becomes a family reunion as well!

We also love the fact couples and their family and friends are taking advantage of all our property and the surrounding Mad River Valley area has to offer…from enchanting grounds surrounded by mountain, forests and streams, to swimming holes and art galleries, to beer tours to hiking trails to something as simple as fun and games in our very own pub and game rooms (nothing like a friendly game of air hockey between the bride and groom to start the marriage off right! ?!?).

So without further ado… or should we say “I do…”  (we couldn’t help it)…here’s what weddings, reception dinners, rehearsal dinners and wedding ceremonies look like at the Mad River Barn. Memorable, fun, casual, chic, and most of all, full of love!

Nikki and Eric, Photography by Todd Wilson

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

 

Andrea and James, Photography by The Spragues.

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Chris and Claire

Chris and Claire's Wedding Mad River Barn

The tent on the lawn at Mad River Barn Wedding Reception Site

These are just a few of the hundreds of spectacular moments of these Vermont weddings.

Check out these blog posts as well and see what couple’s are saying about Mad River Barn as their wedding site. And don’t forget to email us and get a couple of our wedding packages brochure.

Email or Call us anytime!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

Valley Arts…Promoting, Encouraging and Sharing Particiation in the Arts

 

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For a small Valley, we have big dreams and in 1997, a group of folks got together and dreamed up The Vermont Festival of the Arts to share the work of local artists as well as encourage residents and visitors to participate in the arts. Well, it worked! And the Festival has grown immensely since then, and has been has been named one of the “Top Ten Summer Events in Vermont” by Vermont Chamber of Commerce, a top Vermont activity by Yankee Magazine, one of the top 100 attractions by American Business Association and, wait for it…Top 5 Summer Festivals by Travel and Leisure!

 

Last year's schedule of event for the Festival of the Arts

Last year’s schedule of event for the Festival of the Arts

 

But there is so much more to Valley Arts than their incredible August festival. In their newly renovated and expanded space, on Main Street, in Waitsfield, Vermont, they have gallery shows, discussions, presentations, workshops, and events!

For example, now showing at the Festival Galley are the amazing watercolors of Amanda Amend.

Amanda Amend's Watercolor Show at Festival Gallery in Waistfield

Amanda Amend’s Watercolor Show at Festival Gallery in Waitsfield.

There is a weaving class…

Rigid Heddle Weaving with Susan Nider

Rigid Heddle Weaving with Susan Nider

There is so much to see and do, and participate in through the Valley Arts, that this blog post doesn’t do it justice. So check out their CALENDAR of EVENTS. It’s just amazing in a small Vermont valley, we have such big talent, dedication and artistic love.

How lucky are we!

Our best,

Heather and Andrew

Mad River Barn Friends…

Can we be Friends? Facebook Friends that is! The reason we bring this up is because we post much more often on Facebook about last minute cancellations (gasp — we know…but it does happen), dinner specials, employment opportunities, local events, and Mad River Glen or Sugarbush ski deals than we do on our BLOG.  And we would bummed if you missed out!

We love writing the blog posts but they are just twice a month and FACEBOOK allows us to get info to you fast — especially if you are looking for a dinner special, what’s happening or if there is a last-minute place to stay in Waitsfield,

Our goal is 2000 friends by the end of Febraury…what do you think? Can you LIKE US? SHARE US? to help us reach our goal.  Here are some of the things we share…

You wouldn't want to miss hearing about Sugarbush's deals! Like this $30 ski pass on Thursdays! When we hear about things like this we pass the info along!

You wouldn’t want to miss hearing about Sugarbush’s deals! Like this $30 ski pass on Thursdays! When we hear about things like this we pass the info along!

 

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Sometimes it is sharing a dinner, appetizer or dessert special. Burger nights...apple crisp, ramen noodles... you wouldn't want to miss out would you?

Sometimes it’s sharing a dinner, appetizer or dessert special. Burger nights…apple crisp, ramen noodles… you wouldn’t want to miss out would you? 

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Pictures of when it is snowing...so when you are sitting at your desk at work...working of course...you can sneak a peek at our weather!

Pictures of when it is snowing…so when you are sitting at your desk at work…working of course…you can sneak a peek at our weather!

When the boot room was finished -- we let you know via our FACEBOOK PAGE...

When the boot room was finished — we let you know via our FACEBOOK PAGE…

And sometimes we are just plain silly and creative and want to share what we see and hear with you! So if you like our Moose...just click LIKE!

And sometimes we are just plain silly and creative and want to share what we see and hear with you! So if you like our Moose…just click LIKE!

So let’s be friends!  Okay? :)

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ski Trail Names…Do They Do the Trails Justice?

So we’re finally ready to hit the slopes. The trails are open and more snow is on the way. So which trail to do we do first? Sometimes, we think we should go all out and hit a tough one, then other times…we think…let’s start slow.

Ski Trail Color Symbol Downhill Alpine North America Europe Japan Vintage - Signs of the Mountain

So we start checking out the trail map and see the names. It makes us wonder? What if they didn’t have the colored trail symbols next to the names? Would we feel like we understood the type of trail is was by the name?

So we started searching some trail names. We had to share a few:

  • Alta: Amen and the Devil’s Castle  (Making sure they have heaven and hell covered)
  • Jay Peak: Deliverance (Love it!)
  • Snowbird: Barry Barry Steep (That’s helpful)
  • Lake Louise: Ghastly! (Feel like we should have an English Pipe while traversing down this one)
  • Attitash: Idiot’s Option (That’s just daring us to go down it)
  • Sunday River: Agony (Thank you for the heads up)
  • Snowmass: AMF (We’re told it stands for Adios Mother F….)
  • Sugarbush: Ripcord, Rumble, Spillsville and the famous, Exterminator
  • Stowe: Lookout! (Need we say More)
  • Mad River Glen: Vixen (Believe it or not, this is a beginner trail…)
  • Snowbird: Steeper than Hell and Steeper than Shit (These leave no room for misinterpretation)
  • Whistler: Doom & Gloom (Someone needs a happy pill)
  • Breckenridge: Lower Psychopath & High Anxiety (Or a therapist…)
  • Aspen: Naked Lady (More info please…)
  • Mt. Snow: Jaws of Death (We think it’s named, just Jaws now…chickens)
  • Vail: Tourist Trap (Telling like it is for the beginner slope)
  • Sugarloaf: Widowmaker (See…that’s all it needs…one word to give us  full description)
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Photo Credit: Authentic Trail Signs

Now, you get our drift…snow drift that is! The point is…with these names, you know what type of trail it probably is and what you’re in for. Depending on the day (and our mood) we may be feeling a little like a “Slowpoke” or a “Lower Psychopath.”

If we’re ever leaders of the free world — our first rule of business would be to change all the names to reflect the type of trail it is. For example, if you looked at a trailhead that said, Breakfast Blend, you’d know it was a pretty easy trail. If it was Break-Up Alley, you’d know that was a rocky, steep and treacherous path. Right?!?

So think about some fun names while your heading up the lift…What would be your Blue Circles and Black Diamonds?

Until then,

We are heading ”OUT TO LUNCH.” (That’s an easy trail, just in case you didn’t know.)

Our best, Heather and Andrew

Christmas Week and Holiday Break

 

 

 

 

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Snowmaking happening up on the mountain. Colder weather coming soon!

Well, It’s officially here…Winter!

Today officially starts winter and we’re happy to say that we’re finally feeling it! This past weekend, it snowed but even better news was it was cold enough for the mountains to make snow. This week, during Christmas,  we’ll get a day or two of warmer weather but around the corner the cooler weather is coming to town!

As you know we are taking December 24 and 25th off to celebrate Christmas with our family and to give the Mad River Barn team a chance to be with their families as well. BUT THE DAY AFTER we’ll be well rested and ready for you!  The pub is already hopping and there are lots of fun things to do and see in the valley if you want to do more than ski!

Pub at Mad River Barn Design by Joanne Palmisano

Of course, we’d love it if you came and hung out with us in the pub — or watch a game on the big TV or play a game–air hockey, shuffle board, and foosball, in the game room.

Draft Beers at Mad River Barn Vermont

Try one of our local beers on tap — or even better — the local chamber of commerce is listing some organized brew tours next week!  Visit some awesome breweries and let someone else do the driving!

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Teach your kids how to play cribbage. When do you get a chance to sit down and play a game? Cribbage rules here.

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Check out Andrew on the FAT BIKE. These conditions are perfect for this type of biking.

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Our friend Gabrielle, snowboarding on the slopes — taking advantage of the snowmaking days!

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Trail map for Shelburne Farms. In the winter, when the Inn at Shelburne Farms is closed, the trails are still open. They are free this time of year and you can bring a dog (on leash) which you can’t in the summer months. The trails and views are amazing, worth the drive.

First snow at The Inn at Shelburne Farms along Lake Champlain in Shelburne, Vermont.

The Inn may be closed this time of year but the miles of trail systems are open! Enjoy!

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Joanne’s friend Sarah Lavoie took this amazing picture of Church Street in Burlington the other day. An evening out on the town would be another great outing!

The Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce has a large list of HAPPENINGS and EVENTS! Art Shows, Bands Playing, Tours, Workshops, Cooking Classes, Cookout and more! Don't miss out on the fun happening during the holiday week!

The Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce has a large list of HAPPENINGS and EVENTS! Art Shows, Bands Playing, Tours, Workshops, Cooking Classes, Cookout and more! Don’t miss out on the many things to do in and around the Mad River Valley and Sugarbush.

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Hope to see you during the Holiday Week and this coming winter!

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season,

Our best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Holidays From Our Family to Yours!

We’re ready! The decorations are up (thanks Joanne) and we just had a very fun staff holiday party. We’re looking forward to having you visit us soon. We wanted to share some pics with you to help get you in the spirit to come visit us!

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Joanne always makes a mess :)– but we love her for it. Thanks Joanne for putting up the holiday décor this year.

 

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Joanne’s little holiday DIY — wrapping the Poinsettia plants. She cut the top part of the gold foil.

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Then she ripped craft paper and hot glued it to the foil.

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Then she wrapped in it twine.

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I’m sure it does not surprise you that she glued on a vintage plumbing handle — in keeping with the Mad River Barn motif.

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Here is our dear friend Joanne (the designer of the Inn, Pub and Restaurant) in her Mad River Barn attire — flannel shirt, jeans and her winter hat.

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Of course, the inn would not be complete without the lighted star. Andrew found a great place for it — you can see it from the road.

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Love the holiday vignettes around the inn–they are getting us in the spirit.

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Look how cozy the game room looks. It’s ready for you!

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Even the bar has some festive décor. We love it so much we may leave it up most of the winter (and no…it is not because we are too lazy to take it down… mostly, not because of that.)

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That’s right! Welcome!

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Let the party begin! Here’s Andrew with Jerry, our dear friend, and bartender of the year–no century — no millennium! Honestly, we don’t know what we would do without Jerry. Thank you!

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Sergjio, chef extraordinaire, Andrew and Jerry — getting the staff holiday party started!

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Yup! A gorgeously displayed platter or lobster tails — that’s right — lobster tails — Sergjio — went all out on this menu –nothing but the best for our staff.

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Sergjio really out did himself on all the food. This holiday Yule Log cake is amazing — I mean look at it — it looks like real bark!

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Andrew, our new sous chef, is putting out the oysters…Yup, oysters. (Don’t you want to work for us :))

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Then came the cheese platters…

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Then the charcuterie…

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Andrew helping put it all out.

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Heath, another amazing bartender and staff member with his lovely wife, Melissa.

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First fire of the year, and lots of great gift exchanges.

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The staff mingling. They’re getting to enjoy the pub tonight!

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You gotta love Will! He always has the best attitude and spirit. A great attribute for an amazing bartender.  And he is a lot of a fun at a party. Will… who’s jacket did you throw on? We think that is Heather’s, another amazing staff person.

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Gary, our all-around helper- lugging, hauling, building–you name it, with his lovely wife, Jean.

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Meredith, Jenny, and Adrienne — who won’t love being here with these fun gals. We’re so lucky to have them as part of the MRB team.

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Another course of food!?! Yes — homemade Ramen noodles — not your store bought ones we can tell you that. AMAZING!!  Sergjio, really, how lucky are we to have you as our chef!

 

This may be one of the last times we can relax before the busy winter season begins. Rachel, one of our amazing serves, our dear friend Tracy, myself, and Jess, another amazing staff person, all enjoying each other's company. What a lovely evening!

This may be one of the last times we can relax before the busy winter season begins. Here we are…Rachel, one of our amazing serves, our dear friend Tracy, myself, and Jess, another amazing staff person, enjoying each other’s company. What a lovely evening– celebrating with our MRB family! We hope you get to meet them all and see why we think we are the luckiest people around!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS…See you at the BARN soon!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

Giving Thanks…Staff, Guests, and Gardens

We can’t believe another holiday is upon us.  The three years we’ve been in Vermont has flown by and we feel that you all have embraced us and made us part of your family. We are so grateful.  There are so many people we are thankful for and we hope that each and every one knows how much we appreciate them.

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As we take a break for Thanksgiving week, we wanted to say a thank you to Gary for building our tiered landscaping in front of the farmhouse and Inn.  The amount of work he has put into building all of these by hand–placing each stick, lifting every rock and moving all the dirt– is unbelievable. For years, Gary been helping us with many jobs and he’s part of the Mad River Barn family. Thank you Gary!

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We look forward to planting the blueberry plants, peas, flower and more, next spring but we wanted to share with you what the space looks like before the plantings went in. As with anything that’s great in our lives, it starts from the ground up and it requires a lot of hard work (okay that’s philosophical as we’ll get today).
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We cannot even begin to say how much we appreciate all the folks that are now part of our lives…regular guests, our staff, vendors and our communities in Waitsfield and Warren. Thank you all.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

From our Home…Mad River Barn, to Yours,

Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

November Already? Time to Start Working Out for Ski Season

It’s November!?!? Why didn’t anyone tell us! We cannot believe how fast time is flying by.  It’s almost time to get our skis on — we could be on the slopes as early as 3 weeks from now! Yikes!

We don’t know about you — be we haven’t done a single squat (unless you count, sitting down in front of the computer, or picking up the fries we dropped from our dinner plate). Otherwise — nada, nothing, a big fat zero– is how much we’ve prepared our bodies for skiing.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to look up some of the best “get ready for skiing workouts” and pick 6 exercises we like (may not be the perfect ones but it will be the ones we are comfortable with doing).

Let’s start with the article — 3 weeks to Skiing — From Couch Potato to the Slopes. Hello! That’s us! Of course, after looking it over, it looks a little hard, so we’ll just pick one  from this. (Photo courtesy of article.)

1. The speed skater. Hardwood floor and socks — we have those!

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2. This article from the Daily Burn is… 5 exercises to Get Ski and Snowboard Ready! All of them look great but we like Supermans! Another exercise we can do on the living room floor. Our lower backs always seem to get neglected during ski season. Not this time!

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Photo Courtesy of the Daily Burn

3. This article from the National Geographic — Preseason Ski Workout has two excerises we like. The ski squat and side lunges.  Let’s face it, it’s all about the quads and hamstrings. If these puppies are strong then they’ll protect our knees.  We’re going to start slow — maybe 10 on each leg and work our way up from there. (Drawings courtesy of same article.)

4. We also like the SIDE Lunges from the same article. Okay…let’s be clear, we don’t really like lunges… but we like this exercise for getting ready to  carve up the slopes.

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5. Skiing is like a sprinting sport — high bursts of cardio and strength. So we can’t avoid it… no matter how much we want to… but we have to do — Squat Jumps.  Here is pro skier Paula Moltzan showing us at Shape.com how it’s done. We’re going to start without weights and the moment we can actually get to 20 without stopping (or fainting), we’ll “consider” a small dumbbell or two.

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Photo Courtsey of Shape.com

6. Hamstrings. It is another muscle that protects the knees.  Straight leg dead lifts are probably the ones we’ll stick with — something we can do in the living room and build up to using weights. This photo is courtesy of Women’s Health Magazine.

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OKAY! That’s our six… we won’t add stretching as a number — just do it! We also know there are lots more great exercises but we want to be realistic as well.

So start here. We’ll try and join you!

See you on the slopes!

Our Best,

Heather and Andrew