We just love the way these lights shine at night...

Let there be Light!

The clock rolls back this Sunday at 2 a.m. (don’t ask us why it’s at that time). Either way — we are happy it’s brighter in the morning and sad that’s darker in the evening — go figure!

But the great news is that the Mad River Barn is well-lit! We’re thrilled with all the unique, one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures we have and some unique custom ones as well and how they keep the place looking cozy and welcoming. Of course, most of them have a very cool story behind them. So go ahead check them out. Follow the light…follow the light…child (Had to get a creepy Halloween reference in there since it is the day before.)Until then… we’ll make sure the place is well lit for you when you come for in dinner, a drink or a night’s stay. Maybe we’ll even have the fireplace going for you — another amazing light!

Our best, Heather and Andrew

Where do we start? The ladder light in the dining room is pretty popular. Our Designer, Joanne Palmisano, made this one herself, using old ladders she had at her home and some ULC listed café lights -- she added some hooks and chains and voila -- gorgeous romantic lighting for our dining room!

Where do we start? The ladder light in the dining room is pretty popular. Our Designer, Joanne Palmisano, made this one herself, using old ladders she had at her home and some ULC listed café lights — she added some hooks and chains and voila — gorgeous romantic lighting for our dining room!

This is a simple, affordable commercial light fixture designed by the folks of the blog, Young House Love.

This is a simple, affordable commercial light fixture designed by the folks of the blog, Young House Love.

The bathroom lights are old turkey feeders that Joanne picked up at Brimfield Antiques Market. She brought them to Conant Metal and Light to be ULC listed.

The bathroom lights are old turkey feeders that Joanne picked up at Brimfield Antiques Market. She brought them to Conant Metal and Light to be ULC listed.

Check out these rock'n industrial steampunk lights made by Milton Douglas Lamp Company.

Check out these rock’n industrial steampunk lights made by Milton Douglas Lamp Company. These line the walls in the dining room and are on a dimmer so whatever mood you are in — we can have the right lighting for you!

 

The pub is probably one of the places we get the most gasps when people walk in the door. The lighting over the bar was custom designed by Joanne but made by the same designer who created the wall sconces in the dining room for us. The light over the coffee table is made from an old basket.

The pub is probably one of the places we get the most gasps when people walk in the door. The lighting over the bar was custom designed by Joanne but made by the same designer who created the wall sconces in the dining room for us. The light over the coffee table is made from an old basket.

We just love the way these lights shine at night...

We just love the way these lights shine at night…

 

These barn style scones are throughout the buildings. They are simple, yet have a great presence. We love how this one lights up the BARN sign that is made from old plumbing handles.

These barn style scones are throughout the buildings. They are simple, yet have a great presence. We love how this one lights up the BARN sign that is made from old plumbing handles.

And of course, the barn style caged lights on the outside add to the charm of the building as well. These light fixture are made by the Capital Lighting Fixture Company and glow beautifully in all four seasons!

And of course, the barn style caged lights on the outside add to the charm of the building as well. These light fixture are made by the Capital Lighting Fixture Company and glow beautifully in all four seasons!

 

Last but certainly not least, is the old bed springs light. Joanne pulled a bunch of old bedsprings from our metal dumpster -- that used to be from the mattresses in the rooms. She then twisted them around an old basket and asked Conant Metal and Light to turn the whole thing into a light fixture. So when you are sitting in the game room and wondering...WHAT THE HECK???!!! Now you know :)

Last but certainly not least, is the old bed springs light. Joanne pulled a bunch of old bedsprings from our metal dumpster — that used to be from the mattresses in the rooms. She then twisted them around an old basket and asked Conant Metal and Light to turn the whole thing into a light fixture. So when you are sitting in the game room and wondering…WHAT THE HECK???!!! Now you know :)

 

 

Mad River Ski Area Lodgecrop

Some Skiing Deals Still to be Had

Mad River Ski Area Lodgecrop

Photo Courtesy of Mad River Glen Ski Area

We saw a notice on the Mad River Valley event calendar of a great ski/ride conditioning class happening tomorrow night at the Sugarbush Health Club and realized it’s time to start getting ready for the mountains!

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So while we all get our bodies ready for the bumps, slopes and trails…let’s see if there are any deals left to be had for our pocket book as well :)

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For those of us, who didn’t get the early bird pass at Mad River Glen or Sugarbush and are not sure how many times we’ll get up to the mountain this year — this is an amazing deal! It is called the Quad Pack and it is only $219! Check it out soon… the offer is only good till the end of November!

Screenshot 2014-10-22 12.00.42

Of course, we love going to both Sugarbush and Mad River Glen (both only minutes from our door). So if we have 4 tickets at Sugarbush, then we are going to get this deal as well! The Mad Card at Mad River Glen  for 3 tickets for only $154. That’s 7 times without even the regular season’s passes. Of course, if you have the regular passes — these are great for friends who visit!

 

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Let’s not forget cross-country skiing and snowshoeing! We hope to do a lot more of those sports as well –in our own backyard and at Ole’s, down the road.  If you had an Ole’s SeasonPass last year, you will receive an invitation for a 2014-15 SeasonPass the first week of November. Ole’s pre-season pass rates expire Dec. 15.

Well…we found some lift ticket deals still to be had — now it’s time to go and do some lifting…to get ready :)

See you soon!  Our best, Heather and Andrew

 

shelburne farms

Within an Hour…How Lucky Are We!

The great thing about Vermont being a small state is that things are quite accessible! But what’s even better is that we have some of the most incredible places to go and things to see! So within an hour’s drive from Mad River Barn here are FIVE places to visit that are not only stunning but extremely educational. Learn while having a blast–works for us!

shelburne farms

1. Shelburne Farms…Shelburne Farms is 1,400 acres of amazingness! It’s a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate for a sustainable future. What is really cool is that it is on the National Historic Landmark and it started out as a family farm for the Vanderbilt’s and Webb’s.

In 1886, Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb began acquiring farmland on the shores of Lake Champlain to create a model agricultural estate. What is now the Inn, used to be their summer home.

Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. created conceptual designs for the landscape. Prominent architect Robert H. Robertson designed four major buildings: The Farm Barn, Breeding Barn, Coach Barn and Shelburne House. These are buildings you must see! There are animals for the kids, trails for the walkers and hikers, bird watching, programs, and dozens of other things to do on one of the most beautiful piece of land in Vermont. (You can tell we like it can’t you.)

shelburne museum

2. Shelburne Museum… Don’t let the word Museum give you an impression of one building with artwork — Shelburne Museum,  is like no other museum we know…With 38 buildings that are part of the grounds as the history of New England is revealed through their ages…A jail, a country store, a vintage carousel, a huge ship, a country store (with all the stuff) and much more!

Want more… Here are their own words…  Located in Vermont’s scenic Lake Champlain Valley, Shelburne Museum is one of the finest, most diverse, and unconventional museums of art and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the Museum grounds.

Impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts and textiles, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings, and a dazzling array of 17th-to 20th-century artifacts are on view. Shelburne is home to the finest museum collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th- and 20th-century decoys, and carriages.

Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888-1960) was a pioneering collector of American folk art and founded Shelburne Museum in 1947. The daughter of H.O. and Louisine Havemeyer, important collectors of European and Asian art, she exercised an independent eye and passion for art, artifacts, and architecture celebrating a distinctly American aesthetic.

Remarkable collections exhibited in a village-like setting of historic New England architecture, accented by a landscape that includes over 400 lilacs, a circular formal garden, herb and heirloom vegetable gardens, and perennial gardens.

When creating the Museum she took the imaginative step of collecting 18th- and 19th-century buildings from New England and New York in which to display the Museum’s holdings, relocating 20 historic structures to Shelburne. These include houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store, a covered bridge, and the 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga.

I know… cool right?!

echo museum

3. Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center… this giant fishbowl is 36,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, huge aquariums and science education programs. They have over 70 species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles…

You can stand next to a fish tank the size of a small house and check out what swims around Lake Champlain. ECHO (as it’s known too most) is located on the edge of the lake  in downtown Burlington, and along the Burlington Bike Path, so you can get in a great walk or bike as well.

Rock of ages

4.  Barre Granite Quarries… In Barre, you will find some of the most amazing granite artisans in the world. At Rock of Ages, you can have a guided quarry tour takes you to an overlook of Smith Granite Quarry, at nearly 600 feet deep, we believe it to be the largest operating deep-hole, dimension granite quarry in the world.   Or you can go on self-guided tour of their factory. Want to go bowling at an outdoor granite bowling alley– then this is your place. Check out their website for hours (outdoor tours are seasonal) and all the cool things they do.

While you’re in Barre, you must drive through the HOPE cemetery (okay, we are not creepy — even National Geographic Magazine, says to go). It is one of the City’s top tourist sites, with some of the most amazing hand-carved granite stonework ever!

Vermont History Museum

5.  Vermont History Museum… is located near the State’s Capital Building and houses their core exhibit… Freedom and Unity… Where you can walk through a recreated of a wigwam, a tavern where the Green Mountain Boy’s gathered and a railroad station set up as if in WWII. The museum represents Vermont history from 1600 to now — in a very cool historic building. Plus, the Vermont History Museum also always have ever changing “current” exhibits.  It is a must see if you are interested in the history of our state, which was pivotal in the creation of our nation.

We could go on and on with the cool places to see and visit within an hour’s drive, but I think this list will keep you busy for a little while.  We’ll get back to you with more soon. :)

Our Best,
Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

 

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What’s with all the BREW. HA. HA.

Draft Beers at Mad River Barn Vermont

When we think of Vermont sometimes maple syrup comes to mind, or fall foliage, or our famous cheeses…but to many, it is our BEERS! That’s right Vermont is very well known for it’s microbrewers and unique ciders.

With about 40 breweries and dozens and dozens and dozens (you get the point) of seasonal varieties, we are literally swimming in yummy, tasty, exceptional artisan craft beers!

When the Vermont Brewer Festival sells 8,400 tickets in 11 minutes for their summer fest – you know we don’t take our beers lightly (okay, maybe there’s one or two light beers among them).

Of course, there is the famous Heady Topper brewed by The Alchemist since 2003. It is “crazy” popular — and we mean “crazy”! Some of the tales we’ve heard about trying to get some of this stuff is very interesting to say the least. We generally always have some Heady Topper and so far (knock on wood) we haven’t run out yet.

Then there are the hard ciders, like Citizen Ciders, with names like Dirty Mayor and Unified Press (we have both in the pub). I mean, who doesn’t love the names — and the cider — it’s fantastic!

Vemront Brewers Association

There are tasting rooms, brewery tours, brewer’s fests, and beer trails, throughout the state. There are two sites that will give you a list of all the events and tasting rooms in the state… Vermont Brewers Association and Vermont Beer.  The great thing about being a small state is you can drive to many of them for a fun day trip!  Of course, one of you will have to drive — so flip a coin to see who’ll be the designated driver :)

Jerry picking out a good one for a customer

We knew right away, when you have a Vermont Pub in the Mad River Valley, you’d better make sure you do beer right! That’s why for our draft beer, we have a glycol beer cooling system, so we always pour beers at the right temperature (we hate warm beer).

bar stools at Mad River Barn Vermont

Pull up a stool, we’ll meet you in the Pub! Photo by Susan Teare

On draft we love to serve what the brewers are brewing — makes sense right!? So… now on tap at the Mad River Barn Pub, you can have some…

Long Trail Ale, Long Trail Limbo, Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine, Fiddlehead Hodad, Switchback Unfiltered Ale, Magic Hat Single Chair Ale, Otter Creek Double Dose (Lawson’s collaboration), Lagunitas IPA, Lost Nation Rustic Ale, and, PBR.

Pub at Mad River Barn Design by Joanne Palmisano

We’d write more but all this talk about beer has made us very thirsty! We’ll meet you in the Pub.

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

Walking on Vermont Trails

Fall Fun…What to Do in and around Mad River Valley

Seriously, does it get any more beautiful than fall in Vermont?  We really don’t think so.  We’re not sure what we love the best…the crisp cool air, the smells of the falling leaves, the bright colors of the changing trees, or the quiet that seems to fill the air with the coming of winter… Here are  a few things we love to do in the fall in and around Waitsfield :) Let us know what is your favorite part!

Vermont Fall Trees

 Just Drive…  I know it sounds so simple — but there is a reason that tourists from all over come to Vermont to drive the back roads this time of year. It truly is spectacular.  Since the Mad River Barn is located right on Route 17,  one of Vermont’s most scenic roads ever! (It’s true! It’s not just us saying it.)  Here’s one of our favorite driving loops you can do in an afternoon, that includes stops for shopping, eating and walking.

Start at Mad River Barn… head up our road, Route 17, which is also known as the Appalachian Gap. At the top, you’ll pass right over the Long Trail , at the top, about 2,300 feet, you’ll see on of the most amazing views!  Head on down the other side, until you hit the cute town of Bristol, with quaint shops and restaurants. Then keep going west till you cross at Route 116. Here take a left and follow that all the way to Route 125, where you will take another left, through Ripton, to go over the Lincoln Gap (closed in the winter). You can stop at the Robert Frost Forest Trail (where you can read poetry while you go for an easy 1 mile walk).  Then keep going over the mountain and stop at Texas Falls Nature Trail for another 1 mile nature walk. Once you hit Route 100 again, take a left and you’ll find your way back to Warren (where we love to stop and check out the Warren store) and then back into Waitsfield before heading back to us for dinner and relax by the fire in the Pub.

Robert Frost Trail Vermont

The Robert Frost Trail Map

Hiking, Walking and Biking… You can go big time, by hiking the Long Trail, which has a trailhead only a couple miles from us, or you can do some simpler hiking and walking, like the Mad River Path… or, The Valley Reporter, our local paper, put together a list of some very cool hikes around the area, including a popular one Sunset Ledge.

Walking on Vermont Trails

Walking along Vermont Trails in the Fall… Spectacular!

Road bikers and motorcyclist love our roads as well. The roads are perfect for a cruise and a serious workout for road bikers. We love the see the motorcycle tours cruising by on a Sunday. (Stop in and say hi!) And to the road bike tour groups, we see heading up or down the Appalachian Gap Road– wow– impressed! Keep up the good work.

Just Hanging Out… Another option we like in the fall, is to grab one of our favorite local beers and just hang out on the porch and watch the leaves change right before our eyes! Grab a book, sit by the fire… Picnic… Sit by the stream…The relaxing options are endless.

Mad River Barn Jerry at Pub

Sit by the fire or in the game room. Jerry will pour you a beer from one of our many Vermont breweries.

Pub at Mad River Barn Fireplace

photo by Susan Teare

Cider Donuts…Ahhh… We mean Apple Picking…Picking your own apples in Vermont is a must do! (We mean it…we’re tempted to actual look it up and see if it is a law– because everyone does it.) Of course, we can see why it is so fun. Fresh, crisp Vermont apples!  And donuts…of course. If picking isn’t for you, you can still get a great apple experience. Just about 30 minutes away from us is the famous Cold Hollow Cider Mill, where you can get hot or cold fresh squeezed apple cider (and see the process) and their incredible cider donuts.

Cider Donuts Starboard Collection

Apple Cider, Cider Donuts, or just an Apple — take your pick (couldn’t help it :)). Thanks Starboard Collection (a Vermont company) for the picnic shot.

 Ohhhh… and bring us back a donut (or leaf) if you go! :)

Our Best, Heather and Andrew