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2 Jan 2009
Ski/Snowboard Lessons Just for Women
Photo (c) Sugarbush Resort

Sometimes you just need to get away for a little while. Men need to get away from women, women need to get away from men, and both need a break from the kids.

For women who would like to learn or improve ski or snow board skills, there are several places in Vermont ready to help without the distraction of children and away from male competitiveness (or whatever else they do that gets on your nerves).

Yes, I know you love them. You will love them even more when you come back refreshed from some time away.

Here are some places you can do that (note: reservations are often required):

Sugarbush Women Ski and Ride Discovery Camp is a three day program that includes daily lessons both outdoor and indoor, practice time, video analysis, breakfast and lunch each day, wine and cheese social the first night, snowshoe hike, plenty of time for relaxing at the end of each day. Offered January 14-16, 2009 and March 9-11, 2009. The price is $389 but lift tickets are extra.

Umiak Outfitters in Stowe is holding a Women's Telemark Clinic taught by certified North American Telemark Organization Instructor Wendy Bridgewater. The beginners clinic runs from 10:00 to noon, and intermediates from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Prices start at $49.

Stratton Resort has two and three day women's camps feature five hours a day on snow, specialized instruction and video sessions for beginners or experts. In addition to the lessons, there are breakfasts, body awakening stretching sessions, lunches, class room talks, and motivational instruction round out the day.

Stratton's two day workshops are $298 and are scheduled for January 29-30, 2009 and March 9-10, 2009. Three day workshops are $399 and will be held February 9-11, 2009 and March 9-11, 2009.

Okemo not only offers women's lessons but also they have Ladies' Day on select Tuesday's for just $39 plus group lessons for only $25. The dates are January 13, 20, 27; March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31.

Okemo's Women's Lessons are scheduled January 22-23, Jan 26-30, January 9-11, February 6-8, and February 25-27, 2009.

Okemo also offers participants discount lodging at their Jackson Gore Inn with free access a new fitness center with swimming pool, sauna and spa facilities, ice skating at their new rink, and chef prepared meals.

Mad River Glen offers Women's Telemark Ski Clinics coached by women. It includes lunch, coaching, video and group discussions, and will be held January 9.

Mad River Glen Women's Alpine Ski Clinics will be held February 6 and March 6. $110 per person or $145 with a lift ticket.

Stowe Resort's Women In Motion programs will be held January 9-11, February 9-11, and March 2-4. The three-day programs are for intermediate and advanced alpine skiers.

Killington Women's Weekends are for intermediate or higher level women and feature four hours of daily on mountain clinics (10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.), with personal feedback.

Killington also offers two day women's clinic that are $299 including lift ticket or $199 without lift ticket. The dates are January 17-18, February 21-22, and March 21-22.

Jay Peak's Jay Peak's Women's Clinics for intermediate or better skiers or riders start February 14th. The cost is $229 and includes the clinic, lift ticket, video analysis, lunch, & après ski cocktails & snacks.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  19:10 | permalink

29 Dec 2008
First Night Celebrations in Three VT Towns

Back from a couple of weeks of vacation followed by busy days of cleaning up after the insulation company blew new "dense-pack" into the attic, reorganizing the items we took out of the attic, moving them around from room to room to make way for guests, putting them back into the attic, followed by some quick wall painting and a few small repairs, and somewhere in there I got over a cold, put up the Christmas tree, mailed holiday cards, and wrapped a couple of presents, plus the day-to-day details of running an inn such as answering inquiries, taking reservations and emailing confirmations.

One way I got all that done was by slacking on this blog. Now I have a one inch stack of topics ready to be written about. Number one on the list is New Year's celebrations. Three cities in VT have First Night celebrations.

Originated in Boston in 1976, First Night celebrations have spread to many other cities in the US plus Canada and New Zealand.

First Nights are family friendly events that are alcohol and substance free.

Burlington's First Night has a New Year's eve parade, music performances, plays, circus acts, dancing, eating, and fireworks at venues throughout the downtown, all within walking distance of each other

This is a large event put on by a non-profit organization with 3 full time directors, a board of 14 members, many corporate sponsors, and 500 volunteers.

Other First Nights nearby are Montpelier, and a little farther away in St. Johnsbury, where they are proud to raise a lighted ball at midnight instead of lowering it as they do in some other cities.

Admission ranges from $10 in St. Johnsbury to $15 at Burlington for adults.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor
posted by  grunhaus at  09:10 | permalink

3 Dec 2008
Killington and Sugarbush Celebrate 50th Anniversaries

This old but undated photo shows one of Sugarbush's gondolas that was painted from, believe it or not, a winning entry in a design contest

Killington Ski Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary December 12 through the 14th. On the web page you will see that Killington sold all their commemorative medallions but the events are open to other people who have not purchased one.

On Friday night, there is a "Ski Sweater Soirée" at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel and Spa. Tickets are $75 and include dinner and entertainment. On Saturday, there is a 50th Birthday Poker Run throughout the resort. On Saturday night , there will be a torchlight parade, snowcat parade, kid’s activities and entertainment, live entertainment and dancing, and a giant birthday cake.

It is surprising that at the same time 50 years ago, Sugarbush was also getting started. Its 50th birthday celebration is the same weekend as Killington's. The two ski areas are about an hour's drive from each other so it's possible to attend both events.

Both ski resorts have new owners as of a few years ago and both are undergoing upgrades, especially Sugarbush which has seen major improvements over the last several years. Once known as "Mascara Mountain" for its tony clientele a few decades ago, Sugarbush will be hosting special events, meals, lodging, and skiing the weekend after next. Click the website link in the paragraph above to get details.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  15:42 | permalink

27 Nov 2008
Thanksgiving Weekend
Photo courtesy Billings Farm and Museum

The Billings Farm and Museum is a beautiful working farm in Woodstock VT.. Its annual Thanksgiving Weekend starts tomorrow and continues through Sunday from 10:00 to 4:00 each day. There will be traditional cooking demonstrations, history of Thanksgiving and how it was celebrated long ago, draft horse wagon rides, tours, and other activities for the whole family.

Thanksgiving At Hildene, located near Manchester VT, will be this Friday through Sunday. There will be self-guided tours through the mansion decorated for the season. Hildene was originally the home of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham,$12.50/Adult,
$5/Children, Members and children under 6/Free.

In nearby Manchester VT, there will be a Christmas tree lighting at 5:00 on Friday November 28 at the Town Green. It will be followed by a reception with Santa at Hand Motors. With all the upscale outlet stores in town, including the Orvis headquarters store, there will be opportunities to get some holiday shopping done.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor
Advice , Events , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  10:22 | permalink

25 Nov 2008
Annual VT Christmas Bird Count

The Christmas Bird Count is a 109 year old event held each year all around the country. It is sometimes held on Christmas day but often takes place on other days in December and early January depending upon each local group's preferred timing. In Vermont, there are about 20 bird counting groups with the earliest counts starting December 14 and going through January 5.

This is a great way to get out and see some Vermont scenery and enjoy a day with local and out-of-state birders. You don't have to be an expert. There will be at least one experienced birder leading each group.

Detailed information about this year's count is available on the Vermont eBird.org website page. This website is a good source of information not only about the Christmas bird count but also year around information about birding in Vermont.

Two other birding websites I like are Virtual Birder (it has weekly reports of rare bird sightings around the state) and the Vermont Audubon (including links to the group's state office and local chapters).

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Events , Nature
posted by  grunhaus at  20:15 | permalink

11 Nov 2008
Used and New Ski and Snowboard Equipment Sale at Okemo

Just came across a news item that Okemo, Ludlow VT, is also having a new and used ski and snowboard equipment sale November 21, 22, and 23 at the resort's base lodge. Friday's times are 4:00 to 7:00; Saturday is from9:00 to 5:00; and Sunday is 9:00 to 1:00.

If you have equipment you would like to sell, you can drop it off this Saturday, the 15th, Sunday the 16th, or next Wednesday the 19th - each day is from 10:00 to 3:00. Equipment should be in good condition and not more than seven years old. Items are sold on 25% consignment with proceeds going to Okemo Mountain School. For further information, contact Mariel Meringolo at mariel dot meringol at okemomountainschool.org or 802-228-1512.

I mentioned in yesterday's blog about the Waitsfield sale that I would like to see a fishing gear sale and, wouldn't you know it, the Okemo swap also welcomes fly fishing equipment! I'm tempted . . .

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Events , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  21:16 | permalink

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