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!


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.


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 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.


Photo Courtsey of

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.



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