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Colonial Inn

Christmas in Edgartown was last weekend and we were really getting in the spirit…here are some of the highlights!

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Jim, our grumbly but lovable maintenance guy claims he’s a bah-humbug scrooge but he always does a wonderful job of getting us in the spirit with his outdoor lights – I think he excelled himself this year with this beautiful tree of lights in the courtyard of the Colonial Inn!

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This is a picture of Martha’s Vineyard’s most famous ‘Christmas House’.  Every fall, this display starts taking shape in time for a Thankgiving night unveiling of Santa’s Workshop.  The Gatchell family take great pride in this display and I challenge you to find a family of any denomination who don’t stop by and admire the lights on County Road in Oak Bluffs every year.  They collect donations for the Island Food Pantry every night and on Christmas Eve, even Santa and Mrs Claus stop by to greet all the children getting a last look at the lights before Santa jumps on his sleigh to deliver all his gifts.

Mobile Uploads 141-resized-600The Colonial Inn lobby is all decked out with ribbons (tartan of course – guess who chose those?!) and beautiful Poinsettas.

We enjoy welcoming guests at this time of year and getting into the spirit with the parade and fun.  This year there was pizza baking in the courtyard from Stonekrazy Pizza and music in the Eisenhauer Gallery on Saturday afternoon. A portion of the proceeds went to help the Red Stocking Fund. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the day – of course a good weather day helped with sunshine and mild temps in the high 40’s.

Santa rode into town, not on his usual conveyance but on a Fire Truck…

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Elf and DanielAnd elves were roaming everywhere, warning kids to be good, for goodness sakes.  We’re not sure that Santa will believe the Tshirt that CJ’s son Daniel is wearing in this photo (Santa – I was framed!) but he’s so cute and takes such good care of his sister Jamie (she’s the cutie in the pic below with Santa), that we’re sure Santa has something good in store for him!

Santa was at Donaroma’s meeting all the kids and admiring the beautiful displays – maybe he even picked up a tree for the North Pole from their beautiful selection or made a wreath at their annual Wreath Making Workshop.

Jamie and SantaIt’s never too early to make plans for next year’s Christmas in Edgartown, so call us for availability and rates on 800-627-4701.

We hope that you all have a wonderful holiday.  Remember that we are open year round and still have some availability for Christmas and New Years…Or maybe you’ll need a little re-charge after all the chaos of the season?

What do you do (or where do you go) to get into the spirit of the season?

Check Out Things to Do in Oak Bluffs on a Memorable Day Trip
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Martha’s Vineyard Events
Live like a New England Local This Spring
Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket: Which One Comes Out on Top
Treat Yourself to Something New at Martha’s Vineyard Shops
A Guide to Martha’s Vineyard Weather through the Seasons
Explore Downtown Edgartown on Your Martha’s Vineyard Escape
Look at That: What to See in Martha’s Vineyard

Memorial day by the US ArmySo here it comes again – the official kick off for the summer on Martha’s Vineyard – Memorial Day weekend.  If you believe what “they” say, we can now wear our white clothes and sandals with pride as we enter what promises to be another fun filled summer season.

It is already shaping up to be a busy weekend with lots of great events going on.  If you enjoy browsing the many wonderful galleries the Island has to offer, then you are in luck – a number of galleries are having shows to kick off the season.  TheEisenhauer Gallery here at the Colonial Inn will be featuring some new artists at their show on Saturday evening. As an extra treat favorite Island band, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish will be playing at the show, so stop by, say hi and get your groove on!

Up-Island, both the Grange Hall and the New Ag Hall are hosts to much anticipated annual shows. The Grange Hall plays host the 12th Annual Vineyard Artisans Memorial Day Showon Saturday and Sunday.  This is the kick off to the Vineyard Artisans summer season which sees them at the same location every Sunday in June and Thursdays and Sundays in July and August.  This show features arts, crafts and jewelry from many renowned local artists.

The New Ag Hall is hosting the Friends of Family Planning’s annual art show.  If you are in town early and would like to support this cause, their Gala Preview Party is on Thursday evening.  The show itself runs Friday to Sunday from 10-6.

If you get to Martha’s Vineyard early enough on Friday you can see a touching tribute to the holiday and a great reminder as to why many of you have the day off work on Monday.  The March to the Sea by the children of Tisbury school is a lovely tribute to the memory of all of those we have lost.  See the kids, waving their flags as they march from Tisbury School to Owen Park starting at noon.

This is just a sampling of the many fun and interesting events that are going on, not to mention all the new stores opening, old stores re-opening, restaurants old and new and much more besides.

How will you be spending your holiday weekend?

 

Check Out Things to Do in Oak Bluffs on a Memorable Day Trip
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Martha’s Vineyard Events
Live like a New England Local This Spring
Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket: Which One Comes Out on Top
Treat Yourself to Something New at Martha’s Vineyard Shops
A Guide to Martha’s Vineyard Weather through the Seasons
Explore Downtown Edgartown on Your Martha’s Vineyard Escape
Look at That: What to See in Martha’s Vineyard

Recycling by e-magicLet’s continue the story of Greening the Colonial Inn.  If you missed Part One it’s over here.   Go ahead, I’ll wait while you catch up…

My brain hurts just compiling the factoids for this post.  My notes are scribbled and vague at best and I do NOT have a doctorate in this stuff, but it is the next step in our journey through a greener hotel.

I did contact our friend Chuck at Vineyard Bottled Waters and whined…just as I did when I wanted to get greener products in the hotel in the first place. Only this time all I could say was: I forgot all that stuff you taught me.

Luckily for me, (and by extension, you) Chuck ROCKS and gave me all this data again and in dummy-speak so that I could write an article that would NOT induce mass narcolepsy.

It seems that coffee will kill me if I drink it out of certain plastic travel mugs! My lovely coffee, Nectar of Heaven! Certain plastics (PVC (polyvinyl chloride) to be specific) will diffuse toxins into the liquid it contains.

I think we have all heard tell of such things before. Some stimulate the growth of cancers, some, such as Bisphenol-A, don’t cause cancer to grow, but they do stimulate a resistance to cancer treatments. Well, spiffy! They don’t cause it, but they make your body stop fighting it.

Most people agree that paper cups are better health-wise. We already use paper cups here! YES!

Uh…wait! What I did not know was that paper cups are coated with a layer of plastic to seal it and prevent leakage. What kind of plastic? I don’t know. There are good plastics and bad, just like cholesterol, but I don’t have the equipment to give you a work up and no lab space in the Colonial Inn pantry.

Luckily, there is a line of paper cups coated with a coating of polylactic acid made from corn instead of plastic. So…drink more coffee!

We have switched from plastic to paper bowls and plates for our continental breakfast. They are made from sugar cane and bamboo. These seasonal crops grow quickly and thus, are more eco-friendly than cups made from wood pulp from trees.

Now, on to our cleaning products. This is much more difficult in terms of understandability.

If you want the long version of the explanation which follows, here is the factsheet (PDF download).

To sum up: Greening The Cleaning® is a series of all natural cleaning supplies developed for use in medical environments to create a healthier healing environment.

100% of all profit returned to the Center and the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer

In our search for an Eco-friendly product, we used samples of many kinds, but after our housekeepers were finished using them, they each said: “Nah!” when I asked them if the cleaners worked well.

Therefore, I straddle the finest of lines. I can’t go all Enviro-friendly if it means things don’t as clean as they can be, but the Greening The Cleaning product works great, smells great (no chemical Windexey smell from these products) and comes in a concentrate so is very affordable.  Did I mention that Chuck actually offered to drink the cleaning solution to prove how safe it is? Now there’s a guy who gets behind his products!(don’t try that at home folks!)

This is a link to some info on how they rate their product and has more sciencey words like ‘surfactants’ and ‘Nonyl Phenol Ethoxylate’ if you like that sort of thing.

Hope I have not bored you silly!  I need to find myself some coffee in a vegetatively sealed, non- Bisphenol-A rated, renewably resourced cup.

Now it’s your turn – when you travel, what do you do to make your trip a little ‘greener’?

Photo by e-magic

 

Check Out Things to Do in Oak Bluffs on a Memorable Day Trip
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Martha’s Vineyard Events
Live like a New England Local This Spring
Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket: Which One Comes Out on Top
Treat Yourself to Something New at Martha’s Vineyard Shops
A Guide to Martha’s Vineyard Weather through the Seasons
Explore Downtown Edgartown on Your Martha’s Vineyard Escape
Look at That: What to See in Martha’s Vineyard

Snowdrops by lisihoffThe return of the sunshine to Martha’s Vineyard this week has been a very welcome sight to those who have not made it off to warmer climes this winter.  I’ve talked before about the patterns of life on the Vineyard and I was reminded of more of them yesterday.  I didn’t even realise that I look for these things every year until I saw them again.  Yesterday I saw…

  1. My first flip flops – when I start to see toes again, it must be spring.
  2. Men in Shorts – there is a contingent here who wear them all year (crazy, but true) but yesterday they were everywhere.
  3. Out of State plates – on my short walk down Main Street yesterday I counted 5 states other than MA – the visitors are back.
  4. Mopeds – that familiar hum and inevitable traffic back up is back on the roads (personally I’m not a fan but if you like an element of danger on vacation and are anxious to see the MV Hospital ER, go ahead)
  5. Beach Umbrellas – Driving home I saw a great sight – a couple, under a beach umbrella, a cooler between them, enjoying the emptiness of State Beach before the summer hits! On State Beach, you often see rows of umbrellas from the road – they always make me happy!
  6. Crocus and Daffodils – I’m enjoying seeing signs of life in my yard.

Next come all the contractors and landscapers, the roofers and plumbers getting everything ship-shape for the return of the visitors and seasonal residents.  The Colonial Inn re-opens for it’s 99th season on April 15th, so we’re getting ready too! Only a month and it is ‘season’, so the next few weeks are pretty busy around here with floor refinishing, carpet shampooing, painting, cleaning and generally getting ready to see and be seen.

What signs do you look for to tell you spring is here?

Photo of Snowdrops by lisihoff

 

Check Out Things to Do in Oak Bluffs on a Memorable Day Trip
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Martha’s Vineyard Events
Live like a New England Local This Spring
Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket: Which One Comes Out on Top
Treat Yourself to Something New at Martha’s Vineyard Shops
A Guide to Martha’s Vineyard Weather through the Seasons
Explore Downtown Edgartown on Your Martha’s Vineyard Escape
Look at That: What to See in Martha’s Vineyard

Recycling by e-magic (1)I will attempt to walk a fine line in this article. I like our planet…I think we should keep it! It’s a ‘fixer-upper’, that’s for sure, but I’ve grown fond of it over the years. The more research I do into the realm of becoming ecologically responsible the more I feel that it could be impossible.

You will find no references to song by a certain Frog as I discuss the issue of going ‘Green’. To The Frog I will simply say ‘Ain’t that the truth, Brother!”

As a hotel manager, I make this VOW: I will do what I can to help our planet survive, but some of those steps take the involvement of our guests to be most effective.

The Colonial Inn has changed some of the ways we do our jobs over the last year and a half or so, and I will spare you the mind-numbing research in comparing and contrasting products…I will sum up the entire affair with the words ‘flaming hoops and ecologists with whips’!

We do not have an eco-manager at the Colonial Inn. We all wear many hats and there is not one person with the duty of making sure we are environmentally conscious. Each of us plays a small part of the process and we work at it during the course of our service to potential and in-house guests.

What We Have Done:

 

  • Where appropriate, incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with compact fluorescents
  • Every room in the Colonial Inn and the Edgartown Residence Club now has a small blue bin for all co-mingle recyclables.
  • The shampoos and lotion in our rooms are in recyclable packaging and they don’t need to be rinsed – our waste removal vendor told us that the small bits of shampoo and lotion left in the bottles do not damage the recycle process.
  • Every guest has a choice whether have sheets changed and towels replaced daily during their stay.  This helps reduce chemical and energy use in the laundry.
  • We are reducing our use of plastics in housekeeping by using canvas bags to tote laundry instead of large plastic garbage bags.
  • There are large co-mingle recycle bins in our lobby area and the front desk now religiously uses separate bins.
  • We now send 99% of our confirmation letters by email instead of printing and mailing (Sorry Post Office…)

 

These are some of the steps in the process. There are drawbacks to each of these systems.

There is not a day that goes by without housekeepers or managers finding food waste contaminating the recyclables. The huge white arrows forming the global symbol for ‘RECYCLE’ on bright blue bins apparently confuse some people.

To use small soaps and shampoo / lotion bottles is an effort to conserve… resources as well as our costs. These little bottles sometimes make it hard to liberate the required liquid. However, with many one-night stays, there is a lot of soap and shampoo thrown away. So…bigger bottle = easier access, easier access = waste…argh!

The canvas bags for soiled linens are no easy feat. Such a simple step to conserve plastic bags, but on a property built in 1911 there are no rolling house cleaners carts (the hallways are too narrow and have little one-step risers at random) so laundry must be hauled, not nicely rolled and dropped like larger more modern constructions. It is a little detail, but speaking as one who has done his share of laundry hauling…it is a workout. The canvas holds more and gets heavier than the plastic and with no elevator, it is all human effort to bring laundry up and down four flights of stairs each day.

These are the ‘baby steps’ of our conservation system. There are more, but this article is already overly long for a subject like this. I may have bored you all to tears!

Sadly, I plan to do it again. Look for “Going Green…Part 2- ‘Meat & Potatoes’” in which I have learned that …everything will kill you! It’s my job to make sure it kills you more slowly!

That last line made more sense in my head…

 

Check Out Things to Do in Oak Bluffs on a Memorable Day Trip
Celebrate the Fourth of July with Martha’s Vineyard Events
Live like a New England Local This Spring
Martha’s Vineyard vs. Nantucket: Which One Comes Out on Top
Treat Yourself to Something New at Martha’s Vineyard Shops
A Guide to Martha’s Vineyard Weather through the Seasons
Explore Downtown Edgartown on Your Martha’s Vineyard Escape
Look at That: What to See in Martha’s Vineyard