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Massachusetts Travel Blog

A New Kind of Guest – Yuccies in Deerfield

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Hipster travelWe were recently cited in as two among a group of twenty innkeepers who have been in business twenty or more years. We have met all kinds of folk here from all over the US and the world – a fantastic mix of young and old and in-between with all sorts of different careers and interests past and present. We hear so many great stories. We have so many to tell. When we started here as innkeepers we used to be the age that more and more of our guests are now. We see so many late twenties and young thirties who are brilliant helping me with some of the more baffling aspects of Pinterest and Instagram. I thought these young people were uniformly called millennials, but within that group of twenty-somethings I am learning of sub-groups that are proud to hashtag themselves as yuccies.

This is a hipster/yuppie crossbreed – the Labradoodle of social stereotypes, who apparently aspire to be successful like yuppies and creative like hipsters. They are fluent in emoji, and pleased to be recognized by BuzzFeed as people who FaceTime their pets, and selfie stick like mad even from places as un-hip-happening as Deerfield. They care about well-being and are delighted with the eat local philosophy of Champney’s, because they place emphasis on food and how you are what you eat. They seem to be all about food, fitness, and fashion. They are quirky and cute, and tell me I just have to watch Game of Thrones and Aziz Ansari. The time has gone by so fast!

Back in the Day :: Stories of Historic Deerfield, MA

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Joan Harlow in Deerfield, MAWe are always interested in oral history of the Inn’s past. We have heard stories of historic Deerfield from a woman on a coach group trip from a senior center who told us of the summer months when she was a little girl visiting her grandmother, the cook at the adjacent Stebbins House. Another guest told us that when he was just a lad, he remembers cages of songbirds in the fireplace lobby!

Recently we met Joan Harlow whose parents were innkeepers here for fourteen years from 1950. She grew up in Deerfield until she went to Emma Willard, and the home her parents built is the current administrative offices of Historic Deerfield behind the firehouse. When they first arrived they lived in the Pratt House just to the south of the inn, which was once where brooms were made and is now the Museum Store.

Joan remembered when Eleanor Roosevelt arrived very humbly by taxi – no limo for her with flags fluttering. Jack Harlow was a staunch Republican, but he was charmed by Mrs. Roosevelt’s passion to preserve Deerfield as a gateway to the past.

The restaurant menu was the same for an entire week, and until Joan’s mother Ruth could persuade the Flynts to let them eat in their own small private dining space, they would have a choice of baked ham, broiled chicken, tinned Sexton’s vegetables, and a relish tray with cottage cheese, pickles, and spiced crabapples day in, day out, in what was a very formal dining room until the flood of Irene gave us the opportunity to change all that. On Sunday it was roast beef for all, and on Monday the weekly menu would be in place again.

There was no elevator then, and no keys to the rooms, which unnerved metropolitan guests. The Deerfield Inn was the call center for fires, and Joan was filled with trepidation every time that red phone rang.

When Samuel Chamberlain came to take photographs for Historic Deerfield: Houses and Interiors by Henry N Flynt, Joan was allowed to watch him at his work and hold up the camera lights.

Joan also had a memory of being asked to run, run like the wind, back to the inn to “get the Ballantine’s out of the fridge.” She brought back a bottle of ale, not knowing it had to be chilled scotch for a certain somebody I shall not name!

How what we eat has changed. How odd to open tinned vegetables when this valley is bursting with produce! Anybody else have any recollections of Deerfield that I can add to my memory bank? I would love to hear your stories…

On Your Bike!

Monday, April 28th, 2014

country bikes to rent

Thanks to our friend Henry – our Champney’s equivalent of Cheers’ cerebral Frasier Crane – we have two extraordinary and special country bikes that guests can rent. These bikes have big fat tires and a high gear, so you can sail up Eaglebrook hill like a Tour de France pro.

Recall the joy and wonder of the first day you (successfully) balanced and navigated a two wheeler? Well, our new ‘Large-Tire Country Bikes’ are guaranteed to replicate those feelings exponentially. We affirm this from personal experience!

These bicycles are as simple, stable, and maneuverable as they are fun. They have all terrain tires for sand, mud, slush, and easy road riding. A rental from morning to noon or noon to sunset is $39 for the pair; $25 for just one bike for a half day. We have a lock and key for you, as well as go-faster racing green bike helmets.

Ride them in confidence and comfort as you savor fresh country air and enjoy one of the most beautiful historic regions of New England.

Our Greenfield, MA area Inn will provide you with a custom-drawn map and a choice of some fascinating self-directed half day bicycle tours. And, for a nominal cost, picnic lunches are available for your bike baskets.

What a fun way to explore the area! You can put a sandwich and a bottle of water in the basket on your way to West Deerfield with a stop by the Deerfield River for a paddle and a bite to eat, before riding onward to Clarkdale Fruit Farm to fill the basket with apples and peaches for the downhill back. Or, if you prefer, just pedal about Historic Deerfield and the meadows at your leisure.

This is far and away the best and most memorable way to experience the rich history of Old Deerfield. Come ride with us!

The Scenter of the Universe

Monday, November 4th, 2013

The holidays are close, we have a midweek room rate special at our Deerfield MA bed and breakfast, so if you have flexibility in your life, consider coming to stay with us to enjoy a farm-to-fork blissful dinner, maybe a local draught, and a blissful night of quiet sleep, and a visit to Yankee Candle’s headquarters just five miles down the road.

Yankee Candle is not just candles – you will also find unusual home goods, unique toys and games, children’s books, candies of yesteryear and today, things for the kitchen shop, and an old-fashioned dry goods store. The centerpiece is a Bavarian village with gently falling snow, authentic nutcracker figures, and baskets and barrels and bins of holiday ornaments and baubles.

It is beautiful when it is all lit up at night, and you might get to meet Mr and Mrs Claus!

Give yourself the gift of a Deerfield MA getaway, and someone you love a gift from Yankee!