Serious about…bragging!



Quite an odd picture I know…but the story behind it is a great one…I promise!  We are not only serious about laundry here at the Woodstock Inn….we are serious about providing our guests with the best experience we can possibly create.  A lot of people here work above and beyond the call of duty day in and day out to make this Inn the wonderful place it is today.  If you have been to the Woodstock Inn on the Millstream recently you may have noticed in your standard room some changes….like a hand made walnut desk (from local artist/furniture maker Andrew Gray), a flat screen TV, a fresh coat of paint and a newly designed closet for all your belongings.  You may have also noticed our newest “addition”  which houses our state of the art laundry room!  I joked quite a bit this winter as it was being built telling all who inquired that it may not be that exciting for them…but boy…it is a godsend to this Innkeeper and her staff.

Our improvements are sometimes subtle….sometimes obvious….the key word being improvements.  The inn is run…yes, as a business…but it is not just about the almighty $….it is also about you…and me….and the cleaning staff, the painter, the gardener,  the community, and yes…dare I say it…the world.    We look at the small picture …but we also look at the big one and it helps to put the right kind of perspective on how to run this business.  And so you see loving, caring details all around.   You see a staff that has been here for many, many years…coming back day after day to proudly clean your room.   You may also see some mistakes …alas…no one is perfect…but the relief is that you can simply tell us…and 10 times out of 10 something will be done about it!

We had outgrown our old beloved laundry room and so Tom, the owner,  built a brand new one to house the commercial washers and dryers that we needed.  He listens…to his guests and his staff and always makes an informed decision.  You talk…we listen and when we can action immediately follows.  I am proud to work here…and that has been true now for 20 years!  Mr. Bullard inspires the best in all of us and it shows.   Take for instance the time Barbara came in at 8am BEFORE her other job to help out cleaning when I was short staffed one day, or take the fact that Rita has never missed a day of work, never been late or called in sick,  or that Marilla, Ariana, Ana, Kianu, Thomas, and Jackie perform their jobs with a sense of loyalty and pride…every day!  Angela goes above and beyond each week that she is here…helping with whatever is needed..including letting my “kids” out for some fresh air if I have been gone too long.   And let us not forget the amazing women behind the scenes… in the engine room…Lorrie and Theresa without whom I truly would be lost ….and perhaps you don’t know it…but you would be too!   The beauty of this place is not just the gardens and buildings…but the love that each and every one of us feels for this little bit of paradise and how that love manifests through our work.  The ol’ trickle down theory works with LOVE!




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Spring’s magic now appearing in Woodstock

curledfernsAfter this long, long winter – even for those of us who love winter – this Spring is a treasured gift. Each bud, each bloom seems to be a reminder of the beauty and magic of life. It’s as if the gardens are a 3-D painting, with colors magically appearing, where the canvas before was simply gray. What a gift to watch this literally unfurl before us. In just one week, our ferns went from newly sprouting to bright green blooming! Yes, we’re biased, but the Hudson Valley’s natural beauty simply can’t be beat. fernopenToo often we take for granted that rolling Catskill Mountains embrace our community, that we have a river that not only was instrumental in this country’s development, but that has amazingly come back to life following years of defilement and abuse. Now, the Hudson is a wonderful playground for all of us, cleaned up because passionate people weren’t willing to sit back and watch it die. From Pete Seeger’s insightful Clearwater effort, to today’s many environmental groups such as Catskill Mountainkeepers, our water is finally getting the respect it deserves and we are all the richer for it. Its appeal is a blue thread that ties the Hudson Valley communities together during these warm months.

And in Woodstock, the town is abuzz. So many exciting concerts, shows and exhibits are happening. Great new restaurants have opened and it’s just a great time to be here. Happy Spring! Happy Friday!


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Win a night at the Inn

This year we’re pleased to announce a new feature for guests: a video contest. In past years we’ve enjoyed your fantastic photos, but this year we’re going for the action. Submit up to a two-minute video of your time in Woodstock – action packed, slow-paced, dancing, meditating. Whatever it is you love about your time here, we want to see it – and share it with all our guests.

Winners and other selected entries may be posted to the Inn’s You Tube, Facebook or Google Plus pages, as well as featured on our web site. To be able to capture all of the seasons, we’re going to run this contest through Nov. 30. The winning entry by our judges will receive a complimentary night at the Inn, second and third place will receive gift certificates of $125 and $75 respectively. There will also be a people’s choice award, which will receive a bag of goodies from the Inn. And we’ll be sending out lots of swag and other cool stuff, so get filming. (Remember, we are a community of artists – respect copyright laws!)

Submit entries as an attachment to wimillstream@gmail.com before midnight Nov. 30, 2015. In the body of the email please include the dates you stayed at the Inn and the name of the reservation, as well as any interesting background insights you want to share about the video.

Pass the popcorn and go roll ’em.

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Travelling the breadth of extremities…

I was driving home today from my solo hike up Windham high peak and this line from Joni Mitchell’s “Hejira” bounded out of my speakers.  Today it was loaded with meaning for me.  I set out today to bag another peak in my quest to join the Catskill 3500 club.

But today was very different from any other
solo winter trek I have done as I had decided
to dedicate it to Kate Matrosova.  Since
her untimely death climbing the Presidential Peaks on 2.15.15 I have obsessively read about her trek that day.

Almost every account reiterates how crazy,
stupid, inexperienced she must have been to set out that day.  The weather can change in a
second up on that ridge and kill you quickly.  We all know this to be true.  I’m sure Kate Matrosova knew this to be true…but rather than focus on how “crazy”
she was I wanted to honor her spirit and unflinching sense of bravery and adventure by climbing today and writing this blog.

I set out at 10 am but with a lot more caution and preparedness than
usual.  Granted I was not climbing 6000 feet today in 100 mph winds but as I’ve learned shit can happen and climbing up to 3600 in teens can just as easily kill you if you are not prepared.  I’ll admit it.  I was nervous.  Many thoughts ran through
my mind that normally never do…like hey, Karen…you have a
heart condition, or you are 52…or what if you pass out..and on and on…so many thoughts
that I could just as easily have talked myself out of the hike.  I could have “stuck to some straighter line” as Joni puts it.

But I didn’t….and I won’t….and I hope to climb Mount Washington one day as well because that is who I am.  That’s what makes me tick.  I look at Kate’s life as
yes …tragically short but so incredibly full.

We all take chances everyday of our lives…some just take greater ones than others because their spirit beckons them to do so.

As I approached the summit I saw a figure ahead of me.  I caught up to John
Dice a 79 year old Catskill Mtn 3500er who was out hiking for fun in the gorgeous weather.  It put the hugest smile on my face and  I kept it all the way down.

Today instead of running down to see how fast I could do the hike I decided to walk down and take in the beauty of this cold winter day.  The sounds, the sights all of it.  I was thinking a lot about Kate when I looked down and saw the heart in the snow (I had missed it on the way up) More smiles and tears.  I get what drove Kate Matrosova to solo hike that day and all the other days she went out there.

For some …to simply not take the risk is a death.
We have to challenge ourselves mentally,  spiritually and physically and yes, sometimes
it can go too far.  But we know that and we take the chance anyway  …we don’t expect to be
rescued.  Someone who is experienced enough knows that ultimately  it’s up to them and they make their choices accordingly, everything from what gear & clothing to take to whether they should even venture out.

Enough of the finger wagging at Ms. Matrosova …her short 32 years here on planet earth were in my opinion lived incredibly. Myself, I only started living at 32 when I first tried to
quit smoking and started running and hiking in the forest in order to attain that goal.

I am most alive when I am in the forest and so on my days off
that’s where you’ll find me and yes…usually alone. I know I take a chance each and every time I do it but I know the internal rewards I reap.

And so I hope like John, who I met on Windham today, heartphoto(2)photo(3)photothat at 79 I’ll still be
taking chances and climbing mountains.  Rest in peace Kate Matrosova.



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Angelina truly is…JOLIE!

Regina, Mike & Angelina!

Regina, Mike & Angelina!

Many  years ago I met two “kids” who started coming to Woodstock and (lucky for me) chose the Woodstock Inn on the Millstream as their place to stay.  Regina & Mike quickly became regulars and visited on average 3-5 times a year…and so…they joined what I call my Woodstock Inn “family.”  The family is not based on times/year visits…but rather how we connect on the visit(s).  There are some guests I only see once a year…or once every other year…but when I do …it is like any old friend walking through the door..no time has passed.    Mike and Regina are like old friends…when they walk in the door…it’s a hug…it’s a catch up on life, love, work and all that.  These two chose to create their own piece of history here when they got engaged on the famous green bench outside the office…not the one there now…but an older one that has since been replaced…I am still looking for a piece of it to give to them 😉

When they broke the news that they were pregnant…I was beyond elated for them!  As Regina’s due date grew close… I would call now and then just to see how she was doing.    When it came time for their winter weekend visit (one they have been doing for years)  I never expected that they would keep it as it was just weeks after their first child was born.  Imagine my excitement when they called to say …of course we are coming!!  Angelina was just three weeks old when they pulled into the driveway and I got to meet the newest member of this wonderful family.  The first morning at breakfast..all guests were gaga over this gorgeous child…and I got to hold her while Mom and Dad ate breakfast.   What a gift…holding this newborn child  …. a morning I will never forget.

Universe willing…I look forward to many more years here and watching Angelina grow.  I recently had a visit from an “old” young guest who I met as a newborn…she is now 17, driving and just recently got accepted to her college of choice!  Time sure does fly when you are having the time of your life.  So grateful….



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Last minute plans? No problem.

It seems winter weather has a way of changing people’s plans. Lately, we had many calls from people wanting to book a same-day stay, but our computer wouldn’t give them that option. Well, we’ve changed that. During our winter season we’re WI Winter Sign November 2014-2offering same day booking on our website. We’ll see how it goes now, in our slower season, and decide if we’ll keep the option available once things get busier.

Of course, while we always want to do what’s easiest for our guests, it’s also important that we do what’s best for our guests and having your room ready and warm is our top priority. Many travelers are affected by weather and opt to stay overnight rather than drive on dangerous roads. Others are discovering that the Catskills in winter have so many fun options, such as skiing, snowshoeing and snow tubing that they want another day to take it all in. Offering the same day booking option seems one way to help those who have last minute plans. But of course you can always call us directly, at 845-679-8211 and we’ll help you with your reservations.

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Enjoy the calm (and savings) of winter

winter-chairWinter is an amazing time here in Woodstock. The mountain air is so fresh, the skiing is enjoyable – whether you opt for downhill or cross country. Hiking trails are not crowded, and snowshoeing is a perfect option if Mother Nature works her white magic on us. But the real joy of this season is found amid the peaceful nature throughout town. It’s just a nice, quiet pace. People have time to talk and visit, the stores have amazing sales going on, concert venues are warm and inviting – it’s truly a favorite season for so many locals.

So it’s kind of bittersweet to see the Hudson Valley making its mark in the tourism world.  National Geographic started it in 2013, making us a must-see destination, Vogue has written about Woodstock’s charm in 2014 and now Travel and Leisure magazine has chosen the Catskills as #2 of 50 Top places to visit in 2015, citing our region’s commitment to local, authentic experiences. Here, at the Woodstock Inn on the Millstream, that has always been our defining ethos. It’s such a treat to chat with guests and offer our local insights as you experience Woodstock. Whether you’re seeking an action-packed outdoor experience, a relaxing time in the heart of nature or want to rock ‘n rollobby with snow nov 2014l the night away, there’s always something happening. And certainly sharing our secret trails, favorite restaurants and just going the extra step to make your visit enjoyable is what makes our jobs rewarding. (This winter we’re also offering midweek savings – 50% off a second night – sorry holidays and week of Feb. 16-20 not included.)

Probably more people will be visiting this year, thanks to all the positive coverage, and that’s great. But it also makes us treasure this secret calm of winter even more. Hope you’ll join us and experience this magical season… It may be the start of a new year, but before you know it, the crocuses will be sprouting, so come see us soon and bask in winter’s beauty and calm.

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Karen’s secret ingredient revealed

bananabreadThis holiday season we are sharing one of the most sought after items at the Inn: Karen’s recipe for her delicious Banana-Blueberry bread. It’s always a special treat when she makes it as part of our breakfast offerings, but guests have been wanting to recreate this taste of Woodstock when they return home. The response to the shared recipe has been tremendous so we thought we’d share it here. Also, one guest has even substituted gluten-free oat flour and says it’s great, that people can’t even tell the difference. So, enjoy. Put your own yummy touches in your recipe (if you arrive at something super delicious do share it with us please on our Facebook page.) Just remember – add lots of Karen’s special ingredient!

Unknown-1Karen’s Banana/Blueberry bread
Preheat oven to 350 and butter a loaf pan

4 mashed ripe bananas…add 1/3 cup of melted butter…mix with love and a wooden spoon add …1 beaten egg, 1 tsp of vanilla and 3/4 cup of sugar……mix in .. with love.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of baking soda and a pinch of salt over the above … mix in … as always with love…
add 1.5 cups of flour and 1 cup of blueberries …mix with love and add any additional nuts, spices or other fruit that you fancy!

Bake for 1 hour.


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Snow thankful

lobby with snow nov 2014Every once in a while we become silly and think we can control things. We plan. We schedule. We prepare. And, nature has its way. So it is this Thanksgiving in the Hudson Valley. We’re humbled and amazed at the beauty that has pumpkin in snow copydescended upon us with this snow storm. Yes, some are still scrambling to get to destinations and the airports are not where you want to be. Yet, the goal of being with loved ones, of gathering together and giving thanks is what motivates us.

And so, we learn to take time. Enjoy the moments as they appear. Be thankful for the big and the small things: for seasons that blend together and remind us that time passes, but memories linger; porch w snow square nov 2014 copyfor the blessings, the people; even those oh-so-frustrating storms that force us to juggle schedules and plans; for the peace we are privileged to enjoy and that we want to extend into this big, sometimes scary, but oh so so amazingly beautiful world.

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

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