+1 (802) 345-4448innkeeper@chipmaninn.com1233 Route 125, Ripton, VT 05766
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Balancing Charm and Survival in the Modern World

by Elizabeth on September 22, 2023

Picture this: a guest, determined to reach our inn late in the evening, stormed in one evening, her frustration palpable. She had been calling for directions, and she was furious that her cell phone didn't work on our rural roads to supply her with a map on the way. She could just barely get a cell phone signal to call, but there was a hitch - our phone line rang and rang on her end but it never rang here at the inn. With a tone that could rival thunder, she vented her frustration in a tirade that would have made Shakespeare proud. To our amazement, she left without even checking in, saying the lack of phone line made her feel "unsafe," leaving us with wide eyes and dropped jaws.

To this day, we laugh heartily about her visit, occasionally quoting her colorful expressions of anger. The phone somehow magically started working again that evening and sometimes, we can't help but feel a bit grateful that the phone didn't work that night, sparing us from having to serve her breakfast too! Maybe the ghost of Daniel Chipman unplugged it for us seeing her come from miles away.

This week, the old landline once again refused to cooperate. No dial tone, but folks can call us; it's just that what we hear on the other end resembles Charlie Brown's teacher. If you've made an attempt to reach us, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Pretty much the final straw this week, we've decided to bid adieu to the landline and reached out to Verizon for cellphones that we can connect via Wi-Fi to our fiber internet, complete with a backup from Starlink internet. Not to mention the backup batteries on our modem to handle those flickers or brief power outages or the few few seconds between electricity going out and generator popping on- yes we've have many of our bases covered here so people have their electricity, wifi, and virtual work here!

By next week, we'll bid farewell to those antiquated landlines, ensuring we're well-prepared for the future while preserving the charming ambiance of our beloved inn. Perhaps it'll even bring us a step closer to the original 1828 home, free from those pesky phone wires cluttering the place.

One of the reasons guests adore Chipman Inn is the sense of stepping back in time, where life is unhurried, and the need to keep up with the latest technology is blissfully absent. The charm of this area lies in its slow pace, and we treasure that.

However, it's also true that this very lack of rapid change could pose a challenge for the long-term survival of inns like ours. The world evolves, and we must evolve with it. It's a delicate balancing act – preserving what makes us special while embracing the modern necessities that keep us thriving.

Chipman Inn is about offering a unique, timeless experience to our guests. Embracing change, without sacrificing our essence, is the path forward. It's a journey that requires care and consideration, but it's a journey worth taking.

Thank you for being a part of our story as we navigate the delicate balance between preserving the past and preparing for the future.

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Tomorrow they may wrap fishes in it...

by Elizabeth on September 02, 2023

"I absolutely adore the scene in the musical 'Newsies' where the cast belts out 'King of New York'. Whenever I glimpse 'my face in the papes', I can't help but burst into song, particularly the line, 'Tomorrow they may wrap fishes in it, but I was a star for one whole minute!' It's got me wondering though – do dock workers even use newspapers to wrap fish these days?

On a related note, here's an interesting piece from the Addison Independent: Family Can't Find Home, Buys Ripton's Inn

The title made us all cringe a bit... To me, 'home' and 'house' are entirely different concepts. We've always had a home, but indeed, finding a house in Addison County proved to be quite a challenge. :)

Hope you enjoy the read.

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The fantastic fictional life of an innkeeper

by Elizabeth on August 26, 2023

It’s often said that art imitates life, but sometimes, life imitates art. While many find their calling through experiences or deep introspection, others, like myself, stumble upon it through pop culture. It wasn't the literary works that guests often bring to the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, but rather the television reruns on Nick at Nite and ABC Family that subconsciously nudged me towards the world of innkeeping.

Gilmore Girls’ Lorelai Gilmore showed that managing personal responsibilities while running an inn is challenging, yet possible. Although she is a fictional character, her journey echoes the realities faced by many innkeepers, including the moments of triumph. Similarly, at our inn, multitasking is the order of the day, and every small achievement is a cause for celebration.

Newhart, a classic sitcom, featured Dick Loudon and his wife running a historic inn in Vermont, surrounded by quirky characters and humorous situations. It showcased the lighter side of innkeeping, reminding us to find humor in everyday situations. Likewise, our inn has its share of humorous moments and delightful guests that make each day memorable.

In Petticoat Junction, the Shady Rest Hotel is managed by Kate Bradley, her daughters, and Uncle Joe. It highlights the importance of family and teamwork in managing an inn. Similarly, our inn thrives on teamwork, and every guest is treated like a part of our extended family.

Forrest Gump, though not a TV show, features a scene where Forrest's mother turns their home into a guest house, underlining the unexpected encounters that can occur in such a setting. Our inn, too, has been a meeting point for many fascinating individuals, leading to unforgettable moments.

Ghosts, a series about a couple who inherit a haunted house, is a lighthearted reminder of the surprises that come with old buildings. Our inn, with its rich history, has its share of quirks, but that's what makes it unique and endearing.

Schitt's Creek is another favorite, showcasing the transformation of the Rose family and their journey in running the Rosebud Motel. Their story is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the importance of community - values that are deeply ingrained in the ethos of our inn.

The Muppet Movie features the iconic Happiness Hotel, a place that, despite its many shortcomings, provides warmth and humor to its guests. A memorable line from the movie is when a guest asks how to "sneak out" of the hotel, and the response is "very popular choice" – a line that perfectly captures the humor and charm of the Muppets and reflects the lighthearted approach we aim to have at our inn.

Lastly, The Durrells in Corfu holds a special place in my heart. Despite the challenges faced by Louisa Durrell, including a house with chipped paint, no running water, or electricity, she made it work. It's a reminder that, despite the minor inconveniences like a crack in the wall or spotty cell service, our inn provides a warm, welcoming, and memorable experience for all our guests.

These stories serve as a reminder that, while the journey of an innkeeper comes with its share of challenges, it is also filled with moments of joy, laughter, and unforgettable encounters. As the journey at our inn unfolds, it is the hope that it will create as many cherished memories for our guests as these shows have over the years. 🏡✨

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56 Days at the Inn: Embracing the Unpredictable Beauty of Vermont

by Elizabeth on August 18, 2023

It's been exactly 56 days since my family and I embarked on an adventure of a lifetime, taking ownership of our very own inn in picturesque Ripton, Vermont. To say our journey has been an adventure would be an understatement. Here's a little glimpse into our whirlwind introduction to inn-keeping and life in Vermont.

Day 1: Just 4 hours after signing the papers to make the inn our own, we welcomed our first guests. They were the coolest guests too. A man riding in the Vermont Gran Fondo, a crazy challenging race, along with his wife and mother who cheered him along. The race went right by the inn while the rain started to fall...

The Great Flood: The following weekend, Vermont experienced a major flood. The landscapes that we had just begun to admire and acquaint ourselves with were completely transformed. Our heart goes out to a neighbor up the road whose house met with a devastating mudslide. We witnessed roads washing out, and like many in the community, our basement wasn’t spared from the floodwaters. Around midnight that evening a neighbor who backs up to the Middlebury River knocked on the door asking for a room for the night as the river started to come to their doorway, I settled them into our last available room and 15 minutes later a young father knocked on the door telling us the road ahead was closed and by the time they turned around the road less than a quarter mile up had washed out too. I was so sorry for them I told them we were totally booked, but we still had a sofa... he, his wife, 2 year old and 6 month old slept on the floor by the fireplace that night. That led us into our most active breakfast that hasn't seen the like since.

The resilience and spirit of Vermonters truly shone during this time, and the community continues to rally together in support of one another.

Unexpected Visits: In the midst of everything, my youngest decided to give us a scare. A simple act of slamming his toe in a car door led us to the lovely hospital in Middlebury. It wasn’t the kind of local tour we had in mind, but every cloud has a silver lining. The staff was wonderful, and it gave us another perspective into the warmth and care of our new community.

Repairs Upon Repairs: As you can imagine, an old inn comes with its share of quirks and much-needed repairs. We're quickly learning that in Vermont, patience is more than a virtue; it's a way of life. Whether it's waiting for a technician or sourcing the perfect part, "nothing happens fast in Vermont" has become our new mantra... and while sometimes we feel that frustration and Austin-accustomation of just wanting what we want when we want it... it has been a great change of pace for us and we appreciate that others have extended the same patience with us as well.

School Bells Are Ringing: The kids are gearing up to start school in a mere 11 days. The anticipation is palpable. New classes, new faces, and a whole lot of new experiences await them. They’re more than ready to meet new friends and delve into this new chapter.

Community Bonds: Amidst the chaos, I've been fortunate to meet what feels like half the town, and it's been heartwarming. (Note there are less than 800 people in this town so saying I've met half the town is not much of an exaggeration!) If you're ever in Vermont and want to get the true local experience, make a pit stop at the country store or the recycling center. These places, seemingly ordinary, are the heartbeat of the community, and the social hubs where stories, laughter, and advice are freely exchanged.

To sum it up, the past 56 days have been a mix of challenges, discoveries, and invaluable experiences. Through the ups and downs, the floods and repairs, one thing remains constant: our love for this beautiful state and its incredible people. Here's to many more days, stories, and adventures in Vermont!

Until next time, Elizabeth G