Friday, October 26, 2012

The Red Chair travels in Bethlehem

When Beth Colt, innkeeper at the Woods Hole Inn on Cape Cod, posted a photo of a red chair on a frozen pond behind her house on her Facebook page last year, she had no idea that the simple wooden chair with the cherry red finish would resonate so deeply in viewers’ hearts and souls, but that photo and a later one shot by California photographer Julie Ann Cromer inspired the Red Chair’s travels. The Red Chair’s journey began on Cape Cod in the spring of 2012, and this fall it has been crisscrossing New England, visiting inns and B & B’s, and attracting attention wherever it’s spotted.

World travelers themselves, Innkeepers Brad and Ilja welcomed the well-traveled Red Chair ( to the intimate and romantic inn during a late October visit (October 22-25) for relaxation and sightseeing.
During its sojourn at Adair, the Red Chair enjoyed a restorative bit of meditation by the ornate gates leading to the White Garden…
Sampled Innkeeper Brad’s famous breakfast popovers and the lovely melon boats…
And, tried to converse in Dutch with Innkeeper Ilja … but that’s a story for another time!

Innkeeper Ilja helped the Red Chair become better acquainted with several local businesses during a morning of sightseeing, and invited Jackie Nagle from J. Harper Photography along as photographer to document the outing. Jackie was thrilled to be introduced to the Red Chair and have the opportunity to photograph it on the morning’s adventures.

First stop, the famous Harman’s Cheese and Country Store in Sugar Hill, where owners Maxine and Brenda Aldrich offered an array of cheeses to sample, with the smoked cheddar being a particular favorite.

Then it was on to a family reunion with the Red Chair’s cousins at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, where some of the chairs are 75 years and older. Wish you had been there to hear all the chatter! There was a lot of catching up to do.
 It’s not too early to be thinking of the holidays, so at The Rocks Estate Christmas tree farm in Bethlehem, the Red Chair tagged a handsome and fragrant Christmas tree and decorated it with red bows, sparkly snowflakes, and special Adair Country Inn ornaments. The tree will be cut closer to Christmas and placed in Adair’s dining room.

At the WREN Local Works store in downtown Bethlehem, the Red Chair lent its support to shopping locally — the store is brimming over with handcrafted items made by local artisans — and admired artist Michele Johnsen’s paintings in the gallery.

More art was hanging on the walls next door at the Cold Mountain CafĂ©, where artist Kristine Lingle’s paintings were a vibrant counterpoint to the yummy salad awaiting the Red Chair.

The Red Chair received top billing across the street at The Colonial Theatre, one of the oldest continuously operated movie theatres in the country.

After a busy morning of sightseeing, freshly brewed coffee and hot out-of-the-oven chocolate chip walnut cookies provided a quick pick-me-up for the Red Chair at Maia Papaya, the cozy breakfast, brunch and sandwich shop next to the Bethlehem Post Office.

After a relaxing few days with the hospitable folks at Adair, the Red Chair donned its traveling clothes once again and headed off to the Inn at the Round Barn Farm in Vermont.

Innkeeper Ilja noted that the Red Chair’s visit created a buzz in town, people talked about it, businesses were excited to have it visit and it created a real sense of community. Come again, Red Chair!

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