Saturday, October 3, 2009

Labor day getaway...part 1- The Pipe & Putney Inn

I guess I've gotten too busy to put this in my blog, but it's worth putting in, so here goes. I had a weekend off from babysitting my DGS, Kai, so DH suggested we get away for a few days. I have stayed at Charlemont Inn, in Charlemonte, MA before and liked it. Of course, I also have a connection to one of the owners, Charlotte Dewey. I went to high school (and got in a car accident) with her younger sister, Lois. I haven't seen Lois in 'a hundred' years, but maybe I'll see her one of these years. Anyway, we couldn't get Sat and Sunday night available at the Inn, so we booked Sunday only and figured we'd get a place for the night on Sat. (now, what you have to know here is that we were calling around for rooms on Friday...Yeah, the day before we needed the rooms! lol)... Lee (DH) suggested we try something like the Putney Inn in VT. REALLY?, I said,...sure! So we checked it online and booked it on the phone. I did some laundry, then went to bed. I'll pack in the morning and after I babysit Kai (until 2pm), off we can GO! Yeah!
Lee was working on someone's car in the morning, but when he came home, he jumped in the shower and got packed. I figured I go get my last bit of toiletries and noticed the tub was plugged up... hmmm. I tried plunging it SEVERAL times. No luck. hm... 'Honey... can you come and check this out before we leave?" After a few checks, we went to the cellar to unplug the pipe, which happens to be over my daughter's bed. We moved the bed of course, undid the pipe with a kitty litter bucket under it. After filling that up, we grabbed the plastic swimming pool (that he'd thought to bring in the cellar) to take up the rest (not a good idea). Of course, you must have seen this coming, as the pool is an 'almost' hard plastic rolled edge, that we are both holding, which under the weight of the water, started to bend in half....! We both quickly lowered it to the floor, trying not to spill much (that didn't work), while letting it finish emptying into the pool from the pipe above. I must say, we splashed a little on the bed...oops! We mopped up the water on the floor/bed, and after realizing the 'clog' wasn't flushed out (snakes are a wonderful thing), my husband decided to take a giant wrench to the 'plastic end cap'. SNAP!! It cracked it right off, so that the screwed in part was still 'screwed in' there. Damn! As he's steaming and politely NOT cursing, he's also panicking and saying "Call the place and CANCEL the trip!!" as he heads off to Home Depot.
Well, you must realize that even if we cancelled the lodging for that night, they'll still charge us if they can't re-rent it out. So, ... I didn't call. Optomist that I am, I figured if I just emailed them and told them our delema and said we might be late, they'd understand. And we'd call if it got worse! Long story short (too late--- I don't think I can even DO that!), the pipe got fixed, the clog unplugged (long hair--not mine), and we were on the road at 4:30pm. Both of us smiling, finally!
Up Rte 91 north... exit 4 in VT. We got to Putney Inn and checked in. This is the exit ramp looking back onto the highway, across the driveway...If I turned around, I see the Inn behind me. That's how close to the highway it is! The picture below of the birch trees shows how close the ENTRANCE ramp back onto Rte 91 it is to the Inn! $135 a night with a farmer's breakfast included,(whatever that is). What I didn't realize until we were there is that the pictures online looked like you stayed upstairs in the Inn with the restaurant under and off to the side. NOT! the sign out from said Putney Inn and Motel.

The motel part was separate from the restaurant which was The Inn, okay.. good thing there was no rain predicted for this night. I'm starving, so we dropped our stuff in our room (our door was in front of the motorcycle- ground floor)
and headed over to the restaurant. The restaurant was beautiful...Very elegant and clean. Our dinner was served by a sweet woman named Vicki, who was so wonderful, she even offered to put whatever was left of our dessert in the freezer and make sure we got it when we left the next day! (uh...There was none left...) She was very informative and attentive, without being invasive. Okay, before I get ahead of myself, here is dinner...
View from our table...
This was Lee's appetizer...(he could have made it his meal). Flat Bread Bolognaise...he said it was VERY tasty.
I decided to try the Baked 5 onion & Apple soup. It had Grafton Village Smoked Cheddar and an apple fan on the top. Served beautifully! Hope it tastes as good as it looks. Aaahhh... devine! Oh my God! Absolutely delicious!! Smelled like warm applesauce with a hint of sweet onion.
I decided to get the quiche which had mushrooms, white VT cheddar cheese, roasted red bell peppers, summer squash, came with mixed greens with a lemon/maple dressing. I asked for extra dressing because I wasn't sure there was any on it, but I'd rather it had a 'hint' of dressing and not drenched in it. You can always add more... It even had mixed fruit that was perfect, cantalope, grapes, watermelon.Perfect sweetness and juiciness to the fruit! GREAT choice for dinner!
Lee had Black Angus Beef burger with Extra charp cheddar cheese and hand cut fries. With a couple of glasses of White Zinfandel, it was a perfect meal... If we'd had room for dessert, we'd have had a chocolate torte with raspberry sauce... oh wait, Lee decided to get Apple Crisp ala mode (cold).
He thinks I'll help him eat it... forget it! I'm stuffed.
Ok. I did-- Sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with a hint of maple syrup... homemade ice cream. Delicious!! And WOW the oats were not soggy or doughy, they were crispy. With a dollop of whipped cream with a mint leaf....heaven... I had at least 7-8 spoonfuls, even though I kept refusing Lee's offer to have some more. Oh. Okay, just one more...
The tables were even set up beautifully.
I must admit the only negative thing I could say about the place so far was the STRONG tobacco smell outside the restaurant!! REALLY STRONG! By now, it's dark out and I figure there must be a tobacco field near. The smell wasn't like it was just near the door (as if smokers smoked too close to the outside of the restaurant)... but all the way to the room. Not in the room, just outside. The rooms were comfortable, especially the pillows! and it was nice to see we could have coffee (tea?-- nope --no tea bags in the basket) in our rooms in the a.m., especially since we are early risers.
The view from our sliders was nice even though it was the Inn/restaurant's parking lot. Although I realized (this shot was taken the next morning) that the outside sounded close, as though there was an open window somewhere in the room. Not. What I did notice is that the double paned window in the slider, had one pane broken out! .
That night, Lee and I were relaxing in bed, watching tv when all of a sudden.... WWHHHHOOOOO-WHHOO! A train whistle!! at 9:30 PM!!! I ended up finding where the train ran by in the morning. I got up earlier than Lee and walked the grounds, peeking over the edge of the HUGE backyard and what did I see.... tracks! and water further out! (figured out that was the CT River)...
There was also a house right at the side of the tracks!! next to the road. Those poor people must hear that train all the time.
Oh, and I found out what the smell was from... as I turned my back to the 'train house', I saw a huge recycling plant. They must have been burning stuff. Yuck!
Wandering around in the early morning hours was nice... I tried to sneak out of the room while Lee slept, but the door was REALLY squeaky! Oh well.... got to see the restaurant in the light, and the sun was beautiful shining through the plants near the side of the motel. That was pretty.
Once I ended my early morning walk, I made a pot of coffee for my hubby (nice wife that I am) and decided that since they didn't put any tea bags in the basket, I'd have a cup of coffee. It was a little dificult to find the 'switch' for the coffee maker, as the hairdryer cord was hanging over the outlet. The coffee would have been good except that the containers of half-n-half were bad and it curdled as soon as it hit the coffee!! Oh well, that put a slight damper on the 'amenity'. I warned Lee, but his was bad too. oh well. After a shower in the room.... can't go into detail here about that as I'm writing a book on bathrooms and I'm saving it for that, ...we went over for breakfast. Coming into the restaurant for breakfast was wonderful. The light shone through the windows just right, and the skylights had 'quilted' shades on them. How I miss my sewing machine...LOL.
Breakfast was in a room with Tony Bennett music... really nice. Pumpkin spice bread with butter and maple syrup. and TEA! Finally! I thought the maple in the container was for the bread, so I put a little butter on the bread and drizzled some maple syrup on it. Really good! What an idiot I felt like when the Farmer's breakfast came with pancakes (duh!). Now I know what the syrup was meant for. You'd have thought I was from another country! What a twit I am!
The pancakes were a little doughy, but I ate the eggs which were sooo creamy and good. Cantalope/orange wedge, bacon. Hashbrowns were what they called them. In CT, we call them roasted potatoes. After a while, they started to think I was a food critic, the way I wa snapping pictures of every course. Well, I guess I am. Just not a paid one!
Really nice place overall....and a great sense of humor when we saw this sign and realized the 'duck' never had to be written.

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