It is that time of year, and there are so many wonderful things to do. On the 7th I could have gone to the Grafton, Vermont village open house, Christmas with Calvin Coolidge in Plymouth Notch, or celebrated in Weston. You cannot do it all, and my legs said let’s rest at home, to be ready for the Inndulgence Tour.
Friends and I went three years ago, in 2016, which was the first year of the event. I strongly encourage you to also enjoy my post of the 2016 INNDULGENCE TOUR – albeit without snow that year – but great decorations, and comments.
Here is the map for this year’s tour – the 4th annual – and you can click to enlarge.
It made sense to leave home at 11AM to be at the furthest point from home when the tour began – Seesaw’s Lodge in Peru – Number 9 above on the far left. On Route 11, it bothered me a great deal that I was not familiar with the lodge, or its location in Peru. But there it was, just before arriving at Bromley, and with the slopes in the back yard.
At our next stop I found out why Seesaw’s was not familiar. I learned there was an old run-down building at this location, which I now vaguely remember. You may enjoy looking at this link for the history of this land. The property was purchased, and millions in renovations put into the various buildings. I think the last couple years I have only traveled home from Manchester (and, often in the dark), thus not seeing this facility on the left. The rooms and appointments are exquisite.
Whenever traveling on Route 11, you need to go in and out Main Street in Peru – the perfect little Vermont village, particularly with snow, and leaves off to capture the views and architecture.
Back east to Londonderry and then north on Vermont 100 – the backbone of Vermont. I usually do not need to be on this beautiful stretch, but did remember the impressive scenic view from our next stop (Number 10), Colonial House Inn & Motel. which is located two miles south of the village of Weston.
A family run business, now for 41 years, Jeff and Kim are very welcoming hosts. And, their treats – miniature quiche and fantastic breads amazing. Each stop on the Inndulgence Tour has various foods, soups, decadent chocolate cake and the like to sample.
And, then a tad north into the village, and (Stop 11) the Inn at Weston
Owner Linda, recently lost her husband, and new owners are now taking over. Dinners will soon again be served in the dining rooms that can seat 50 people. On my last visit, Linda ushered us into the dining room for amazing food, and we forgot to see the rooms. This time we headed upstairs first.
If you remember from my writings of the last tour, Echo Lake Inn (Stop 1) on Route 100 (north of Ludlow and Okemo) on the way to Plymouth Notch is also a special place. Cathy and I enjoyed a stay there 20 years ago, and I have enjoyed a number of evening dinners when in the area. You should stop.
upstairs to view the rooms and wallpaper (inside joke), and then down to the restaurant for the most amazing soups. Here is a gallery (which you can enlarge) of Echo Lake Inn.
Next at Stop 4 on the map, Julie, at the Golden Stage Inn in Proctorsville, is the organizer of this event. Profits this year were donated to the Springfield Supported Housing Program. It was fun walking into the Inn this year in the snow. And, visiting here for their chocolate cakes – WOW.
Not all inns are open both days of the tour, so sadly two of my favorites had to be skipped: Castle Hill Resort, and the Inn at Weathersfield. Both I have patronized on many enjoyable occasions.
So, it was off to stop 6 for the Hartness House in Springfield. This ended up being the highlight of the day. Again, Cathy and I enjoy at least one New Year’s Eve there years ago, and last year I attended TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS for a great time. Do revisit this link.
This year there were over 400 attendees to that fund-raising event. Gayle recently became the manager, and she is a knowledgeable delight. The dining facility has been closed, but spacious, well-appointed rooms are available, and events can be held here. Gayle asked, “would you like to see the tunnel and museum?” I had heard of them, Of course I replied emphatically, “yes please.” Here is a gallery around the inn before descending into the tunnel.
Built in 1904 by James and Lena Hartness, their home hosted many guests including Charles Lindbergh. Hartness was an inventor, managed precision manufacturing in Springfield, and was governor of the State. He experimented with telescopes, and built a large one in the yard, connected underground with a tunnel, and rooms with fascinating telescope exhibits organized by STELLAFANE – a local club for amateur telescope makers. Down we went with our guide.
A long tunnel turned off to the left entering several exhibit rooms. On the floor you can see where a bar once was, but during prohibition a secret room housed the bar.
The telescope – removed for the winter – is mounted in this spot.
and, upon leaving, I took this image so you can see the telescope turret, covered for protection during the winter (the bump in the center).
How do you top all this? With just enough time to drive to the Grafton Inn for eggnog and to turn in our raffle drawing forms. If you know me, you know why the inn is special to me, and if you forget, just ask, or check out my comment on the last Inndulgence Tour.
inviting … YES
and, we enjoyed our eggnog, and chatted in the comfortable library at The Grafton Inn – Stop 7 on the map above.
Of the now four Okemo Valley Inndulgence Tours I have been to two. Each was different, and each was enjoyable. There were two other stops (besides the two closed for the day) we had to skip – five hours is not enough time to “do it all.” I suggested a perfect addition to Julie – The Landgrove Inn, which you know I have enjoyed, and is in the perfect spot between Peru (no passport or real ID needed) and Weston.
RAY RECOMMENDS — “Like” the Inndulgence Tour on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/InndulgenceTour – and then do attend next year. Also, visit the inns, have dinner, and travel the countryside. Explore new back roads – yes, SHUNPIKE.