Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 Spring Weddings

We're well under way with our wedding season now. It's always wonderful to see so many happy couples and families celebrating at the Inn each year. After 30 years, we've probably had thousands of weddings, but each one is truly unique and we feel very lucky to help create so many special memories. We wanted to share just a few spring weddings with you from 2011.

Now we don't want to make any brides' mothers nervous, but one of our first lovely weddings in April was an elopement. Eric and Rebecca had a private ceremony in our living room followed by cake cutting and champagne. The Inn was quiet and the lilacs were in full bloom - so perfect and romantic.

Sarah and Chris had a late April wedding at the Inn with their ceremony in our meadow and reception in the barn. They had a great time dancing and as you can see below, really got into the old tradition of the bouquet and garter toss.

One of our loveliest early June couples was Melissa & Nathan. They had a bit of spring rain early in the day, but as they say - rain just ties the knot tighter!

We loved their maple syrup favors which were also made beautiful place cards for their guests seating assignments.

Congratulations to all our spring brides and grooms! May you enjoy a lifetime of happiness.

photos courtesy Jay Cavallaro Photography

Friday, June 10, 2011

Alpaca Shearing and Spinning Weekend

At the end of May our lovely alpacas got their annual haircuts and we held an Alpaca Shearing and Spinning weekend here at the Inn. We've had quite a few different animals at the inn over the years, from llamas to mini french lop rabbits, to pygmy goats and bubble eye goldfish. We've had our alpacas for about 3 years now. John Conboy of Schoharie Llamas does our shearing every spring. He owns a llama farm and shears about 350-400 llamas and alpacas every year.

We also had the pleasure of a fiber spinning demo from Sheila Jillson who came up from Cape Ann, MA with her spinning wheels - and one of her beautiful angora rabbits. Sheila raises angora rabbits, has been spinning for about 17 years and knits beautiful hats, gloves and scarves.

John talked with guests about shearing and how alpaca fiber is considered one of the ultimate fibers because of it's warmth and softness. The fiber is actually hollow, which is why it's so warm. With shearing the first cut from the from the torso to the upper thigh is considered the best.

Sheila demonstrated the spinning process starting with her drum carder which straightens the fibers like a comb to spinning the fibers out on her various wheels. She said with her rabbits that she plucks their incredibly soft hair every three months or so and then cuts it short. The going rate for angora fiber is $9 an oz and is seven times warmer than wool!

We were also holding our work week during the shearing so several of our guests helped John out with the alpacas. They have to be lifted onto a table and secured, which some of them don't like very much, but in the end they are much happier and cooler.

Thanks to John, Shelia, and our guests who made our alpaca shearing and spinning weekend a great event!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Work Week 2011

We finished up our 2nd annual work week on May 25th and wanted to share a few photos with you and send out a big THANK YOU to all of our guests who participated. We started our work week tradition last year and it's been a wonderful experience for all of us here at the Inn. We had just finished up our big interior renovation project (pics on that coming soon!) so this year's work week was mostly focused on sprucing up the grounds. It can be a challenge to get all of our gardens ready at the same time for the spring season, but with all the help from our work week guests, the grounds are looking more beautiful than ever.
Every year we post our work week invite on our website but guests find out about it in different ways. We ask that guests contribute 4 hrs of work a day in exchange for a free stay at the Inn, so it leaves them plenty of time to relax and explore while they're here.
Bob Hartley from Melrose, MA attended last year's House Concert series with Tracy Grammer, Lori McKenna and Mark Erelli and decided to come back for work week. Gary and Gail Cooper found our work week info on our website and came all the way from Sarajevo. Ellen Watson from East Hampton, NY explained that she loves the whole concept of bartering and thought it would be a great way to travel anywhere. Malcolm and Ann Broderick of Boston had come to the Inn in January for their honeymoon and decided to come back for a visit. They ended up helping John Conboy of Schoharie Llamas shear our Alpaca's when he arrived for the weekend.
Work week will definitely continue annually at West Mountain Inn and we can't thank this year's guests enough for all their weeding, edging, mulching, window painting, energy and good spirit!