Here at Woods Hole Inn, it is our privilege to celebrate the men and women who have sacrificed their own lives and luxuries to protect our freedom. To that end, we show our thanks by honoring them each year with a complimentary stay on Veterans Day, aiming to provide a relaxing and inviting experience from the moment they walk through our door. This year, on a clear and bright November morning, these special guests gathered in our sunny breakfast room, where they enjoyed the panoramic view of Great Harbor and swapped stories of their service.
Their ages and branches differed, but they shared one similar quality – they were all quick to downplay their sacrifice. John, a 26-year Navy veteran, praised his wife, Elaina, for raising their three children and managing the household on her own during his many absences, while being forced to move the family every three years.“My job was easy. You go on a ship and you do what you have to do. It’s my wife who deserves all the credit. She was home doing the hard part,” he said.
Although Don and Debi live in nearby Mashpee, they were grateful for a much-needed and well-deserved staycation. After graduating from Bourne High School, Don spent four years in the Air Force, and then went on to join the 102nd Fighter Wing at Otis Air National Guard Base. Since staying with us last year, Don and Debi have become part of the Woods Hole Inn family, and because they’re Cape Codders, they know the off-season is often the best season, particularly in Woods Hole, when life moves at a slower pace in our seaside village. When asked what he enjoys about their Veterans Day visit, Don answered simply, “Everything. The food, the people. We can’t say enough about it. We’re taking care of aging parents, and I commute to Boston for work, so it’s important to be close to home,” he said. Debi also enjoys the quaintness of Woods Hole. “We love having dinner and drinks right next door at Quicks Hole Tavern, and the fact that we can walk to everything,” she said. Like his fellow servicemen, Don is also hesitant to accept accolades. “I don’t look at it as a big deal. People rise to the occasion when they are needed,” he said.
Innkeeper Beth Colt and the entire staff here at the Woods Hole Inn are grateful for the chance to roll out the proverbial red carpet each November for these distinguished guests.“Veterans Day is one of our favorite times of the year. We all look forward to meeting those who have served our country in the military, and thanking them with a free stay in Woods Hole. Over breakfast, we try to get to know our visitors and hear about their lives,” she said. “It is always a true pleasure making these special connections year after year. And often they have never been to Woods Hole, so introducing them to our wonderful village is also a great joy.”
We already can’t wait for next year!
Woods Hole Inn honors our veterans each year with free rooms at the Inn on Veteran’s Day. This year was no different with a bundle of couples traveling to Woods Hole for some well-deserved R&R with our luxurious rooms, amazing breakfast and wonderful warm welcome.
Thanks to our inventive staff, no detail was left to chance. We stand together honoring our veterans, thanking them for their incredible service to our country.
Extra time and thought goes into our continental breakfast on this special day, and each of us takes pride in seeing that this free event goes as smoothly as possible for our Veterans.
Most gratifying is the relaxed smiles on our happy patrons in the morning. See you next Veteran’s Day in Woods Hole! Free rooms are offered first come, first served to those with military ID’s. We thank you for your service.
The overwhelming response from the military and veterans was, “thank you for thinking of us.”
Here are a few of our guests and their stories:
The Taylors came from Leominster, Mass for a quick getaway by the sea. Lucille is retired but served many years in the US Airforce. They were feeling a little under the weather and were not able to join in the prosecco and cheese welcome, but they said the pillow top rest perked them up…”Like sleeping on a cloud,” said Lucille.
The Barone family loved staying in Room 5 (a suite – perfect for a family of four). Rick Barone served in the US Coast Guard for over 20 years. He was stationed in Woods Hole several summers when former President Clinton visited Martha’s Vineyard as part of the presidential security detail. The Barone’s read about the promotion in the Boston Globe and wanted to come back to Woods Hole, a place where they hung out early in their relationship. Rick particularly appreciated being in a restored old building, wanting to know when it was build (1878) and some of the history of the place (Don’t get me started!) “We love it here” said Trish, “and we plan on coming back.”
The Hongs were looking for a respite from student life at the Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. Haney, who originally hails from Los Angeles, spent three years in San Diego as a submarine officer. He was then promoted to the Pentagon in Washington DC, where he served as part of the strategic think tank for the Secretary of the Navy.
The Hongs were really sweet about how much they liked the Inn and told me they would tell all their Cambridge friends about what an easy getaway Woods Hole was from Boston. “The photos are great online,” said Lauren, ‘but it’s even better when you get here. It really feels like home, more than just a vacation away, so comfortable .. like I am staying at my Aunt’s house.”
Brian and Tammy Jester just drove across town for a little getaway, and I wish I got a better picture of them as they are a handsome couple. Brian served TWO campaigns in Iraq where he was a Warrant Officer in the Army. He also served in the Coast Guard in the early 1980’s and was stationed in Woods Hole on a Buoy Tender (the big boat that cleans and places the buoys). He and Tammy have four kids and two of whom have also served in the military. Like many Falmouth residents, the Jesters said they don’t get down to Woods Hole that much, even though it’s only a few miles away. They were very grateful for the good night’s sleep and Tammy said, “My mother would love this place.”
It was an honor and a pleasure to make the Inn available as part of this nationwide giveback. What a great way to celebrate Veteran’s Day. And a special thank you to Kathleen Panek for getting this ball rolling and inspiring all of us to come on board. We look forward to next year!