27 March 2013


We got back from Florida and the Hearth Show on Saturday and we left for Vermont on Tuesday.  We drove up in a blizzard; by we I mean, Art.  I had a flask and did my best not to pay attention to the semi truck that bowled past us on I-89 going North.  Not five minutes later we saw another 18 wheeler poised on the side of the embankment with his nose facing the road and the box parallel to the road but facing the opposite direction that traffic is traveling.  The really interesting bit is that there were no tire marks in the snow.  It looked as if he had floated to his destination.  No clue how he did it but I am sure it was spectacular and horrifying.  I imagine he needed a change in pants to say the least.  

We had a nice visit at our friend's home.  They were in Florida at the Hearth Show with us and when they heard that we were going to Jay Peak for skiing (again- Art, not me) they offered their vaca-home to us.  We gladly accepted.  It is tucked up on a hill by Lake Willoughby, which can be seen from the house on a clear day.  It is a charming house with classic hardware and charm to beat the band.

The boys and kids went skiing at Jay the first full day and Burke the second.  Sandra and I didn't even have to leave the property.  We snowshoed around the property and beyond we found a snowmobile trail with some easier walking.  Zdeno was able to come with us and he had a blast!  He loves snow shoeing with us.

We got to use the Oakwood first hand as they use this as a heat source at the house.  Sure, they have a furnace but what fun is that?  Will and Sandra also enjoyed the fabulous six burner gas stove in the kitchen.  I am sorry, but those things freak me out!

We did get to go over to enjoy Will's Hill this past weekend as well.  We got to snow shoe and ski with the kids and Zdeno had a blast with Beauty.  She loves to roll him in the snow and drool on his ears.  He loves it!  He jumped out of the car and rolled over in the nearest snowbank for her.  They are too adorable together.  We had a good time, too.  Art taught the kids how to play double solitaire.  

I am quite happy to be home now.  We don't have anything else planned until Newport.  We are not leaving this house (for the night) for all of April!  That will be the first month since November we pulled that off.
I am looking forward to catching up on house cleaning and projects like getting hardware in the new bathroom.  I also want to move my home office from the Bear Room to the Loft.  We fired up the stove on the porch and it is warm enough that we can enjoy daily meals out there again :-)
We also have early buy pricing and notices to get out and that whole pesky 'we need to hire someone' thing to deal with... 

17 March 2013


We have had a real winter here in New England this year.  It is mid-March with over a foot of snow still on the ground and another storm will drop 4-8" on Tuesday.  We have certainly worked to enjoy the season!  We have had a busy travel winter with nearly 40 days away from home since Christmas!  

We spent Christmas in Connecticut with Art's sister.  I then stayed on and went into the city with my niece Abbie.  We were able to visit the 9/11 Memorial at the Trade Tower site.  It was quite emotional.  The waterfalls are a touching tribute. 

Then we whisked off to Foxboro to see another niece marry her high school sweetheart after thirteen years!  It was fun to ring in the new year with the family at the start of their union.

We were home for a short rest before heading off to Jackson, NH to start the ski season!  We enjoyed a few good snowstorms that gave the skiers powdery days at Black, Wildcat, and Bretton Woods.  I am more of a snowshoer so we enjoyed stomping around Dolly Copp as well as spending a day at the Jackson Cross Country Ski Center.  A little retail therapy is always nice, too :-)

Hockey season started late this year but we did still get a six game mini-pack and were able to enjoy our first game in late January.  We were so excited to go to the opening game.  They won which was wonderful and the Bruins gave us a free t-shirt, food and a discount at the shop to help make up for the late start.  We had to sell a couple of games due to upcoming travel but were happy to at least be able to attend a few!

We were home for a little over a week before we headed South.  We stopped in Arizona to pick up and visit Art's Dad then headed to Mazatlan, Mexico to see my folks and spend a week in the sun.  We enjoyed showing him our favorite places like the Los Osunas Agave factory, the top of the Freeman, Playa Bruja and old town which was decorated for Carnaval. 

Upon our return we headed North to Maine for our annual ski trip with friends and family.  We rented a beautiful house on the Carrabassett River just South of Sugarloaf.  We were able to bring Zdeno with us and enjoyed snowshoeing around the property, having a bon fire, sitting in the hot tub during a snowstorm and enjoying the company.  Skiers had a few good storms and lots of good snow.

We also had the Sims up for a fun weekend of resting relaxing and playing in the snow.  We went to Parker's Maple Barn to check out the sugaring, which is going well this year, and have a yummy breakfast.  Then off to Brookline as some had not yet seen our shop.  Then we went over to the Wildes to Enjoy Will's Hill skiing and snowshoeing.  Puppy Teddy had a blast!  He probably slept all the way home in the Passat, which Abbie bought from us this weekend.

We weren't back long before we headed down to Florida for the annual Hearth Show.  It is always good to catch up with our suppliers and peers.  There were some new products this year which was a pleasant surprise.  It seems like our industry has been stuck in a rut the last few years with declining sales.  Some new stoves included the Harman Advantage which does over 40,000 btu's of heat in a stove less than 2' square.  The coolest part is that it is controlled by your ipad or iphone! 

We also snuck away one afternoon to go over to the Kennedy Space Center.  We loved seeing the Hubble Imax movie, the old rockets on display, and the unexpected surprise of getting to hear astronaut Bob Cenker speak and share his experience on the shuttle in the 1980's.

We were thrilled to finally be back home at the end of that trip though.  We have packed a lot into the first couple of months this year!  That was our last planned air travel trip this year.  Upcoming we just have a night at our friends in Northern Vermont to use Art's free ski ticket at Jay Peak that he got when he had to get new skis this year and then nothing until Newport at the end of May!

Hope you have kept busy and warm this winter and have enjoyed the snow!!!