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10 Nov 2008
Great Deals at the Waitsfield VT Ski & Skate Sale

A few years ago I visited the Waitsfield VT Ski and Skate Sale because I had driven by it the previous couple of years and noticed a great number of cars parked there. Inside, I found an impressive amount of gear at tempting prices. And it was not only skis and skates despite the name. There were also many boots, snowboards, snowshoes, jackets, helmets, and pants. Much of the gear was adult size but there was also a lot of children's equipment. If you have a family to outfit, this event could be a big help to your budget.

The newest gear tends to go fast on Saturday, depending upon size and price. Sunday is the day for the best deals. Usually around 11:00 on Sunday, they start slashing prices to help move the gear out faster.

Waitsfield is in the Mad River Valley, home to Sugarbush and Mad River Glen ski areas. To say that the area is full of skiers is an apt description. Like most skiers anywhere, the people here have a lot of gear and they often buy new stuff to get the latest and best. I've noticed the same trait with golfers and fishermen. I'm one of them. I have enough fishing equipment to outfit about three people. I wish someone would hold a sale like this for fishing gear. On second thought, I would probably buy more stuff than I sold so I'm probably better off without it.

There are many sales like this around New England and this one is one of the oldest, being in existence for the past 29 years. The sale will be held at the Waitsfield Elementary School on Route 100 (scroll down the list on the left to find the Waitsfield school link at the bottom) Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. There is no admission charge. Parking however, is a challenge. You will see people parked everywhere along the road and in nearby parking lots. Be prepared for a ten minute walk if you can't park close.

If you have stuff to sell, it should be checked in at the school on Friday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. There is a 20% consignment fee. I don't know if they take gear on Saturday or Sunday too but you can use the contact information on the web page.

This event is about a ten minute drive from our inn. Since you will be bargain shopping, we'll help you save money by discounting our rooms ten percent. Call us at 800-800-7760 for information.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Events , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  20:44 | permalink

9 Nov 2008
Southern VT Travel Blog

About nine years ago, we traveled to Vermont and New Hampshire to look at inns for sale. One of our favorites was an inn in Brattleboro VT called 40 Putney Road, named after the address there. It had beautiful French architecture and a nice location. We ended up passing on it because we found our current VT bed and breakfast inn that was a better fit for us and made our numbers work better. Since that time, 40 Putney Road has changed hands a couple of times I think. The new owners, Tim and Amy, look like they are doing a great job with it - see especially the room photos on their website.

They also write a blog I found a couple of months ago just as we started heading into the big fall foliage rush. Now that the extra busy period is over, I am getting around to writing about the blog. It's called "InnBrattleboro" and I have found it to be an interesting source of information about the area of southern Vermont. They also write some about southern New Hampshire which is a very short drive across the Connecticut River from their Brattleboro VT location.

It's nice to find this blog because a couple of other southern Vermont blogs I was following ended up dormant and I took them off my links list in the right column. InnBrattleboro looks like it has been going since December last year so I have hope the writers will keep it at it. I will put a link to it under the Travel Friends heading on the right.

Tim and Amy don't write frequently: twice in October and twice in September (during the busy season, remember) but prior to that they were writing blog entries roughly four times a month. Some of the photo links are broken but the ones that do work just take you to a slightly larger version of the photo. Thanks to InnBrattleboro, I've learned about new places to visit down there and this blog will be the first place I will check the next time we plan a trip to southern VT.

Tim is also a website designer. His company, Loose Leaf Design, does some nice looking work.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  18:52 | permalink

7 Nov 2008
Killington: Nevermind

They skied and snow boarded at Killington for five days but now it has come to a halt due to the unseasonably warm weather we've been having. Even with a 30 inch base in some spots, you just can't keep going when daytime temperatures are nearly reaching the 60's and nighttime temps are in the 40's.

There was some unofficial skiing at other areas, even Mad River Glen which does not make snow. But, it turns out it was all just an amusing early season appetizer of what is to come.

Right now, Killington is aiming for a reopening on November 14. Next week's night time temps will be the key. To get current information, check Killington's conditions page on their website. The resort has spent $8.4 million in improvements this year and they are anxious to show them off.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  10:49 | permalink

6 Nov 2008
VT Author Archer Mayor

One of the most surprising things about moving to Vermont was discovering the number of artists, writers, actors, musicians, and other artistic people who live here. They are literally everywhere. Vermont is smaller than tiny (teeny?) but it's brimming with talented folks.

One of the best known is author Archer Mayor , a resident of Townsend, a beautiful village in southern VT. His crime stories have been best sellers for about two decades. Mayor's 19th novel, The Catch, has just been published by St. Martin's Press. Like all his Detective Joe Gunther (the main character) stories, this one also takes place in Vermont but it soon moves to Maine where Joe is in pursuit of two "evil doers" as George Bush would say.

Mayor himself probably would not make a very good character for a novel because he would not be believable - too much of an over achiever! He has been a "scholarly editor, a researcher for TIME-LIFE Books, a political advance-man, a theater photographer, a newspaper writer/editor, a lab technician for Paris-Match Magazine in Paris, France, and a medical illustrator . . . He is also a death investigator for Vermont’s Chief Medical Examiner, a deputy for the Windham County Sheriff’s Department, and has 25 years experience as a volunteer firefighter and EMT."

Unfortunately there is not much more information about his background except that he grew up in the US, Canada, and France but that just piqued my curiosity even more. It would be interesting to see more details about his family, early life, education, and details about his work experiences.

If you would like to meet him in person, he has a busy calendar of personal appearances this month and next throughout New England and New York. You can see the schedule here. .

On his website is a series of short videos, one of which I found particularly interesting: why he chose to live in Vermont.

Another video I suggest you watch is a humorous story involving doughnuts that took place while he was working as a police officer.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn

VT Books
posted by  grunhaus at  21:14 | permalink

5 Nov 2008
New York Times Article on Burlington VT

The New York Times Travel section has a feature called "36 hours in ___." A few days ago the Time published such an article about Burlington VT.

It's pretty well done and covers the upper downtown area around Church Street for the most part. This street is closed off from car traffic and paved with bricks to make it an inviting pedestrian plaza. We often recommend it to guests who want to visit Burlington. There are a good number of specialty shops, restaurants, and bars which makes it a lively daytime and night gathering place.

One area the Time's article does not feature is the great waterfront including the Burlington Boat House. The article does mention Burlington's "Stonehendge" park and the accompanying slide show also mentions the ECHO Museum at the waterfront so readers can find the rest of the waterfront on their own. Of course, it is not as inviting this time of year as it is during months of milder temperatures.

This article is a reprise of similar "36 hours" article the Times did about six years ago.

There is much more to see and do in Burlington and the surrounding area but if you really do have just a few hours, this guide is a good overview of some main highlights.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  19:14 | permalink

2 Nov 2008
We're Skiing in VT!

This photo is copied from the Killington website so the "watch video" link does not work here . . . go to the Killington website to watch the videos and see how much snow they have.

Believe it or not, today marked the first day of ski season in Vermont, as the East's perennial first-starter (and longest season record holder) Killington opened for skiing today with nine trails and two lifts swinging into action.

Hard to believe I know but we have had snow at the upper elevations for a few weeks now. Killington's snow is a mixture of natural and artificial snow of course but they have about an 18 inch base going which is impressive.

If all goes according to schedule, nearby Okemo will be the next Vermont ski area open. They plan to do so on November 15. Other planned openings: Sugarbush and Stowe, Nov 22; Stratton, Nov 26; Jay Peak, Smuggler's Notch, and Bromley, Nov 28.

The other ski areas in the state plan December openings. It all depends upon mom nature of course. The best single source of information on openings is Vermont Ski Areas Association website

To see the latest information as it becomes available, go to the Ski Conditions page and check the Trails Open column.

(c) 2008 (except the Killington photo) Jeff Connor
posted by  grunhaus at  21:00 | permalink

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