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  • Writer's pictureThe Featherbed Inn

Drum Roll Please...It's a New Barn! (soon)

So it seems we are these kind of people. About a minute after our wedding, we needed a new project and started planning a three-month backpacking trip around South America. Until our immigration lawyer pointed out that Mick would likely not be allowed back into the country. Scratch that. We needed another new project. A baby! (Hello Molly!). And just when we started to get the hang of parenting a child, we decided it was time to spice things up. (Hello Stefan!).

After 20 years of parenting and getting fairly good at living life in Arlington, Massachusetts, we did what any rational person would do. We tossed aside pretty much everything we knew, and bought an inn in Vermont. Three and half years, one pandemic, hundreds of home improvements, and about four and a half thousand scones later, it was time to shake things up again.

It was time to rebuild our sweet old barn. The old girl was about to take her own life, so we brought her down gently, hired a master post-and-beam-builder, salvaged as much usable wood from the old barn as we could, found someone to do custom sawmill work from trees on our property and local forests, and are now in the middle of a great big barn construction project. After months of preparing the posts and beams, raising will begin any day now. We cannot wait to see the new barn in all its glory. If you'd like to see it for yourself, we have a smattering of rooms available this fall.

And what, you might ask, will we do with a new barn? One thing we will NOT be doing is becoming a big new wedding venue. We really love being innkeepers and are not interested changing the restorative experience of staying at the Featherbed Inn. Instead, we are imagining the barn as a gathering place for small inn-focused events. Things like wellness retreats (mindfulness, yoga, meditation, breath training, Wim Hof method, etc.), art workshops, executive retreats, music master classes, circus camps, and who knows what else. We'd also consider teeny tiny DIY weddings, with wedding guests staying at the Featherbed. We might also pull together some packages for our guests, like culinary-themed weekends (with cheese-making, sausage-making, medicinal tea-making, etc., etc., and a group feast), therapeutic gatherings (perhaps utilizing Karen's background in bereavement counseling), a Von Trapp-themed package (with activities that could include cheese making at the Von Trapp Farmstead, a visit to the Von Trapp Bierhall, and a movie/singalong in the barn), and wherever else our collective imaginations and energy take us.

Most of the ideas for how to use our barn have come from our guests and from members of our Mad River Valley community. We need your input. If you've got an idea for a gathering you'd like to facilitate or participate in, we want to hear it. Note that we plan to take this slowly. Running the Featherbed keeps us plenty busy, so, uncharacteristically, we're going to step gingerly into any new adventures. But you know how we are, so stay tuned to hear more about where our lovely new barn takes us, and you.

Your friends,

Karen and Mick

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