Southern Vermont Events: November – December 2014

Halloween was certainly a blast in the Okemo, Ludlow, and Chester areas…but let’s look ahead to what’s in store for November and December of 2014!  Check out the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce’s complete calendar for more information.

Okemo Valley Events: November 2014 

 

Hear notable Vermont authors speak at the First Universalist Parish in Chester, VT.  This event takes place every Sunday in November at 2 pm!  For more information, visit Misty Valley Books’ website

On November 7th, see Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame singer Mavis Staples at Bellows Falls Opera House!  Enjoy a rockin’ night of music, and perhaps stop at a restaurant along the way.

Movie night!  Watch UP in Ludlow, VT on November 8th.  Fun for the whole family!

On November 15th (and 22nd), taste Plymouth Cheese at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham from 12-3 pm. That same evening, enjoy Celtic music in Ludlow’s Town Hall Auditorium ($15).

Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers raise the roof on November 16th at the Gethsemane Church in Proctorsville – walking distance from Golden Stage Inn.  Bed and breakfast guests can enjoy this blend of blues, soul and funk for $10.

It’s time to look forward to ski trips in Vermont!  OMS Ski Swap takes place November 21-23 at the Clocktower Base of Okemo Mountain Ski Resort.  Buy and sell new and used ski gear.

On November 23rd, Vermont is the place for holiday travels!  The Santa Express leaves from Bellows Falls to “The North Pole” at 9:30 am, 1:15 pm and 5 pm.  Great fun for the family, and to get in the Christmas spirit.  There are other ways to celebrate the season as well – Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT offers Wagon Rides every weekend in November ($14 for adults, $8 for kids 5-15).  Thanksgiving weekend happens at Billings Farm the following weekend, on November 29th.

 

Okemo Valley Events: December 2014

Think snow, skiing, and holiday season!  Lots of Christmas events, holiday shopping, and getting ready for the upcoming winter snow…

December 6th – Coolidge Holiday Open House from 10-4 in Plymouth, VT.  Enjoy sleigh rides, crafts, lunch, music and more at this historic site.  On the same day, check out Christmas in Weston, VT!  Voted a top ten winter event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  That evening, enjoy colonial cocktails and food with Corin Hirsh at the Inn at Weathersfield.

On December 13th, two authors will talk about their books at the Vermont Country Stores in both Weston and Rockingham.  Later on, enjoy Christmas in Mount Holly with a visit from Santa, refreshments, Christmas carols and plays.

New Years Eve on Star Lake is a wonderful event happening not far from Golden Stage Inn.  Every year, people gather at Star Lake for skating, a bonfire, and fireworks.

 

We hope this brief calendar of events helps as you plan your holiday travels, your ski trips, and your Vermont vacation!  If you plan to visit Vermont in November or December, don’t forget to check out our discounted rates with the “I Hate Malls!” package from November 4th through December 15th.

Added Flair & Hair!

Golden Stage Inn Sitting Room

We’ve renovated one of our sitting rooms!  This cozy sitting room is towards the back of inn – as you approach the solarium for breakfast, you’ll see it just past the coffee & cookie room.  There is a comfortable sofa and a rocker for reading and chatting, or a table with chairs if you prefer playing games and solving puzzles.  A gas-fired stove provides warmth, while plants liven up the space.  We hope this space offers everything you seek in a New England bed and breakfast.

Amazingly, we’ve had an unexpected triumph with one of our houseplants!  This Dr. Seuss-like oddity is called a ‘Pony-tail Tree.’  Check out these before and after pictures…

Golden Stage Inn house plant in sitting room

Before:  The plant was in a cramped pot and a shady, cool corner on the second floor.  Were those frail little wisps of pony-tail leaves even worth keeping?  Julie thought it deserved a chance…

 

After:  The Pony-Tail Tree was re-potted and given a new home in the sunnier, warmer sitting room downstairs.  This photo just goes to show what a change of location can do for you!  Addressing your own needs is something we all need to do, and when we give them attention and care, we flourish.  Maybe a relaxing break in the sunny Golden Stage sitting room is what we all need!

B&B Sitting room renovation

Holiday Shopping in Vermont

It’s time to start thinking about the dreaded chore of holiday shopping… But you can de-stress from the pressure by completing your holiday shopping in Vermont!  In our area of Ludlow, VT, you’ll find an abundance of small businesses and local food.  You can even find the most local honey possible – harvested right here in the backyard of our B&B.  Holiday shopping in Vermont is stress-less.  Why waste time, energy and money on stress-full shopping malls?  Here in Southern Vermont, countless locally-owned stores offer unique gifts and products.  You might even (gasp!) enjoy checking off your holiday shopping list!  Read on to learn about some of Golden Stage Inn’s favorite local shopping destinations in the Okemo Valley Area. Depot Street Gallery – “Home of the Silver Spoon!”  This gallery combines gorgeous art with funny trinkets.  Find local art and crafts. Angelina’s Market – a new addition to the Ludlow businesses, and a sweet spot for holiday shopping in Vermont.  We were pleased to welcome Angelina’s Market to the VT Golden Honey Festival held at our bed and breakfast this past September!

Photo from Crowley Cheese

Photo from Crowley Cheese

Wine and Cheese Depot – The owner and staff are highly knowledgable about their products and will help you find just the taste you’re looking for.  The selection of Vermont cheeses is to die for!  Speaking of Vermont cheese, you can also visit Crowley Cheese or Plymouth Artisan Cheese if your loved ones deserve better than coal in their stockings. The Book Nook – Find all your reading needs here!  It’s fantastic to have a small, independent bookstore right in the center of downtown Ludlow, VT.  Getting your holiday shopping done at locally owned bookstores helps keep quaint Vermont towns thriving! Blue Sky Trading Company is right in downtown Ludlow as well, and offers every kind of gift you could think of. Six Loose Ladies, a fiber arts store, is right down the road from our bed and breakfast!  Stop at Crow’s Corner Bakery along the way for some freshly baked bread.  Complete the circuit with a visit to Singleton’s – your classic Vermont general store.  (Golden Stage Inn sources our breakfast bacon from Singleton’s!) YouTube Preview Image Maple syrup is a classic hit if you’re doing your holiday shopping in Vermont.  Check out Green Mountain Sugar House, not far from the Inn on Vermont 100 North.   Clearly, the options are limitless…there are several more stores, galleries and cafes in the area to visit during your shopping spree.  You can find a full list at Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce’s website.  While planning your holiday shopping in Vermont, take advantage of Golden Stage Inn’s ‘I Hate Malls!’ special.  Discounted rates, gift-wrapping supplies, free wood-fired pizza…find out more on our specials page!

Black Rock Steakhouse: Restaurant Review

Black Rock Steakhouse is a fun night out in Springfield, Vermont.  Just a twenty minute drive from our bed and breakfast in Ludlow, a dinner at Black Rock pairs well with a movie in downtown Springfield or a visit to the VAULT art gallery.  While a dinner at Black Rock Steakhouse could work for any event, I especially find it fun for a family gathering.  This August during a family reunion, eleven of my family members enjoyed a dinner out together.

Black Rock steakhouse appetizer

The concept of Black Rock Steakhouse does indeed involve a black rock!

Among many appetizer and entree options, the main event is a selection of entrees delivered to you on a piping hot black rock.  These are mainly different kinds of steak and seafood.  The rock is super-heated (I think to around 400 degrees Farenheit, but don’t quote me on that!) so it is not recommended for children under 12.  That being said, this is an amazingly fun interactive experience!  You can cook your meal exactly the way you like.

Black Rock Steak entree

I ordered the seafood special with scallops and shrimp, and most of my relatives ordered steaks.  If you’re going for steak, the consensus seemed to favor the Argentinian and the Filet Mignon.

Black Rock Steakhouse scallops and shrimp

Above: scallops and shrimp ready to be cooked.  Below: scallops and shrimp ready to be eaten!

Black Rock steakhouse, Springfield VT

For dessert, my brothers and cousins ordered a chocolate fondue – another fun, interactive food that two or more people can enjoy.

To see the full Black Rock Steakhouse menu, see their website or check out the Golden Stage Inn Vermont dining guide, located in the fireside sitting room adjacent to the entryway.

Fall Foliage Views from Mt. Ephraim

Mt. Ephraim is a relatively short and easy hike, located in Springfield, VT.  The hike is a 20-25 minute drive from Golden Stage Inn.  Due to its gentle grade, it is a fun hike no matter the season.  Even snowshoes or cross-country skis can make it up for some winter views of the snowy ski trails on Okemo, Magic, Bromley, and Mt. Snow.  I recently took a hike with my dogs to take in the stunning fall foliage of 2014.  We’ve been lucky to have vivid, stunning color from the leaves as well as an especially long New England foliage season.

 

Fall foliage views in vermont

You can view a Trail Guide and Map to Mount Ephraim and other hikes in Springfield, VT here.  Mt. Ephraim’s guide is on page 12.  There are several different trails you can take, but no sign posts or blazes, so be sure to take a map and compass with you if this is your first time up Mt. Ephraim!

Vermont Autumn foliage

 

These photos were taken on October 13th.  The foliage is sticking around a while longer, so if you’re interested in getting to Vermont before the leaves disappear, check out our Last-Minute Leaf Peeper Special.  (Expires October 24th, 2014.  Applicable to new reservations only.)

 

View from the top of Mt. Ephraim

The views from the top of Mt. Ephraim make for a hike worthwhile!  You can see to New Hampshire and to several ski areas, including Killington.

Happy hiking!

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