President’s Day Weekend in Vermont with Golden Stage Inn

If you’re spending your Valentines & President’s Day weekend in Vermont, you’ve got a fun-filled winter break waiting for you!

Southern Vermont is chock full of events to make your President’s Day weekend stay perfect, no matter your preferences.  Are you an art lover?  Travel to the quaint town of Weston to see the Vermont & Beyond Fine Arts Exhibit Gallery Opening.  Even if you don’t make the trip, you can get a taste for Vermont art since one of the featured artists’ works are on display at Golden Stage Inn this winter!  Itching to get outdoors and play in the fresh foot of snowy powder VT just received?  Head on over to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center for some skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing.  Music lovers can attend the Rusty Belle concert on Saturday the 15th at Gethsemane Church, just a couple minutes’ walk away from your comfortable bed at the inn.  Food lovers and locavores can visit Plymouth Artisan Cheese for their open shop weekend at the Calvin Coolidge Historic Site, 10-4 on Saturday and Sunday.  And if you love getting out on the town with your loved one or family, check out the Chester Ice Festival.  Learn more details about these grand events below…

Vermont and Beyond Fine Arts Exhibit

The Weston Playhouse will showcase local talent with the President’s Day Weekend Vermont & Beyond Fine Arts exhibit on the 15th and 16th of February.  Visit the show 11 am – 5 pm either day; with free admission, refreshments provided, and music by local band Potluck, you can’t go wrong. All artwork is for sale. Featured artists include…

Chester Winter Carnival

Voted one of the Top Ten Winter Events in Vermont, the Chester Winter Carnival is not to be missed if you happen to spend President’s Day weekend in VT!  Saturday is jam-packed with events from 11 am to 8 pm.  Get active with cross country ski trail runs, sled races, and disc golf.  The competitions continue with Snow Sculpture judging and a Scavenger Hunt with cash prizes.  Sit back and relax with Siberian Husky dogsled rides, then warm up by a bonfire.  Saturday night brings an ice skating party with DJ and a fire sculpture by chainsaw artist Barre Pinske.  Sunday events go from 9 am to 1 pm, with snowmobiling, a broom hockey tournament and an old-fashioned ice cutting demo.

Rusty Belle Concert

Featured as part of the stage-rocking Raise the Roof Concert Series, Rusty Belle will perform at the intimate venue of Gethsemane Episcopal Church at 7:00 pm on Saturday, February 15th.  Though it may be a bit cold, the church is walking distance from the Golden Stage Inn; if you drive you’ll be there in less than a minute.  Rusty Belle will sing and play their hearts out for you, and warm your bones right down to your soul.  The brother-sister-friend trio calls their genre roots-rock-junk-folk, and the result is a luscious treat for the ears. Give their tunes a listen to see if this show is for you!

End your President’s Day Weekend in Vermont with a bang on February 16th with Okemo’s Torchlight Parade and Fireworks Show…you might just see me holding a flare in the procession of ski and snowboard instructors as we snake down the slopes!  Hope to see you then and enjoy your vacation with the Golden Stage Inn.

Sophi Veltrop, Marketing Assistant

Wheel of Fortune Bed and Breakfast Episode

Wheel of Fortune to feature VT B&B Prize this evening!

About three years ago, the Wheel of Fortune Bed and Breakfast Week offered prize stays at five premier B&Bs across the world.  This week on Wheel of Fortune, it’s Romance Week – and bed and breakfast packages are back in the spotlight!  Tune in today (Tuesday, February 11th) at 7:30 pm to see to see one lucky contestant solve a puzzle to win a five-night getaway to Rabbit Hill Inn in Northeastern Vermont.  Though our family-owned Golden Stage Inn in Southern Vermont will not be a prize on the show, we do have a surprisingly personal connection to the B&B featured as the Wheel of Fortune prize!

Back in their dating days, Julie and Michael Wood took a vacation to Northern Vermont, living spontaneously and figuring they would find accommodations at the last minute.  This was before they knew how challenging ‘last minute accommodations’  in Vermont  on a foliage weekend would prove to be.  After being sent away from so many inns, hotels and B&Bs in the Northeast Kingdom, they finally came across  Rabbit Hill Inn.  Although this inn was similar to the rest in its lack of open rooms, this was the only similarity.  The innkeepers welcomed in these wary travelers, sat them in front of a fireplace, while they called the local businesses, finding a room for Mike and Julie.   Thus started Mike and Julie’s keen interest in both Rabbit Hill Inn specifically and bed and breakfasts in general.  Every year since that event for the next 15 years, Mike and Julie visited Rabbit Hill Inn at least once per year, including one particularly special occasion … their own wedding.

Their first memorable experience at Rabbit Hill planted the seed of a dream to someday own and run a bed and breakfast themselves.  Today, you’ll find Mike and Julie offering the same welcoming comfort to travelers far and near – even those that do not end up staying at the Golden Stage Inn.  Perhaps in the future the Inn will become a Wheel of Fortune Bed and Breakfast prize, and maybe you’ll be the winner!

Vermont Bed and Breakfast

Partnering with the game show to create Wheel of Fortune bed and breakfast prizes is VIBBA, or Vermont Inns and Bed & Breakfast Association.  This organization is a fantastic resource for those looking to travel to Vermont and escape to the countryside.  Search for lodging based on location, use the maps to plan a sight-seeing route, or discover VT’s best kept secrets and events.  The innkeepers at Golden Stage are so happy to see one of their favorite Vermont B&Bs make an appearance on national TV.  Vermonters can tune in tonight on channel 5 or channel 31.  Missed the show? Check out this old teaser from an earlier Wheel of Fortune Bed and Breakfast edition!

YouTube Preview Image

 

Banff Mountain Film Festival comes to Lebanon, NH

I continue to be astounded by the way the world comes to our neck of the woods in Vermont and New Hampshire.  The mountains surrounding our bed and breakfast in Cavendish are known for their impressive hiking, biking and skiing, but they are also constantly celebrated through art.  I realized this last night, as the tour of the Banff Mountain Film Festival passed through Southwestern New Hampshire.  Though it was a bit of a hike to get to Lebanon, NH from the Ludlow and Okemo area, it was completely worthwhile to experience the moutain film of a lifetime.  Well, really, it was many films of a life-time, and they were only a microscopic snapshot of the entire collection shown at the original Banff Film Festival back in October of 2013.  Though the Green Mountains of Vermont and the Whites of New Hampshire are small in size compared to the Himalayas, the tapuis of South America, and the cliffs of Morocco, this was the perfect setting in which to watch mountain-themed films.  The culture of our area is shaped by the mountains just as the mountains and hills have been shaped by time.  Though every range and peak has its own character, people who love the mountains have a deep passion in common.  It was that passion that every theater-goer that night shared as we watched with eyes wide at the dramatic scenes before us.

Below are brief accounts and review of a sampling of mountain films showed in the Lebanon Opera House this past Friday.  Check out the United States Tour to see if the film festival is coming your way in the future…it may just stoke your passion to gain elevation!

  • The first half of the evening’s feature film was Ready to Fly, a documentary profiling the fight to end discrimination against women in the Olympics.  Lindsey Van, a woman ski jumper who can jump farther than most men, led the fight by suing the International Olympic Committee.  If you’ve been following the Olympic Games News for the Sochi Winter Games of 2014, you’ll already know the ending to the story (it’s a happy one with victory for ladies!) but this film is absolutely stunning and will make you think about equality in sports today.
  • A short film called Cascada showed impressive imagery and cinematography.  Kayakers journey to Mexico to tackle waterfalls, but reflect upon their experience with people and wilderness in the process.  The shots are absolutely gorgeous!

  • My favorite piece was The Burn, simply because it did not try to impress…because it did not have to.  The entire mountain film was simply two skiers pounding powder in the back country that had burned down in a wildfire the day before a snowstorm.  Not only was the landscape desolately captivating, but the trees were still glowing with embers from the fire before. Sparks flew off from under the skiers when their skis sank through the powder and hit still-burning wood, red embers reflecting off of ice and snow.

  • Two 20-minute films were shown in the second half.  One, Keeper of the Mountains, told the story of an old woman named Elizabeth Hawley, who has kept records her entire life of the ascents of Mount Everest.  She knows every traverse, camp, and crevasse, but has never and will never climb the mountain herself.  Another impressive lady was profiled in Spice Girl, the story of perhaps the best female trad (traditional) climber of her age.  Her name is Hazel Finlay, and she was the first girl to trad climb an E9 (that’s a very hard thing to do!).  As you watch her make ascents, your palms sweating, she speaks about the experience, saying “It’s a bit scary.”  Amazing.  The first half shows her conquering rock walls with her dad, and the second half chronicles her adventure to Morocco to climb a 12-pitch wall that took from before dawn to far after dark.

Visit Vermont not just for the mountains, but also for the amazing creative work they inspire and celebrate from across the world!

 

Natural Homes Exhibit for all ages
Explore the life-sized termite mound (termites not included!). Just like honeybees, we can learn a lot about living in harmony with nature from these fascinating creatures.
Take a look at nature’s dwellings through a sustainable inn

A new exhibit at the Montshire Museum of Science teaches us how our homes can become sustainable.

Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature Exhibit Norwich VT

 

The Golden Stage Inn strives to be eco-friendly whenever possible, to create a lifestyle of low-impact traveling and give guests the option of choosing a sustainable inn.  That’s why we can’t wait to check out the new ‘Sustainable Shelters’ exhibit at Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT!

The Montshire Museum of Science is just 50 minutes away from our rurally located Vermont bed and breakfast.  Between February 1st and May 26th, the museum will feature an impressive exhibition entitled ‘Sustainable Shelter: Dwelling Within the Forces of Nature,’ created by the Center for Sustainable Building Research and the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota.  Visitors can explore how our homes can become more natural through two lenses; that of modern architectural green technologies and that of the the animal kingdom.  This is a fun-filled and educational trip for the kids, who will be sucked in by cartoons, games and interactive models.  Children can poke their heads into the living terrarium featured above, while parents learn about the life cycles of building materials and US water and energy consumption.  Animal nests and structures appear about museum, including a life-sized any colony and termite mound.  Participants can build their own sustainable homes, compare efficient architecture to ‘typical’ homes, and look at differences in dwellings across cultures and eras.

The Montshire Museum of Science is a riveting destination all year round.  For Vermonters and visitors alike, the 100-acre site is absolutely mind-opening no matter your age.  Wildlife can be spotted from the trails, and you can splash in the Science Park or step into space for a moment in the Planet Walk.  They offer an amazing variety of programs such as summer camps, talks and special events…on February 15th get ready for the annual Igloo Build, called the #1 Way to Winter Fun by Yankee Magazine! Attending this event would be taking low-impact dwellings to a whole new level. So head over to the Montshire Museum, and if a Green (Mountain) vacation to a sustainable inn is your idea of a guilt-free getaway, give us a call!

Here in our neck of the Vermont woods, we also strive to make ourselves a sustainable inn in a few key ways:

  • We love welcoming our guests to try the locally produced foods of Southern Vermont, including our own eggs and honey.
  • Leftover soaps are recycled through a program called ‘Clean the World,’ which reduces waste in landfills while providing sanitized soap to those in need.
  • We purchase green cleaning products and energy-efficient appliances.
  • Our amenities are of the “BeeKind” line, which minimizes environmental impact while donating a portion of profits to researching the plight of the honeybee.
  • As many of you know, we keep honeybees and promote education on the importance of local beekeeping to the survival of this important and delicate species.

Vermont Bed and Breakfast Offers Quality Amenities

Heavenly Banana Bread From Scratch

At our Vermont B&B, we’re often complimented on our breakfasts, but our banana bread recipe seems to get an extra dose of respect …and requests for the recipe itself. You can imagine that the guests who are here for hiking or skiing want a delicious breakfast that will keep them full all day — and this recipe will help do just that. Before we begin, here are a few of our tips to perfecting your own loaf of homemade banana bread goodness:

Make sure the bananas are old. Really old. Many people make banana bread when the fruits’ skins are dark yellow with a few brown spots…go for total over-ripeness and wait a few more days for the skins to blacken. We promise these super-ripe bananas are not only completely safe to eat but absolutely essential to making delectable banana bread!

If you’re looking for healthier and heartier versions of banana bread, add some ground flax to this recipe when you add the flour (start with 1/4 cup and work your up if you like it) or add a cup of oatmeal (decreasing the flour by a half cup).  Another way to add heartiness is to increase the ratio of wheat flour and/or decrease the amount of sugar.   These variations will diminish the silky smooth texture of this banana bread, but I think it’s well worth the added health benefits.

This recipe makes 1 single loaf or 3 mini loaves or 1 dozen muffins.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

3 very overripe bananas, mashed

2 cups white wheat flour (or use 1 cup white flour and 1 cup wheat flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Recipes from the Golden Stage Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Banana Bread Recipe

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease your baking tin(s).

2) Add the lemon juice to the milk, stir and set aside. (It will curdle.  This is good.)

3) Cream together the butter and sugar.  If unsure how long this takes, do it a little longer than you think.

4) Add the eggs and bananas to the butter and sugar, and mix.

5) Add half the flour (one cup), baking soda, and salt. Mix.

6) Add the milk & lemon juice that you set aside at the beginning. Mix again.

7) Add the rest of the flour (one cup) and mix for the last time! Mix just until blended. Do not overmix.

8) Pour your finished mixture into your greased pan.

9)Bake until edges are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Use the cooking times listed below as a guideline, but remember that the bread continues to cook a bit after removing it from the oven.  An overcooked bread is a terrible thing!

For a single loaf pan, bake for 60-70 minutes.

For three miniature loaves, bake for 40 minutes.

For muffins, bake 18 minutes.

And voila – you have warm, banana-flavored clouds of home-baked heaven.

Golden Stage Inn Original Recipes

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