Last spring, the Falmouth B&B Association gathered together and pooled our resources to shoot a video about how great our area is, and how cool it is to choose a bed and breakfast when you travel here.
The “Falmouth Better Way to Stay” video, in which we show you all the fun things you will find to do in Falmouth, plus our gorgeous rooms, plus our fabulous breakfasts, has arrived on YouTube and your inbox!!
Although I coordinated the shoot, we did not actually shoot any of the footage at the Woods Hole Inn.
But if you look closely, you may find me in a shot or two, reviving my role as a featured extra, the very spot I started my acting career about (achem – edited so as not to shock you) let’s call it “so many moons ago” in LA.
Check it out here: http://bit.ly/Ukdq3B
The winds blew so hard on Friday that I had to lean into the railing of the Woods Hole drawbridge as I took this photograph looking out towards Martha’s Vineyard. By the weekend, the bitter Canadian winter had settled over our little village and I worried about pipes freezing on the construction site, not to mention my cheeks as I took my afternoon walks.
But that did not slow the pace of renovations at the Woods Hole Inn. Oh no, we have our eye on the proverbial prize as reservations are rolling in for summer and beyond (book now if you want to be sure and get in summer 2012) .
The place is swarming on the inside with people. One of the things you learn quickly as you renovate an old property is that the stuff required to make it “new” again is pretty high tech, read expensive. I walk around the site and I see dollar signs: ruby-red foam insulation, diamond-encrusted lighting and platinum sprinkler pipes. Even the pipe fittings glitter in the sun like precious jewels.
One notable change is that in past winters when the wind howled (over 50 MPH this weekend I heard), the old Woods Hole Inn groaned and creaked, shuddering with the big blasts and swaying like a salsa dancer in the smaller gusts.
But up on the top floor on Friday, I was struck by the stillness of new windows, and the hush of firm framing. All those new connections — the spider web of wood and joinery which will be hidden by plaster — makes the building sturdier. As sad as I was to see the old lathe walls in dumpsters, this new development reminds me that a renovation of this magnitude will help the building survive another 130 years, well beyond my lifetime.
Ruby red insulation…
low-voltage, recessed lighting …
sprinkler pipe coated with platinum ….
and all the trimmings for sprinkler installation…
The parts that people can actually see look good too, all closed up from the winter winds with nothing needed but a coat of paint:
Which leaves me with this parting thought: You get what you pay for.
Construction blogging is like high school dating. You flirt, you kiss for the first time, and then all of a sudden you have nothing to say to each other. Yes, hard to imagine but I have run out of clever things to say about wood framing, Marvin windows and drywall.
In truth, quite a bit of drama unfurled at the Woods Hole Inn as we hurdled towards 2012. But I can’t really go into it in any detail without hurting feelings or pissing people off. There was the fight over an 8 foot hole in the roof (abated), the struggles with NStar (we gave up), the drama of the chimney flues (unnecessary) and the saga of crumbling masonry (ongoing). There were highs and lows, and suffice it to say that so far, the highs have it. Could I really ask for more than that?
The sub trades came and went. I met with the contractor and architect weekly. The bills came monthly and I kept a difibrulator in the office in case of heart attack. (Wow, stuff is expensive on Cape Cod! ) The bank visited to be sure we are actually spending the money they lend us for the building. There are cautionary tales told, about borrowers who bough Ferrari’s instead (hmmm) and people over 90 days in default (oooh, that sounds uncomfortable).
But we plowed onward. The wind blew yesterday, too hard for the roofers which was a disappointment as it was otherwise fortuitous : clear, dry and not too cold. We are gunning for the “rough framing, plumbing and electric inspection,” the first big step toward completion. After we pass that, then we can insulate, sprinkler and drywall. It’s all downhill from there with finish carpentry, painting and decorating. Sounds easy, huh. And here is what you came for, the photos of progress and action as of late December 2012:
We struggled with Marvin Windows as their lead time is much longer than other companies, and they are pricey. But they look really nice once installed. If they last a nice long time in the salt spray, I will be happy. Call me in fifteen years.
And the views through those windows. Wow…
Thanks for following along and see you all this summer…
Week three of construction started today. Our crew is still demolishing the interiors, literally peeling back the onion-like layers of time to reveal the bones of the house. Our structural engineer Mark comes every so often to make sure the place is still standing. Today he told me that the wood was in excellent condition, first cut hardwood like you can no longer buy. Who ever built this did it the right way, he told me. Seems a bit unseemly, but I will admit that I beamed with pride. Like the mother of a newborn, projects feel like babies and no matter how ugly they may look, we love them.
I like to come stand in the barn-like space, gaping up two stories, ceiling and floor boards stripped away. It looks like a SoHo loft, or the Parisian atelier of a famous designer. Can’t we keep it just like this? I think. And then I remember that there are not too many fashion designers looking for rental space in Woods Hole. OK, I will stick with the plan and transform it into the weekend getaway FOR fashion designers… Yes, yes, that is it.
The guys arrive at 7 am and they work with crowbars, sledgehammers, saws. Masks are a must as the plaster dust swirls in the ocean breeze from open windows and wheelbarrows of debris head toward a revolving dumpster. There is a majesty to the work, a pace respected to the minute. Breaks are observed, meals shared, and “Lady on deck” shouted when I come close. I secretly wonder what they are saying when I am not there, although they may not be able to hear each other much over the blasting radio and the thud of metal on horsehair plaster. Underneath is the lathe, thin boards that were used before drywall to adhere the plaster to. They are so beautiful, my heart aches as they are carted away.
Being in there now — views of the ocean everywhere you peek — feels like flying inside the bones of a huge feather-less bird. There is a lightness — an airy feeling with the windows open, the roof space soaring two stories above you — that creates the sensation of flying. Maybe it’s just me, as the project flies along, feeling suspended in time, searching for my place in the process.
I pace the dusty boards — this will be the bedroom, here is where the new window goes, oh you can see the ocean from here! — scheming and referencing the floorplans when I get confused. I am desperate to make sure that when the dust settles, some of the majesty of the building itself, it’s strong bones and lithe walls, will still be evident. Check back in to see future progress!
This week, construction began on the new rooms at the Woods Hole Inn. With a crew of five demolition experts, the walls came down on the top floor revealing the majesty of a high-ceilinged space with amazing light and great views…when you can see through the construction dust that is.
Franko and the boys arrived Tuesday with crowbars and mallets to pound it out. Electricians stripped back the wires and a plumber came in to unhook the old claw foot tub. We pulled as much moulding as we could so we can re-use it as we put the place back together again.
I snuck in the day before they arrived and took some “before” photos. Inn guests happily ensconced in the lap of luxury two stories below would be shocked by the state of affairs up here. The windows were blown out and boarded up after various storms years ago. There was a rabbit warren of tiny rooms, accessed by a barn-like stairway. One bath for maybe 10 cubby-sized spaces, some only big enough for a bed roll.
I have met a few people who lived up here summers in the 70s and earlier, but I don’t think it has been habitable for maybe thirty years now. One former waitress at the Landfall told me she paid $25 per week. Another former resident bragged that a lot of pot was smoked up here, back in the sixties when Woods Hole was a real hippie hang out.
The Woods Hole Inn was more flophouse than eco-destination at that point. Summer college kids slummed it with the former chauffeurs of Penzance Point estates and other retired alcoholics. One man told me his mother advised he run past the building, as there were often “unsavory characters” on the front stoop.
Here are a few photos of what it looked like just before the demo crew showed up:
It’s was really hard to photograph because the rooms were small and dark. We had already done some minor demo three years ago while renovating other parts of the building. On top of that, it appears that the piles of old air conditioners were mating with the dusty artificial Christmas trees, or something like that. That the debris was replicating in the dark is the only explanation I can come up for why the junk seemed to grow larger each time I ventured up.
But after three days with a sledgehammer, you could see the old lathe and look through walls to the windows beyond, Cape light streaming in and promising a better future. Franko told me they had found some really old work boots (see above) and other debris — fell down from the ceilings he said. A couple of really vintage brandy bottles, a pair of cotton spats with little hooks for covering the calves when riding (?), a tiny wooden sailboat-toy painted a matte blue, a dusty old stuffed kitty long forgotten by it’s childish master.
I am working on an exhibit of artifacts to trace the history of the inn. Any input from people who know more than I do would be greatly appreciated. The final will be on display in the lobby next summer so come take a look. And come back to this blog for more posts about our progress. The expected completion is spring 2012 when the Inn will re-open with 14 new rooms and suites. See you then!
Sunday is already a bit of a blur for me. Mix exhaustion with adrenaline and too much caffeine and you get a solid forget-me drug. I know I made it to the Inn to help with breakfast and there was a large crowd there enjoying the meal after several successful weddings (yes, we had guests with us attending THREE different Woods Hole affairs).
It was rainy, grey, still so very hot the air thick like in a movie but everything seemed normal — hot coffee flowing, baked goods fresh from the oven, halogen cutting the flat grey from outside. Then the electricity flickered and died. Wow, everyone could use a little makeup in the light of those camping lanterns.
By late morning, the wind was really howling, screaming into Woods Hole’s Great Harbor and the tide was high, lapping at the tops of the docks. The Martha’s Vineyard ferries were bobbing visibly on the piers outside our windows. Salt spray was washing over the building, covering the plants whipping in the 40-50 MPH winds.
Inside, many went back to bed, lulled to sleep by the roar of the winds and the dark light. A group from one of the weddings gathered to watch a ten-month old baby crawl across the king size bed. Little Susannah was adorable but I bet if the TV had been on with weather news, that would never have happened. Someone broke out the Jenga and played a few distracted rounds before moving back to the hot tea and cookies. Even the Sunday New York Times held little appeal — it was yesterday’s news and we were in the middle of the story of the week. There really was nothing to do but wait it out.
By mid afternoon, it seemed to be tapering a bit. It never hit the intensity of my memory of Hurricane Bob where the scream of the wind put your teeth on edge and the curvature of the glass windows threatened to bring the storm inside. It didn’t rain a lot, which is a blessing as I watched roof tile whip past me to the street half the morning. For us, several hundred miles from the eye, Irene was downgraded to a “tropical storm” and she was an entertaining but well-behaved actress, like a burlesque dancer from the roaring 1920’s (Irene) compared to a stripper on the “Sopranos.” (a stripper named Bob? I guess on the Sopranos…)
I wandered out in the car. The surf on Nobska Beach was intense, really churning in a way that we never see in Vineyard Sound (protected from the prevailing winds by Martha’s Vineyard.) There was this bright yellow foam whipping off the top of the waves and oozing over the road in strips. I heard that Surf Drive was impassable, covered with drifts of sand and seawater. When I ventured from the car I felt small and vulnerable, the sound of the wind an overwhelming roar, and I struggled to keep my balance.
On the way home, I saw a power line bucking and sparking by the Sands of Time. I later heard that when NStar tried to put our grid back online there was an explosion in a local house, burning it to the ground. Terrible. I hurried home, made a light dinner and collapsed.
Then it was just over. A gorgeous day today, sunny and cool, the taste of fall in the air. Except for the downed branches and the unusual smell of fresh green crushed leaves, you would never know there had been a storm. The ducks were out on their favorite little dock, the only difference that a summer’s worth of duck poop was miraculously gone, fresh scrubbed, as if it was made new by some magic cobblers in the night. I marveled at the small brown birds – so resilient! Where did they hide in all that wind?
Up way too early, I conquered the Inn’s generator system, managing to make warmish showers, hot coffee and freshly baked croissants with one plug and five gallons of gas. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with myself as mechanical tasks are amongst my most dreaded, and generally least successful. Charlene took the sheets into Falmouth (can you say laundromat?) and Amanda and I cleaned rooms with brooms, dustpans and rags. By three pm, we were still without power but miraculously ready to check in new guests. We even managed a new batch of cookies.
When NStar showed up on the pole right outside the front door of the Inn I knew we were close. Power was restored about 5.30 pm, my trusty generator put away for another day. Irene was relatively sweet to us. We we ready for worse, but so lucky we only got her simple side. Our hearts go out to others out there not so lucky. We know first hand how scary it can be. Now I hear there is a new tropical depression brewing out there…so we take our experience from this one and we wait for another battle. Next time, less florescent camping lanterns and more battery operated candles! I am gonna need that forgiving faux flicker to weather the next one.
We are preparing for Hurricane Irene. Will she pass with a whimper like last year’s Earl, or rumble through roaring like Bob or Carol, or the dreaded Hurricane of 1938 that decimated this coast so many years ago that only octogenarians remember.
Doesn’t much matter because no one can actually see into the future (even those hurricane trackers) to tell us where the eye of the storm will pass. And so we must go through the same rituals every season, all the stuff up from the basement in case it floods, sandbags at the doors, boats out of the water, flashlights, gasoline, duct tape, spare water, tubs filled, canned goods at the ready.
I went to Eastman’s Hardware and stocked up. What a place! A real, old-fashioned hardware store with knowledgeable staff and plenty of the supplies you need. I filled the gas can and tested the generator. Jeremy moved all the porch furniture into the basement and tied down what was too heavy to move. We put batteries in all the flashlights and took down the flag.
And so we are ready. And then we wait. I wandered out onto the street to compare notes with other business owners — have I thought of everything? Is there more I can do? I thought of the early settlers, and the Native Americans who survived on this narrow peninsula for generations without doppler radar and the constant barrage of media warning to prepare prepare prepare. Perhaps some of them came to be able to feel the low pressure systems in their bones, or noticed how the birds get very quiet.
But on a sunny hot day like today, it’s really hard to imagine that a huge storm is coming. And easy to think that people were caught unprepared before modern tracking and the relentless clack clack of the TV’s StormWatch!. I guess that makes us lucky, but sometimes the anticipation is worse than the storm.
For real time pictures and news, follow my FaceBook feed at “Woods Hole Inn.” As long as the cell sites are operating, I will be posting up to the minute news and information. After the dust settles….
Thursdays are pick-up day at Coonamessett Farm’s CSA (community supported agriculture) where I have already paid for my “share” of farm fresh veggies, flowers and fruit. It also happens to be the day I stock up on Sippewissett Oysters (a local harvest that is a side project of Coonmessett) for the Quicks Hole restaurant, so if you want to see me in summer, you will find me over there like clockwork.
The CSA started distributing a few weeks ago and as you can imagine, summer is a little errr, can we say BUSY, for me so I have not yet had time to head out into the fields to pick my own berries as offered each week. Yesterday when I left Woods Hole it was foggy and cold — hard to believe in the middle of what the papers are calling the first heatwave of the summer. Seven miles inland on the rolling acres of the farm, the sun was shining and it was warm — not too hot, just perfect.
So I said, check-in be damned, I am picking some berries! I donned a wrist band, grabbed a bucket and headed into the blueberry patch. Surrounded by a light mesh fence, you enter through a screen door and then you are in a maze, rows and rows and rows of six to seven foot high bushes heavy with berries, many still green but the bright blue ones popping out at you like fireflies on a dusky night. I quickly walked to the back corner to find more berries and feel alone, then worked my way backwards towards the gate.
It was the most zen hour of my week. Alone, deep in these lush bushes, looking for berries, my thoughts erased to nothing more than reach, pick, cradle, dump. The satisfying plunk of the plump berry in the bottom of the bucket, the steady breeze bending the trees in waves, while I reached higher for the one at the very top, the wind taunting me by pushing the largest cluster away. A meditation on nothing more than a simple task. My purse hanging from my arm like a vestige of some long forgotten suburban life, my feet shuffling among the fallen leaves and compost, I felt like a different person, maybe a farm girl from another century or a field worker like the ones you see in a blur while driving on the California freeways.
My bucket full and my head miraculously emptied of the everyday worries, I wandered out and gathered the other veggies — a bag of fresh kale, five spring onions still clumped with soil, parsley, summer squash, fresh flowers and more. Still in a blueberry haze, I drove home with the windows down enjoying the way my hair blows into a huge fuzz ball with the humidity.
I paused on the lawn to snap this picture. Another indulgence! Get back to work, the little voice on my shoulder was shouting — but I can not shake off the clear headed feeling of the blueberry patch. I linger. I snap a few more of the berries on the kitchen counter and the flowers in that little blue vase I found at the Rose Bowl on another zen day many years ago. Blueberry Zen.
Then back to work at the inn, prepping tomorrow’s banana bread pudding and welcoming guests as they check in for the weekend. Yes, our blueberry muffins are very special this weekend — I picked the berries myself!
Locavores who want to recreate my zen blueberry experience will be pleased to know that Coonmessett is open to visitors as well, so drive on over to pick your own bucket before heading back to reality.
This dispatch by Casey Manning, a wonderful writer who is here with us for the summer:
“There’s something internal that breeds in those who grow up in landlocked states — something that fascinates them about water. For those who age watching blurred cornfields out of passenger windows, it’s hard to fathom the expanse of endless blue that must exist along the far-reaching coasts. For those who can’t claim a single acquaintance with a boating license, the term “lost at sea,” etched here in so many memorial park benches and aging gravestones, is both haunting and intangible.
And so when I arrived in Woods Hole mere weeks ago, Ohio born and raised, I was equally fascinated and slightly unsettled by the ever-presence of water at every turn. A cool evening spent on the bike path lent countless bodies of ponds, bogs, and marshes new meaning to what I had always clumped together easily as “lakes.”
And when, on a jog along that same path, tempting dark-clouded faith to get in a tempo run for my Falmouth Road Race training, it started to rain, something pulled me off the paved path and toward a beach. I sat mesmerized in the downpour for what felt like hours by the monstrous churning of the ocean and the dissolving of sea and sky. Like many things of terrible beauty, what sparkles on the surface merely hints at what immeasurable force and incomprehensible fervor lies beneath.
I’ve spent countless summers sunning myself on pool decks, relishing the first hint of chlorine smell on my skin and knowing won’t fade until September, splashing around in hopes that my pre-teen crush will notice, and flying past the ever-present “NO RUNNING SIGNS” that I never failed to disobey. And by the age I could stand on my tippy toes in the deep end, I thought I had conquered water in its most magical, otherworldly-blue form.
But an infinite ocean, like the myth concerning Eskimos and their words for snow, lends its reveler countless new definitions of the shade we call blue. My first summer defined on a scale, variably hued.
When I talk to friends back home (who are just as amazed as I that I’ve found myself on Cape Cod for the summer), the first thing they never fail to ask is if I’ve been to the beach.
“Of course!” I respond, giddily detailing minutes walks, breezy bike rides, and quick ferries to beach after beach after beach.
But I know what they envision — white sand and sparkling water under a bountifully blazing sun — and it no longer matches my own mind’s painted scene. For now my Midwestern sensibilities can appreciate not only the postcard-perfect calm of an ocean moment frozen in time, but the live, vicious churning that can surround; teasing to pull me in and never let go so that I too could dare to become a shade of blue.”
–Casey Manning, Cape Cod Summer 2011
The produce, finally fresh. The sun, steadily shining. The weight of school children’s daily burden, graciously lifted. June is a month understandably adored. And June, throughout centuries of folklore and more modern tradition, is the month for weddings.
In Roman myth, the month of June was thought to be lucky for marriage because its namesake, the goddess Juno, represented women and love. And this past June weekend, the Woods Hole Inn played host to a wedding party, with the bride Meg effusing goddess qualities all her own, rain or shine.
Despite an uncharacteristically gray June morning, the bridesmaids started the day early (post-gourmet continental breakfast, of course) with smiles and a garment steamer.
And with the sight of tulle and the smell of hairspray wafting through the halls of our historic inn, the anticipation grew throughout the morning.
And then the wedding dress was revealed.
And though the gray skies opened into gray showers, the bridal party remained cheerful and calm.
And preparations for the lovely event that was to be held rain or shine at Woods Hole’s own Nobska Lighthouse continued.
Along with a few last-minute dress alterations.
Once the bride was dressed, the troops were rallied.
And after last minute touch ups…
it was bridal party portrait time.
For as soon as the rain let up, it was time to say goodbye.
Or perhaps hello, as these sort of life events seem to lend themselves.
We wish Meg & Mike the best of luck on their new adventure. We are confident that the blessings of a joyful smile on a cloudy day will fill their lives together with genuine happiness.
One of the most unique things about Woods Hole is it’s collection of houseboats. See, most of Woods Hole is right on the water. Look at a map and you will see that we are on a peninsula of a peninsula of a peninsula, literally the last little strip of land on the southwestern edge of Cape Cod.
Just like Provincetown, only on the other end of the Cape and a lot less campy.
Anyway, the summer months are so precious here (rents go up by a factor of 10x) that it’s tempting to rent your regular house for a few weeks and earn enough to pay the mortgage all winter. But then where do you go? For generations, people moved out to their boats for a few months but, back in the 1970s, locals got clever and started building cabins on rafts and the Woods Hole houseboat phenomena was born.
People take day trips from the Vineyard, Chatham and Nantucket to tour the harbor and look at the charming house boats (it helps that some of the best fishing on the east coast is right here as well).
Every spring, the drawbridge in Woods Hole is occupied with the migration of the houses from their winter gam in Eel Pond, a slow march out to their spectacular perches looking out over all of Woods Hole. Perilously close to the multi-million dollar houses of Penzance Point, these tiny house boats have some of the most spectacular views in town…plus no need for air conditioning as out on the water, it’s breezy and cool most days. The tides that rip through Woods Hole keep the water super clean (but don’t fall overboard after dark as the current could whisk you away). I think there are about 25 of them; new ones have been banned but the existing versions are grandfathered.
At the Woods Hole Inn, guests like to watch the house boats at sunset from our front deck. A pitcher of Cape Cod beer and a comfortable chair with this view? Add a lobster taco and now you are smiling. Pretty special.
We have even considered owning one and offering it as a watery room option. It’s a short row back to dinner at the Landfall or ahi-tuna burritos at Quicks Hole. In the morning, get your New York Times, hot coffee and a popover at Pie in the Sky? Would you like to stay out in water world? Can you handle the rush of the current and the wind swinging your oversized hammock over the bay? Can you live without wifi for a night or two?
Glamorous camping is called “glamping.” Are you up for it? Comments please…
If you live here you come to dread the relentless question — “How do I get to Martha’s Vineyard”? I’m told that a favorite Falmouth joke is to give directions to the bridge. You know, the bridge to Martha’s Vineyard? It’s right down there, near the house boats. You’ll find it, just keep looking:)
In the summer of 2010, we decided to start offering our guests a custom designed t-shirt and announced a photo contest. We asked guests to wear their “Woods Hole Inn, old number 28, Stylish Lodging and Victuals, Upper Cape Cod” shirts in unusual and visually arresting locations. We asked them to take photos and submit them to us via email or Facebook.
Ask, and ye shall receive!
A full year and many submissions later, on April Fools Day 2011 we held a staff meeting and voted on the winner. This is the most subjective of contests, we admit: What is “unusual”? What does “visually arresting” mean? Our winner, pictured above, impressed us with a gorgeous location, one that is stunningly different from Cape Cod and provides a cool contrast to the t-shirt. We liked that she was atop a mountain at a hip American winter resort. And we fell for her big smile. A smile that reminds us of the looks on the faces of our customers as they check out from the Inn, a blissed out, can you believe I’m really here? sort of face that made us all smile in return.
Jordanna wins a free two-day stay at the Woods Hole Inn, subject to availability and to be used by December 31, 2012. We hope she books soon as we are filling up fast for summer 2011 and we want her to get a great room, enjoy our pillow top mattresses, luxury linens, gourmet breakfast, free bikes to explore the Shining Sea Bikepath and easy access to the Martha’s Vineyard ferry. We are looking forward to more of her special smile!
This was a hard decision as there were many good entries. We received photos from far flung spots like Kensington Castle in England and Devil’s Kitchen Sinkhole in Sedona, AZ and as well as close by ones like Hadley Harbor which is a short boat ride across Woods Hole passage. We decided to offer our runners up a free Woods Hole Inn mug, to be hand delivered when they return to the inn (many of our guests are repeat customers so we have every expectation that they will be back and if not, we will ship it).
Thanks to all for participating in our contest. Hold your breath for this year’s contest which will be announced when you check into your vintage restored room at the Woods Hole Inn. And… drum roll please… here are our runners up:
I know it’s getting warmer because I have forgotten to put my slippers on three mornings in a row. Now, when it’s really cold outside, my kitchen floor feels like ice and there is just no way that I can “forget” the slippers that wait under the radiator for me with their soft lambswool lining. I went out yesterday with no scarf or hat. And the time change means its light until well after 6 pm. So, it’s coming, my dear friend called spring. Maybe not here yet, but soon.
Yesterday was gorgeous, sunny calm no wind, and all of a sudden the streets of Woods Hole came alive with people. St. Patricks Day green was observed on many, and the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce meeting at the Black Dog was packed with business owners and new friends.
I took another photo walk this week, and here are my spring-is-around-the-corner photos:
There have been days spent just looking out at the water, contemplating why we are here and what does success mean. Of course, many hours are consumed with the day-to-day keeping guests happy, making beds, whipping up batches of chocolate muffins, hanging out the last of the laundry in a stiff breeze. Sometimes it gets so busy you can barely think.
And it all feels worth it when a reporter comes to stay and really “gets” what you are trying to do. I could not be happier about the recommendation we just received from Westchester Magazine and thank Malerie (who we loved visiting with when she came by on her research trip) so here it is (read the full article here with all her fab recommendations):
Woods Hole Inn
28 Water St /// Woods Hole, MA (508) 495-0248
From White Plains: 4 hours
|The Woods Hole Inn is located just steps from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry.|
Beth Colt and P.K. Simonds (producer of Ghost Whisperer) purchased a dilapidated hotel/boarding house, originally built in 1878, and turned it into a nautical chic, “vintage-restored” inn. With walls of turquoise and seafoam pastels, white wainscoting, distressed wood floors, and knickknacks cleverly displayed, the Inn is on the funky side of adorable. Across the street from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), it’s just a fishing rod cast away from the Martha’s Vineyard ferry. Woods Hole (which Colt nicknames WoHo), draws both island hoppers and brainy scientists to its almost-too-perfect-to-be-true fishing village environs.
Room: Nine rooms are witty studies in white with walls and pillows in emeralds, jades, and blues for punch. White furniture is topped with trinkets that can be found in Home Goods or local gift shops—and small white extremely clean bathrooms are stocked with handmade green starfish soaps. Ask for room #4 ($150-$280), which has a direct view of the Ferry and the WHOI Research Vessel (of Titanic discovery fame). Beyond the boats you view the serene harbor and at the end of the day a rapturous sunset over the harbor islands.
Board: Until late 2009, the inn did not have a resident breakfast chef, so reviews were, let’s just say, unkind. Enter Sara Dillon, foodie extraordinaire, hired to put the B in the B&B. Her soaked steel-cut oats granola and asparagus/caramelized onion tart are revelations. She happily bakes breakfast from scratch every day and, says the divorced Sara, “I’m the happiest housewife on the planet.” For lunch and dinner, try soup or salad at Pie in the Sky (10 Water St) or, if you want to feel like a pirate, have a beer at the 100-plus-year-old Captain Kidd (77 Water St). Discerning diners won’t have to go far at all. The pier-side Fishmonger Café (56 Water St) next door has an inventive chef who can purée cauliflower, cook fish, and sauté mushrooms to perfection.
Only Here: Colt is so sure that you’ll be enamored of the drawbridges, lighthouses, boat-filled harbors, and secret beaches in Woods Hole, she’s got a weekend photography package, which allows you to tag along with an award-winning photographer to make your own memories ($495 includes two nights’ lodging, a two-hour “photo walking tour,” and a copy of Walking Woods Hole, a guide to walking around Woods Hole, as a keepsake. After October 31, the price is $400).
While Here: Skip on over to the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry (steamshipauthority.com; $15 roundtrip) and spend the day on the island that celebs and presidents love—only 30 minutes away.
Facts: Room rates ($99-$325) include afternoon tea and coffee, chef-prepared gourmet breakfast, and free parking.
We look forward to welcoming the good folks of Westchester with open arms:)
At the Woods Hole Inn, we maintain what we call a “doily free zone.” You know those musty old Victorians filled with the stuff you see at the flea market and wonder who buys? The little pink teacups and the figurines and the old cigar boxes filled with rubber band collections. Yeah, I hate all that clutter.
So, my husband and I bought this place last year and ran around renovating it with our funky sensibility. We grew up on the East Coast but we have been living in LA for twenty years or so now. And we have come to love mid-century modern, and Sasha Emerson, and Dwell, and the Rose Bowl and all that is hip, cool and clean about LA.
But we also miss that grounded feeling we get when we come home to Cape Cod. Wooden shingles, ancient hand crank laundry machines, ice cream made in small batches. And that zen, in-the-moment, alive feeling that seems to come up from the ground. Or floats in on the salt breeze. Or follows you around like a hungry gull on a moonlit night in October.
So here we are, proud owners of a retro meets modern inn. A place committed to being warm but not too friendly, far away from everything and in the middle of it all, urban and rural, big and small, vintage and new.
Check it out at www.woodsholeinn.com. And let us know how we are doing. Cause whats the fun if we can’t talk about it…
The Woods Hole Inn is on the water in Woods Hole, MA, across from the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. The Inn was built in 1878 and made modern in 2008.
Inn rooms feature modern decor, with a winning combination of old and new featured in magazines like Domino and Dwell.
Inn amenities include free wifi, parking, ipod docking stations, Brookstone sound machines, fresh hot popovers from Pie in the Sky as part of a Real Simple continental breakfast.
This is NOT your Granny’s B & B.