Sunday, January 6, 2013

Let's Have a Party!

We've always loved a good party.  Not the wild, crazy kind, but the warm, connected kind with good friends, delicious food and a feeling of heart-bursting gratitude.  We hosted many of these in Pennsylvania, but after moving to the Adirondacks, we ran into a few party glitches:

1 - our time and energy was needed to renovate the B&B and build our business

2 - when we did have free time, we were TIRED and usually didn't feel like being sociable! 

3 - we didn't have good friends yet

4 - our B&B didn't have parking for more than 3 additional vehicles ... thereby limiting our partying crowd

So although we've entertained a bit here and there, we were due for a PARTY! But first .... we needed a party place.
 Now this is some serious party space!  This is the dining room at the ADK Trail Inn (which we took over managing in September, in case you missed the memo).  Since this was the room that ALL of our guests would see, we decided to start here with our work.  The room was in great shape.  Just needed some refreshing.

We started with the bar area.  Our vision was a nice clean surface on which to set up our new breakfast buffet for guests.  

 We found some interesting things on, behind and under the bar.  This was one of my favorites!

 And here's the finished product ... all set for a yummy, hearty breakfast 
to fortify our guests before they hike, climb or ski.


 Next, we tackled the "Wall of Dolls" ... a special favorite of our friend, Josh, who kindly agreed to help us with the first weeks of our project. 

After packing up the doll collection ...

We found a beautiful pair of wooden skis hiding in a corner.  They needed a new home where they could be rightfully enjoyed.

 Next ... this wall was dedicated to Noah's Ark memorabilia because the inn used to have a Noah's Ark theme.  In fact, there was a large wooden ark in the front yard ... but that's another story!  We packed up the books and beer bottles ...

 And hung the two things hikers need most - a good trail map and a clock so they can tell that it's time to stop talking and get out on the trail!

Our room was now ready for guests.

In early December, the time was right!  We'd been blessed by so  many wonderful, supportive people here in the Keene Valley area.  We wanted to say thank you with a party.

 The girls helped by setting the tables ...

Is that an awesome collection of dishes or what?  The inn used to operate as a restaurant a few decades ago.  We may try that again ... but not today!

 Meanwhile ... in the kitchen, a pot of cranberries bubbled on the stove ...

 Onions were chopped on the long beautiful work table.  Hey, Rachel Ray, if you ever want to hold a cooking class .....

 The Tur-Duc-Hen began to bake and oh.... the smell!

I couldn't resist grabbing the camera to capture some of the decorations


 My favorite moment was when the room was all set and ready for the first guests to arrive.

Soon the room was full ....

 People who hadn't seen each other in awhile caught up ...

 Young friends gossiped and giggled and ate pie

 There was comfortable laughter

And the kinds of warm, connected moments that we cherish.

Several people who'd been invited couldn't make it.  We missed them.  In all the excitement, I completely forgot to take a picture of the gorgeous wonderful food that everyone brought.  But these were minor glitches.  After dinner, we enjoyed giving the grand "tour" and hearing stories of our friends' memories of the inn in days gone by.  

It was just about a perfect night.  I feel grateful that now, almost five years after moving to this magical place, we are still investing time and energy into building our business.  But we feel like being sociable more often, we have made really good friends and we now have parking for a gazillion cars!!