Author Archives: lyninnat

A Black Bear visits the Inn at Ellis River

Thanks to our guests and staff for these photos of the bear who has been a frequent visitor to the Inn this summer. It is one of the stable population of about 5,000 black bears living in New Hampshire. Now that the berries and apples are ripe, our bear seems to enjoy feasting in the woods near the property, and sometimes takes a stroll or a dip in the river where guests can enjoy this wildlife at a distance. A number of bears have been seen in the Jackson and North Conway areas, but our friend Baxter the Bear seems to be the only one who visits the inn regularly.

Many of our guests have been enjoying the chance to see our local wildlife and to take photos from a distance ~ just remember to not get too close and to be sure that both you and the bear have a clear escape route. Bears typically move away when they hear loud noises, so you can clap your hands or bang metal objects together. NH Fish and Wildlife reminds everyone not to leave bear attractants like food in vehicles or on patios or balconies such as those we have at the inn. (Yes, bears can climb up to balconies, just like trees!) Remember that feeding a bear is against the law and can be punished by up to a $1,000 fine. It also threatens the well-being of the bear, which may have to be destroyed if it becomes a nuisance habituated to human food sources. So keep your eyes open and camera ready when you visit, and you may have a chance to see Baxter!bear on rocks in Ellis River

Railfans Days at Conway Scenic Railroad, Sept. 14-15, 2013

train in Crawford NotchAre you a railroad fan? When you visit the North Conway and Jackson area in late spring, summer or fall, you can enjoy many railroad attractions including the Cog Railway up Mount Washington, the Notch Train or the Valley Train to Bartlett on the Conway Scenic Railroad, as well as the Hartmann Model RR & Toy Museum and the North Conway Model Railroad Club that holds open house hours from May – October 18.

Plan to come the weekend of September 14-15, and you can enjoy a special excursion on the Conway Scenic Railroad to celebrate Railfans Days. Here are some of the excursions offered on Saturday and Sunday that weekend. Engines to be used on various runs include #216/252, #1751, #7470, RED #23, #573/4266 and the steam locomotive. For a complete schedule of train rides for each engine, please visit the Conway Scenic Railroad website. In addition to dining car options shown below, box lunches are available, and there are snack cars on the trains. The day-long excursions offer the most White Mountain scenery, and the Conway excursions the least. Before or after your excursion, plan to visit the Model Railroad Club’s layout in the Freight House at the Conway Scenic Railroad. (Open 10:00 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; free admission but donations accepted).

Saturday, September 14, 2013 ~ Conway Scenic Railroad offers 11 excursions including:

  • Hazen ~ ‘Day White Mountains’ excursion departs from North Conway at 9:15 am and returns at 5:00 pm with engines # 216/252. (Luncheon in dining car Hattie Evans offered as part of the first class package).
  • Sawyers River and Redstone (Passenger Extra with RDC #23) departs North Conway at 11:00 am and returns at 3:10 pm.
  • Bartlett regular excursion but with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 11:30 am and returns at 1:10 pm. (Note the locomotive faces West, and this excursion offers a luncheon seating option.)
  • Conway regular excursion but with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 1:30 pm and returns at 2:25 pm. (This excursion also offers a luncheon option.)

Night Photo Session 7:00 – 9:00 pm with professional photographers at the North Conway yard (free).

Sunday, September 15, 2013 ~ 9 excursions including:

  • Fabyan ~ ‘Mountaineer’ excursion with #216 departs North Conway at 10:00 and returns at 4:50 pm. (Luncheon in dining car is offered as part of the first class package).
  • Conway regular excursion with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 10:30 am and returns at 11:25 am.
  • Bartlett regular excursion with a steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 11:30 am and returns at 1:10 pm. (Note the locomotive faces East, and this excursion offers a luncheon option.)
  • Conway regular excursion with steam locomotive leaves North Conway at 1:30 pm and returns at 2:25 pm. (This excursion also offers a luncheon option.)

So plan on coming to Railfans Days this September, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the eastern White Mountains while riding the rails!

 

Celebrate Labor Day with a White Mountain Getaway!

Jackson-Falls_2005_SBrownCelebrate the end of summer and the hard work you do all year with a relaxing getaway this Labor Day weekend. Our discounted holiday package includes a three night stay, dinner one evening at a local restaurant, discount for the Mt. Washington Auto Road, free use of Great Glen’s hiking trails, plus breakfasts and afternoon refreshments each day, of course!

Honoring the contributions of workers has been an American tradition for over 130 years, beginning at the Central Labor Union in New York in 1882, with a street parade demonstration and festive picnic for workers and their families. Labor Day spread to other regions and becameg a national holiday in 1894, celebrated on the first Monday in September. The traditional celebrations still include parades and enjoying recreational activities. Since many people have a day off from work, shopping sales at retail stores has become another way to enjoy the holiday. In recent years, ways to celebrate have broadened to include all kinds of leisure activities and barbeques or picnics to mark the end of summer vacations.

So here’s how you can celebrate Labor Day traditions with a getaway at the Inn at Ellis River before the lazy days of summer slip away ~

  • Make your own parade up one of our nearby hiking trails, or join the parade of cars up the Mount Washington Auto Road for a view from the highest mountain in New England.
  • Take advantage of the Sidewalk Sales at Settler’s Green August 29-31, 2013. While you’re in North Conway, you can also enjoy the Crafts and Artisans Fair with offerings by local artists and artisans. You’ll find it at the Gibson Center in the heart of the village from 10 am -5 pm.
  • Stop by J-Town Deli in Jackson for picnic supplies, then cool off with a dip in Jackson Falls or Diana’s Baths while you enjoy your al fresco feast. Prefer barbeque? You’ll find great options in North Conway including Moat Mountain Smokehouse.
  • Finally don’t forget it’s a time to relax and enjoy the end of summer, so plan some time just sitting in our Adirondack chairs by the river, or lying on the chaises by our heated pool!

Go on a Moose Safari in New Hampshire’s White Mountains

mooseMoose enjoy their habitat in the White Mountains, especially boggy areas such as those created by beaver dams. Although you may not see a moose close to the Inn, drive north a bit toward Pinkham Notch, go west through Crawford Notch and along the Ammonousuc River, or take Bear Notch Road to the Kancamaugus Highway, and you may see these majestic animals near dusk or dawn. If you see vehicles pulled over by the side of the road, there’s a good chance moose are nearby. Watch carefully, as vehicle collisions with moose can be deadly!

There are about 4,500 moose currently in New Hampshire. In the White Mountains, the density of moose is about one per square mile, while to the north of Route 2, it is about one and a half per square mile. Venture farther north toward the Connecticut Lakes, and the density increases. If you want to be sure of seeing moose, book our Moose on the Loose package that includes two tickets for Dan’s Moose Tour leaving May – September evenings from Gorham, NH. Dan promises you’ll see moose or you can return for another tour for free. His tour also includes lots of local lore while you travel along some of the moose herd’s favorite haunts. So if you’ve ever wanted to see these famous White Mountain residents, come see us soon!

Stroll the Village at Jackson NH’s First Art Gallery Walk, August 24, 2013

Several art galleries in Jackson are hosting their first Art Walk from 4 to 8 pm on Saturday, August 24, 2013, come rain or shine. You’ll have the chance to explore the galleries, including White Mountain Photography, Cassidy Gallery, and Group 8 Gallery, see demonstrations by gallery artists, and enjoy refreshments. Galleries on the Art Walk feature photography, watercolors, pastels, oils, acrylics and mixed media, ceramics, fiber art, wood art, and more. Several galleries will have special offers ~ a free 8×10 matted print with purchase over $80 at White Mountain Photography (value $20) and free Cassidy Gallery Cardinal or Peacock mug with purchase over $50.

Group 8 Gallery also will be featuring Lunch with an Artist from noon to 2 pm on August 17, 24, and 31, 2013. Chat with the artists about their sources of  inspiration and techniques while you enjoy a light lunch (first come first served, or bring your own brown bag). Featured artists are Terri Brooks and Carl Owen (August 17), Barbara McEvoy and John Girouard (August 24), and Valentina Kobilansky and Sean Stull (August 31).

White Mountain Art and Artisan Festival is August 17 – 18, 2013

The annual White Mountain Art and Artisan Festival in Jackson, NH is one of the premier art festivals in the Northern New England. Surrounded by scenery made memorable by the 19th Century White Mountain School of Art, this juried event features over 40 artists and artisans who will display sculpture, pastels, watercolors, etchings, photography, ceramics, hand blown glass, fiber arts, wood arts, fine jewelry, and more. While you visit the artists” exhibits and demonstrations, you’ll also enjoy live entertainment by Al and the Revtones on Saturday, and the Matt Bowman Jazz Quartet on Sunday. The Festival also features a silent auction (Saturday 10 am – 3:00 pm) with thousands of dollars of items, as well as plenty of good eats, including local BBQ, and arts and crafts for children. Don’t miss the fun of this great annual event in the heart of the White Mountains, sponsored by the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

Cool off with a refreshing glass of our Citrus Mint Iced Tea

Four mint plants in potThe Inn at Ellis River’s herb garden is thriving, and these warm summer afternoons are the perfect time to enjoy a cool refreshing glass of our Citrus Mint Tea ~ preferably beside our outdoor pool or in an Adirondack chair by the Ellis River. If you can’t get away for a visit to the White Mountains, here is the recipe for our tea to enjoy at home. We feature a different herb during the Country Inns in the White Mountains Inn to Inn Herb Tour each June, so be sure to check out the other Herb Tour recipes we have posted including this year’s great White Chocolate Coconut Mojito Cookies and Minted Pea Soup while you sip your iced tea.

Here’s the recipe for our Citrus Mint Tea: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 2 tea bags and 4 sprigs of fresh mint. Cover and let steep for about 10 minutes. Combine 1 ½ cups hot water, ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar, 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice in a 1 quart pitcher. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove the tea bags from the tea mixture; add to pitcher with the fruit juices, and stir well. Adjust sweetness if desired and chill. Serve over ice, garnish with a fresh sprig of mint and enjoy! Makes 1 quart.

INDEPENDENCE DAY Celebrations Begin June 28, 2013!

fireworksPlan to get a head start on celebrating Independence Day with Jackson, NH’s fireworks display on June 28. It’s an old-fashioned community event where you can stake out your spot on the golf course and watch the festive display beginning about 9 pm. Come early to claim a spot and sample some treats from the Jackson Chamber of Commerce (popcorn, corn dogs, etc.) and the Fire Department. J-Town Deli & Country store also will be open with treats and fireworks specials.

Thursday, July 4, 2013, plan to enjoy Conway’s Independence Day Parade in the morning, then choose between fireworks that evening in North Conway (by the train station) or up through Crawford Notch at Bretton Woods and the Mount Washington Hotel.

Wildquack Duck RaceThe fun continues Saturday, July 6, 2013, with the long-awaited Wildquack Festival (usually celebrated Memorial Day weekend). It’s an old-fashioned village celebration with booths, a silent auction, Cake Boss competition, and THREE duck races. We still tickets for sale for the races ~ $6 for one or 4 for $20. If you haven’t seen enough fireworks, there will be more on Saturday evening at Bretton Woods.

So plan on an old-fashioned celebration and getaway to celebrate our nation’s birthday!

Wildquack Festival now will be July 6, 2013, in Jackson, NH

Wildquack Duck RaceThe Wildquack Festival and Duck Races have been postponed again until Saturday, July 6, 2013. The ducks will swim that day regardless of weather! We know it’s been great weather for ducks but not for everyone who enjoys the village festival. The river is running too fast for the safety of the kids of the Stuck Duck Patrol who make sure the little duckies head downstream. So if you couldn’t come to the White Mountains for Memorial Day weekend, you’ve still got a chance plan your getaway. All the Festival events will be held ~ the parade, Cake Boss competition, silent auction, food and craft vendors, and of course, all three duck races ~ you’ll have a chance at thousands in cash and prizes. So make your plans now to cheer on the ducks!

Mt. Washington Auto Road is open for the summer season!

Mt. Washington Auto RoadYou may find some snow still capping Mt. Washington, but the Auto Road is open to the summit for the summer! You can drive yourself, or choose to take one of the guided tours ~ this year they are two hours long, including a full hour at the summit where you can tour the Tip Top house, observatory museum, etc. Hours are 8:30 am – 5:00 pm until June 7, then 7:30 am – 6:00 pm June 8 through September 2, 2013. Slightly shorter hours in September and early October.

For a very unique experience, plan a sunrise drive, possible only three times each summer. This year, sunrise drives are available Sunday June 30 (open 3:30 am), Sunday, July 28 (open 4:00 am), and Sunday, August 25 (open 4:30 am). If you are a bird-watcher, make plans to take a Bicknell’s Thrush Tour available June 6, 8, 9, 11, 17, 19 only (advanced reservations required).

Be sure to ask us at the inn for a voucher that will give you a discount on the tour or allow a passenger to ride free if you are driving yourself. The voucher also gives you access to Great Glen Trails walking, hiking, and biking trails, right at the base of the mountain. Make sure you include a trip to Mt. Washington in your plans this year!

Getaway to the Wildquack Festival for Memorial Day Weekend!

Jackson, NH, is the place to celebrate the Memorial Day holiday this year, in the heart of the White Mountains. You’ll celebrate at the Wildquack Duck River Festival on Sunday, May 24, 2013, with an old fashioned day in the village park. There’s not one but THREE duck races. Stand along the banks of the Wildcat River and watch 3500 traditional yellow duckies race down Jackson Falls to the finish line. The first duck wins a $1,000 prize, while some slower ducks win 50 other prizes such as vacation stays, dining certificates, tickets to attractions, and more. The striped Olympic Ducks have their own race for a special prize, and then there is the Big Duck race, with many ducks sponsored by local businesses. We’ll be there to cheer our favorites on – last year one of our guest’s ducks was the big winner in the classic race, and the inn’s “Chuck the Duck” is a past winner in the Big Duck race.

While the ducks are the stars, save time to stroll the park and vote for your favorite in the Cake Boss Competition, participate in the Five Minutes of Fame Competition, or bid for artwork, dining, gift baskets, photos and more in the Silent Auction. No excuse for going hungry, either – you can enjoy the talents of local and visiting chefs throughout the day.

So plan on a great getaway weekend this year. Our Wildquack Package has all you need – a great discount on a three night stay, duck tickets, a souvenir rubber ducky, and more. We also have some two night packages available. So book now and be sure to visit our Facebook page to help name our Big Duck entry for this year.

Remembering NH’s Old Man of the Mountain

ProfilePlazaIt’s hard to believe 10 years have past since we lost this symbol of New Hampshire, though you can still see him throughout the state on road signs, license plates, and souvenirs of the Granite State. The Old Man was made of five layers of Conway granite, and probably was formed by a retreating glacier over 12,000 years ago. On May 3, 2003, when clouds that had obscured the mountain cleared away, the Great Stone Face had collapsed.

You can still make a pilgrimage to where the Old Man stood when you visit the inn. Just plan to take the 100 mile scenic round trip through the White Mountains, and about half-way, as you go through Franconia Notch, stop at Exit 34B from I-93. Turn left at the wooden sign for the Old Man, and at the parking area, follow the path to Profile Lake. There you can look up at Cannon Mountain where the Old Man stood for so many years. The Profile Plaza has steel Profilers that recreate the image of the Old Man who once watched over the lake and guarded the Notch.

While you are traveling this scenic route, make time to view the surrounding mountains from the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway (theree’s an easy hike with views of both the Green and White Mountains at the top), and visit the Basin and Flume Gorge, all located close by.

Spring arrives with one last snow for lots of fun!

We’re welcoming spring in Jackson with fresh snow for spring skiing, freshly groomed xc ski trails, snowshoeing, tubing, and even sleigh rides until the end of March! Plan a last minute getaway to enjoy some spring snow play before Frosty disappears for another year. Where but in Jackson can you find nearby choices of five downhill ski areas ~ Black Mountain, Wildcat/Attitash, Cranmore, and Bretton Woods, plus three times more miles of cross country trails than roads? Choose xc skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing at nearby Jackson Ski Touring Center, or head north through Pinkham Notch to Great Glen Trails where your trail pass is free with our compliments. Finish your day of snowplay with a sleigh ride at nearby Nestlenook Farm, a soak in our hot tub while you watch the xc skiers still on the Ellis River Trail, or a cozy drink in front of the fire at the inn. P.S. ~ Quiet season rates begin March 25, 2013, so enjoy great spring savings, too!

Happy Valentine’s from All of Us at the Inn at Ellis River

Yellow tulips and glasses of champagneValentine’s Day brings thoughts of champagne, strawberries, and chocolate, of course! We’re looking forward to treating our guests to a special breakfast on the morning of Februrary 14, but if you can’t join us, what about making some of our Triple Chocolate Banana Muffins to start a romantic breakfast off right? They’re easy to bake the night before if mornings are busy. We’re planning to pair the muffins with a tropical fruit cup, and homemade Granola (we’ll add some dried cherries for an extra treat) and yogurt, of course! The main course? It’s time to show off those strawberries as a topping for crispy Belgian waffles, and if you dare, garnish with double chocolate chips and whipped cream as well. Some thick-sliced applewood smoked bacon is just the right accompaniment. Here’s a special trick – lay the bacon strips out on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and rub the bacon lightly with brown sugar before baking in a 400 degree oven until the bacon is crisp. No time for breakfast romance? Why not plan to make a special late night chocolate snack like our Holiday Joy Cookies – just decorate them with some red sugar sprinkles instead of the almonds, serve with fresh strawberries and that glass of bubbly, and enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at the Inn, and remember that Valentine’s is a state of mind, not a date ~ we’re always ready to help you celebrate!

Snow Sculpting Competion Results, January, 2013

Snow Sculptor at workSnow Sculpture of Ice Age's ScratJackson hosted the New Hampshire Snow Sculpting Competition January 25-27, 2013, and we are proud to announce that the winner of the People’s Choice and Invitational Awards stayed with us during the competition. Wade Parsons of Massachusetts won People’s Choice and tied for First Place in the Invitational Competition with his sculpture of Ice Age’s “Scrat”. You can see him working in the photo on the left, and the finished sculpture on the right. The other entry tied for First Place was “Hang in There Kitty” by Audrey Meyer and Scott Lewis of Maine (far left photo in the collage). The team who won the New Hampshire Sanctioned Event, with the honor of representing the state at the 2014 National Competition at Lake Geneva, WI, is Sandy Hall, Kathy Fraize, and Eric Marnich with their angelic entry (far right in the collage).The sculptures are judged on creativity, technique and overall message, and are viewed by 2500 visitors to the White Mountains each winter. For video and images of the sculptures being created this year, you can visit WMTV.com

Annual Snow Sculpture Competition January 25-27, 2013

snow sculpture of two people embracingJackson is the site of the annual New Hampshire’s Snow Sculpting Competition, to be held January 25-27, 2013. Each team of two or three people begins with a cylinder shaped block of snow 4 feet in diameter by 8 feet tall to create their snow sculptures. Teams begin sculpting on Friday, and continue working all day and sometimes through the night on Saturday to complete their sculptures for the judging at noon on Sunday. Sculptures are judged based on creativity, technique and message.

This annual event draws artist teams from across a four-state region to compete for the Overall and the People’s Choice Awards. The NH State Champion is selected only from sculptures completed by teams who live or work in New Hampshire. The National Championships are held each year in Lake Geneva, WI, where the George Grady Jr. 2012 winning team is representing NH this winter. Other states which hold championships each year include New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Alaska. The winning team at the Nationals is eligible to represent the US at international competitions offered by sanctioned member countries such as Canada, Norway, Switzerland, France, Italy, Japan, China, and Russia.

The Inn at Ellis River is happy to help sponsor this unique Jackson event. A two-person team will be staying at the Inn, and all the competitors will find our homemade cookies and lip balm in their welcome bags.

Come See Ice Carving & Snow Sculpture Competitions in Jackson, NH

January brings out a variation on White Mountain artists ~ our brave sculptors of ice and snow! The Wentworth, here in Jackson, will host the 18th annual Great Ice Carvers of New England Invitational Ice Carving Competition on Monday, January, 7, 2013. The challenge begins at 10:00 am, and competitors have until 1:00 pm to create works of art from 300 pound blocks of ice. Chisels, picks, even chain saws make the ice chips fly, and blow torches smooth edges to create animals, birds, mythological figures and other flights of fantasy.

Pictured are some of the 2012 creations, which, like Frosty the Snowman, vanished with the first thaw. New this year is a People’s Choice Award, so plan to stop by the Wentworth to see the ice sculptures beginning next week. They will be on display on the porch (with special lighting at night) as long as arctic temperatures allow.

Competitors in the New Hampshire Snow Sculpture event will have longer for their competition later this month – from Friday, January 25 until noon Sunday, January 27, 2013. We’ll post more about this upcoming competition soon.

Museum of White Mountain Art hosts ‘On the Road to Jackson’ Inaugural Exhibit

Jackson, NH’s newest museum and art gallery opened this fall, and it’s free inaugural exhibition is on display through January 6, 2013. ‘The Road to Jackson: A Glimpse of the White Mountains of New Hampshire’ features a selection of 47 nineteenth century paintings from private collections that depict scenes along routes south from Gorham, north from Tamworth, and east from Crawford Notch as well as around Jackson. Visit the Jackson Historical Society’s website to see a selection of images from the exhibit. There also is a giant topographical map of the Mount Washington Valley.

The new museum was created through a $200,00 renovation of space in the historic Town Hall. The original builder of the Town Hall, located along the Wildcat River near Jackson’s stone bridge, was Andrew Harriman. In 1893, Harriman also built the home that became the Inn at Ellis River.

The Museum of White Mountain Art is open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturdays and Sundays. A hard cover catalogue of the inaugural exhibition is available for $75, and includes 58 full color images and an essay “A Glimpse of White Mountain Scenery” by Charles Vogel.

It’s time to plan you holiday getaway to New Hampshire’s White Mountains!

Holiday tree decorated in blue ornaments and white snowflakesSnowflakes are falling in Jackson, and soon we will be surrounded by a winter wonderland. Ski areas at Bretton Woods, Wildcat, and Cranmore are open! The Inn at Ellis River has packages for all kinds of holiday getaways – before Christmas, plan a Shopping Getaway, or a just a Midweek Escape from pre-holiday stress. Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour Sleigh Rides are available every weekend until Christmas, or share the holiday spirit of giving with our very special offer to ‘Be an Elf’ from December 16-22. Can’t get away until Christmas week? Stay three days during December 26-29 and you get a special rate for your third night or your fourth night is FREE! We’ve got an intimate New Year’s Package to welcome 2013, or plan for Sleigh Bells and Candlelight to share with that special someone. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Inn, and we’re waiting to welcome you for some holiday revelry or just a relaxing inn-terlude during this busy season.

Milk Chocolate Fudge ~ Our Gift for the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour

The Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour returns to Jackson, NH, for Thanksgiving weekend through the weekend of December 22, 2012, with a festive sleigh ride through the village that stops at inns and shops for chocolate treastures.  One of the Five Tasty Tours in the Granite State named by the Concord Insider, this popular holiday event combines two holiday favorites ~ a sleigh ride and chocolate.  The Tour departs from Nestlenook Farm and circles the village loop with stops at the Inn at Jackson,  Backcountry Bakery, The Wentworth, J-Town Deli and Country Store, the Snowflake Inn and Flossie’s General Store.

The Inn at Ellis River’s two night package includes two tickets for the Tour and a gift our homemade milk chocolate fudge. (A limited number of one night packages are available). We hope you will jingle your way into the holidays with this special sleigh ride, but if you can’t, here’s the recipe for our Milk Chocolate Fudge:

Ingredients

  • 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) margarine or butter
  • 2 4.2 ounce bars Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate
  • 2 4.4 ounce bars Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 7  ounce jar marshmallow whip
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Place evaporated milk, sugar, and margarine or butter in a large saucepan. Stir together over moderate heat until margarine is melted and ingredients are combined. Bring to boil and boil exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate bars and chocolate chips gradually, stirring constantly. When chocolate is completely combined with the milk mixture, add marshmallow whip and vanilla and stir until fudge is a uniform color. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and refrigerate until firm.

Let it snow! Guess when we’ll have our first snowfall in Jackson, NH?

Path through snow with trees and mountains in the backgroundNovember is here, and our thoughts at the Inn at Ellis River turn to snowflakes, skiing, sleigh rides, and our winter wonderland. This year the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce is holding a contest to predict the date and time of the first 6 inch snowfall in one continuous storm. The winner receives half of the proceeds, and half will be donated to support the Mount Washington Observatory and the New Hampshire Sanctioned Snow Sculpting Competition here in the village January 27-29, 2013.

Tickets are $2 each and can be purchased from the Inn or the Chamber. We’re thinking SNOW, so if you book a new reservation for a stay between November 9, and December 22, we’ll include an entry in the contest ~ just say ‘Let it Snow’ when you make your reservation (or put in the comments section if you book online), and tell us the date and time you want to pick for your entry in hour and 15 minute intervals – for example November 9 at 2:15 PM, December 1 at 10:30 AM, etc. (Here’s a hint ~ in 2011, we had a foot of snow to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend.) Official measurement will be in a location by the Chamber office, and you can check progress on a webcam they will be installing there. The Mount Washington Observatory also offers a number of webcam views of Mt. Washington and environs.

If we don’t have a big snowstorm in the next two weeks – or even if we do – Black Mountain Ski Area has plans for their Biggest Snow Dance on Saturday, November 17, 2012, from 4 -8 PM, so if you want to hedge your bet, be sure to pick a time and day soon after that for luck. The Record Breaking Snow Dance at Black Mountain will feature Snow Dancer Carlene from Symmetree Yoga, music by the Revtones, a bonfire, plus food and beverages in the Lostbo Pub. Plan to come and set your feet tapping and flakes to falling that Saturday. (To participate in the record breaking dance, please be at Black Mountain by 4:45 PM).   Let it snow, Let It Snow, LET IT SNOW!

Get Ready for the Holidays with Easy Party Appetizer Recipes

The Holiday Season is approaching, and we want to help you get ready to enjoy the festivities with friends and family. November shopping bargains abound in North Conway and Jackson, and we’ll help you with some easy recipes for entertaining. The Inn at Ellis River is partnering with some other members of Country Inns in the White Mountains for a Get Ready for the Holidays’ weekend November 16-18 . Your two night escape includes Saturday morning appetizer cooking demonstrations, an afternoon for shopping, four-course wine dinner at the 1785 Inn, Sunday morning’s breakfast featuring easy brunch treats for a crowd, and recipes of course!

We’re keeping our appetizer recipe a secret for now (we’re planning to have fun with lots of tasting as we perfect it!), so check out some of our recipes from the Inn to Inn Cookie Tours (like the Chipotle Cheddar Savory Shortbreads) or Herb Tours (like Basil Pignoli Bites) for savory snacks you can prepare ahead and have handy for a holiday party or unexpected guests. Here’s is a suggestion for an easy hors d’oeuvre for four or forty to complement either of these savory treats:

Antipasto Skewers

On each 6 inch skewer, thread an olive, a piece of roasted red pepper, a cube or small ball of mozzarella cheese wrapped in a thin piece of Prosciuto, a small marinated artichoke heart (or 1/4 or a larger heart), and a cherry tomato. (For vegetarian skewers, omit the Prosciuto). Place in a flat baking dish, brush with Oregano Vinaigrette and chill for 30 minutes.

Oregano Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, minced

Combine the vinegar, garlic, mustard, and oregano in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream while whisking constantly until all the oil is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomatoes. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use on the Antipasto Skewers or a mixed green, pasta, or grilled vegetable salad.

Time for a Shopping Getaway in Tax-Free New Hampshire!

You’ll find lots of great shopping bargains and artisan crafts, so plan your getaway any time this November for a great late fall escape. We’ve put together a great MIDWEEK package with special savings. For WEEKEND getaways, November 3-4, 2012, is NH Open Doors, when you can visit studios of members of the League of NH Craftsmen to see works in progress under the skilled hands of these artisans, and distinctive shops featuring New Hampshire made products and artwork. The weekend of November 10-11, 2012, offers shopping specials at Settler’s Green in North Conway, with free shopping bags for first 2,000 shoppers on Saturday, starting at 8 am. There will be raffles, entertainment, a gift with $100 and $500 purchases, and discount coupons, of course!

Mt. Washington and Valley in NovemberFor NH Open Doors, plan a leisurely loop through the Lakes region to enjoy both the scenery and the artistry. Stop at the League of NH Craftsmen in North Conway (2526 White Mountain Highway) Hours: Nov. 3: 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Nov. 4: 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Or head directly to Meredith, where you’ll find another of the League’s stores (279 Daniel Webster Highway). Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Open studios at 5 Winona Road in Meredith include:

  • The Arts Collaborative Artisan Gallery and Studios: Hand-crafted home furnishings, original art, and art activities. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Hayden Arts Studios: Handmade furnishings and sculpture with studio tours & demonstrations. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • McCrillis Hill Copperworks: Hand crafted copper enamelware, bowls, plates, etc. Enamel, and copper spinning demonstrations. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Winnipesaukee Forge: Wrought iron home furnishings, candlesticks, lamps, and fireplace accessories. Afternoon blacksmith demonstration. Hours: Nov. 3 and 4: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

You can also stop in Meredith at Artist in My Garden c/o Cackleberries (419 Daniel Webster Highway) which features Lakes Region artists, photography, pottery, and graphic design. They will have demonstrations and refreshments from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Nov. 3 and Nov. 4.

Extend your loop by driving west to Bristol, NH, to visit Earthly Treasures at 150 Lake Street to see hand-crafted items from over 300 American artisans. Hours: Nov. 3: 10:00a.m.-5:00 p.m. Nov. 4: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

From Bristol, return through lakes or take I-93 north to Bethlehem, NH, to visit The Rocks Estate for its gift shop full of New England products, (4 Christmas Lane, open 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) and the Local Works Marketplace at WREN (2013 Main Street, open 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) to see works by over 200 artists and artisans. Then return to Jackson via Route 302 through Crawford Notch.

Visit NH Open Doors for complete information on November 3-4, 2012, activities and to see a list of participating artisans.

Halloween is coming, so visit Cranmore Mountain’s Ghoulog on your weekend getaway!

Headless maid and her pumpkin headEvery year, Cranmore Mountain turns into a frightful place on weekends in October with their Ghoulog. What’s a ghoul? According to folklore, it’s a monster that resides in graveyards and similar uninhabited places whose favorite snack is human flesh. Then what is a Ghoulog? A frightful hour-long experience that leads the unsuspecting through a series of dark rooms, mazes, and other scary places where the macabre lurks. This year, Cranmore Mountain’s nightmarish extravaganza is located indoors in a secret location reached by shuttle from their base lodge. If the Ghoulog isn’t frightful enough, those seeking the ultimate terror are invited to experience The Cult of the Ghoulog, which includes a trip up the chairlift to Cranmore’s summit. Hungry for even more adventure? The Haunted Playground transforms their Zipline, Mountain Coaster and Giant Swing into scary Halloween-themed rides under the stars, and an outdoor food court and the Bloody Noose Pub offer refreshments for humans instead of ghouls.

So plan to add some White Mountain fright to your late October weekend getaway with a ghoulish adventure at Cranmore Mountain. Advance reservations are strongly advised. Tickets for the Ghoulog are $25, or plan to visit both the Haunted Playground and Ghoulog for $46. The Cult experience is $30 per person. For full information on dates, times and restrictions, please visit the Cranmore Mountain website.

Pumpkin People Have Returned to Jackson, New Hampshire

King Pumpkin, Queen Pumpkin, Stepmother Pumpkin PeopleFor the 25th year, Jackson is celebrating the “Return of the Pumpkin People”, with over 70 displays for everyone to enjoy. You’ll find Pumpkin Man in the Mountains, Angry Birds, Circus clowns, the Grinch, ET, artists, leaf peepers in a pickup, Sesame Street favorites, plus many other movie, TV, and fairy tale characters. It often takes several weeks to create each display, which must use real pumpkins for the heads of characters. Visit the Pumpkin People in Jackson, Hart’s Location, Bartlett, Glen, Intervale, and North Conway, NH, on a self-guided tour ~ each official host property is marked on the map available at the inn or from the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce. You can vote for you favorites for the “People’s Choice” award.

Since it is the 25th anniversary celebration, the Inn at Ellis River is hosting an Anniversary Ball where Pumpkinella charms her Prince Pumpkin. Like many of our guests who love to return to the inn again and again, some pumpkin people from past years have come back too, and are celebrating at this gala event. It wouldn’t be October without Fiona, our favorite Maid! She’s on duty passing out champagne at the ball. Remember one year when Fiona had to bring extra pillows to the Princess who could feel a little pumpkin under all those mattresses? She and her Prince are now King and Queen, reigning over the ball. Then there was the year of Fionarella, when she hoped her prince would come. She tried on the glass slipper while her jealous stepsisters and her stepmother watched in dismay. The stepmother and stepsisters have returned to dance again, still hoping that Prince Pumpkin’s heart can be won. The Prince seems to have eyes only for his Pumpkinella, but thankfully there is a gallant noble willing to dance with the stepsister. The chandelier twinkles and the dance goes on until October 21, so be sure to come to this gala ball!