Tag Archives: Vermont

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

 

 

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).

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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!

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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).

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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.

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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.

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More hooks on reclaimed wood…

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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.

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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

 

 

 

We are so happy how are gardens are looking -- what till you see the raised beds of veggies and herbs -- OHHH!!!

Summer Road Trip…Last Minute Getaways to Vermont

 

We are so happy how are gardens are looking -- what till you see the raised beds of veggies and herbs -- OHHH!!!

We are so happy how our gardens are looking — wait till you see the raised beds of veggies and herbs — OHHH!!!

ROAD TRIP! Vermont HERE WE COME!

If you’re anything like us, when August hits, we start thinking about all the last minute things we want to do in the summer before school starts up.  (And no, it is not school shopping — who created that marketing frenzy anyway?) It’s last minute getaways and road trips. Where can we go to get away and enjoy the last weeks of summer? Vermont, of course! Mad River Valley to be exact…

Summer is a great time to visit us because, unlike winter, were we get people booking a year in advance, we are more likely to have a room available for last minute getaways — so check our availability…we think you’ll be shutting down the office early on Friday afternoon and jumping in the car.

Come and have dinner or a drink in the pub -- enjoy the deck or hang out and have some fun in the game room.

Come and have dinner or a drink in the pub — enjoy the deck or hang out and have some fun in the game room.

Come for a swim in the famous  Lareau swimming hole. It’s great for families with deep ponds, gentle rapids and a place for picnics on the edge. You can be more energetic and go for a hike just a mile or so up the road at the top of the Appalachian Gap– you can go do General Stark Mountain (or just enjoy the amazing view). Some folks even bike this route –impressive!

Or, like family from Denmark who is visiting now, just heading out for day trips to enjoy the sites and scenes of Vermont, to come back in the afternoon to relax and enjoy the Inn, backyard and deck.

Less than an hour away is the historic, amazing, totally fab, Shelburne Farms. Walk their trails, visit their farm, watch cheese making.. see the chicken parade... so much to do there.

Less than an hour away is the historic, amazing, totally fab, Shelburne Farms. Walk their trails, visit their farm, watch cheese making.. see the chicken parade… so much to do there.

It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy the rest of your summer and get away with your family and create memories to last a lifetime.

Whether you want to just hang out or be adventurous, use Mad River Barn as you base. Our historic, newly renovated inn will be here waiting for you.

Whether you want to just hang out or be adventurous, use Mad River Barn as you base. Our historic, newly renovated inn will be here waiting for you.

Sometimes, it is just grabbing a good book and heading out to relax and unwind. We have some more newly renovated rooms, the Longhouse…that we think you’ll love.

Our newly renovated Longhouse rooms, 2 of them can sleep 6 people and 2 of them can sleep 4. All rooms have AC, televisions and small refrigerators.

Our newly renovated Longhouse rooms, 2 of them can sleep 6 people and 2 of them can sleep 4. All of these rooms have AC, televisions and small refrigerators.

Whether you’re getting away for a night or 3, we are just a hop, skip and a jump away from Burlington, Boston, New York and Montreal!  So grab the kids and jump in the car and yell…”Road Trip!”

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Hang out in the pub and plan your next adventure!

We hope we’ll be seeing you in August! Here’s an easy way to check out our room status. Just look for the green check marks :)

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

Add a dash of recycled wood and stone end tables, a pinch of custom made table lamps by Conant Metal and Light, a wall of reclaimed wood, two custom made pillows by Joanne and her daughter and the recipe is complete!

Introducing the Longhouse at Mad River Barn

Well…we did it! Rooms 1-4 of the once Annex, now called the Longhouse, are now open.  Four rooms…who would’ve “thunk” it would be so much work! But the entire infrastructure of the building had to be redone and basically brought down to the studs. There are so many people we need to thank for going the extra mile — really! BIG HUGE THANK YOU!

Now with all the comforts of a modern home, great lighting, ac and heating, updated plumbing, you will enjoy a comfortable night’s stay in these updated rooms, that still have the look and feel of Mad River Barn, past and present.

So without further ado… we’ll give you a quick recap of the final week and results. Soon we’ll have some professional pictures taken by Susan Teare, to give you the full effect, but for now, enjoy Joanne’s, our designer’s, iphone pictures.

believe it our not, this is how the rooms looked two days before opening! Everyone was burning the midnight oil!

Believe it our not, this is how the rooms looked two days before opening! Everyone was burning the midnight oil!

Then suddenly, it all started to come together. Joanne and Ethan, our son, put up Joanne's scrap wood artwork.

Then suddenly, it all started to come together. Joanne and Ethan, our son, put up Joanne’s scrap wood artwork.

The bed's were being brought in and made.  The platforms where built from the old beams from the farmhouse, with notched in red dimensional lumber.

The bed’s were being brought in and made. The platforms, built from the old beams from the farmhouse, fit perfectly up against the old barn wood walls. The quilts at the bottom of the bed are from the company Dignify. They are hand-stitched in Bangladesh from six layers of reclaimed sari cloth. The women who make them were previously living on the street, or working in sex work, or in a vulnerable situation at risk of such. Good design, good causes… win, win…

Reclaimed barn wood was once again used to create hooks for the bathrooms and bedrooms. Dang... we love these hooks and so do our guests!

Reclaimed barn wood was once again used to create hooks for the bathrooms and bedrooms. Dang… we love these hooks and so do our guests! Fun shower curtains Joanne picked out…

The custom made barn doors that separate the queen bed room from the two bunk rooms, is up and ready... so are the numbers on the doors... you can't miss which room is yours!

The custom made barn doors that separate the queen bed area from the two bed bunk rooms, are up and ready… so are the numbers on the doors… you can’t miss which room is yours!

 

Add a dash of recycled wood and stone end tables, a pinch of custom made table lamps by Conant Metal and Light, a wall of reclaimed wood, two custom made pillows by Joanne and her daughter and the recipe is complete!

Add a dash of recycled wood and stone end tables, a pinch of custom made table lamps by Conant Metal and Light, two custom made pillows by Joanne and her daughter and the recipe is complete!

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We can’t wait till you come and see these rooms for yourself…besides the great decor and amazingly comfortable beds, they also have televisions and mini refrigerators.  We can’t wait to personally introduce you to the Longhouse rooms.

Our Best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

Almost there…Annex Renovations at Mad River Barn

We’re getting excited because the four rooms we are renovating in the Annex building (soon to be called the Longhouse) are coming together.  These parts are so important, making sure the place is insulated well, waterproofed, electricity in the right spots, energy efficient, and all that fun stuff…even though it is the design work in the end that gets all the credit.

The new annex rooms not only have plenty of space for you and your family (sleeping from 4 to six people) but these rooms will have televisions in them. Small luxury for those who are not staying in the barn building. Again, four of the eight rooms will be done…next year…the rest of the building.

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Exciting right! Insulation between the rooms. Those who have stayed in these rooms will totally appreciate this extra effort.

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Getting the stairs prepared for sheetrock after the soundproofing is done.

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There is always something to discuss…the details are too numerous to count. Thank goodness we are experts now — after the barn, this is easie-peasie. (Maybe we should not jinx ourselves…but it is a bit smaller of a project.)

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The tiny pieces of wood that we can’t use (according to Joanne that would be about 1 inch by 1/2 inch) we put to good use with some chocolate, graham crackers and a bunch of warm marshmallows!

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Joanne has a plan for these pieces of scrap stone she got at Burlington Marble & Granite! Nothing goes to waste with her!

 

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This is the hard part…paints change colors, depending on the wall, angle of light, time of day…Joanne tells us picking paint colors is the hardest part of her job. Phew…thank goodness that’s not our problem :) She has picked some! Yippee, painting starts today!

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Just getting the tile into the first bathroom. LOVE this old wood tile look… We are soooo excited!

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The stairs are sheet rocked and primed — Look how happy Gizmo is about this…See…he can barely contain himself.

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Joanne asked Brett to make the vanities again…He is happy about it (even though he looks so serious in this picture). Here he is in his garage working away. Everyone loves the reclaimed wood farmhouse tables he made for the restaurant, the pub tables and the bathroom vanities made from our reclaimed wood and metal. We kinda know what Joanne’s design is for the Annex vanities but we are not exactly sure. We know Joanne is having him use wood from our renovation (see the tops) and reclaimed dimensional lumber–that’s good enough for us. He is also making the end tables… We should see these puppies by the end of next week. Not sure we can wait that long — so excited!

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For those who don’t get excited about primer, sheetrock and insulation…you will love our new container gardens! Filled with herbs, tomatoes…and much more for the chef, for the restaurant. We stuck a few things in for ourselves as well. We’ve made a path for all our gardening guests to enjoy these beauties.

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We had to show you the pile of our vintage, reclaimed wood left over from the barn project and from the Annex building. We spent the weekend organizing it all. Now, if the rest of our lives could be so organized… Can’t wait till these pieces of red painted barn wood become round tables for the rooms!

We hope, when you are planning your spring breaks, summer vacations, fall foliage tours or winter ski trips, that you’ll come stay, eat and be merry with us at Mad River Barn.

That’s it for now… less than 30 days! The count down begins…better book your room now :)

Our best, Heather and Andrew

 

 

Renovations Continue at Mad River Barn

Well, things are coming along at the Annex and the Barn. We had a week off in April and are refreshed and ready for some summer fun! The weather has been amazing and we’ve been working away on spring cleaning, a few tweaks at the Barn, and the renovations at the Annex are in FULL SWING!

Loving this reclaimed wood look rug by FLOR!

Loving this reclaimed wood look rug by FLOR!

We’ve added a full wall to wall carpet in the dining room — it is a recycled product and goes in like tile. So if one gets ruined we don’t have to replace the whole carpet. Clever… we know…

Now off to the Annex (soon to be the Longhouse). Things are moving along… the framing is almost complete and we are so thrilled with the look of these rooms! They are going to be awesome!

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The walkways are being put in and some ofthe landscaping will be done. We will incorporate the last two antique grinding stones into the pathway. (Those things are heavy!)

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We know this part may not seem exciting, but check it out — look at the large windows, big room space and the alcove for a wall mounted TV… can you see it?

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It is official… we have caught our designer, Joanne Palmisano’s bug… the “save every little tiny piece of wood — we could use that somewhere”—bug! And we are… checking out what we made this weekend…

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That’s right, from this reclaimed wood and the old square head nails we pulled out of them, and the old pipe hangers, we made menu holders for the dining room and pub. How clever are we?!?

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And the less thick pieces of the left over wood we will add the cast iron robe hooks to and place in the rooms. It seems we can never have enough hooks!

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And while we are all working away, Joanne’s out shopping… hmm…something is wrong with this picture! Just kidding, Joanne! We are so excited she is once again finding some cool old pieces to add to the rooms, including more chicken feeders for bathroom lights. She picked these up while she was presenting at the Country Living Fair in Nashville!

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The relatives are back from the Midwest to help us out. Thanks so much! They are taking a quick break, checking in with the painter, Frances (left). Check out this amazing roof line in the upstairs bedrooms — can’t wait to see how these turn out!

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Future firepit? Not sure…but we had to keep the bottoms of the old tanks…how cool is this!

That’s it for now! More to come soon… follow along (just put your email address in the sidebar and you’ll get the blogs when they post).

Our best, Heather and Andrew

 

Let the Golden Liquid Flow…Maple Syrup!

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Photo courtesy of Great American Things

That’s right, its that time of year. No…not when the mud covers your boots up to the ankle (but it can happen) but when the weather is just right–cold at night and warmer during the days – when that beautiful clear sap starts to flow from the maple trees.

We’ve always loved maple syrup but until we moved to Vermont, we had not idea how serious this liquid gold was to Vermonters and the state of Vermont. Vermont’s maple syrup is renowned around the world, not only for the flavor but for the quality of the syrup and everybody here is proud of that fact.  Now we are honored to part of it.

So we thought we’d show a little pride ourselves and share some interesting facts and tidbits, we thought you’d enjoy, almost as much as you do the syrup itself.

It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup. Think about it…better yet, we’ll give you a visual. There is about 98% water and 3% syrup in a gallon of sap, so the farmers have to spend a lot of time boiling all that water out to get to the good stuff.

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We borrowed this drawing from Lochs Maple Farm.

Maple syrup is taken so seriously in Vermont that there is actually a law that states it is illegal to use the word maple in a product — unless it uses 100% pure maple in it. Oh ya! No fakes here! (They even took McDonald’s to court for that once…)

Vermont’s maple syrup is renowned around the world, not only for the flavor but for the quality of the syrup.  They say it is something about the climate…works for us!

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Solar Sweet Maple Farm, not only is where we get our syrup but is it run by solar panels! You have got to visit them and see how it all works!

Even though Canada produces the most maple syrup, in the states, Vermont produces 920,000 gallons a year, more than twice as much as Maine (the next state in line for production). That is a lot of sap collecting, boiling, grading and packaging. Wow! Let’s give a standing ovation to the farmers who produce this magical syrup, they deserve it! Now, the farm, Solar Sweet Maple Farm in Lincoln, Vermont, where we get our goods, is using solar power to run the sugar shack — kudos to them!

Grading (like we didn’t get enough of that at school…) well, that is a different story, literally, we mean different.  As of 2014, the grading charts in Vermont have changed…see below. We figure that we’d let VermontMaple.org give you the facts, since they’re the experts. Frankly, we think this makes our interior designer, Joanne Palmisano, happy, because she is a huge fan of the darker syrup and she felt it got a bad rap. Not anymore with this new grading system.

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What we really love about maple syrup is it’s a completely natural product, no preservatives or additives — so when we make our homemade granola for our inn guests (breakfast comes with our rooms) and our Maple Chicken for our dinner guests, we feel extra great!

Also, many people forgot about the great nutrients in maple syrup like potassium and calcium, vitamins, folic acid and amino acids. And maple syrup only has 40 calories per tablespoon versus corn syrup’s 60. (Take that Aunt J…)

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Photo from Wikipedia

So when did all this tree tapping start? Well, it’s believed that native Americans were the first folks to produce maple syrup — by carving out an old log, placing it over a fire and pouring sap into it.  Today, many maple farms use sap pumps that bring the sap through tubes straight to the evaporating storage bins, only recently moving away from the metal buckets. From carved log, to metal buckets to pump system, now that’s progress.

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Want to know where to go for a pancake breakfast or to boil some sap — look no further than Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association office website!

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Dakin Farm Pancake Breakfast

Pancake breakfast and making your own…these are two of our favorite things to check out in the spring. You’ll learn a lot more facts and get something tasty to eat as well. This is a Vermont favorite. Locals and tourist alike get out and hang out eating sugar on snow, pancakes and maple donuts dipped in coffee

Okay, enough talk about maple syrup, we think it is time to go have some!

Our Best,

Heather and Andrew

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fun Facts about the Green Mountains and the Peaks Near Us

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Now that the snow is flying and your on your way here to ski with friends and family, its important to show them how cool and smart you are. So we’ve provided some interesting tidbits and facts for you to whip out of your head while you’re sitting on the chair lift heading up to some outstanding skiing. Hope we make you look smarter. Come back and sit at the bar in the Pub and keep us informed on how it worked out for you!

So once upon a time 400 million years ago… ohhh? the lifts don’t take that long? Okay… So scientist believe that 400 million years ago the Green Mountains were formed by glaciers, pressing the land up and up, till they had sharp rocky peaks that were 8,000 feet HIGHER than they are today. They are made of up of some of the oldest rocks on Earth. (Now, we believe, that would be a double diamond trail.)

After years and years of wind, water and ice slamming into the peaks they were worn down to what they are today. The Green Mountain Range runs primarily South to North (from Massachusetts border to Quebec border) is approximately 250 miles long with the maximum width of 35 miles. The Green Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountains which run from Quebec to Alabama.

Many people believe that all the mountains in Vermont are called the Green Mountains but this is just one of the mountain ranges in the state. It is also called the “backbone” of Vermont, not only because of it’s location (how it physically is located in the middle of the state, looking like a backbone), but because of its importance in our heritage, economy, and environment.  We are lucky to live in the “heart” of the Green Mountains, surrounded by some of it’s most amazing peaks.

The Green Mountain Peaks near us that most are familiar with are Mount Ellen (elevation of 4,083), Lincoln Peak (elevation 3975), and Stark Mountain (elevation 3644). We know these mountains as Sugarbush North, Sugarbush South and Mad River Glen.

The Green Mountain National Forest was created in 1932 to protect spruce, maple, beech and birch trees (we are grateful). It is an important part of our state’s resources as well as protecting our travel and tourism industry.

So, there you are! Some fun facts to sling around.  Ohhh… and if it doesn’t work to make you look smarter…You didn’t hear it from us :)

See you soon!

Our Best, Heather and Andrew