Breakfast on the Connecticut

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Quinatucquet, The Great River

June 13th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Canoeing on the Connecticut River

Canoeing on the Connecticut River, "The Nile of New England"

Quinatucquet is a Native American word meaning “at the long estuary” and given to a body of water known as “the Nile of New England”.  Breakfast on the Connecticut sits on the banks of this river also the longest river in New England.  Yes, it is the Connecticut River flowing over 360 miles from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound.  Once described by the New York Times as ” the Nation’s best landscaped sewer”, the Connecticut River, through the passage of the Clean Water Act and the investment of millions of dollars from government and the private sector, has been reclaimed for our nation to explore and, better still, play in.  Along its banks there are large archeological sites, including one in Claremont NH settled by Native Americans around 800 AD.  There are ten bridges that traverse the Connecticut that are registered with the National Register of Historic Places including the Cornish-Windsor Bridge, the longest covered bridge in the United States.  About 20 miles after the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge you can glide by the Fort at #4 in Charlestown, NH where on an August morning in 1754 a band of Indians broke into the home of Captain James Johnson and took captive the Captain, his 24-year old pregnant wife and their three children, ages 6, 4 & 2 and set off on a trek to Canada.   The reclaimed Connecticut has once again become the life-line for commerce, agriculture, industry as well as energy production, irrigation, manufacturing and multiple recreational uses.  Ninety-nine cities, towns & villages border its length.  Thirty-five colleges and universities on its banks provide an unprecedented representation of higher learning.  Agriculture is still at work on 11% of the Connecticut’s land providing a ready source of locally grown foods.  You can swim – cross the Connecticut from bank to bank in many places and you have swum from NH to VT – fish and boat, best done by canoe, kayak or pontoon.  The Connecticut River and the Valley is one of the last water places that is still underdeveloped and wildly beautiful.  So come spend some time at Breakfast on the Connecticut, take a canoe out in the morning fog and experience the “mighty Connecticut, the first of America’s great rivers and in many ways the last.”

New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast Wins TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence

May 26th, 2012 by donnanandersen

TripAdvisor Certificate

Breakfast on the Connecticut Earns The 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award

 

Breakfast on the Connecticut has earned the prestigious TripAdvisor 2012 Certificate of Excellence Award.  The award is given to those properties that consistently are commended by travelers with the highest praise earning a 4.5 rating.  This is the second consecutive year  Breakfast on the Connecticut has received the award.  “Great place to relax!”, “First B&B experience, absolutely wonderful.”, and “Lovely Inn for a relaxing weekend.” are just a few of the remarks by our guests.  Come and spend some time at the only B&B located right on the Connecticut River, America’s first river to be named a US “Blueway”.

12 Orphaned Bear Cubs Are In The Care Of Lyme NH’s Bear Rehabilitator, Ben Kilham

May 25th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Black Bear Cubs

Black Bear Cubs Rescued And Now In The Care Of Bear Rehabilitation Expert, Ben Kilham Of Lyme, NH

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.

6th Annual Secret Gardens of Corinth and Topsham

May 11th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Blake Memorial Library Secret Garden Tour, Corinth VT

Are you a garden enthusiast?  With the advent of the GPS, can you still read a map?  If the answer to both is in the affirmative then the 6th Annual Secret Gardens of Corinth and Topsham was designed for you.  It is billed by the organizers as  “down-to-earth ” because it will take you along the back roads of east central Vermont.  The Tour is sponsored by the Blake Memorial Library of Corinth.  The organizers maintain that the secret gardens may be unassuming but each will take your breath away because of design, gardening style and landscaping techniques.  First though, you have to find the gardens, and that is, in and of itself, the challenge.  Tickets for the Tour are $20 on the day of the event, Saturday, June 30, 2012 or $15 in advance.  The ticket will provide a map and a description of each of the five gardens you’ll be visiting.  Give yourself three to four hours to enjoy the tour, which starts at 12 and ends at 5 p.m.  Stay overnight at Breakfast on the Connecticut, enjoy a wonderful breakfast and spend the afternoon enjoying the discovery of Mother Nature’s beauty, albeit helped along by mere mortals.

Upper Valley’s Greensboro Ridge Natural Area

May 8th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Grennsboro Ridge Vernal Pool

Greensboro Ridge Vernal Pool

A special Upper Valley treat can be found at the Hanover Conservancy’s Greensboro Ridge Natural Area.  This is a 113 – acre protected property home to numerous wildflowers not to mention barred owls, broad-winged hawks, ruffed grouse as well as warblers, vireos and numerous other small birds.  The ledges and stone ridges are also home to bear, mink, fisher, raccoon, deer and fox.  Keep your eyes peeled for the tracks as you walk along the trail.  Harder to find are the natural area’s nine vernal pools which are necessary breeding grounds for salamanders and frogs.  To reach Greensboro Ridge, take Route 10 to Route 120.  Turn left onto Greensboro Road and left  to Velvet Rocks Drive and park at the trailhead at the top of the drive.  Find a trail map at Greensboro Ridge.  This is a well kept Upper Valley secret and May & June are a great time to explore it.

Take A Tour Of Lyme Center, NH

May 8th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Lyme Center Academy Building

Lyme Center Adademy Building - Home of the Historical Society

About 7 miles from Breakfast on the Connecticut is the distinctive village of Lyme Center and their historic district.

Start with the Dimick House on Dorchester Road which was mail ordered from Sears in 1924 at a cost of $2,473.  It is a two-story frame and clapboard structure and one of the last houses to use sawn lumber from Sanborn Mill.  Just a note – this is a private home and not open for touring.

Other interesting buildings include the Lyme Center Baptist Church (1830), the Lyme Center Store (1876) and the Lyme Center Academy (1839) that houses the local historical society known as the Lyme Historians.  The museum is open on Tuesday from 9 – noon.  A tour booklet is available for a modest charge from the Lyme Historians.

The Beal House, also on Dorchester Road, has two granite steps with bootscrapers, built into the steps, at the entrance.

Interested in decorative moldings?  Houses on Dorchester Road have cyma recta (double curvature), ovolo (convex hollow round) and cavetto (hollow rounds with an Egyptian influence) all under projecting eaves.

Please take notice of the black locust and sugar maples.  They provide shade for Lyme Center and help to unify this small village.

Stay at Breakfast on the Connecticut and explore Lyme Center while on your way to the Dartmouth Skiway, either for hiking, in spring, summer or fall or skiing in the winter.

Kayaking 101

May 5th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Kayaking on Storrs Pond

Kayaking on Storrs Pond

It’s a glorious summer day, the sun is shining, the sky is blue and it’s the weekend.  You want to get out and have some fun.  It’s the perfect type of day to be outside, commune with nature, paddle a kayak around a lake – but you don’t know how.  You are in luck because LL Bean’s Kayak Discovery Series allows you to walk into the West Lebanon, NH store and sign-up for an hour-and-a-half kayak instruction for $20 on Storrs Pond in Hanover, NH.  LL Bean will supply the kayak, the paddle, the PFD, and take care of all your personal valuables.  Class size ranges from 1 to 14 people and there are typically two instructors per class.  The class consists of 20 – 30 minutes of dry land instruction, including determining who goes into which boat, what paddle size is needed, securing PFDs (personal flotation device), as well as instruction on how to hold the paddle and paddling techniques.  Students will then hit the water in their kayaks for an hour of paddling around on Storrs Pond.  LL Bean’s Discovery Series runs through Saturdays from May 26 to September 22 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and on Sundays from July 1 through August 26 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  What do you have to lose?  Be prepared to get a little wet.

Hands On Pianos – Hopkins Center 50th Anniversary

February 27th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Hands On Pianos

Hands On Pianos - Hop's 50th Anniversary Season

So you only know how to play chopsticks or maybe after years of piano lessons you can play a mean Chopin.  Well this summer, in July to be specific, you can be a maestro in the Upper Valley thanks to Hand On Pianos.  Colorfully decorated pianos will be turning up at bus stops, parks, sidewalk plazas, farm stands, general stores and other unexpected places throughout the region for the month of July available for people of all ages to engage in music making.  This “street piano” project will kick off the Hop’s 50th Anniversary Season with the pianos being transformed into eye candy by local artists.  There are four ways to get involved:

You can offer a piano for donation.
You can offer a partner piano.
You can decorate a piano.
Volunteer as a piano “angel”.  Helps assure the pianos stay healthy while outdoors by signing up to check on one (or two) daily.

This is a chance for the individual to try their hand at all 50 pianos and for all the donated pianos to have their proud finale before they hit that “Great Steinway Store in the Sky”.  At the end of the project, the donated pianos will be mined for usable and recyclable parts.  You can stay at Breakfast on the Connecticut, practice getting your fingers moving on our 1895 Hazelton parlor grand.  What a great summer weekend project – visit as many spots that harbor a piano in a weekend.  And how about a picture or video of you tickling the ivories.

 

The Howel Classic

February 18th, 2012 by donnanandersen

Howe Library

Howe Library, The Howel Classic

Howe Library, Hanover NH invites you to The Howel Classic, a mini-golf extravaganza.  Do you enjoy mini-golf, good food and mingling? Then you will find all three at the 2012 Howel Classic on Saturday, March 24 from 7 – 10 p.m.  That’s right, a miniature golf course set up and ready to play in the Howe Library.  The 18-hole course will be open with tasty appetizers, wine and beer being served.  Chloe Brisson & Absolute Jazz will provide the entertainment.  Because alcohol will be served, all participants must be at least 21 years old.  All attendees will be entered for a chance to win a round for two at Montcalm Golf Club or a pair of round-trip tickets on Cape Air.  Cost is $50 per person and you must RSVP by March 16.

But don’t forget the little ones because on Sunday, March 25 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. the Library is open to all!  You can try the 18-hole course while enjoying pizza, beverages and treats.  This is a chance for adults and children to get a little loud in the Library.  All attendees will be entered for a chance to win movie tickets, passes to Storrs Pond or an iPod.  Tickets are only $5 per person.

What a weekend – stay at Breakfast on the Connecticut and then spend a fun and most unusual time supporting the Hanover, NH’s local library, where all services are open to the public and free.

 

Find “A Better Way To Stay”!

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!