Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Dream Home

Have you ever had to write about something you felt so strongly about
that you couldn't even find the words to begin?
That's how I feel about My Dream Home.

(I must confess that I've already paused about five times between those two sentences alone.)

It's almost as if I'm afraid that I won't adequately express my feelings on this topic,
as if I might belittle it in some way, or misrepresent my sentiments.

But, for you guys, I will try my best to vocalize (or put to text) 
what is branded on my mind every single day-
My New England Dream.
My Dream Home.


From as long as I can remember, I made it my daily routine to look at real estate websites.
I clearly wasn't in the position to buy a house at thirteen-years-old, 
but I absolutely loved browsing through them anyways.
My first site of choice was United Country Realty, then I moved on to Historic Properties.com,
and finally, I grew more specific in my tastes and followed regional real estate websites
(preferably ones stationed in Massachusetts, or better yet, Cape Cod.)
I always found at least one house that caught my eye, and made me gasp, or squeal,
but none of those houses from the past eight years could match 
the way I felt when I saw the house, above, from Sandwich.


I don't even think I gasped, cringed, or squealed when I found it... I think I just stared.
You know how I described picking up Susan Branch's book for the first time,
how I felt as though I finally found something that could reflect me like nothing else?
Well, that's exactly how I felt when I discovered this house in Sandwich.


Built in 1639 (yes, 1639), the house is located right on Shawme Pond in Cape Cod.
It has nine rooms, three bedrooms, and four fireplaces, and is being sold for $599,000.
Here is a brief description on the real estate site:

"True antique with 180 ft. of frontage on Shawme Pond with private dock. Located in the heart of Sandwich Village on a quiet residential street. Views from most rooms. This is a purist's antique with lots of charming quirks to keep things interesting but extremely comfortable with multiple fireplaces, beamed ceilings & built-ins. Watch the summer band concerts across the pond."


I'm sure many of you are thinking, "This is absolutely perfect!"
Well, unless it's completely haunted, I couldn't agree more.


I've had a couple of weird things happen to me involving this house:

For one, after deciding on a bed and breakfast to stay in on the Cape,
I unknowingly chose one that is literally right down the block from the house.
I had no idea until I looked at a map of the area, and saw just how close the two were.
Coincidence? Fate?
Either way, I will be making many-a-walks there during my three night stay!

Another, even stranger, thing happened to me while browsing through photographs on Flickr.
I was looking at pictures of the Cape and Nantucket to psyche myself up for my trip;
photos of the beaches, the lighthouses, the town centers...
when out of the corner of my eye, I saw something familiar:
The House.
I had to do a double take because I found it hard to believe that out of ALL the places on the entire Cape,
there was a photograph of the house I've been dreaming about for the past year.
But it was the house alright, and I saved the photo as fast as I could
(it's actually the one that's on the right side of my blog.)
Was that coincidence? Was that fate?


Those examples might sound unconvincing to you, but they definitely meant something to me.
Perhaps I'm trying to find a way to connect myself to this house somehow.
Regardless, I know it's undoubtedly connected to me.


I have to admit though, I was actually terrified to look at the website today.
Terrified, because I didn't want to see that it had been sold.
Well, luckily, it has not. It's still sitting there patiently (for me?)


I get very sad when I look at these photographs because I know that, odds are,
I won't be the incredibly lucky owner stepping into this house.
And I know that everyone will tell me, "they'll be others," 
but I'm not sure that "others" will ever be quite like this.


But who's to say what will be in store for the future?
For all I know, I might be so determined, I'll attempt to buy the future owners out!


Whatever the outcome may be, I'll always remember this as My Dream.
My Dream, because it set the frame work for everything I want to build up.
My Dream, because it represented the essence of all I strive to be.
My Dream, because I cannot find the words to express...

My Dream.


Friday, February 26, 2010

B&B Friday! (2/26/10)

Welp, my area had yet another snow day today!
I would be happier having school off if it wasn't supposed to be
my first day working at the University Library,
and the fact that they're probably going to take a day out of our Spring break now... :( Blah.
But I made the best of it and baked some yummy chocolate chip cookies,
and am now baking some Grandma's Spaghetti for dinner (family recipe♥)
... So, clearly, I'm not suffering too much :p

On to this week's B&B's!:

1.
Juniper Hill Inn
(Windsor, VT)

"Juniper Hill Inn Bed and Breakfast, in Windsor, Vermont (near Woodstock, Vermont and Hanover, New Hampshire) was built in 1902 as a comfortable country home for one of America's captains of industry. This unique 28-room mansion is proud to be fully restored and on the National Register of Historic Places.
Windsor is a small, quaint village located on the banks of the Connecticut River famous as the birthplace of Vermont. Windsor provides many vacation opportunities for canoeing, bicycling, hiking, horseback riding, golf, and of course, shopping. During the winter months our guests seek nearby downhill and cross-country ski centers for recreation. We can even arrange a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride for you! For those not wishing to venture too far from the inn the natural beauty of Paradise Park offers miles of hiking trails immediately in front of the inn. Whatever your relaxation objective is we can provide the perfect solution.
Juniper Hill Inn offers elegant bed and breakfast accommodations. Most guestrooms feature working fireplaces. Private balconies, porches and deep soaking tubs are just a few of the amenities guests enjoy.
Each morning guests experience a full country breakfast selected from our extensive menu - be sure to ask about our daily special. Delicious dinners are served Thursday through Monday in our romantic dining room, with additional availability during Fall Foliage and Holidays Your table is sure to be next to our crackling fireplace. With only one seating the table is yours for the evening."

Rates: $135-285

2.
Captain Jefferds Inn
(Kennebunkport, ME)

"Captain William Jefferds in 1804 built a gracious Federal Colonial home for his wife and 11 children that is now the Captain Jefferds Inn. It is nestled in the quiet, historic, residential district of Kennebunkport surrounded by beautiful manicured lawns and gardens and just a short stroll into “Dock Square” the village center. There you will enjoy boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and a full range of restaurants from casual to fine dining. The Captain Jefferds Inn is just ½ block from the harbor where you can view the rocky Maine sea coast from a park bench or the bow of a boat, go sailing on a traditional gaff rigged schooner or even venture out further into the Atlantic ocean to see our annual migrating whales.
The Inn offers 15 uniquely appointed rooms, some with fireplaces, all with private baths, superior bed linens, the finest of towels, plush bath robes, feather beds, down comforters and luxury bath amenities. During the summer all the room are air-conditioned. We provide wireless Internet service for our guests as well as a guest computer. A full serve gourmet breakfast is prepared each morning and is served in a fire placed, candle lit dining room. Tea is available from 3:00pm into the evening daily, with inn made sweets and light hors d’oeuvres."

Rates: $139-369

3.
(Marblehead, MA)

"Harborside House Bed and Breakfast offers gracious accommodations and warm hospitality in a great location. This handsome 1850 home in the historic district overlooks picturesque Marblehead Harbor. Guests enjoy water views from its wood paneled parlor, period dining room and summer breakfast porch. Two well appointed guest rooms feature antique furnishings and period wallpaper.
Only a short walk from Harborside House are antique shops, art galleries, shops of local craftsmen as well as a variety of dining choices to suit every taste bud and budget."

Rates: $95-120

(I like this one a lot! Not to mention, I love the town.)

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Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Antiques

On one of my very first posts, I shared with you some photos from my trip to Marblehead.
I also promised you I'd show you the first antique I bought at the old antique shop in town,


So, to fulfill my word, here is the barometer I purchased for $10:




Isn't it pretty? I thought it was so charming.
I don't think it's very old; my mom and I are guessing it's from the fifties.
The only other thing I know about it is that it was manufactured by Swift Instruments Inc. in Boston.

This little barometer means a lot to me, not just because it's pretty, but because it represents
the life that I'm planning for myself- in New England, in a sleepy seaside village, in a beautiful old home ♥

I look at my barometer, and imagine it resting on my future mantel...
Particularly in this house:

... But I'll elaborate more on this property another day (make that a promise too!)

Before I get going, I'd also like to share with you another antique that I cherish.
I don't know anything about it, except that it's adorable:
Maybe it was from a cruise ship or something-
It's rather small, so I don't think it was used at home.

I imagine this piece resting on a mahogany bookcase inside my parlor, by the way :)

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These two beauties are only the very beginning of my collection;
I plan on making it a tradition to purchase at least one antique every time I visit New England.
And where will my next stops be?...
Cape Cod and Nantucket!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bennington Pottery

Quite a few posts ago, I wrote about Delftware,
but initially hesitated since it wasn't authentically New England...

In the case of Bennington Pottery though, I need not worry about that!

Bennington Pottery, originated from Vermont, is a beautiful type of American Stoneware
that has quickly become one of the most popular potteries in America today!

"Through the 19th Century Norton Pottery and another firm, the U.S. Pottery Company, achieved considerable success employing hundreds of people and even representing the nation's pottery industry at the 1853 Crystal Palace Exposition in New York. Unfortunately both Norton Pottery and U.S. Pottery failed to keep costs down and eventually went out of business by 1858.
Even though the emerging 19th Century middle class was seeking both decorative and practical pottery items for their homes, the pottery business in Bennington began to decline significantly, and between 1911 and 1948 had nearly died out.
It was at this time that a potter by the name of David Gil began making ceramics as part of an artists' cooperative. Gil eventually opened Bennington Potters in a small unheated barn in downtown Bennington. In 1964 Bennington Potters expanded into a former home and business supply building located on County Street, where it is still operating today.
This rustic 1900s building was once the Home Depot of Bennington, located just 4 blocks from the old Bennington Freight Yard. This location enabled prior owner Henry W. Meyers to off-load coal, firewood, ice, lumber and farm equipment for home and business delivery.
Over the years, under the leadership of Gil, this former supply building transformed itself into an active craft pottery that today is one of southern Vermont's most popular destinations. Bennington Potters is also referred to as Potters' Yard.
....Many of our stoneware pottery bakeware, dinnerware, serving pieces and country decor items are still handmade here in Vermont in what is now the country's largest on-going craft pottery. Our Potters have over 20 years experience at their craft. Secret clay recipes, custom shapes, exclusive splatterware hand-glazing techniques, are all used to produce pottery that is oven, microwave, dishwasher and food safe. We pride ourselves on producing dinnerware, bakeware, mugs, and serving pieces, which involve a level of hand-craftmanship and design features that few other potteries in the world are doing. No two pieces are exactly alike, and it is this quality that has turned functional pottery into home decor accessories that our discerning customers travel from around the country to collect."








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Sunday, February 21, 2010

L.L. Bean's Nautical Favorites

It's that time of year again...
The end of February, "so close to Spring" period,
when I invariably dream about the summertime...

And to my pleasant surprise today,
I discovered that L.L. Bean's website is already beginning to showcase their summer-ware!
They've also created a special section called "Nautical Favorites"
which instantly made me giddy by the title alone!

Here are a few of my personal favorites:

$74.00

$29.50

$49.50

$44.50
(This I really want to get!)

$24.95
(and this!)

$19.95

Mini: $29.00
Medium: $49.00

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What are some of your favorites?



Friday, February 19, 2010

B&B Friday! (2/20/10)

Happy Friday, everyone ♥
Before I start, I'd just like to know if anyone received an alert for my last post the other day.
My mom said she never did, and I only received a couple of comments, 
so I'm wondering if it ever showed up in the notifications.
(I hope this post goes through!)

Any-who,
I present to you another batch of B&B's!:

 1.
 Historic Merrell Inn
(South Lee, MA)

"This beautiful brick stagecoach inn welcomes you today just as it's welcomed guests for close to 200 years. Enjoy breakfast served in the original Tearoom. The Tavern Room, with its own great fireplace, invites you to sit in its copious wing chairs by a crackling fire or write a letter to a friend at the two hundred year old secretary desk.
The magic of the Berkshires lies all around us. Down the road is Stockbridge Mass, with the Norman Rockwell Museum, to the south is Great Barrrington. North of us is Lee, with its charming town square, and Lenox. We're a good base for trips to Mass Moca and the Clark Institute in Williamstown. Whether it's glorious countryside that interests you or the Berkshires' famous culture, we're an ideal tour base." 

Rates: $100-325

2.
Elias Child House
(Woodstock, CT) 

"Located in West Woodstock on a quiet road, Elias Child House is a magnificent center hall 18th century colonial structure containing 9 rooms with a fireplace in every room. MaryBeth and Tony relocated here from their previous B&B, Maple Hill Farm in Coventry, CT. Each bed chamber has a private bath, working fireplace and air conditioning. The property consists of 47 acres, primarily wooded, with hiking or cross country skiing trails. Depending on the season, one may opt to enjoy the in-ground pool, the patio, the screened porch, the walking trails or a hearth cooking demonstration and feast. Or guests may choose to simply relax in an Adirondack chair near the rock garden. Relaxing massage or a Reiki session is available by special arrangement. A full country breakfast is served hearthside in the cheerful dining room, accompanied by classical music."

Rates: $120-150 

3.
 The 1774 Inn
(Phippsburg,  ME) 

"On the banks of the majestic Kennebec river on the picturesque Phippsburg peninsula stands the gracious and imposing pre-Revolution 1774 Inn. It’s a house of simple pleasures and halcyon days, white linen and relaxation, sumptuous breakfasts, fresh-cut flowers and warm welcomes.
The four large bedrooms in the main house offer luxurious queen beds and private baths, and command views over sweeping lawns and the Kennebec, which takes its name from the Abenaki Indians and means “long quiet waters”.
The second-floor rooms in the adjoining ‘Ship’s Carpenters’ Quarters’ provide flexible accommodation with polished wood floors and comfortable furnishings, and the romantic first-floor Woodshed suite with its own private verandah has proved a quiet haven for newly-weds.
So - whether it’s weekend hikes and exploration, lazy days on the river, or sunny afternoons on nearby Popham beach - come and experience bed, breakfast and bliss at the historic 1774 Inn."


Rates: $140-205

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Nice, eh?

♥ 

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