Now That’s a Chair of a Different Color!

Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast had the great favor these past two days, of being graced with a very special visitor from Woods Hole on Cape Cod: the celebrated Red Chair. We immediately wanted to show her (him? it?) the best of our corner of the tri-state region and her press agent asked that we capture photos of her purveying the special sights, unique to the Oblong Valley.

tablePorchHaving started off with a hearty breakfast at Hilltop House on the veranda, we ventured forth to one of the exceptional private schools in the area. (We’re surrounded by about a dozen of the best in the northeast! Formidable folk move into the region to be close to their kids while they school up here, about 90 miles north of NYC—authors, rock stars and movie stars alike!) The Kildonan School stands out not only because it is a school teaching dyslexic learners, encompassing grades 2-12, but because horseback riding is part of the required curriculum for the lower school. Students ride every day, weather permitting, and are graded on it!

K3.LightningVertical9614K3.ChairOver9604Being summer, (almost, by one day) we found the four-legged equine instructors out in the paddock area. They were most appreciative of the celebrity visit, checked Red out to see if she tasted as good as she looked, played a little jousting game, (Red recovered well and blushed bright red about horsing around for the cameras!). She finally drew a bigger herd; not a neigh-sayer among them.

Kildonan and the rest of these fine schools are magnets for visiting parents, investigating students, and renown lecturers K4.2horses9626and educators on the circuit. They also add to the on-going culture of our hometown of Amenia, NY as well as its neighboring communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts; so we at Hilltop House are extremely happy to share our rolling hills with them.

June 21, 2013     Photography: Yvonne Shutz

Note: Hilltop House was selected as one of the Inns and B&Bs to participate in the adventures of the traveling Red Chair. We will be included in the bigger story of the travelling Red, which you can catch on www.redchairtravels.com Stay tuned for more blogs and pix as Red Chair takes a lap at Lime Rock Park, samples maple syrup and watches the sun set from our side yard on the longest day of the year! Happy Summer Solstice!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

I Like My Colors and My Cars Loud! Doesn’t Everybody?

LimeRock9449BlogThe town of Lakeville sits in the northwest corner of Connecticut. People who live close to Lime Rock Park will tell you on race days, you’ll hear it before you see it.
L2.Racing9475blogAs they say on their web page: “Grab a spot on the hill and relax while dozens of the loudest machines you’ve ever heard fly by you. No grandstands, no assigned seating and an open paddock mean you can get up close to the cars and drivers.”
It’s a sit-back-on-two-legs take on racing. And that’s just what Red did. After watching some qualifying heats from her perch in the infield, Red decided to get up close and personal. She made friends immediately with Bright Blue, and even got a turn around the track! Vrrooooommmmmm!L5.incar9530blog

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

I, Myself, am Oak, but I’ve Always Admired the Maples

Z1.maplingThere isn’t an inn or bed and breakfast owner who doesn’t know how remarkably valuable pure Maple Syrup is to that morning table. So when Crown Maple Syrup crownmaple.com set up their 800-acre operation just down the way in Dover Plains a few years back, I was psyched. (Our good friend, The Red Chair, was particularly reflective in their processing plant mindful of the woodiness of maple and how she relates.)

All the talk of buying and eating local! Crown Maple provides nature’s premium sweetener, which, with my desire for healthier eating for my family and my guests, is a mainstay at Hilltop House Bed & Breakfast. I use it to bake with often, and you know I love to bake!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Summer Solstice, Fifth Inn and Straight on till Midnight

Word came from RedChairTravels.com that we—the fifth inn on Red’s trip across America—were to receive the chair from June 20th to June 22nd.

Sun setting on longest day of the year.

Sun setting on longest day of the year.

Waiting for sun to set

Waiting for sun to set

This time slot coincided with that perfectly variable, precise (we know, we know, while it varies year to year, the moment of the longest ray of sun is a precise second in time) moment known as the Northern Solstice, historically a time for widespread celebration.

Sitting atop a foothill in Amenia, NY close to the northern Connecticut border, we are want of a clear shot of the setting sun. But on this, “the longest day of the year,” we camped out long after the sun had dropped behind the far hills to capture from the side yard at Hilltop House our mysterious dark visitor on June 21, 2013.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblrFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr