Author Archives: oldmanse101

Brewster in Bloom

This past weekend, Brewster held its 27th Annual Brewster in Bloom celebration. The festivities were made especially memorable because everything at the Old Manse Inn, from the daffodils to the magnolia tree, was in full bloom.

As a rule, all the daffodils pop up in March and are gone by the time Brewster in Bloom comes around. In addition to all the beautiful Spring flowers, we had amazing weather – sunny, dry and about seventy degrees. In the spirit of the weekend, Maggie, my friend Joan, and I, participated in the Cape Cod 5 – 5K Bloom Run, which this year, was dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.


This was the first time for me and Maggie, and we entered as walkers. We had a great time, and finishing the race gave us a real sense of accomplishment.

We barely had time to recover from the race when it was back to the Inn to prepare for the next event – The Brewster in Bloom Parade. Our assistant innkeeper’s husband donated his cool little car for the parade. My dear friend Judy, who is clearly more talented than I, created all the art work for our sports-car-float. This year’s theme was “green” and since the Old Manse Inn is green-certified, Judy decorated the car with a fantastic creation of the inn with trees and bunnies. As we were advised not to throw candy from our “float” we engaged the services of our granddaughter, Gianna and her friend Kim to walk along-side and hand out special handmade bags of Old Manse Inn candy.

I haven’t been in a parade since I was a girl scout in grammar school. I was amazed at the amount of attendees. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon with family and friends. We had beautiful weather, great entertainment – and it’s all free. Guests of the Old Manse Inn enjoyed mimosas on our porch, which is the perfect spot for viewing the parade.

It didn’t end there. The Old Manse Inn opened its doors for an open house. The historical society was here to sell tickets for this summer’s “Widow’s War Tour of Satucket Village”.

You aren’t going to want to miss next year’s festivities – so I promise to send out reminders.

Spring has Arrived

Although the thermometer did not make us feel that spring has arrived, my morning walk to the beach with Maggie did. First I would like to tell you about how inviting the beach is. After Storm Nemo hit Cape Cod we were devastated at how the beach had been transformed to what looked like a war zone. Previous posts showed pictures of debris everywhere and stairs blown apart. Today the Brewster flats were as clean as can be with everyone’s stairs repaired or replaced. Many new fences have been put up and loads of beach sand has been brought in.
This is a picture taken at Breakwater Beach parking lot.

Further along our walk we came across these beautiful little purple flowers.
and I was amazed to see some daffodils already in bloomDaffodils already in bloom
Speaking of daffodils, our Brewster in Bloom weekend will soon be upon us. By the looks of the our daffodils all over Cape Cod some may bloom and and pass before the weekend of April 26. There are always so many beautiful flowers and decorations. Not to mention all the activities. Old Manse Inn will host an open house and this year we are participating in the this years parade. Look for more details in our newsletter.

Salt Pond Visitor Center

Losing an hours sleep didn’t detour a special walk for Maggie, me and our good friend Joan. We are always looking for new and different walks on Cape Cod.
The 9 mile drive to Nauset Beach Salt Pond Visitors Center is open all year, giving breathtaking views of Nauset Marsh and the Atlantic.
Convenient to the popular 1.5 mile Nauset Marsh Trail and the Buttonbush Trail, a .25 mile multi-sensory trail that featuring a guide rope and text panels printed in large lettering and Braille, and the Nauset Bicycle Trail.
Today we took the trail in the woods. It’s about a 2 mile walk to get to Coast Guard Beach. We were surprised to see so few trees fallen from our winter storms. We often see many surfers at the beach. Not today. It was high tide and the waters were still quite rough. We also enjoy the many birds we encounter along the way. Cape Cod offer several places for bird watching

Coast Guard Beach

Coast Guard Beach

Heron at trails

We always recommend a trip to Salt Pond not only for the walking trails but the museum has so many interesting things including short movies.

Another perfect day on Cape Cod and the sun is shining as we arrive at the Old Manse Inn in Brewster.

Winter Storms

We haven’t been quite as fortunate on Cape Cod this winter as last year. Storm Nemo arrived and the beaches got hit Cape Cod pretty hard. Here at Old Manse Inn,we did all the normal preparations for a storm. Rich went grocery shopping and took down all the flags. We put away or nailed down anything we thought might fly. On Friday afternoon I took Maggie for a walk and snapped this picture as a before shot. Little did I know how much this would change

We did have a few quests that weekend. One that arrived early on Thursday and left very early Friday to beat the storm and another that arrived Friday. We listened to the wind Friday night and boy did it howl. We were so happy when we all awoke to see that Brewster had not lost power. We thought we had made it. Just as we served breakfast to our guests, the power went out. Our guests checked out late that day to make the trek to CT. There they had power but also 36 inches of snow. Not sure which I would rather have. Rich and I fired up all the gas stoves to try to keep the inn from freezing. Our gas fireplace in our little apartment kept us pretty cozy. Sunday was a spectacular day. Sunny and bright. Still no power. Time to take Maggie for another walk. We often walk though Sears Point which is a condo development off Lower road. We took Maggie off leash as we got near the steps leading to the beach. We watched her from above as she frolicked in the sand and snow. Much to our surprise she had leaped off the steps as the bottom 15 stairs were washed away. Many stairs did stay in tacked although the beach erosion made them unusable.
Still no power when we returned home. Movies sounded like a great idea. They had power and popcorn. We were actually one of the lucky ones on Cape Cod to receive our power back on Sunday evening. One more day and I might have gone crazy. Many unfortunate Cape Codders still had no power on Friday.

When I finally got to the beach for a long walk I was amazed at the damage. It looked like a bomb had hit. I was unable to take another picture from the same place I took the before shop as the stairs there were also gone.

As of today the weather has warmed and we don’t have very much snow left on the ground. I don’t know how long the beach clean up will take but I am sure it will be in time for summer. Let’s hope we don’t have any more storms like the last two.

Looking forward to a brand new year

Happy 2013!

We have finished taking down all our Christmas decorations – the sparkle and glitter of the holiday tucked away until next season. In 2012 we were blessed with the birth of another granddaughter and were thrilled that she was able to bring her parents all the way from California to share Christmas with us. She packed the perfect wardrobe and stole the show.

The weather this month has been amazing. Maggie and I are enjoying long walks on the beach. Today we drove to Salt Pond visitor center and walked the path to the beach where we saw several surfers. This is quite an unusual January site at the Cape. The next time you are visiting, we highly recommend you consider a trip to Salt Pond. The visitor center has an indoor theater with five, short, rotating films, a museum and a book/gift shop.

We would also like to take this opportunity to extend our congratulations to our friend Ruth Manchester, chef at the Bramble Inn, on her induction into “Best Chef’s In America”. This year, as part of our Valentine package, we are pleased to be able to include a $50 gift certificate for dinner at the Bramble Inn.

Although the unseasonably warm weather we are having makes it tempting to spend our days outdoors, we are making good use of these quiet winter months to spruce up the inn. This year’s to-do list includes replace the remaining fiberglass shower stalls and replacing them with tiled, glass-door showers.

I promise to follow up with more exciting photos.

Now that the hub-bub of the holidays is over, we hope you will consider taking a few days for yourself to relax, unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Cape.

Remember to like us on Facebook

A Very Happy Quest

I was so happy to hear that Brent and Jenn had such a wonderful time while staying with us. The best way I could share the wonderful pictures she took is to have you all read her blog post.

Hope this works :-) )

Four Year Anniversary

Yesterday we proudly celebrated our 4th anniversary of inn keeping at The Old Manse Inn. In the 4 years we have been privileged to own this charming establishment, we feel we have been successful in improving the level of comfort and security for our guests. Our first and biggest accomplishment was the 2009 renovations to the bar. We were fortunate to find a contractor who was willing and able to renovate, as opposed to tearing it down. In addition to adding living quarters that enable us to enjoy some downtime while still making ourselves available to our guests, we have been pleased by the popularity of our two, new, luxury king rooms. Our next project was removing all lace dollies and several dust collecting canopies. We have ripped up all the linoleum bathroom floors and replaced them with tile, many baths received new sinks. Our Chart, Captains, Blue and Peach Rooms have had full makeovers. We are fortunate to have a wonderful handy man, Antonio, who seems capable of any task. He has taken our overgrown yard and transformed it into a well-manicured garden setting.
As for the inn keeping we were again fortunate to have the former owners, Art and Judy, to guide us in our early days. We have become great friends with them and they still stop by and are wonderful inn sitters!!
We continue to enjoy this life style and love meeting such a variety of wonderful guests from near and as far away as Brazil. Argentina and New Zealand. Many have become friends along the way.
Each year has been an education and we learn so much from our guests. We are pleased to see an ever-expanding list of return customers – a sign that our hard work has been worth it.
Let’s not forget Maggie our Portuguese Water Dog who greets all our guests and warms their hearts.
We look forward with excitement to the upcoming year


Four years ago while living in RI Rich and I were contemplating what the next chapter in our lives might be. We were enjoying our water front condo on the Sakonnet River and our beautiful Saga 48 sailing vessel. We had invested in this sailing vessel that we called Priorities, ( the name came from a restaurant that Rich and I frequented in VT at Okemo MT) in hopes to sail her to boat shows and use her as model to sell other boats. The boat consequently was always for sale. We were not to lucky though as the Saga company fell upon bad times and went out of business. We were left with a beautiful but expensive boat. Rich was still in the paper business and I was doing part time work catering and working for some local restaurants. Somehow we just knew there must be something else. Rich would have loved to jump aboard Priorities and sail her south for however long we wanted. I wasn’t quite sure living on a boat and sailing from port to port would be enough to fulfill my daily needs. Rich could still run his paper company off the boat but what would I do. I know it sounds like a life of luxury, sailing, sunning, relaxing, and reading or gosh the list goes on. But would I be bored? After many long conversations and lots of wine my honey (that would be Rich) came up with a plan. Let’s buy a bed and breakfast!! OH MY is he crazy? He had a great plan. Let’s buy a B&B in Newport RI and we’ll run charters on Priorities in the harbor. Newport did not work out for us but we did fall in love with a beautiful inn in Brewster, The Old Manse. We bought The Old Manse in June that year and hoped to bring Priorities to the Cape. There was not one marina that had an opening so we left her in RI. Last summer we got lucky and found a dock for her in Chatham. We happily took out a few OMI quests and did get away a few times on our own. We discovered running an inn and owning a sail boat did have its conflicts. There wasn’t a lot of time to sail especially on a blue water vessel, however in the back of our minds we knew someday we would sail off into the sunset and spend a year traveling south. We moved her to Dennis for the winter. Then something unbelievable happened. We got a call from our broker and someone was interested in buying our boat. It was a very bittersweet moment when the final decision was made and this wonderful couple from MD decided that they would bring Priorities to MD and make that her new home. Today was the day that Priorities sailed out of the marina and we were not on her.
I realize that blog posts are supposed to be about Cape Cod and all the wonderful things to do here. Writing is not a passion for me, in fact I might rather go to the dentist. Probably the reason for so few posts. It’s not always easy to find something your passionate to write about. I guess I must admit I was passionate about Priorities.
Rich and I will continue to be committed to Old Manse Inn. We love Brewster and the inn all our wonderful quests. Thank you for letting me share this moment with all of you

Recipe for a Great Weekend on Cape Cod

Cape Cod’s Old Manse Inn Cooking School guest chefs enjoyed Mediterranean Madness Saturday in our commercial kitchen. This was our first all girl cooking school. While the girls worked and played hard at preparing a feast of specialties from Italy, Greece, and France their golfing husbands played 18 at the Captain’s Golf Course. Golfers returned for a wine tasting paired with Eggplant Caponata, Kalamata Olive Pesto and Galette au Chevre (Tomato-Cheese Tart w/a surprise ingredient). Although there is nothing like being in Greece I must say there was a lot of energy as we proceeded into our candle lit dining room to a lovely spread of Roasted Lamb & Potatoes Provencal, Spanakopitakia, Arugula with Blood Orange and Roasted Pepper Salad, Mediterranean Wines, finishing with an Italian Apple Cake .
What a wonderful way for friends to truly enjoy an afternoon all doing what they like most. Cooking and golfing on Cape Cod. We look forward to our next class April 14 featuring a cornucopia of flavors from Mediterranean Middle-Eastern Region.


The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate “apparently ordinary” people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. ~K. Patricia Cross
All of us owe some part of who we are today to the efforts of those who have taught us. It is the passing on of knowledge which nurtures us as people, sustains us as a culture, enlightens our minds and stimulates our imaginations. As a tribute to the tireless, and often underappreciated work of our educators, the Old Manse Inn is offering a special teacher appreciation week. Come and stay during February or April school vacation for two nights and receive half off your second night stay. Stay 4 night and receive 1/2 off the 4th night. To further show our gratitude for all you do, upon your arrival we will upgrade you to the best available room. Offer good February 19 – March 3 and April 14-22, 2012. We can’t promise that the wonderful, unseasonably warm weather we have been having will continue, but we can promise you a wonderful two-night stay.