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Baby Animal Day – Billings Farm, Woodstock, VT

April 5th, 2014 by donnanandersen

Baby Calf at Billings Farm

Baby Calf at Billings Farm

Babies are a little bit of heaven on earth and there is nothing sweeter than the smell of a baby after a bath.  And as our babies grow they are fascinated by the babies in the animal kingdom.  So the cutest day of the year in the Upper Valley is Baby Animal Day at the Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT.  You get to see up close newborn lambs, calves, ducklings, chicks and more.  There are children oriented crafts and, of course, wagon rides.  What an incredible way for children to welcome spring and the rebirth of the world around them.  Especially after this winter that didn’t want to end.  Mark your calendars – April 19, 2014, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm at the Billings Farm, Woodstock, VT.

12 Years A Slave, Lyme And The Underground Railroad

March 17th, 2014 by donnanandersen

Lyme Center Academy Building

Lyme Center Academy Building – Home of the Historical Society

John and I recently saw the Academy Award Winner for Best Picture, 12 Years A Slave.  I had purchased the book on one of our numerous trips to Civil War battlefields.  You know how you always worry that if you have read the book you will be disappointed in the movie – filmmakers have a tendency to produce a movie for one overriding reason “Show Me The Money” (as in the memorable words from another movie).  Not so with 12 Years A Slave – the book is powerful but the movie more than adequately displays the brutality and the dark side of so many southern plantation owners and their overseers.  With that backdrop , I was delighted to learn that the Balch House in Lyme was an Underground Railroad safe house.  Lyme Underground Railroad agents had heavy fugitive slave traffic because of its proximity to Canaan, New Hampshire.  Once a month, fugitive slaves were taken from Canaan to Lyme and then across the Connecticut River into Vermont towns.  The story is told that one night slaves arrived at Samuel Balch’s house just a short time ahead of agents in pursuit.   When the agents arrived Samuel  Balch gave them permission to search the house with Mrs. Balch giving them a stern admonition not to wake the children that were sleeping upstairs.  The agents opened the bedroom door and found the children asleep tucked underneath the quilts.  They left empty handed.  But cleverly tucked under the bedroom covers and out of sight was a slave woman.  When it was safe Samuel Balch moved that slave woman and the others to the next stop on the Underground Railroad.  Lyme, NH has a wonderful historical society housed in the refurbished Academy Building where you can learn more about its past.  Breakfast on the Connecticut is proud to be located in Lyme where so many past residents not only “Talked the Talk” but “Walked the Walk”.

 

There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch – Or Is There?

March 4th, 2014 by donnanandersen

Enjoying the Connecticut River

Enjoying the Connecticut River

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!

A Quilt Retreat – A Modern Day Sweatshop?

February 16th, 2014 by donnanandersen

1890 Sweatshop in New York

1890 Sweatshop in New York

Quilt Retreat, January 23, 24 & 25, 2014 sponsored by Barnyard Quilting at Breakfast on the Connecticut

Quilt Retreat, January 23, 24 & 25, 2014 sponsored by Barnyard Quilting at Breakfast on the Connecticut

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In another century, sweatshops were common in the United States.  Hours were long, working conditions were poor and dangerous and pay was low.   Well, a quilt retreat with 20 women may resemble a sweatshop only in the area of quantity of tools and machinery but that is where the comparison ends.  There are no quotas to be met only those that are self imposed; you can find women working at midnight but that is by choice; the working conditions are light filled and spacious with three terrific meals and snacks all day; and the pay/reward is any number of beautiful creations that will be kept or given away to family and friends.  And you can always take some time off, cross the Connecticut River to Fairlee, Vermont and visit Barnyard Quilting to feed your passion.  I am a quilter and I found the conversation, the quilters, the sharing of techniques and ideas motivational.  I have started to finish those projects that sit by my sewing machine.  It is great way to unwind from my daily routine at Breakfast on the Connecticut.

 

Free Lakefront Property – Seasonal

January 20th, 2014 by donnanandersen

Bob-House - What's on Hand Construction

Bob-House – What’s on Hand Construction

A Very High End Bob-House - All The Comforts of Home

A Very High End Bob-House – All The Comforts of Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you have always wanted a place on the lake but money, or the lack of it,  has been the sticking point.  Well I have the answer – A BOB-HOUSE!  Those are the small sheds you see on the ice built for the ultimate fishing enthusiast, an ice fisherman.  Most bob-houses are anything but beautiful but on the ice they seem as if they belong.  Their roughness seems to match the below-zero winds and temperatures that move across a lake during winter.  On the bigger lakes in New Hampshire, such as Winnipesaukee, it seems as if entire villages spring up.  Years ago, there were so many on Winnipesaukee’s ice that they even had their own post office box with mail being delivered right to the bob-house. We have them right here in Lyme on Post Pond!  Free lakefront – no one inspects them- no one will tell you to build them to code.  But you will need to add to the outside some reflectors so that a snowmobile will avoid it at night.  And of course you must remove them usually by April Fool’s Day or before the thaw!

Moving On Frozen Water – Ice Skating

January 14th, 2014 by donnanandersen

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Currier and Ives – Skating on the Pond

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Skating on the new rink on the Lyme Green

Growing up in Canada, winter was a busy time.  We would come home from school, grab our skates and off we would go to the rink – every school maintained a skating rink.  We would skate or play hockey until dusk, oblivious to the cold.  One hundred and fifty years ago, Currier and Ives romanticized the iconic scene with the lithograph, Skating on the Pond and last week a local, Peter Tenney, photographed the skating activity on the Lyme Green.   The clothing has changed but the enjoyment has not. For those skating and hockey aficionados you can venture over to Lake Morey and take a turn or two on their maintained 5000 meter skating track - it is better to rent a pair of Nordic skates.  Or if hockey is in your blood then the Lake Morey Pond Hockey Tournament, February 7 & 8, 2014 may be your cup of hot chocolate.  Breakfast on the Connecticut is only minutes away from Lake Morey and the skating activities.  You know, water is not only for drinking and swimming – when frozen, so many avenues of enjoyment open up.

Where Were You On February 22, 1980?

January 5th, 2014 by donnanandersen

1980 US Hockey Team Beats The Soviets At Lake Placid Olympics

1980 US Hockey Team Beats The Soviets At Lake Placid Olympics

We were in a car traveling on the Interstate in Connecticut and listening to a radio broadcast of the US Hockey Team play Russia at the Lake Placid Olympics.  The Soviet hockey team was heavily favored to win its fifth straight Olympic gold medal.  The US tied the score 2-2 at the end of the first period.  The Soviets scored the only goal in the second period.  The US tied the game in the third and then Mike Erusione  scored halfway in the third period to go ahead 4-3.  It was then up to goalkeeper, Jim Craig, to hold off the Soviet assault.  With 5 seconds left in the game the US cleared the puck and we had what has been termed the “Miracle on Ice”.  At that point on the Interstate lights on the cars started to flash and there was a cacophony of sound from car horns.  I guess we were not alone in listening to the game!  It was a magical moment!  From February 7-23, 2014, the Winter Games will be held in Sochi, Russia.  Dartmouth will be well represented by Hannah Kearney ’15, Andrew Weibrecht ’09 and Gillian Apps ’06.  There are 19 other Dartmouth College athletes – alums and undergrads- that readied for the trials that would determine whether or not they will travel to Russia for the Games.   These student-athletes work hard both in and out of the classroom and it will be a true pleasure to watch them as they compete on the world stage.  E.M. Smith once stated in Sports Illustrated about the 1980 US hockey team’s win over the Soviets “It was an Olympic moment, the kind the creators of the Games must have had in mind, one that said: Here is something that is bigger than any of you.”  Maybe at the 2014 Sochi Games we will have another miracle, one that makes us stand and applaud and say “Well done!”

Opera North 2013 Summer Season

April 25th, 2013 by donnanandersen

 

South Pacific - Opera North 2013 season

South Pacific – Opera North 2013 Season

Opera North will be celebrating its 2013 Season with two stunning operas and a classic American musical.

August 3, 9 15 & 17 at 7:30 PM and August 8 at 2:00 PM
SOUTH PACIFIC
The unforgettable story of Emile de Becque, the French plantation owner, who falls in love with Nellie Forbush, a WW II nurse from Little Rock, Arkansas.  Who can forget Some Enchanted Evening or I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair?

August 6, 10, 14 & 16 at 7:30 PM
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR
Lucia is caught in the middle of a feud between her family and the man she adores.  Forced to forsake her love and marry for money, she loses more than her happiness – she loses her mind.

August 7 & 11 at 2:00 PM
LITTLE WOMEN
Set in post Civil War New England, this American opera celebrates the spirit of the March family during a period of trial and transition.

Tickets on sale NOW at Opera North or call the Lebanon Opera House at 603-448-0400.
Stay at Breakfast on the Connecticut, attend an opera/musical performance and wake up the next morning talking Happy Talk as you eat your a wonderful full country breakfast.

 

 

Sunday Mountain Maple Farm – Carlisle Trophy 2012

April 6th, 2013 by donnanandersen

Sunday Mountain Maple Farm, Orford, New Hampshire

Sunday Mountain Maple Farm, Orford, New Hampshire

We all know what a Blue Ribbon or Best in Show means at the County Fair.  Well in the world of  maple syrup, in the state of New Hampshire, the Carlisle Trophy is the coveted prize.  For the second year in a row the Sunday Mountain Maple Farm, in Orford, NH, has received the Carlisle Trophy for New Hampshire’s best maple syrup for the 2012 crop.  Analyzed for clarity, taste & purity, Sunday Mountain’s sample came out on top.   The Sunday Mountain Maple Farm, a New Hampshire Farm of Distinction, is owned and operated by Paul and Betty Messer.  In addition to 200 taps behind his sugar house, he has 3000 taps located on Cube Mountain.   He can been seen even in coldest months working on the tubing that delivers the sap to holding tanks.  We are very lucky here at Breakfast on the Connecticut to be only a few miles from Sunday Mountain.  We use only their syrup at breakfast on our pancakes, waffles, french toast and Apple Cheddar Breakfast Bread Pudding.   After you have enjoyed our breakfast why not stop by Sunday Mountain and pick up a container, or two, of their award winning maple syrup.  You can’t get any better than maple syrup as a “farm to table” experience.

Dartmouth Pow-Wow – May 11 & 12, 2013

April 5th, 2013 by donnanandersen

Dartmouth Pow-Wow

Dartmouth Pow-Wow

Dartmouth College was first established in 1769 “for the education of Youth of the Indian tribes… English Youth and any others.”  In the first 200 years of existence only 19 Native Americans graduated from Dartmouth.  That changed in the 1970s with President Kemeny and to date more than 700 Native Americans have attended Dartmouth from more than 200 different tribes.  The Dartmouth Pow-Wow serves as an opportunity for members of both the Dartmouth and Upper Valley communities to observe, participate and learn from a broad representation of Native American music, arts and crafts.  Bring the family and look for the three key elements:
Drum Group
They, a group of 10, sing the first song each day sometimes viewed as an opening prayer.
Woman Dancer
She is appointed to lead all dancers in and out of the dancing arena at the start and the end of the Pow-Wow.  Her appointment is based on experience and age.
Male Dancer
He, along with the Head Woman Dancer, leads the contestants in the Grand Entry at the beginning of the Pow-Wow.

What a special event to attend over the Mothers’ Day Weekend!  Stay in a Deluxe Room at Breakfast on the Connecticut, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast and then head over to the Green in Hanover where your senses will be assailed by the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of the Dartmouth Pow-Wow.