Red Chair Travels

March 26, 2012

The red chair looks out over Vineyard Sound and the Martha's Vineyard ferry before heading on an epic journey to Provincetown and back!

Remember the story of the red chair?  You know, the image I put on Facebook that inspired a visit from a Californian photographer who then sent me the most amazing photograph she had taken of the chair?  I wrote all about this last spring, and told everyone I ever met all about it, and you can catch up with the story here.

Well, now the red chair is headed on a very unique trip.  I have reached out to innkeepers all over Cape Cod.  This chair is going to have the most amazing spring visiting the very best places to stay on the Cape and Islands.

Having checked in on the phone with these fabulous hoteliers, I can genuinely say I am jealous of the chair’s journey.  I too want to spend five weeks crisscrossing the Cape, exploring every nook and cranny from the dunes of Race Point to the shops of Nantucket, from the farms of Martha’s Vineyard to the sand flats of Barnstable Harbor.  I too want to try a growler of Cape Cod beer in Hyannis, or see the whales and dolphins off Provincetown, or chow on steamers in Truro, or skip the boardwalk in Sandwich.

Why send a chair on a journey like this?  Because, like the surrealists used to say, this chair is not just a chair.  It is a metaphor, an invitation to come explore yourself in a quiet and beautiful place.  It is an open seat at the table of relaxation.  It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature where you can lose and find yourself at the same time.  It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.

And that, my friends, is why the chair needs to travel!

Today I prepared my  heart, then drove the chair to thirty minutes up the road to the lovely village of Sandwich where the chair will be hosted by the Belfry Inn and Bistro for a few days.  This is a really cool place — a converted church with all the stained glass still intact.  I must admit, I felt a bit like a mother taking their child to overnight camp for the first time!  I mean, all the preparation I have put into this trip, and when it came down to it I really did not want to let that chair out of my hot little hands.  I was feeling anxious and worried, wrote a long note to my fellow innkeepers about it’s care and safekeeping, even fretted a little about leaving it on side deck rather than handing it directly to the next innkeeper.

But I have to remember, the soul of this chair was meant to be shared.  I found it at the swap shop, and so much joy has come already from sharing it.   I have to believe more joy, laughs, curiosity will come as others are touched by it too.

Some nostalgic images of the chair at the Woods Hole Inn before it headed out:

Red Chair before making it's journey from the Woods Hole Inn to Provincetown and back.

Oooh, that Cape light.

Red Chair enjoying the end of the day at the Woods Hole Inn.

On a foggy day:

Foggy day red chair in Woods Hole, looking over Coffee Obsession.

Then getting ready to head out today, with a little note that says “Read Me!” filled with instructions and well-wishes.

Leaving the waterfront across from the Marthas Vineyard ferry can be traumatic:)

Here we are all loaded up in the car:

Leaving Woods Hole in my Prius.

Arriving at the Belfry Inn in Sandwich MA, a lovely 30 minute drive on a windy bright day:

Arriving at the Belfry Inn in Sandwich, MA.And finally the hiding spot:

Red chair hidden in red brick wall at the Belfy Inn in Sandwich, MA.

Isn’t everything better when shared?

More to come on this story, plus read about it directly in a new blog called


  1. Reply

    Hi Beth,
    How easy would it be to see the Red Chair at the Belfry? Is it only viewable by people staying at the inn or could one walk in and see it? My Dad lives in Sandwich and it might be a nice thing to do when I visit him tomorrow. We had his 80th birthday party there a few years back.
    I hope to follow the journey of the Red Chair on your blog and maybe even get to see it during a few of it’s visits around the Cape and Islands. What a great excuse to meander around beautiful Cape Cod!

    1. I think the chair leaves the Belfy today, and moves on to the High Pointe Inn in Barnstable. Let me know if you would like to visit it anywhere! Im sure the participating innkeepers would be delighted to give you a tour.

  2. Reply

    Loved having your chair visit us today… too bad it doesn’t travel with Fish tacos! ( grin) We tried not to spill on it! But i don’t want to give away any more of what might be a surprise!

    Fun story

    1. Can’t wait to hear all the details — I’m sure Tom Dott has a bunch of creative ideas up his sleeve. The Lamb and Lion is a wonderful place to stay on Cape Cod, and be close enough to Cape Cod Beer to help out with the brewing if you like:)

  3. Reply

    This is such an amazingly wonderful story. Ah, the tales that chair could tell, with so many more to come!

    Hope to see the chair somewhere in my travels around the Cape …

    1. Thanks Dee! We added a Pinterest board, and created a hash tag on twitter (#redchair) so you can get up to the minute news of the chairs travels! This week the chair heads to Barnstable and Brewster — two gorgeous towns. Follow on the website

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