Manchester Merriment is just around the corner, and the weather is cooperating with our first snow accumulation. Join us in Manchester from November 30 through January 1 for ongoing activities to support 7 community food cupboards. A highlight of these festivities is the Holiday Inn Tours, held on Saturdays, December 7 and 14 from noon until 4pm. Fourteen area inns are participating this year, including Ormsby Hill. Each inn will be decorated for Christmas in their unique style. Tickets are available for purchase ($15 per person or $25 for two people)here, or at businesses in town. See visitmanchestervt.com for more details.
A guest leaving an Etch A Sketch drawing is still a random act at Ormsby Hill, but it is one of the most exciting events. Every room at the inn has an Etch A Sketch, and mostly it is ignored or erased before the guests leave. Occasionally, though, a masterpiece is propped up on the mantle, or casually left on the coffee table. We reverentially admire the drawing, applaud the artist, and reminisce about our artful attempts in the olden days. We take a picture with our iphone, and then someone has to shake the drawing away because the next check-in is expected soon. All that work gone in a few flicks of the wrist…so sad.
Here for your enjoyment (get ready to be amazed) is a photo collection of Etch A Sketch art made by our guests since July 11, 2012.
Our first year of inn keeping went by neither too slow nor too fast. It was just right. We now have, under our belts, some very important information for this business: the seasons with their respective number of visitors. Foliage season brings the most visitors, while mud season in April seems the least attractive to our guests. Winter is called stick season in Vermont. I always thought of trees in winter as skeletons; a bit more dramatic than sticks.
A list of changes we made in the last year, big and small, would fill a sheet of paper, I’m sure. Each and every change was made to either improve your experience at the inn, or to make it easier for us to help you feel welcome and at home. Most projects are ongoing, inherited from the previous owners, and will probably have no end, like painting, and stacking wood. Other projects have been thought up and realized, like our upgraded patio and porch seating. Bigger projects, like our labyrinth meadow, are still evolving. This area is now slated to incorporate most of the area beyond the parking lot. I’m dreaming of a garden with perennials, vegetables,and pathways which will flow beautifully into the wildflower labyrinth. I do go on and on about this labyrinth; it has become very meaningful to me for reasons yet unknown.
Yoshio and I, along with our amazing staff, feel a tremendous responsibility to honor Ormsby Hill with love and care. We feel this is the best way to honor you, also.
Happy summer everyone!
Summer is only five days old and we have already had the best and the worst of the season. The best was one day in the upper 70s, no humidity, and the smell of flowers, earth, and greenery in the air. The worst has been this spell of hot, humid days with violent thunderstorms crashing in and whimpering out. Yesterday’s storm brought flash flooding and lightning damage to our area. A giant tree in our front yard was partially skinned by lightning. Yoshio and I, along with our guests and staff, huddled and hovered (not too) near the windows in anxious fascination.
All of us at Ormsby Hill have worked very hard over the last (almost) year to make this inn a place you can feel special, yet comfortable. We learn something new everyday that helps us help you relax and enjoy your stay. We have also replaced and repaired, planted and painted, welcomed and well-wished…and we don’t see the end of any of these endeavors in the near future.
This time of year I am full of inspiration for garden projects. I know I have to edit and prioritize, but it is fun to be full of ideas. Here are some changes (I hope) you will see this year at Ormsby Hill.
The patio is getting two more sets of Adirondack rocking chairs, along with pots filled with edibles like mini tomatoes and strawberries. New perennials will border the patio, including a few new varieties, like the ‘Oso Happy Smoothie’ thorn-less rose.
Our labyrinth is in year two of its existence. Jimmy Colvin worked his magic getting the field ready for the wildflower seed, which will transform this unused space into a tranquil spot for serenity and contemplation.
We love the outdoor spaces at Ormsby Hill, and hope you will find a spot to call your own while you are here.
April is a quiet time for inn keepers in Southern Vermont. The ski slopes closed, and mud season/stick season has not yet given way to spring greenery. Yoshio and I took advantage of this lull, and went to San Francisco for our first bonding visit with Owen, our grandson.
It was heartbreaking to leave Owen, Lisa, and Jesse, but our return to Ormsby Hill couldn’t have been better. Green grass, clear blue skies, and temperatures in the seventies lifted our spirits. The forecast still calls for night temperatures in the thirties, but screens are in place, plants are popping up, and our patio is open for mountain viewing. Hope you’ll join us in our celebration of the season.
I apologize for the lag in our Ormsby Hill blog. We are very diligent Facebook posters, and we love it because of the immediate feedback. We have never received one comment on this blog. I realize that doesn’t mean it isn’t read, so I will take greater care to post more frequently.
Spring is giving us all kinds of opportunities to indulge our senses. Flowers, bird feeders, and views of the yard make a cheerful setting for breakfast.
Cupcakes are our new weekend tradition – always seasonal, and always delicious.
On April 12, this was our outside situation. More than an inch of sleet and snow fell that day.
This is the scene we are waiting for:
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I promise to write again soon.
The Crucible Presented by The Dorset Players the weekends of March 8-10 and 15-17. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2pm at The Dorset Playhouse. Tickets are $20 and are available at The Dorset Playhouse box office at 802-867-5777.
Marchdi Gras Festivities at Stratton Mountain Saturday, March 9 from 3pm – 10pm. Celebrate March in Mardi Gras fashion! Enjoy live music, street performers, delicious food and give aways in Stratton Village at the base of the mountain.
Bird Walk at Hildene Sponsored by The Vermont Bird Place & Sky Watch, local birders meet to conduct a survey of birds on the Hildene grounds. Meet at the Hildene Welcome Center at 8am on Saturday, March 16th; free to all birders.
The Saturday Series at Burr and Burton Academy World renowned performing artists presented in high definition broadcasts. Saturdays at 7pm in the academy’s Riley Center for the Arts, cost is $18 per adult.
March 16 – JEWELS, a George Balanchine ballet presented by the Mariinsky Ballet Company from St. Petersburg, Russia.
March 30 – PEOPLE, a comic play by Britain’s celebrated playwright, Alan Bennett, from the National Theater of London.
Off the Shelf Series sponsored by the Northshire Bookstore Author Jodi Picoult presents The Storyteller in this author in conversation series at The Maple Street School. Thursday, March 21 at 6:30pm.
Sugar on Snow The Vermont Country Store presents this time honored tradition of indulging in sweet maple syrup drizzled over snow! The store is also offering Maple Syrup sampling. Join the VCS on Saturdays and Sundays in March from 12pm – 3pm (through March 24th).
Vermont Maple Sugar Open House Weekend This annual event is statewide and being held on Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24. Visit sugar houses as they boil maple sap. Learn how goods such as maple syrup and maple candy are produced. Watch the boiling process and sample different grades of syrup.
February is not even over, and we’ve had all kinds of excitement in addition to the usual snow, freeze, thaw, snow, etc.
Yoshio and I attended the national inn keeping conference in Las Vegas. It was our first, and was a lot of fun. To preserve our dignity, we can only show you one photo from this trip.
From Las Vegas, we went to San Francisco for the biggest event of our year: the birth of our first grandson. Owen Kai Endo was born on Feb 5. He is amazing, and his parents are amazing, too.
We returned in time for Valentine’s/President’s weekend, and had a wonderful time helping people with their plans for extreme romance. I’m happy to report smiles, good cheer, and an abundance of flowers.
Although not really a February event, planning is well underway for our first, and only IOH pop-up picnic, being held Saturday, March 9 from 6-8 pm. We will serve some of our favorite Japanese foods in a casual buffet style. Please call us if you’d like to reserve a spot. The cost is $40 for two people.
We did not receive snow from the latest New England storm, although the mountains had better luck. February will continue on it’s fickle path, and we can only guess what March what March will do.
I hope everyone had a good start to this new year. After our first big snowfall, it has been seasonally cold except for two glorious spring teaser days. It is snowing again as I write, so the weather is behaving appropriately, just in time for the upcoming holiday weekend.
At the inn, we are all about cookies, coffee, and comfort. Candi, Courtney, and Yoonie have been baking away to ensure we have plenty of cookies; ten varieties right now, including a dairy free, gluten free blueberry mini bite, and gluten free banana bread. If we get snowed in, or we all have a simultaneous snack attack we will be covered.
Our brand new Mocha Joe’s Coffee service is active as of today. Mocha Joe’s is a Brattleboro, VT coffee company with incredibly knowledgeable staff, and a business ethic that includes kindness and generosity of spirit. The computerized Fetco brewer was precisely calibrated to our coffee choice. We will order our beans, they will be roasted that day and shipped to us the next day. We will grind the coffee each morning before brewing. Your morning cup will be coffee shop fresh.
For your comfort, we are now offering winter special rates in Thompson Purdy and Tower. We have a new “midweek two night stay” special, and a “two night suite getaway.” Check out our “Specials & Packages” page for more details.
Hope you can come to see us soon. We’ll be here with cookies, coffee and comfort.