25 Jan 2010, 9:00pm
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Great Deals for Public Radio: Winter 2010

It’s winter fundraising at KOTO, one of the few entirely community-supported radio stations in the country. It has been six years that I have been doing my Travel Fun talk show on KOTO, a program that has allowed me to deepen my ties with Telluride and to forge travel connections with a variety of people and places all over the world. I’m thrilled to be a part of such a family!

As in recent fundraising campaigns, I’ve obtained some very exciting premiums that you can win in exchange for a pledge to KOTO.  Fellow D.J. Chuck Burr has helped me with these efforts and together we have pulled together a show that will surely tantalize your trip planning ponderings.  Tune in today at 6:20 p.m. mountain time to this special live program at KOTO.org.  Here’s a preview of what we’re offering:

Ashland, Oregon Package

Chuck lives most of the time in this lovely northwestern destination.  He’ll be talking about Ashland’s allure and why its stunning scenery and charming town are worth checking out.  This package includes a two-night stay at Ashland’s Black Swan Inn, a soak for two at Chozu Bath and Tea Gardens and two tickets to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the oldest and largest professional nonprofit theaters in the country.  The value of this package is $420.; it can be yours for a pledge in the amount of $250.

Telluride Temptations

Rustic Elegance/$200. pledge: Two nights in a one-bedroom condo at the handsome Mountain Lodge in Telluride. Approximate value:  $500.-750.

Valentine’s Day Treatment/$100. pledge: Delight in an organic Belgian chocolate and Kona coffee scrub, followed by a luxurious massage with organic dark chocolate body butter, valued at $189., at The Himmel Spa at The Fairmont Heritage Place Franz Klammer Lodge.  That sounds like ninety minutes of yum, yum to me. Read about my take on this charming spa here.

Exciting Dining Experience/$75. pledge: Receive a $100. gift certificate to the new Palmyra restaurant at The Peaks Resort & Spa.

Perfect Turns/$75. pledge:  Join an adult group lesson, valued at $130., at Telluride’s most awesome Ski & Snowboard School.

Magnificent Massage/$75. pledge: A ninety-minute massage, valued at $150., with Darren Miller, from Rolling Relaxation Massage, to be provided at Mountain Lodge Telluride.  You may contact Darren at 970-369-5193, 303-257-6070 and rollingrelaxation@hotmail.com.  Read more about this expert healer here.

Rosa Lea and Jackson from Salon 7

Rosa Lea and Jackson from Salon 7

Lady’s Locks/$35. pledge: A woman’s haircut, valued at $50., by Rosa Lea at Salon 7, my favorite stylist in town.  You can reach Rosa Lea at 970-708-1266 and rosalea_davis@hotmail.com.  I also wrote about her here.

Peaks Pampering/$30. pledge: Receive a Spa Access Day Pass to The Peaks Spa.  Four passes have been donated.  Approximate value:  $45. each.  Read more about The Peaks Spa here.

Voulez-Vous/$30. pledge: A one-hour French lesson, valued at $50., avec moi! Go to my About page to learn more about me.

Gorgeous Guy/$20. pledge:  A man’s haircut, valued at $30., by Rosa Lea at Salon 7.  (See contact info. above.)

Some Original Ideas

Your Own Tour Guide/$30. pledge: As the author of four books on France, I know a fair amount about Paris and the provinces. This pledge, valued at $50., will grant you a one-hour travel consultation with me on Paris and/or the French provinces.

Blah-Blah Blog/$100. pledge: You, your product or service (or maybe all three) get to star in one of my many postings at BonjourColorado.com.  Approximate Value: Priceless.  Let me spin you and/or your goods into a fun story!

Please note that certain restrictions may apply.  All pledges will be taken on a first-come basis.

Call the studio (970-728-4333) as of 6:25 p.m. mountain time today to make a pledge for any of the above offers.  You may also write me a note on my Contact Page.

Thank you to the above individuals and establishments for your geneous donations.  I encourage my readers to support these fine businesses.  Thanks to all for showing your love for Telluride’s unique public radio station!

Cape Cod, Cranberries and the Creation of Ever-Lasting Memories

Cranberries:  The Most Festive Holiday Fruit

Cranberries: The Most Festive Holiday Fruit

Over the weekend I made a cranberry bread to finish off the package of cranberries left over from the cranberry relish I whipped up at Thanksgiving. Both the bread and the relish were made from my mother’s recipes; although tasty, sadly neither turned out as good as hers. I’ll blame it on the altitude, at least for the baking. The not-so crisp relish was more a result of the equipment. (How can a blender do as good of a job as a Cuisinart anyway?)

None of this really mattered though, since these roundish red berries transported me back to my mother’s kitchen, to my mother’s love and to an especially memorable trip I took this fall with my mom and dad. We had decided to take a three-day, two-night road trip to Cape Cod, Massachusetts from Troy, New York, a 240-mile journey that represented a considerable jaunt for anyone but even more so for our little group since the necessity of snack and bathroom breaks required frequent stopping. Mom did all the driving, a notable feat because the first part of our travels was marked by torrential rain and relentless fog. I surveyed the road from the backseat, providing little navigational input since my mom had traveled this route countless times before.

The purpose of our journey was twofold: to visit Eleanor, my mother’s best friend, and to have fun together. This was to be my first ever road trip with just my parents and me. I think we all secretly wished it would be special.

We decided to go low-budget with our lodging and spare no expense with dining out. We checked into The Santuit Inn toward the end of the afternoon the first day, hauled my dad’s 50-pound sleep apnea machine into his room and carefully settled him in so that his plethora of toiletries were close at hand. Mom and I bunked in farther down in this boutique motel that had recently been spiffed up with a cheery cottage-like decor. We nodded approvingly to each other about the striped and flowered bed coverings and took time to admire the Cape scenes that adorned the walls. I had already met Peter (pronounced Pee-tah here), the owner, upon arrival and felt confident we were in good hands.

Dad had little time to settle into his evening news programs, since my mother and I whisked him off to the historic Dan’l Webster Inn in nearby Sandwich for dinner. Here we opted for the Tavern, the more charming part of this renowned establishment distinguished by a huge fireplace, low ceilings, wood floors and paneling. We cozied up into the red leather booths and feasted on specialities such as seafood chowder and lobster pot pie. It was the end of the tourist season and the place was jamming, surely not an uncommon experience for this inn any time of the year, particularly if you arrive for their early evening special. We had missed the discounted dinners, however, since even at this stage of their lives, my parents were never big on dining early.

Mom and I were sure we’d zonk out for a big night’s sleep after such a day of travel. But as soon as we turned off the T.V. and found ourselves in the quiet of our room, we were astonished by the loud drone emanating from my dad’s room two doors away. “My God, is that his sleep machine?” I asked my mother. Neither of us could imagine that it sounded so loud. We were horrified.

“It sounds like we’re on a tarmac with jet engines idling,” I added. “We’re going to be kicked out of here. What if the other guests hear it like we do?”

“We’ve traveled before with it and it’s never gone off so loudly,” my mom said.

“I can’t believe dad can sleep through that,” I remarked.

“Oh, he’d sleep through anything,” my mom replied.

Both my mother and I laughed hysterically and then finally miraculously fell asleep. I awoke several times throughout the night fearful that someone was going to rap on the door and complain. Thank goodness Peter appeared so kind. I was also glad it was slow season and their weren’t many guests at the inn.

Day two was to be our big day. Dad and I began early next door at Persy’s Place, one of the best breakfast and lunch spots on the Cape. They have locations throughout the region and each is known for their homemade baked goods, in particular their famous cornbread. Mom was ready to go by the time we returned, perfectly turned out in her pumpkin-colored coat and autumnal scarf. Although we drove a seemingly endless amount of miles the day before, she was all set to slip behind the wheel again today. Fortunately the sun shone brightly.

Fall Reflections on a Cape Cod Pond

Fall Reflections on a Cape Cod Pond

We took the scenic route to West Dennis where we pulled up to a little house at the edge of a pond once occupied by Maureen, another one of my mom’s dear friends. My mom had spent many visits here with her, sitting and chatting on the dock and also shopping and dining out in the area. Maureen had recently passed away, so it seemed fitting that my mom would make this pilgrimage to walk the grounds, gaze out upon the water and reflect fondly on the memory of her friend.

Dad sat in the car reading his papers while I accompanied my mother. I couldn’t help wondering what it must be like to reach an age when so many of your friends are gone.

Not one to let much get her down, my mom shepherded us through the wooded, windy roads of the Cape, pointing out her favorite haunts along the way. Neat little houses covered in weathered shakes displaying seemingly every shade of grey dotted the roadsides. Waning hydrangeas in a spectrum of faded blues, purples and pinks flaunted the last glimpses of summer, the golden light of fall casting shadows on their once exuberant bursts of color. We passed candle shops and Christmas stores galore, eateries named Captain Frosty’s and Seafood Sam’s. Large neon signs were clearly not allowed and I was delighted to see that even Dunkin’ Donuts sported a trim, wooden sign. Street signs such as Wysteria Lane, Cranberry Knoll and Pheasant Lane conjured up distinctly American fairy tale images. And there was no shortage of Native American names such as Pocahasett, Chapoquoit and Mashpee. Marshy wetlands separated brief stretches of low-lying houses trimmed with split rail fences.

Cranberry Bog

Cranberry Bog

“Oh look, there’s a cranberry bog,” I shouted as I spotted a sea of bright red berries floating on a small body of water off to my right. “It must be harvest time.”

My mother and father didn’t comment but I sensed that they were marveling at this quintessential New England landscape as much as I. We had not seen any coastline yet but I was beginning to realize that all these meandering roads were most typical of the Cape where shoreline drives were in short supply. (At least at this part of the Cape; you’ll find more coastal roads on outer Cape Cod near Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown.)

Finally we arrived in North Falmouth where we were to see Eleanor, my mother’s oldest and best friend of sixty-two years. I felt so close to her growing up that I referred to her as Aunt Eleanor. The three of us visited with Eleanor and her husband, Jim, for a while at their house before scooting off to lunch. After much discussion, we finally settled on Casino Wharf, an expansive restaurant in Falmouth Heights that furnished wide-open views of the Atlantic Ocean. I had been on the Cape for nearly twenty-four hours and yearned to see the sea. Here I got my fix. We feasted on fresh clam chowder, fish and chips and lobster salad, all delicious and perfectly accompanied by sips of iced tea, white wine and a martini for the bravest of our bunch. We laughed and reminisced until the wait staff re-entered for their evening shift. It had been more than three years since my mother had seen Eleanor, at least ten for me and neither my mom nor I knew when we’d be in the presence of this exuberant, fun-loving gal again. The lunch had been a huge success, the trip was well worth the effort. I had expressed to my mother that I was sorry we didn’t have any pictures to document our time together. She waved me off saying, “It’s just as well. We don’t look that terrific any more. It’s better to just hold on to the memories.”

The Ocean at Last!  Viewed from the Falmouth Heights Ocean Road

The Ocean at Last! Viewed from the Falmouth Heights Ocean Road

I think about all this as I nibble on my cranberry bread. I wonder if my cranberries might have come from the many bogs we passed late October. Our little trip turned out to be an ode to fall, an ode to old people, an ode to friendship. Together we had created ever-lasting memories, lobster bisque, noisy sleep machine, slow walking, belly laughs and all.

The Santuit Inn, 6 Falmouth Road (Rte. 28), Mashpee, 508-428-6433, www.thesantuitinn.com; this neat-as-a-pin little place is conveniently located between Sandwich and Falmouth. The property is closed during the winter months, but keep it in mind for your Cape travels April through November.

The Dan’l Webster Inn & Spa, 149 Main Street, Sandwich Village, 800-444-3566 and 508-888-3622, www.danlwebsterinn.com

Persey’s Place, Rte. 28 between Rtes. 130 & 151, Mashpee, 508-477-6633, www.persysplace.com

Casino Wharf, On the Waterfront at 286 Grand Avenue, Falmouth Heights, 508-540-6160, www.casinowharf.weebly.com

The Regatta of Cotuit, 4631 Falmouth Road, 508-428-5715, www.regattaofcotuit.com; we also dined at this lovely restaurant housed in a two-hundred-year-old mansion next door to The Santuit Inn.

More Recommendations

The Coonamessett Inn, 311 Gifford Street, 508-548-2300, www.capecodrestaurants.org; had it not been for my burning desire to lunch with a view of the water, we would have selected this traditional New England inn for our special get-together.

Mashpee Commons, www.mashpeecommons.com; down the street from The Santuit Inn, you’ll find a fantastic selection of mostly high-end shopping and dining in this stylish outdoor mall.

Wrentham Village Premium Outlets, www.premiumoutlets.com; Peter suggested we visit this huge conglomeration of outlet stores, located just off of I 495 (on our way home), sixty miles from Mashpee. This is a great rainy day trip from the Cape and a destination trip in and of itself. It’s one of the nicest conglomerations of discounted stores that my mom has ever seen. And she has done a lot of shopping in her life! We went mainstream here (how can you not?) and had lunch at the Cracker Barrel. I definitely got my east coast fill all around.

Travel Suggestion
I found the traffic on the Cape—at least Upper/Mid/Lower Cape Cod—to be tiresome. (Keep in mind that I live in Telluride, Colorado, a remote part of the country and use the gondola most of the time for transportation.) Still, it is a bit much here and the roads are quite confusing. (Be prepared to get lost a fair amount.) To me, this is one more reason to enjoy this popular east coast destination during off season which runs from November through April or at least before the heavy summer crowds come in July. A lot of the Outer and Lower Cape and smaller properties close for the winter, but most of the Upper and Mid Cape establishments remain open. There’s still plenty open to focus on much of what the Cape is known for: shopping and dining.

For more stories about traveling with parents, go to My Saratoga and Adirondack Day Trip.

And Don't Forget the Turkeys

And Don't Forget the Turkeys!

5 Oct 2009, 4:42pm
Pot Pourri:
Comments Off on Great Travel Deals for Public Radio

Great Travel Deals for Public Radio

Magnificent Mountain Lodge in Telluride

Magnificent Mountain Lodge in Telluride

Thank you to all that supported community radio in our recent KOTO fundraising drive! I still need to do my part, however, to raise money for our unique radio station here in Telluride, Colorado.  Some of my favorite establishments have made some generous donations to help our cause.  In exchange for the pledge amounts listed below, you can snatch up stays in outstanding properties as well as the opportunity to take an exciting train excursion, all at fantastic value.

$250. pledge: Two nights in a one-bedroom condo at the handsome Mountain Lodge in Telluride.  Approximate value: $500.-750.

$250. pledge: Two nights in a hotel guestroom at the luxurious Capella in Telluride. Approximate value: $400.-900.

$150. pledge: Two nights at the Rochester Hotel, Durango’s must-see tribute to Western movie making in the Rockies.  Approximate value:  $320.

$50. pledge: A train ride for two on the Cascade Canyon Winter Train operated by the historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.  Approximate value:  $100.

Note that some blackout dates may apply.

I’ll be accepting pledges on a first-come basis through this Web site only.  You may write me a note on my Contact Page.

Thank you in advance for supporting my fundraising efforts for KOTO, an NPR station and one of only about a half dozen entirely community sponsored radio stations in the country.  KOTO is a Telluride treasure and we now boast an increasing number of listeners on the web at www.koto.org.  I’m happy to host Travel Fun, my bimonthly talk radio show on travel there, a chatty program that features interviews with all kinds of exciting guests from the worlds of travel, beauty, fashion and more.

Choo-Chooing Through the Rockies in a Winterwonderland

Choo-Chooing Through the Rockies in a Winter Wonderland

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