Tag Archives: Mad River Barn

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

A Magical Vermont Wedding at the Mad River Barn

 

Nikki and Eric were a joy to work with. Their family and friends were fun and laid back...and ever detail was simple and stunning, including have photography taken down by our stream. All photography is by Todd Wilson, photographer extraordinaire.

Nikki and Eric were a joy to work with. Their family and friends were fun and laid back…and ever detail was simple and stunning, including have photography taken down by our stream. All photography is by Todd Wilson, photographer extraordinaire.

We love the Mad River Barn…it’s true…but when we can host a wedding that truly is the essence of everything Vermont…than it becomes more than a place we live at and love… but a magical location where family and friends create memories that will last a lifetime.

And that’s what happened at Nikki and Eric’s wedding this summer here at the Inn.  We can’t even begin to describe all the amazing details, so we will show you through the eyes of their incredible photographer, Todd Wilson Photography and the words of the lovely couple themselves (at the end of the pictures).

Thank you for sharing your special day with us and allowing us to share it with those who dream of their own Vermont wedding.

Ours, Heather and Andrew 

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

We love the fact that Nikki and Eric incorporated lots of the Inn itself in their wedding preparations… including this gorgeous shot of the dress on our sign.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Getting ready in one of Inn’s rooms. We were so happy that most of their friends and family stayed with us for over four days, allowing them to really spend some quality time together.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Photo opportunities abound in the Mad River Valley, Waitsfield, Warren area…including a historic covered bridge…

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Group shots down by the stream next to our inn… does it get any better?

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Ohhh… We see that it does get better. Having fun in Sunglasses….

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

The creativity of this wedding astounded us…there were enough DIY Craft wedding projects to fill a book. And so tastefully done. Simple, Vermont, Country, Elegant…these are all the words that describe how Nikki, Eric and their family created their romantic gorgeous tent wedding in our backyard.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Birch Logs sliced for name cards for place setting…

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Painted terra cottage pots as center pieces…

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Family and friend pictures clipped onto a cloths line — okay this was our favorite!!! Clever you guys!!

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Even a “leave your fingerprint” family and friend tree — that they will frame as artwork.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Put it all together and WOW!

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Our backyard is so large that they even put out some lawn games for all to enjoy!

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Of course, a Vermont wedding is not complete without some famous Vermont beers and ciders… Heady Topper… Citizen Cider… these guys really know how to throw a party! Since we already have a great bar and some amazing bartenders, we’re able to make life easier for the wedding party by serving the wine, beer and alcohol.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Vermont’s summers and falls are pretty amazing…and this day did not disappoint. Let the games begin.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

We loved the fact that not only did Nikki and Eric have their wedding reception on our back lawn but they also had the ceremony there as well. No need to drive from place to place. Chairs were set up outside and it was lovely, no-stress, ceremony… Perfect for Vermont!

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

We’re so happy that our outdoor bar that we had made out of reclaimed wood got some fun use… It looks so pretty!

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Look at that picture! Stunning…Love the streamers they hung from the trees… it gives an amazing backdrop to their outdoor wedding ceremony.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Lovely…

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

More great pictures in our very own backyard… They really took advantage of all the spaces we have. That made us so happy!

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Wooden Spoon Catering did an amazing job with the food and their displays.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Happy Times had by all…

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Okay… love the decoration this cake…wood circles with letters…you can’t help but say….Ahhhhh….

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

Time to turn on the lights…no one wanted to stop dancing, everyone was having so much fun.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

We’re happy they took advantage of our fire pit and made some S’mores…This is such a great picture of Eric and Nikki — it really shows how fun they are and how in love they are.

Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

The stars decided to come to the wedding as well. Todd Wilson captured the wedding at night beautifully.

   Boston and Cape Cod Modern Wedding and Portrait Photography

It is hard to find words to describe this picture and this weekend filled with fun and laughter. All we can say is thank you Nikki and Eric for making Mad River Barn a part of the most special day (and days) of your lives.  And for the kind words below…

Dear Heather and Andrew,

Eric and I just got back from 2 weeks of honeymooning and celebrating our wedding and I am still in awe of how amazing the entire weekend was.  Thank you so much for all the help in coordinating 200 people over the course of the weekend. I have heard nothing but rave reviews of the entire event and how awesome the two of you were, and really we couldn’t agree more!
We wanted a wedding where our friends and family could spend a weekend together and share our love of Vermont and the mountains and just being outside as well as have a central location to meet up and the MRB was so perfect for everything. 
The wedding itself was unbelievable, of course we are bias, but it was the best night of our lives for sure. Between the awesome dance party, standing in the river in our wedding outfits, late night fire pit, amazing food and beer, lawn games, star gazing and fresh air (dancing on the bar late at night?) the day was everything we ever imagined and more.
Many people wish they could do relive their wedding days, but we both agree that the whole 4 days we were up there could not have been any better and there is no way we could ever repeat that weekend.  We are so very content and grateful for everyone who helped make our wedding unforgettable.
So thank you thank you thank you for everything!  
 
We will be seeing you this winter for sure!
Nikki & Eric
Thank you again Nikki and Eric and Todd Wilson Photography for the use of your photographs.

A Guide to Fall Foliage…a leafy education

Does it get any prettier? Vermont in the fall — one of your must visit bucket list places. Photo Credit: https://lightcentric.wordpress.com

We can’t believe we’re already starting to see changes in the leaves…it’s around the corner…FALL that is! Personally, it’s one of our favorite seasons in Vermont, especially here in the Mad River Valley. Some of the best fall foliage drives are right in our back yard — the drive over the gap, Route 100, even just our back country roads, are perfect for viewing the changing of the season.

We feel that while you’re driving around, it’d be great to enjoy the view and look really smart while your doing it. So here is a little info about the leaves…Vermont trees and the changing of seasons…

Deciduous tree on your left…conifer tree on your right. Photo Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org

There are more than fifty species of trees in Vermont, split into two groups — coniferous trees (evergreens, like your pine trees) and deciduous (broad leaf trees that lose their leaves in the fall).  See, knowing that you already look cooler!

It’s the deciduous trees (these are also hardwood trees) that get all the attention in the fall. These trees make Vermont look like a ROCK STAR! Combined with pops of deep green evergreens (that’s right…conifers…you’re getting it…) are what picture perfect postcards are made of.

Hardwoods in Autumn

See the variety of colors…depending on the weather…will change the reds but not the yellows…Photo Credit: sawig.wordpress.com

The most common deciduous trees in Vermont are Sugar Maples, Beech and Yellow Birch.  The Sugar Maple is Vermont’s state tree (of course, it is!). There is also oak, white birch, ash…we could go on and on.

L.L.Bean's Guide to Fall Foliage

Study this chart and when you are walking through the woods, you can point out the different trees — again…how cool will you be? Photo Credit: L.L. Bean

The color changes are caused by chlorophyll (green), carotenoid (yellow, orange and brown) and anthocyanin (red). Basically, in the fall, the trees stop producing chlorophyll, so they stop being green and their other colors (the carotenoid that is already in the leaves) shows through. The trees that turn to red leaves, get anthocyanin (which is like a knight in shining armor)– it protects them before they fall, so the tree is ready for next spring. The temperature, rain fall and cloud coverage, all effect the red colors but the other colors (yellows, oranges, browns) remain mostly consistent, since the carotenoid is already in the leaves. That is very general, and of course, there are some tweaks to those rules, but that’s the basic principal of the changing of the leaves.  That’s all we are going to say about that  — any more technical and you’ll need a cheat sheet while you drive.

The famous red leave of a fall Maple tree.Photo credit: Bombay Outdoors.

The benefits of the fall are too numerous to mention, but we’ll throw out a few reasons… cooler weather (humidity drops), less bugs, the colors of the leaves, stunning vistas, getting to wear a sweater that goes great with new jeans…

Fall foliage drives and tours around Vermont are famous around the world.  We hope your drive, hike, bike trip, motorcycle adventure, brings you to us this fall for a goodnight sleep, a glass of wine on our deck overlooking our spectacular mountainside backyard, a cold beer by the fire, a hike in the woods, or dinner in our cozy restaurant with our fall menu.

Hope your ready for fall foliage in Vermont. We are! :)

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

The Longhouse Rooms Design Revealed…

We hope that you guys get just as excited about all the fun and unique design work that goes into our spaces as we do. So we thought it only fitting to give you a detailed “report” of all the fun things that are incorporated into the new Longhouse rooms (formally known as the Annex Rooms).  The recycling, repurposing and reclaimed materials abound… Big huge thank you to Susan Teare for taking some amazing pictures and to Joanne Palmisano, the designer of the project.

Ta Da! The longhouse rooms! In each picture we will reveal a little Salvage Secret about them spaces. Here we'll tell you a little about the side tables. They are made from recycled 2 x4's and plywood. Painted red and then Joanne picked up some scrap pieces of stone at a stone shop and had them cut to fit the tops. The reclaimed wood sliding barn doors separate the bunk areas (this room has 4 bunk beds).

Ta Da! The longhouse rooms! In each picture we will reveal a little Salvage Secret about the spaces. Here we’ll tell you a little about the side tables. They are made from recycled 2 x4′s and plywood. Painted red and then Joanne picked up some scrap pieces of stone at a stone shop and had them cut to fit the tops. The reclaimed wood sliding barn doors separate the bunk areas (this room has 4 bunk beds).

JOANNE__0032

Where to begin! Let’s start with the vanity. Joanne picked up some reclaimed 2 x 4′s at the Rebuild Center on Pine Street in Burlington. They are from an older building because they are actually true 2×4′s :). Then she designed the look she wanted and asked Brett Bundock, a friend, neighbor and carpenter, to build them (he did all our farmhouse tables at the Inn). Then Joanne did a fun painting technique on them and we polyed the top like crazy. Dropped in a sink and voila — very fun and unique vanity made from recycled materials. Then Joanne had Conant Metal and Light turn the turkey feeders she picked up in Nashville at the Country Living Fair into pendant lights! The subway tile, birch log shower curtain, oversized mirror from Portland Glass, and ceramic wood looking floors, round out the space. The reclaimed wood hooks, reflected in the mirror come in handy and we can never seem to put enough of them up :) And of course, the vintage maple bucket, Joanne picked up at Champlain Valley Antiques, is like the exclamation point on this fun bathroom!

JOANNE__0048

So here is L2! Each room is slightly different in configuration and number of beds but the look and feel is the same in all the them. Let’s start on the bottom and work our way up. The carpet tiles are made by a company called FLOR. They are made from recycled carpet fibers! We love the pattern and look and the eco friendliness about it. The platform beds are made from plywood (painted red) and reclaimed beams from our first major renovation project.The spread across the bottom of the bed are called Kantha Throws–which is a type of embroidery popular in East South Asia were old saris are stacked on each other and hand stitched to make a thin piece of cushion. Not only are we thrilled about the recycling part but the more important part of the story of these throws, from ShopDignify, are made by women who once were previously living on the street, or working in sex work (often these go hand in hand), or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such. The four throws in these rooms account for one month’s worth of work for these women. (Together we can make small steps to big changes).

JOANNE__0051

Two of the four renovated rooms have four (4) bunk beds. So those traveling with six people — these two rooms are perfect for you guys! The curtain rod is made from old piping.

JOANNE__0073

More about the rooms. As you can see, there are TV’s in them! But even cooler than that are the reclaimed barn wood walls that serve as the headboards. Sanded and sealed, they gorgeous pieces of wood! And on each of the side tables are table lamps made from old pieces of floor lamps and other scrap metal parts.

JOANNE__0082

More hooks on reclaimed wood…

JOANNE__0102

Two of the rooms come with one set of bunk beds. These rooms are perfect for 4 people. Not to mention the custom made barn door sliders made from the reclaimed wood from the old barn. These doors give everyone a little privacy. Also — the rooms have mini-refrigerators as well.

JOANNE__0126

Giving the televisions a little more character with some reclaimed barn wood.

 

There's more??!!!??? Yes. The artwork on the walls, Joanne made from scraps of wood from the project and black and white pictures.

There’s more??!!!??? Yes. The artwork on the walls, Joanne made from scraps of wood from the project and black and white pictures. And the small tables have custom made tops from the old barn wood that used to be on the exterior of the Inn. They are wrapped in metal from Metal Works and then we gave them a two-part epoxy.

You can't miss which room is your's when you entrance the Longhouse...We also have shelving made from reclaimed wood for your ski boots and the ceiling is decorated with vintage Douglas fir flooring. Joanne made the sign...just a little reminder :)

You can’t miss which room is your’s when you entrance the Longhouse…We also have shelving made from reclaimed wood for your ski boots and the ceiling is decorated with vintage Douglas fir flooring. Joanne made the sign…just a little reminder :)

Enjoy our newly renovated rooms!

Our best, Heather and  Andrew

 

 

 

I cut the white edges off the paper and then using a safecoat decoupage mixture I layered under the print and then across the top of it (that is why you don't want to use a real photo).

Vintage Sign DIY Mad River Barn Guest Rooms

We are thrilled to say today’s blog post will be a guest post from our very own designer, Joanne Palmisano. If you’ve been to Mad River Barn and stayed in our rooms or even eaten at the pub or restaurant, you know that Joanne has some very fun DIY projects throughout the building. We have her picture and her books (Salvage Secrets and Salvage Secrets Design & Décor) on the front desk counter because frankly, we are so tired of answering questions about the designer of our project (no offense Joanne).  Here’s one of her DIY’s that we thought you’d enjoy making yourself!  So take it away Joanne…

Hi EVERYONE!  How much fun do I have getting to design for Heather and Andrew Lynds. Not only do they let me go crazy with the rustic industrial theme that they wanted for the barn, but they are so great to be around. (Of course, it took a little while to understand Andy’s dry sense of humor, but once I got it… :)  And Heather’s laugh is contagious!) 

As you can see by the Inn’s décor, we use a lot of salvaged and recycled material. I’m thrilled that the builders and artisans were willing (and even excited) to work with the material. Many of the items we had built by local artisans and companies (keep it local!) and many I made myself. Most of the signs, artwork and pillows, you see at the inn, I made — truly a hands on designer.

This vintage-inspired sign, I’m about to show you — is not only easy — but really budget friendly.  I picked up the old kitchen cabinet doors at the ReSource Center, Pine Street, Burlington, for $5.00 each.

These are the cabinet doors I picked up. Usually you can get them for about $5-10 doors. I like to use the flat panel ones. I make sure to leave any hardware with the Rebuild center so they can resell them.

These are the cabinet doors I picked up. Usually you can get them for about $5-10 a door. I like to use the flat panel ones.  Make sure to leave any hardware with the Rebuild center so they can resell them.

I happen to know that the top coat of paint on these doors do not contain lead, but if they did, I would follow the lead guidelines when sanding. I wanted them to have a vintage look so I sanded them slightly to let the other colors and original wood peek through.

 I wanted them to have a vintage look so I sanded them slightly to let the other colors and original wood peek through. I knew this paint did not contain lead, but if they did I would follow the lead law guidelines when sanding and finishing — you can find them online.

 

I took this picture while walking through Shelburne Farms. Then I changed the color setting to give it more of a vintage look. Cut and paste it into a word document and printed it on regular recycled white paper.

I took this picture while walking through Shelburne Farms. Then I changed the color setting to give it more of a vintage look. Just cut and paste it into a word document and printed it on regular recycled white paper.

I cut the white edges off the paper and then using a safecoat decoupage mixture I layered under the print and then across the top of it (that is why you don't want to use a real photo).

I cut the white edges off the paper and then using Safecoat AcriGlaze matte finish, I layered under the print and then across the top of it (that is why you don’t want to use a real photo).

Make sure to get all the bubbles out from underneath the picture and cover the whole thing, especially the edges with the Safecoat.

Make sure to get all the bubbles out from underneath the picture and cover the whole thing, especially the edges with the Safecoat. (You can also use regular decoupage glue.)

Once the print was dry, I then laid out my letter stencils (and if you know me, I didn't measure a thing). I wanted them to have a random look to them. Just make sure they are pretty well spaced from side to side and don't leave too much space between the letters or it won't look like a word.

Once the print was dry, I then laid out my letter stencils (and if you know me, I didn’t measure a thing). I wanted them to have a random look to them. Just make sure they are pretty well spaced from side to side and don’t leave too much space between the letters or it won’t look like a word.

Using my friend, Cari Cucksey's, paint line, Repurpose Chroma*Color Paint, in the Cast Iron Metal Black finish...Thanks Cari!

For paint color, I used my friend, Cari Cucksey’s, paint line, Repurpose Chroma*Color Paint, in the Cast Iron Metal Black finish…Thanks Cari!

You can use painters tape to hold the letters still, but I've done this so many times, I just use my fingers to hold it down while I dab some paint onto the stencil. Don't go too heavy with the paint or it will bleed under the stencil.

You can use painters tape to hold the letters still, but I’ve done this so many times, I just use my fingers to hold it down while I dab some paint onto the stencil. Don’t go too heavy with the paint or it will bleed under the stencil.

 

Okay...no just let the paint dry. La, la, la....Okay...now, fast forward...

Now just let the paint dry. La, la, la….Okay…now, fast forward…

Now bring the whole thing outside and spray or paint with a shellac or poly. I usually use shellac but was out of it, so I used a polyurethane. Either works great. I always seal my work, it keeps dust down and makes it easier to clean and if there was lead paint concerns, it is a must.

Now bring the whole thing outside and spray or paint with a shellac or poly. I usually use shellac but was out of it, so I used a polyurethane. Either works great. I always seal my work, it keeps dust down and makes it easier to clean and if there was lead paint concerns, it is a must. If I’m spraying or painting sealer on, I’ll do three light coats.  Let dry completely between coats.

The signs are done. Now they just need to be hung up in the Longhouse entrance way.  Of course, if any of you know me, I usually make my trips up to Mad River Barn around breakfast time or dinner time. Coincidence...maybe...

The signs are done. Now they just need to be hung up in the Longhouse entrance way. Of course,  I usually make my trips up to Mad River Barn around breakfast time or dinner time. Coincidence…maybe…

 

Thanks Joanne for doing the guest blog post.  Hey…maybe this winter we’ll do a Make Your Own Sign event. Anyone interested? Email us madriverbarn@madriver.com. :)  I’m sure there will be cocktails involved as well.

Signing…off… (again…couldn’t help ourselves)

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

The perfect snowflake... Mother Nature Network Photo

We are Grateful For…YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.  Of course, we’re always grateful for many, many things every day of the year — but who doesn’t love to take the opportunity to give some extra thanks at Thanksgiving?  Here are ten things we are grateful for… I’m sure you will recognize a few of these as your own.

mad river barn vintage fireplace shot

Photo Courtesy Mad River Glen Ski Area

ONE… We are grateful to all the families who have made Mad River Barn their home away from home.  We love to hear the stories of families who have been coming to the barn year after year–before it was even a glimmer in our eyes. Some mention 15 years of staying at the inn!  Even with the barn as run down as it was, (days without hot water, broken beds, and other stories we hear) they still called it theirs.  We’re happy to say that all of you have made us feel so welcome as the new owners. And even better, that you love the renovations and modern conveniences as well.

The perfect snowflake... Mother Nature Network Photo

Photo Courtesy of Mother Nature Network

TWO… Snow.  As it’s currently snowing, gearing up for some serious accumulation, we can’t help but be so grateful to that little white crystalline flake.  Without we would not be here. Because the Mad River Barn, first and foremost, became an inn to host skiers. Now, people come year round, but, it all started with the snow. The stillness and calming feeling, a snow covered ground creates, is unsurpassed.  Thank you, beautiful snow.

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THREE…Those who go the extra mile.  Everyone went all out for us this year, as we raced to make sure we opened the Inn the day after Christmas. The architect, builders, family and friends, all pitched in to make sure we opened on time and welcomed guests with a smile (and sheets on the beds).  It’s the little things, like Tom Waters, our website creator, who showed up the day we were opening and pitched in. He lugged logs into the Pub, started the fire, swept the hallway. He didn’t need to drive an hour to do that…but he did…out of the goodness of his heart. It’s people, like Tom, we are grateful for in our lives.

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FOUR…Food. I know, we can’t help it. We are foodies. We are so blessed to be able to bring in chefs who get to work their magic in our kitchen for the pub, restaurant and events (talk about a fringe benefit).  Plus, there are so many yummy restaurants, bakeries and pizza places in the Mad River Valley, that sometimes we forget to leave the area for months at a time.

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FIVE…Vermont’s four seasons.  As many of you have traveled, or lived in locations, that don’t experience all the seasons, we are grateful that we get to see spring, summer, fall and winter, in all its glory. Each bringing their own uniqueness to our home and lives.

SIX…Family and Friends. Who have been patience and understanding in the busiest year of our lives. Our son, who has helped create this amazing inn along side us, our relatives, who came to help us build, and our friends, who know that even though we haven’t called in a while, we still love you… thank you!

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SEVEN…Grateful for new friends too. We’ve been in Vermont for about two years, and feel like we’ve been here forever. We’ve made some amazing new friendships and know that they will be with us for the rest of our lives.

EIGHT…Our community. Fundraisers, school events, inn owner meetings, community farmer’s markets…they bring us all together and remind us how lucky we are to live in a place that we watch out for our neighbors.

NINE…A good sense of humor. We love it when people come to the inn, happy and ready to have some fun — and better yet, if they get Andrew’s dry sense of humor. For a moment, they all look at him quizzically, but then we see the light in their eyes, and the corners of their mouths turn up. Aaaahhh…they got it. So keep the humor coming. Hey, if its’ not fun… well, you know the rest.

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TEN… YOU! We’re doing what we love because of you! It’s not easy to leave everything you know to start running an Inn in a state you didn’t live in. But we did it and we are determined to do what we love and continue to do it, with you as our guests. Thank you…because of you, we are able to do what we want to do…run an Inn in Vermont.

We could keep going because there is so much to be grateful for… but right now, we took this week off to be with our family…so we are grateful for a moment in time.

Until next week.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Our Best,

Heather and Andrew

Everyone, meet Ginger Dots

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If I had to pick one picture that encapsulates what I love about living and working in Vermont…. this one might be it.

Everyone…. meet Ginger Dots.  Ginger Dots is the beloved pet of one of our employees, Heather R., and also the beneficiary of food waste products here at the Barn. Didn’t finish your dinner? Ginger Dots thanks you.  She loves chicken wings, french fries, and pretty much everything, except perhaps lemons.

Why do I like this picture? I like what it stands for.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with people like Heather R, and the richness they lend to our lives.  We feel this way about every person we work with – such an interesting collection of amazing people.  I love the fact that Vermonters care about keeping food waste out of the landfills, and that our friends and neighbors create opportunities (like raising Ginger Dots) for the productive use of waste. I love the rural experience, driving through our gorgeous countryside, and the family farms that dot the hills.

Vermont, we love you, and all the blessings you have to offer….

 

What’s this – another project at the Mad River Barn?

If you’ve driven by the Mad River Barn over the past two weeks, you might be wondering what we’re doing with the construction equipment up at the Annex. Our plans include renovation of 4 of the 8 Annex rooms next spring, and in order to do that, we need to make sure that the building itself is ready to be renovated.

The first priority is drying out the basement so we can put new equipment in there without worrying about corrosion. As many of you may know, the Annex is a really old building, built on an even older loose rock foundation.  The surrounding grade slopes down to the Annex, sending all the mountain run-off water directly toward the basement.  So as a first step, we removed the existing porches (which were in really bad shape), and temporarily supported the porch roof against the building. Then, we trenched around the entire building, installing a full set of foundation and curtain drains.

Installing Drains at the Mad River Barn

Installing Drains around the front of the Annex

Installing Drains at the Mad River Barn

Don’t forget the back!

With the dirt pulled back, we took the opportunity to repair all the cracks in the foundation and fill in the old basement windows that are no longer needed.

Masonry repairs at the Mad River Barn

Repairing the foundation

Then, we reconstructed the porches.

Building porches at the Mad River Barn

Joe and Ray, building porches

Building porches at the Mad River Barn

Look at those awesome hand rails!

Over the next couple weeks, we’ll install new walkways and lighting, and hopefully still have time to install a new concrete staircase to replace the old timber framed stairs leading from the parking lot to the building.

Exciting progress!