Saturday, December 04, 2004

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Thanksgiving in the innkeeping business offers a mixed bag. Many innkeepers pack up, lock up, and go...south. Others, like us, stay put. This year we had several inquiries that turned into bookings. But we also expected a large contingent of family to descend upon us. So it would be a working vacation.
My wife's brother--a French instructor at a famous military academy on a lovely bend of the Hudson--arrived with five young French military cadets in tow with his own four kids. The French cadets were here on an exchange program, and we planned on showing them a true American Thanksgiving. Added to the mix were four guests visiting from M.I.T.--also from France. They, too, had come to Stowe in search of a genuine Thanksgiving experience. Since we were already planning on 16 for dinner, we figured four more would hardly be noticed.
The gathering dominated the little inn. Turkeys roasted interminably. Mountains of mashed root vegetables, acres of stuffing, and oceans of gravy made it to the table. You may not realize it, but a true "auberge" is a place that offers dinner to its guests. We rarely do so, but when we do, we do it big. Tryptophan ruled the day.
It was a memorable Thanksgiving. I'm not sure if we'll do repeat performances, but we know a lot of people left here with memories that will last them forever. And that's another thing that innkeeping offers us: the chance to share what you have with others.