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A perfect evening at Brookside…

Dinner at Brookside @The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream

Last week I hosted a dinner at Brookside…one of the two cottages we have at The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream.   On the menu…celery root & mushroom lasagna (although that changed to spinach and mushroom at the last minute when I realized at 11pm that I had purchased horseradish instead of celery root!) , soupy, homemade, cured black olives, fresh salad from the garden, strawberry short cake, cannolis and a 1963 bottle of port saved by my Dad for my 50th.  Around the table…one of my best girlfriends, my sister Laurie, niece Olivia,  my love, my Dad, Sylvia, and dear friends Ed & Ritze Miller.  We ate, drank, laughed…watched the Bruins game and cried a bit.  And we celebrated…Father’s Day, Ed & Ritze’s  49th wedding anniversary, life and love!  One of the joys of my job as innkeeper is all the amazing people I get to meet.   Sometimes the meeting goes a lot deeper as is the case with Ed & Ritze.  This was their 16th year coming to the Woodstock Inn and my relationship with them has blossomed into a life long friendship.  My conversations with them, exchanges about books read, films seen, art loved, dogs adored…all of this has moved the three of us way beyond a simple guest/innkeeper relationship.  I simply love them and now realize that my “family” is growing.

peace,

Karen

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Win a night at the Inn – Submit photos by Friday

Yes, our photo contest is coming to an end. All entries need to be received by Friday, midnight. But don’t wait, because the top winner will earn a free night at the Inn. Simply send up to three images from a stay with us to wiphoto2013@gmail.com. So far we have seen pictures of herons and flowers and kids and chairs and mountains  and, of course, the stream. But we want to see what your perspective is. Do share. And check out our Pinterest page for other submissions. This is a picture of our breakfast room from Molly and Jerry Spanarkel’s visit – isn’t it amazing the stream  seems so bare. Everything is so green and lush now!

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Good time for a good cause

On Saturday, June 22nd  Woodstock is kicking off summer with Hollywood stars, great food and, of course, live music – all in one beautiful field right in the heart of Woodstock. Barnfest 2013 is free and supports Catskill Mountainkeeper, which works tirelessly to protect our region’s natural assets.
Chevy Chase and his wife Jayni will be honored by Aidan Quinn and Melissa Leo. Our own local community stars Happy Traum and Catherine Sebastian will also be feted and a posthumous recognition of Levon Helm will be accepted by his daughter Amy Helm. Come join the fun, be part of this special day that runs from noon to 5 p.m., and to really get summer fun started book a night at the Inn. See you there.

 

 

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Photo contest ends June 21

The warm weather is here and so are the herons. This one was enjoying the stream at the same time as our guest Barb Cunningham, and she’s submitted her image to our photo contest. What are your memorable moments from your vacation with us? Submit up to three images to wiphoto2013@gmail.com and be entered. Top prize is a night at the inn, gift certificates and T-shirts for others. Deadline is June 21, so get snapping and sending. See more of the contest’s entrants on our Pinterest page.

 

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Enjoy tasty treats for a good cause

We all know our favorite restaurants are great places to visit – and on Wednesday there will be a plethora of pleasure as they join forces for one night of delicious eating. A Taste of Woodstock will begin at 6 p.m. and for three gastronomically-wonderful hours people can sample specialty dishes from area restaurants, all serving their goods within walking distance of the heart of the village.
Participants include: Oriole 9, New Wold Home Cooking, Landau Grill, Maria’s Bazaar, Red Onion, Garden Cafe, Cucina, etc. – all the names that make Woodstock not just a great place to live and play, but also to eat. Advance tickets are $70 and on Wednesday they’ll be $80, so come out on to enjoy the best of dining and also support the Woodstock Film Festival. Good cause. Good food. Good people. Check in at the film festival box office 13 Rock City Rd.

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Make it a memorable Memorial Day

Music. Food. Movies. Dancing. All in one night. Yes, you could stay at home dreaming about all this, or you could experience it.   On Saturday May 25 Levon’s Studio is going to be more than rambling – it’s going to be roaring. Things begin with a good ol’ fashioned barbecue at 5 with music by Skyline Crossing. At 7:30 there’s a premiere of a video about Levon living in Ulster County. At 8 Jimmy Vivino and guests  tear it up and at 9:30, the magic of the Midnight Ramble Band will round out an evening of amazing music and memories.
This is sure to be a sellout, so be sure and visit the Levon Helm web site, secure your tickets. And then make it a real getaway with a stay at the Inn. Too bad Memorial Day only happens once a year.

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Pines For Palm Trees – Part I

Here I sit on the other end of the equation…the Innkeeper as guest.  It’s not something I do often (hardly ever) but turning 50 this year prompted me to pamper myself a bit and book an island vacation in the Virgin Islands.

I’m 50 (did I mention that?) … a bit worn, tired…but not from a husband & kids walk of life. Instead of children I’m stepmom to an Inn…18 rooms/2 cottages…my kids rotate daily, weekly.  A host of personalities, problems (not as many as my mother had!) joys, sorrows, delights, etc.

I really needed this vacation as a getaway from the whole kit and caboodle: the Inn, coworkers, guests, canines, felines. Some days it seems never ending.

And then, as I approached the desk to check in I realized an opportunity existed for me to observe how someone else does it.  You know … answer the repeated questions, explain directions for the 10,000 time, still smiling, responding as though no one had ever asked those questions before.  Not easy friends, let me tell you, not easy.   But we innkeepers do it … well, we do it if we love our jobs because we know how important it is to make someone feel welcome, at home if you will.  Lindy, the manager at my vacation destination, did it.  When I told her about my job our bond immediately thickened as we shared stories and belly laughs about “life as an innkeeper.”
By day three I was cleaning my own room, doing laundry and asking the housekeeper Carmen if she needed help since she was all alone that day and had a ton of work to do.  I did a little (which the other manager  caught me doing and looked at me as though I were crazy!)
Let me tell you something folks…I have had to clean a room or 50 in my 17 years as an innkeeper and that is a good thing.  First, it keeps you in touch with the room’s intimately…wainscoting, door frames, cracks, crannies and so on.  And second, you profoundly revisit your gratitude for the chambermaids and the incredibly hard work they do day in and day out.  It is physically challenging and at times pressured.  Every chambermaid I hire gets the speech. “It doesn’t matter how charming and lovable I am…if the room isn’t spotless we are in trouble.”

I will post again to let you know how the remainder of the vacation is going and how days 4-8 progress in part II of this blog.  Everyone here keeps asking me if I want to work & live here.  I will never exchange the Pines for the Palms!  If you are at The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream I hope you are enjoying yourselves immensely…If you aren’t, you should
be!

peace from the Caribbean

Karen

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Happy May Day! Whether you’re out dancing around a pole with brightly colored ribbons or simply sitting by the Millstream enjoying the warmth of the day, it is certainly a beautiful time of year. (And be extra thankful you’re in Woodstock now and that you weren’t in Britain around 1666, since all May Day celebrations were banned for almost two decades!) So enjoy the fresh blooms, even pick a few wildflowers to leave at a friend’s door and embrace these peaceful, lovely spring days.

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Listen to Spring’s siren song

The sun is out, the windows are open. And that compelling siren song of spring is luring you, forcing you to a nearby Adirondack chair. You are helpless. Forces beyond your control insist it’s time to stop.
Pause. Rest. Relax.
This fleeting season of renewal will soon be gone. So it’s time to play hooky, hang up the Gone Fishin’ sign and enjoy the day – just make sure you leave the cell phone at home.
(Photo courtesy of L. Jeffries who entered this image in our 2012 photo contest. This year’s contest ends June 21, 2013. Send entries to wiphoto@gmail.com.) 

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This is the weekend….

What a weekend it will be here in Woodstock! Spirituality, sex and song are just some of the topics that will be addressed at the 2013 Woodstock Writer’s Festival. Starting on Thursday night and right on through Sunday the hottest names in literature will be visiting the coolest town in America. This is just one of the many features that make Woodstock such a wonderful place to live and play. Join some of the sessions in person or download a webcast of the festival. Be inspired, be reflective, or just be. It is, after all, Woodstock.

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