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.
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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 )
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
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.
We had a lovely Christmas here at the Old Manse. New Years Eve is approaching and we have our Blue Room available for a 2 night stay at a special rate. It has a corner fireplace, recently upgraded bathroom and also comes with breakfast. We offer this to our face book friends and bloggers for only $99 per night.
The Cape Shows Off In October
Just when you thought you knew everything there was to know about the Cape and what do to while you were visiting, along comes October – full of gorgeous color and jammed-packed with activities.
If you are looking for a new and unusual way to spend some time while you are visiting, we highly recommend a visit to a local cranberry bog where you can personally witness the harvest. There are currently more than 14,000 acres of cranberry bogs all over Southeastern Massachusetts. Nothing speaks of the Cape more than her cranberries and having the opportunity to witness a cranberry harvest is one more thing you need to add to your Cape Cod to-do list. Most of the information you need to help you schedule a harvest tour is available at: http://www.cranberries.org/cranberries/bog_tours.html
Or visit one of our favorites at: http://www.cranberrybogtours.com/
October also hosts the Fall for the Arts Festival. This is a family-friendly festival that showcases local art and culture. Events include: live performances by local musicians; open houses at theaters, museums, and historical sites; readings and lectures; art activities for children; guided art and heritage walks; plein air painters; special art exhibits; and much more! Take a look at what’s going on by visiting: http://www.artsfoundation.org/fall-for-the-arts
As part of the Fall for the Arts Festival, the Old Manse Inn is offering a special package:
SEA CAPTAIN’S TRAIL
Old Manse Inn, Brewster
Fall for the Arts Special: Stay in a romantic sea captains home on Old Kings Highway! Special includes:
• Two night stay at shoulder season rates
• Two gourmet breakfasts
• Afternoon tea and cookies
• Evening cordials
• Local Artist Karen North Wells 8 × 10 ceramic tile gift
• Copy of The Arts and Artisans Trails Guide
While you are staying with us, don’t forget to check out our lobby display of featured, local artist Karen North Wells. Karen is a prolific, award-winning, artist, painting primarily in water color and oil. Many examples of her extensive line of limited-edition prints and cards are available for purchase at the Inn. We are pleased to be able to offer one of her beautiful 8 x 10 ceramic tiles as a gift when you book with us as part of the Fall for the Arts Festival.
Come on … you know you need a break … and a few days of fun on the Cape is the perfect way to get in some rest and relaxation before the big holiday push!
Book now: 508-896-3149 or www.oldmanseinn.com and let us help you plan a wonderful, October get-away! We look forward to your visit!
Maggie and the New Fleet
We are pleased to announce that we have just taken delivery of eight, brand new bicycles. As you can see from the photo, Maggie is pretty excited about them, too! Some of you might not be aware of the fact that there are extensive biking opportunities on the Cape. The Cape Cod Rail Trail (which can be accessed just one mile from the Old Manse Inn) is a 22 mile Cape Cod viewing experience. This paved trail with well-marked automobile crossings, runs through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. Along the way there are many places where you can leave the trail to enjoy a picnic or just relax. You can stop to visit the National Seashore or the Salt Pond Visitors Center which features displays of the whaling and salt works industries, and exhibits of many Cape Cod artifacts. Food and water are readily available, and public restrooms can be found at Nickerson State Park, Salt Pond Visitors Center at Cape Cod National Seashore and at the National Seashore Headquarters.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail follows a former railroad line established in 1848 by the Old Colony Railroad. Before these tracks were laid, the Cape was only accessible by packet boat or stagecoach. The tracks originally connected Boston to Sandwich and as time when on it expanded and connected Boston to Provincetown – making the tip of the Cape a very short, 5 hour, trip from Boston. As the railroad grew, so did the popularity of the Cape as a tourist destination and the rail line transported visitors from New York, Connecticut and other parts of Massachusetts. Alas, as the automobile became more popular and easier to afford, and bridges were constructed to connect the Cape to the main land, the railroad lost its importance. Trains continued to haul freight until the mid-1960s when the rails were torn up and the old station houses were razed. But the beauty of the landscape it dissected can still be enjoyed on the bike trail.
All of us know how hectic life can get. We scurry around in our cars chauffeuring the kids to soccer and music lessons, shopping and running errands, often never taking the time to notice what is going on right outside the windows of our car. Next time you come to visit, let us help you plan a day on the bike trail where you can take the time to smell the salt air and delight in the simple things we have come to love about this little spit of land we call home.
For a detailed view of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/trails/print/ccrt.pdf
Hope to see you soon!
Karen and Rich Keevers
Karen and Rich with the Birthday Boy
Sometimes a bed and breakfast is more than just a cozy place to spend the night and grab a bite to eat in the morning. Sometimes it is a venue that brings folks together for a memorable event.
I am very, very lucky. My sister and brother-in-law own one of the best bed and breakfasts on Cape Cod. Okay, I might be a bit prejudiced –but what better place for a party! So, when we needed a place to assemble our family and friends to celebrate my husband’s 70th birthday, the Old Manse Inn was our first choice. Since our family and friends are scattered around the country, it isn’t often that you can find an excuse to pull them all together for a weekend. In the riotous melee that ensued, full of children and relatives and friends who had not seen each other in a while, we managed a fairly well-organized, catered (thank God!) weekend of fun activities and catching up. My husband reconnected with a first cousin that he had not seen in 60 years! Our two grandchildren were often found helping out in the kitchen and were absolutely adorable when they served breakfast on Sunday morning while their grandfather took over the kitchen and cooked for everyone.
The wonderful thing about the Cape is that there is something there for everyone. Our tribe was, at any given time, strewn all over the area taking in the sights, shopping, enjoying the parks or just hanging out together and catching up. The Inn is well suited for such a crowd, and the weather cooperated allowing folks to spill out onto the front and back patios, ride bikes, play golf and just explore. It is an easy walk to the library, General Store or the beach. The Cape is home to many wonderful, reliable caterers, and the Inn’s kitchen lends itself well to cooking for a crowd. We had no trouble enlisting the services of a wonderful, local caterer and another terrific Cape Cod resident, and phenomenal baker, made us two, beautiful birthday cakes.
All in all, everyone had a wonderful time, including the two innkeepers. This isn’t the first family event the Inn has hosted – my nephew got married there two years ago – but each event reminds us how much fun it is to get together as a family and celebrate. I highly recommend you keep the Old Manse Inn in mind the next time you need a place to gather together your friends and family. I know Karen and Rich would love the opportunity to help you plan an unforgettable affair.