Snowy days are good “nesting” days

 

Well, as the snow is falling (and piling up) today, I find I have the urge for “nesting” and enjoying all of those winter comfort foods.  It is the kind of day that you KNOW you should be getting SOMETHING done, but truth be told….you don’t want to do anything.  So, what do you do?  I decided I would  first indulge in the winter comfort food effect.  A hearty vegetable and chicken soup is bubbling as I type.  The aroma is wonderful and I can’t wait for dinner!  Even better than dinner will be tonight, ahh the thought of the  left-overs for another cold winter day.

The grown-up in me tells me, “come on…there are so many things on that darn TO DO LIST, get moving!”  So I decided since the soup is doing its thing, I would at least (finally)  get my 2010 Wassail Week-end pictures out on the blog.  As I pick and choose which pictures will make ‘the cut”, it is nice to relive the magic and fun of one of the best events in Woodstock all year.  Our wonderful Canterbury House guests totally embraced all that Wassail Week-end had to offer.  It was great to see Wayne and Marybeth, our newlyweds again.  They got engaged Wassail week-end 2009 and lucky for us, they made the Canterbury House part of their memories.  Our first timers to Wassail…David, Melody, Bill, Sandy, Tom, Lynn and last but not least Angela and Donna (they came ALL the way from North Carolina) didn’t miss doing anything.  From Pentangle’s show on Friday, the House Tour, Historical Society tour to the “10″ concert  AND of course the parade.  Whew, so many things for one week-end.  So, here is a little view of all the fun.  I know, December is a LONG way off, but it is never to early to think about visiting Woodstock for Wassail Week-end (December 9th through the 11th, 2010.  It is a great gift to give to yourself!

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Seasons Greetings from the Canterbury House

Seasons Greetings from your innkeepers Bob and Sue Frost at the Canterbury House Bed and Breakfast in Woodstock Vermont.  We hope that all of our  guests, past, present and future have the merriest holiday season.  We also wish you a healthy and happy new year.

This past year has seen many new events come to Woodstock for our guests to enjoy.  Great summer concerts at Suicide Six, Art shows on the Green, many new programs at Billings Farm just to name a few.  Happily, many of the tried and true events continue,  like the Covered Bridges Half Marathon, The Quechee Balloon Festival, and of course, Wassail Week-end (blog to follow soon!),   We can’t wait for 2011!!

We were happy to see many of our returning guests in 2010.  Always nice to catch up with everyone.  For those guests who visited the Canterbury House for the first time in 2010, we are thrilled to add them to our “bed and breakfast family”.  We look forward to our “family” growing in 2011.

We are excited about the new year approaching.  Our new web site will be launched early in the year. Re-decorating projects are scheduled.  Gardens  are expanding  (Bob is happy, I expand garden beds, he has less grass to cut!).  So stay tuned, or better yet, come see for yourself.

May your holiday be filled with all your favorite traditions and most of all, family.  See you in 2011!

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YIPPEE SNOW!!

Here it is….two days after Thanksgiving and it is SNOWING!  Okay, it isn’t much, but we have to start somewhere.  It doesn’t get any better…we are starting the holiday decorating and snow is gently coming down. 

With Wassail Week-end two weeks away, it could be a white one!  Snow will make an already perfect week-end total perfection.  We have just one room left, so give us a call and book that room.

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365 Cancer Crusade Completed

Bill--Crossing Mile 365! He's in white shirt & grinning.

He has done it!  

  As I write this blog our nephew Bill Frost has passed the 365 mile post of his crusade.  He is running in the New York Marathon and around mile 17  he met his goal.  Family and friends were there to cheer him on. Technically, he will be doing more than his 365 miles when he crosses the finish line.  (total miles 374)  

If you read my earlier blog about Bill’s crusade to raise money for cancer, in honor of his stepmother who passed away in April, his good friend Tom and many others close to him who have had cancer touch their lives.  Last check  Bill has raised approximately $8,000.  Pretty terrific!  

Okay, I AM bragging again, but we are really proud of Bill.  This was quite an undertaking, and he never waivered in meeting his goal.  He gave up many a week-end, running, biking and swimming through lots of very hot weather.  This has pretty much filled his life since March 2010.  Now, we are waiting to hear what he is going to do next…knowing Bill, he will certainly try and top this.Check out his website, http://web.me.com/wmfrost/365CancerCrusade/Home.html   

GREAT JOB BILL!

JUST IN….AS OF 11/15/10, BILL RAISED OVER $10,000.00.  AMAZING!

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Vermont Fall Foliage 2010

As the fall foliage season comes to an end, I thought you might enjoy some of the sights of the 2010 season.  See you in 2011!

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A Great Way to Spend an Afternoon

River view from the deck

Early last week Bob and I had a chance to sneak out for  lunch at one of our favorite places in the area.  We went to the Long Trail Brewing Company in nearby Bridgewater.   Whenever we want to “kick back” and take some time to enjoy our surroundings, off we go to the Long Trail for lunch.  Food is decent (bar type ) and inexpensive.  When you walk in you are greeted by the smell of the continuous popping of the pocorn, that you can scoop endless bowls.    Goes great with their selection of Ales.  The ever popular IPA, Double Bag  or of course, the Long Trail Ale.  It is always fun to do a “sampler”.  Now, there is nothing fancy about this place….it is a Brewery.  You sit at picnic tables, no fine china!  When the weather is nice you can sit outside on the deck and watch the river meander by.  (Although in early spring, it tends to Roar by, with everything thawing and melting.)  We sit outside every chance we can.

Over the years we have sent many of our guests here and I have lost count on how many times we have gone ourselves, or with friends.  We find it to be consistently good.  It is our “CHEERS’.  A place to see familiar faces and where they know your name!   No matter what the time of year, visit the Long Trail for lunch.  If you get there before us and you take “OUR” table, it is okay, we will just join you!

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Hand crafted furniture, pottery and lunch

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Fall is in the Air

Took a little drive around the area to check the progress of the leaves.  Starting to see subtle changes.  I suspect colors will appear right on schedule.  We haven’t had that hard frost yet, although we did get a bit nervous last night when we heard the weather report say “lows overnight around 31 degrees” .  Quickly went out and covered the orange tree and the mums that were recently bought.  False alarm.  That 100 year old orange tree will be coming in the house soon.  Bob LOVES this time of year……he says the orange tree gets heavier and heavier each year that he carries it into the house.  Personally, I don’t think the tree is getting heavier I think it is just because Bob is getting older!!

The days are really pretty now, the sun gives its subtle shadows and is certainly lower in the sky.  You know the old song The Lazy Hazy Days of Summer, I think the fall has its own lazy look.  As the leaves change their appearance, there is the feeling of “honkerin down” and preparing for a hibernation of sorts.  You can’t beat the smell of the air, so crisp and clean.  There always seems to be the scent of apples AND as the temperatures go down, nothing like the smell of fireplaces being lit for the first time of the season.  Of course, like magic, apple cider is simmering EVERYWHERE.

As you can see by these pictures,  we still have a bit to go before we have that spectacular Vermont color….but it is coming.  If you have already booked for this season, we can’t wait to share our wonderful fall foliage with you.  If you haven’t booked for this season, check out our availability online OR better yet, give us a call, (802-457-3077)  we still have a few rooms left, but they will go quickly.  Come experience this  natural beauty with us.

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Seasons are a Changing in Woodstock

 

Our Ambassador of Foliage, Scarecrow Joe

 

Labor day has come and gone.  Signs of summer are slowly fading.  Temperatures are getting cooler every day.  Pumpkins, gourds and the fall chrysanthemums are cropping up around town.  We are even discussing when the orange tree will be coming indoors for the winter.  All the subtle signs that  our wonderful fall foliage is just around the corner.         

Of course, it is sad to see summer come to an end, but those feelings quickly go away as we watch the leaves turn their brilliant beautiful colors.  If you have never been to Vermont during Foliage Season, you are missing something wonderful.  This is such a terrific time to experience all that Vermont has to offer.  In addition to the spectacular colors, you don’t want to miss  visiting our state parks or our one and only National Park, right here in Woodstock.  Plenty of general stores, cheese and maple syrup  to sample, and don’t  miss out on having  that hot apple cider, or that ever famous Ben and Jerry’s ice cream  (you can EVEN take a tour of their factory).    
 

Yes, people from all over the world come to Vermont to experience the fall foliage.  How lucky for us to that so many  come here and we get to meet them when they stay at The Canterbury House.  We would love to have the pleasure of meeting you.  It isn’t to late to plan your trip to Vermont, more specifically Woodstock.  Although many have already booked their stays, we still have some availability, so give us a call and book.  Bob and I look forward to hearing from you.  We will happily assist you in planning a memorable  leaf-peeping  holiday.  Come on, don’t waste another moment the leaves are going to be changing before you know it. 

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3 Nights @ Weston Playhouse

Okay, I know I have been remiss in my reviews of our season of shows at Weston Playhouse.  I do have a reason (okay, an excuse) though,  the weather has been so spectacular here in Woodstock, that we have been spending as much time as we can outside.  A little gardening, lots of walking around this lovely village…you get the picture.

Here we go,  my impressions on show #3, Damn Yankees, show # 4, The Marvelous Wonderettes, and last but not least, Death of a Salesman.   I will start with Damn Yankees.  This is the story of a man, Joe Boyd, who makes a deal with the devil in the summer of 1958, in Washington DC, about his beloved baseball team, The Washington Senators.  If they could just get a “long ball hitter” they could beat those “Damn Yankees”.  He laments that he would sell his soul for a long haul hitter. Enter…Mr Applegate, The Devil, and he is ready to make a deal with Joe.  He tells him he can give up his soul to become “Joe Hardy the slugger the team needs”.  If Joe Hardy is in the game for the duration, Mr Applegate gets him.  If by 9:00 pm on the last game day, he isn’t in for the duration, Joe gets his old life back.  I won’t give the whole story away, but Mr Applegate does everything he can to get  Joe.   There is lots of singing and dancing.  The show was good, albeit dated.  We thought the actor who played Mr Applegate was very good.  The rest of the cast was just okay.  Past musicals we have seen here had a more Broadway feel than this show.

On to show # 4, The Marvelous Wonderettes….Quoting the Weston Playhouse PR …..”It is a cotton-candy-colored musical from the past”  This show was at one of their other stages–Weston Rod & Gun Club.  This venue is EXACTLY as its name says, a Rod & Gun Club.  By no means fancy, with terribly UNCOMFORTABLE chairs.  The show starts out in 1958, at the senior prom and the 4 Wonderettes tell their story through the classic songs of the 1950′s and 1960′s girl groups. The show raps up 10 years later at the reunion.  Lots of familiar tunes like Lollipop, Lipstick on Your Collar, Mr Sandman, just to name a few.  We enjoyed the old songs, but we did feel the performance lacked electricity.  Only back-up accompaniment was a piano.  Kind of  felt like community theatre, not that I don’t like community theatre, but for  professional performers, frankly community theatre members do a far better job.  As you can tell, we weren’t particularly happy with this show.

Now, our last show, Death of a Salesman, the Arthur Miller timeless Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play.  The heartbreaking story of a traveling salesman fighting a changing times while struggling to capture the American Dream.  Christopher Lloyd plays Willy Loman. We found it was difficult to separate the Christopher Lloyd of Taxi and  Back to the Future roles.   It also appeared, at times, he had trouble remembering lines. The supporting cast was extremely good.  They were able to carry Christopher, when he stumbled.  He just didn’t seem a good fit for the role, which made the show a little long.

Well, that was my view of this season at Weston Playhouse.  Some very good, some just okay.  All in all, our first year with season tickets was fun.  We spent 5 Tuesday evenings losing ourselves in make believe.  We are looking forward to Spring 2011 when the new season is announced.  We definitely have the live theatre bug–stay tuned…Winter may have us going to the Flynn in Burlington and Northern Stage in White River Junction!

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Girls getaway at The Canterbury House

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Avenue Q @ Weston Playhouse

We have seen our second in our series of 5 shows at the Weston Playhouse.  On Tuesday, July 20th  we saw Avenue Q.  What a show!  Very adult, a bit racy, funny and entertaining.  This show is the story of a young man who graduates college and moves to New York City.  He ends up in an apartment on Avenue Q.  Hence, the show title.  Kind of an adult Sesame Street, mixing puppets and people.

When the show opens, you aren’t sure whether you should watch the puppets, or their human “handlers”.  Eventually, they blend and  become one..  The actors in this show are amazing!  I was in awe of there coordination….they can work the puppets, dance around, and sing, all at once.  If it were me, well…I could barely walk across the stage without tripping!

Now, I don’t want to give the best parts of this show away, but we follow our main character, find true love and a direction for his life.  This is the most basic of descriptions, because I hope that you get to see this show, if the touring company comes to your area.  I will say these two words though—-Puppet Nudity.  The neighbors of our main character are funny and quirky.  You will laugh throughout the show.  It is always nice to have a “happily ever after” ending.  Oops, I gave away the ending!  I promise , it won’t ruin it for you, go see this show if you can.  (I guess my sister was right all those years ago…I can’t keep happy secrets!)

Many of the cast members have performed this show on Broadway and have been part of the touring company.  I know I have said it before, but it is worth saying again..How wonderful  for us to have The Weston Playhouse  to experience great, professional  theatre. 

Now, I know I told you on my last theatre blog that we wanted to do a picnic supper before the show, but good old mother nature threatened rain, so instead of the possibility of eating in the car, we went back to Sam’s Steakhouse.  We are two for two in having a nice dinner before the show.  Our picnic supper plans are again on the playbill for our next show….just need mother nature to cooperate. 

So, stay tuned…our next show is Damn Yankees.  Can’t wait to see it.  I will update you after the performance.

PS.  We had guests see Avenue Q last night and they thought it was great too.  I used GREAT restraint,  and didn’t give anything away.  (It was hard though!)

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More Summer @ Six Concert Series

Well, the Jimmy Cliff concert last night was a great success AND  fun was had by all.  Suicide Six was THE PLACE to be.   If you didn’t get to see Jimmy Cliff, there is another chance for the summer fun at Suicide Six in August.

Natalie MacMaster is performing on Saturday, August 21st.  The fun starts at 5:30 pm.  There is a barbecue again, just like at the Jimmy Cliff concert.  Now, if you don’t know Natalie MacMaster, she is the Cape Breton fiddler, who is one of the most versatile and exciting young musicians on both the Folk music and Celtic music scenes.  MacMaster’s many projects have seen her collaborate and perform with Alison Krauss, the Chieftains, Paul Simon, and Pavarotti.

August is a great time to be in Woodstock, summer is slowly winding down, with warm (not to warm) days, evenings cool down,  you can sleep with the window open  (might even need to cover up with that light blanket).  The perfect time to come and enjoy an outdoor concert and barbecue.  We have rooms available for that week-end.  Why not call and have an end of summer great time.

Oh, I forgot…also performing with Natalie is Great Big Sea,  the St. John’s based, Juno nominated band that fuses Newfoundland traditional music with modern pop in a crowd-pleasing formula.  How can you miss all this fun?

Check out Pentangle Arts Council website  for all the information.

                    http://www.pentanglearts.org/events/event.cfm?EventID=191

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Weston Playhouse

The summer season of the Weston Playhouse is in full swing.  What a wonderful place to see live theatre.  Over the past few years we have seen some first rate performances there.  We have seen Les Miserables and Hair Spray. These productions are as close to Broadway as you can get, without going to New York city.  The seasons’ schedule is quite diverse, year after year.  You can choose from a drama, comedy, or a musical.  They also have something for children.  The theatre itself, is terrific.  There isn’t a bad seat in the house AND you can’t believe the leg room!  For those of us who like to stretch our legs out a bit and not feel like a pretzel, this place is tops!  All of this, in Weston Vermont, just a 40 minute drive from Woodstock.

Every March, when the playhouse posts their  summer schedule, we look it over and pick a show to see.  This year we were so impressed with the choices of shows, we decided, along with some friends to become season ticket holders.  We have tickets for 5 performances.  We saw our first show, The 39 Steps, on this past Tuesday. (more on this show later)  The others we will be seeing are…Avenue Q,  Damn Yankees,  Death of a Salesman and The Marvelous Wondrettes.  Quite a diverse playbill.  Along with our decision to become season ticket holders, we thought it would be fun to “do the pre-theatre dinner”.

So, here we go, “Dinner and a Show”.  We started the evening out at Sam’s Steakhouse, on Route 103, in Ludlow.  It was our first time there, and although we have heard over the years that lots of skiers go there for a steak, frankly, it was off of our radar, so we went in not knowing much about it.  We were pleasantly surprised.  We arrived around 5:30….show starts at 7:30….need 15 minutes for the drive to the theatre, so plenty of time for dinner.  We were unaware of the fact that they had early bird specials that night for $11.95 per person.  I think there were 5 entree choices, with a potato, vegetable and their salad bar.  Two of us ordered london broil, two ordered salmon.  Nicely prepared, beef was moist and tender, salmon flaky and also moist.  The salad bar was fresh and had a nice variety of items.  Portion sizes were not huge, but more than enough food.  Service was attentive and quick.  (nice when you have a show to see!)  All in all,very nice.  It certainly wasn’t fancy, but it suited our needs for theatre night.

Now, on to the Show!  This play is based on the Alfred Hitchcock movie of the same name.  If you have seen the movie, you know it is a murder mystery, with some esponiage thrown in, certainly not a comedy.  The play is ”sort of”  like the movie……NOT!   First off, only 4 actors  play ALL the roles.  It is funny, physical and clever.There is a train chase, plane crash and some romance thrown in.  Bottom line fun and entertaining.   We were amazed at the casts’ ability to jump from character to character.  The set design and staging for this smaller stage was ingenious. 

It was a fun night out. We are already looking forward to the next show in two weeks (Avenue Q).  Dinner plans are being formulated as I type.  We are thinking it might be fun to do a picnic supper on the Weston Green,  weather permitting .  In the coming weeks, I will give you my “reviews” of the shows and our dining escapades. 

We think the Weston Playhouse is another Vermont gem.  If you want an evening of theatre in a beautiful setting come visit.  Check out their website, you don’t have to get a season ticket,  check out the schedule and order YOUR tickets.    www.westonplayhouse.org

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Winding Roads and a Harley

Green Mountain Harley - Owners get out for a 4th of July Get-a-WayLast week I told you about our guests who were here with their Miata Club, touring Vermont.  Yesterday, we had two couples arrive for the 4th of July, on their Harley’s. Dave and Deb, and Brian and Christina are from the Essex Junction area of Vermont.  They own Green  Mountain Harley-Davidson,  in Essex Junction, VT.  So, it is only natural that they would come on their bikes.  They travelled down to Woodstock on Route 100.  This is a great route by any mode of transportation, car, bicycle or motorcycle.  We had one of those beautiful Vermont days that we treasure, so it was a great ride.

Now, Bob and I know nothing about motorcycles or have had experience riding one.  Listening to Deb, Dave, Brian and Christina talk about what it is like riding their Harley’s is fun.  Not only do they ride in the United States, they have done rides in other parts of the world, namely South America!  How cool is that!  Just like Dave about his Miata, our Harley enthusiasts consider their bikes as their babies.  I marvel at their skill in packing the “saddle bags”  (I apologize to all the motorcycle enthusiasts if I don’t have the right name for the bags! Remember, my knowledge level is zero!)  I couldn’t do it!  Where does the hair dryer go?  I could NEVER fit my clothes in such a small space.

I guess my point to all of this is…why not bring YOUR “baby” and visit Woodstock and The Canterbury House. We really enjoy hearing about your experiences exploring this area.

Also, if you are in the Essex Junction Vt area stop in and visit Dave, Debby, Christina and Brian at    Green Mountain Harley Davidson maybe you will find YOUR “baby”.  Check out their website too!   www.greenmtnharley.com

Happy Trails!

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