Showing posts from June, 2011

"The Gris" Is Great!

What do British sailors from the War of 1812,  the late-1960's ABC Gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows", the AMC Series "Mad Men", and myself all have in common? If you said we've all been to The Griswold Inn located in the beautifully historic town of Essex, Connecticut you'd be right! If you're still sitting there scratching your head and trying to figure it out - read on! Laying claim to the title of “The Oldest Continuously Operating Inn in America” (the Curtis House Inn in Woodbury, Connecticut is actually the oldest inn by 22 years but had to close for a brief time shortly before World War II due to a lease dispute), the Griswold Inn - or "The Gris" as it's loving called - first opened its doors for business in 1776 and hasn't stopped serving the public since then in spite of a British invasion, Prohibition, the Great Depression, National Recessions, or anything else.  I'd say that warrants a little bit of bragging!

Enchanting Essex

On what was a beautiful June day last Thursday I decided it was too nice to stay in the house so I planned a drive up to the Connecticut State Veterans' Cemetery in Middletown  to visit the grave of a friend and check out the cemetery as a possible final resting place for myself. As is my wont, though, I found myself distractedly wandering off of my route of travel and stopping by Essex which is located on the banks of the Connecticut River about 31 miles from where I live in Norwich. Essex - which was touted as "The Best Small Town in America" by Norman Crampton in his book " The 100 Best Small Towns in America " - is made up of three villages: Essex Village, Ivoryton, and Centerbrook. As this was sort of an unscheduled stop, I didn't get to either Ivoryton or Centerbrook but did have a pleasant time walking around parts of Essex Village. Originally named Potapoug (prior to it being called Essex Borough in 1820), Essex was part of Saybrook Township

Triple-Sheeting Defined

In a recent post on the beautiful  Inn Victoria in Chester, Vermont, I mentioned "triple-sheeting" and a commenter asked, "What's triple sheeting? Is that the same as being 3 sheets to the wind??" Uhm, no, Sarah, it isn't! Though I can certainly appreciate the humor in your comment! Triple-sheeting, a style of bed-making that uses multiple layers of sheets, blankets, and duvets or bedspread-like covers, is something that a lot of upscale hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts are starting to do as it's not only an easy way to change the design of the room should that be desired but it's also a lot more hygienic for guests. If you stop and think about it, chances are really good that the bedspreads and/or duvets that are used in guest accommodations don't get washed very often and they most definitely don't get washed in between every guest.  Think about how often you wash your own bedspread and the light probably goes on, right?  Uh-huh .

A Bucket List of Historic Hotels of America Proportions

When it comes to travel blogging I've been pretty much winging it with the philosophy of "have bag, camera, and computer - will travel and write" and as such I try to design any travel plans around a destination that has some sort of historical significance which will then make for a good blog post. I have a Bucket List of historic hotels and inns that I'd love to be able to stay at and then write about but what does one do when one has a limited income and a Bucket List that keeps having more places added to it than getting scratched off? Well in my case one dreams a lot and wistfully says "someday" and then hopes that the writing fairy will swoop down from the big travel agency in the sky and - poof! - I'm a bona fide travel writer. Until that time, though, I'm thankful for people like Juli Lederhaus, General Manager of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts which, as anyone who knows me knows, is probably one of my very favorite places to