Recently I traveled with my daughter to a conference in Portland, Oregon where she was presenting a paper. I will leave the plane odyssey for another blog but since I am in the hospitality industry I will comment on the accommodations. We stayed at the site of the conference which was housed in a major hotel chain. First item on the agenda – if you wanted WIFI you paid for it! I could leave the hotel, pop into the Starbucks on the corner and voila, I was connected. If I wanted a bottle of water – well that was available in my room but at $2.75 per bottle – OUCH! Breakfast – well that was available at two different locations in the hotel but had to be purchased. And have you seen the prices of Room Service lately? A bowl of oatmeal was $11.75 and if you wanted a few berries with that you were charged an additional $2.25. Renting a car meant that you had to pay for parking. For years the B&B industry has had a promotion titled A Better Way To Stay. At most B&Bs access to WIFI is free, beverages are free, breakfast is part of the room charge and in many instances is quite gourmet and parking, well that is free. In New Hampshire, Breakfast on the Connecticut pays to the state a view tax – the better the view the higher the tax. Our view of the Connecticut River and the hills of Vermont is free and can be enjoyed for hours while you relax in one of our Adirondack chairs. Maybe not a free lunch but certainly A Better Way To Stay!
Archive for the ‘Innkeeper Adventures’ Category
March 4th, 2014 by donnanandersen
March 10th, 2013 by donnanandersen
Since 1961 the Hanover Conservancy has created, maintained and managed a series of trails in the Upper Valley. Trails such as Balch Hill, Mink Brook and Greensboro Ridge have been enjoyed by so many Upper Valley residents and visitors. In June 2011, another property came into being – the Nan & Allen King Bird Sanctuary. The land was once pasture for the Hayes Farm and can be reached by parking at the Etna Library, walking across a field to enter, hiking a mowed trail and coming to rest on a stone bench in the meadow. You will enjoy a view over the Mink Brook valley while you sit and (if you brought one) eat your picnic lunch. Make sure you stop to identify crabapple, hawthorn or nannyberry just to mention a few. We will give you a card with all 8 flowering bushes that are there. And don’t forget the birds – you may see a Black-and-White Warbler, a Common Yellowthroat or maybe even the seldom seen Wilson’s Warbler. The days are getting warmer and spring fever will hit and you will want to smell the fresh air and feel the warmth of the spring sun on your face. Stay at Breakfast on the Connecticut, have a great breakfast and then take a sandwich and explore the King Bird Sanctuary. It doesn’t get any better than that!
May 25th, 2012 by donnanandersen
Policemen aren’t the only mammals that like doughnuts! NH Fish and Game Officer, Chris Rines, was able to lure two orphaned bear cubs into a safe trap by using doughnuts soaked in half and half. The bear cubs were rescued after their mother was struck and killed by a car on Route 25. The cubs are about 5 months old and each weigh about 8-10 pounds. They are now in the care of bear rehabilitation expert, Ben Kilham, an independent wildlife biologist of Lyme, NH. Ben is a nationally recognized bear expert and author of “Among the Bears: Raising Orphan Cubs in the Wild”. They are being held in a separate enclosure until they get their sea legs and then will join the other 10 cubs in an eight acre enclosed forest. This has been an extraordinary year for orphaned cubs – some coming from their mothers being killed in car accidents others from mothers being shot by NH residents. In a normal year, there would only be about 5-6 orphaned bear cubs. The cubs will spend a year in the enclosed forest, socializing with the other bears before being released back to the wild in northern New Hampshire. It costs about $1500 per year to rehabilitate a cub so if you would like to help monetarily you may send a donation Ben Kilham at PO Box 37, Lyme, NH 03768. If you are a NH resident, New Hampshire Wildlife Services provides free electric fencing to protect property from bear intrusion. Two years ago, we were saddened to find at the end of our driveway, a young bear cub killed by a motorist. So as you travel NH’s rural roads and especially at night, drive slowly and safely being on the lookout for mother bear and her cubs as well as other wildlife.
February 18th, 2012 by donnanandersen
Better Way To Stay (video) Several years ago we visited Mississippi on our annual 2 weeks vacation. People couldn’t believe that was where we chose to go during our limited time off. “Mississippi?” “Why would you want to go there?” Well, my wife and I love to visit Civil War sites and Mississippi just happens to have a few. And we’ve discovered that those sites take us to wonderful other places that we might have never seen, and this trip was no different. Our first stop was Shiloh National Military Park in Tennessee, then across the border to Corinth, Mississippi where the armies battled for control of the rail lines heading east & west and north & south. We reserved for two nights, but extended to three as there was more to see than we thought. Next, a half day stop at Brices Crossroads National Battlefield site, then on to Tupelo where we picked up the Natchez Trace Parkway, a beautiful drive with many interesting stops along the way. Vicksburg National Military Park was next on our radar. Three days later we were on our way to Grand Gulf military site and Port Gibson, a town that General Grant said was “too beautiful to burn” so he didn’t. Finally we reached Natchez, a town filled with many beautiful antebellum homes.
Now here is where I get to the point I want to make. When we travel we like to stay at B&Bs and not because we are B&B owners, but because of what they offer. So when we went to make our reservations, we were disappointed to find that none had any availability. What we didn’t know was that the week we chose was Spring Pilgrimage, when many of the homes are open for tours to the public and reservations for rooms are made up to a year ahead of time. So we had to settle for a national chain during our five-day stay. Each morning I looked forward to the same breakfast of cold cereal, watered down OJ, store-bought mini muffins, a soggy waffle with make-believe maple syrup and a banana. The first morning I visited the front desk to inquire about places and interesting things that were “must sees” during our stay The young lady at the desk told me that, well, she wasn’t from the area so couldn’t help me with my request She “only” worked in Natchez. I did make it a point to go to the desk each morning ,but only to inquire about things she might know. It was always the same person. I was never greeted with a smile or a query about whether I was enjoying my stay, or any other nicety After five days I checked out to a virtual silent transaction, not even a goodbye. I walked away feeling like a stranger.
When I got home, I did write the headquarters of the chain to express my disappointment with my stay. I never got a reply. Who would have thought! Oh, by the way. I did get the information for which I was looking concerning those “must sees”. I went to one of the B&Bs that I couldn’t get into and the innkeeper was more than happy to assist me with the information and a whole lot more. He even said goodbye and have a nice stay.
This is the kind of hospitality we try to show at Breakfast on the Connecticut even when cyclists and others stop to use our bathroom or non-guests believe, because of our name, we are licensed to serve breakfast to the public who are not staying here. B&Bs are a better way to stay – you bet!
January 6th, 2012 by donnanandersen
I have had the privilege of attending many shows in NYC’s Broadway and Hartford’s, Bushnell but last night I had the opportunity to view a real local treat. Northern Stage brought the musical “Annie” to real life on its stage at the Briggs Opera House in White River Junction. We are all familiar with the setting; 1933; the music, “It’s the Hard Knock Life”, “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and of course, “Tomorrow”; and the story of Little Orphan Annie & Daddy Warbucks. What was so special is the intimacy of the theater – there is not a bad seat in the house and what’s more you feel you are part of what is happening on stage. Add to that the quality of the equity performers from NYC and, in this case, the local talent and you have a recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Lyme can even boast a rising star in Margaret Finley, a fifth grader, who played Annie. The run for Annie will end on January 8, 2012 but never fear Northern Stage has an incredible line-up during its season:
Les Liasons Dangereuses
January 18 – February 5, 2012
February 15 – March 4, 2012
March 14 – April 1, 2012
April 11 – May 6, 2012
November 23rd, 2011 by donnanandersen
On October 13, 2011 the University of Georgia hosted a special event for their meal plan and community guests. It was called “A Sunset Breakfast – Dawn Inspired Dishes Served at Dusk” and was planned to give their students the dining experience of breakfast at Bed and Breakfast establishments throughout the United States. The menu featured 21 recipes from prominent B&B locations including Apple Cheddar Bread Pudding from Breakfast on the Connecticut. My recipe was adapted by the University’s chefs and food production teams in order to serve the 8700 students who dine there daily. The amount of ingredients used was staggering including 13 cases of apples, 317 loaves of bread, 67 gallons of maple syrup, and 181 pounds of cheddar cheese, just to name a few. I am so glad I do not have to fed those numbers on a daily basis and I commend the University of Georgia Food Services team.
May 27th, 2011 by donnanandersen
On July 9, thousands of riders and walkers will wind their way through the Upper Valley and the streets of Hanover for the 30th Prouty. What started with four Cancer Center nurses riding 100 miles through New Hampshire’s White Mountains to honor their patient, Audrey Prouty and raise $4000 for research at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center has grown to 5000 participants with a monetary goal of $2.5 million. This year for the first time, rowers will join the fun on the Connecticut River. For the last 8 years, Breakfast on the Connecticut has captained the largest SAG (Stop and Go) stop located on the green in Lyme, NH. Here dozens of volunteers will provide food, water, mechanical assistance, emergency assistance if necessary and lots and lots of words of encouragement and gratitude. In 2010, even in the rain, the Lyme SAG serviced over 4000 participants. Both volunteers and participants come together not just to ride, walk or row but to celebrate the courage of cancer patients and survivors. We come together to thank caregivers, to support loved ones and strangers, and to raise money for crucial cancer research, patient services and hopefully, someday, a cure. Visit The Prouty’s website and see where you fit in. If you decide to ride, Breakfast on the Connecticut offers a 10% discount on room rates. Can’t ride, we can always use an extra set of hands at the Lyme SAG Stop or a monetary donation, whatever the amount. So let’s Prouty to celebate courage and find a cure!