Birthdays at a Country Inn

Birthdays are big in our family and in our lives as innkeepers at the Wilburton Inn. As we sing in our theme song, our dad, Albert spontaneously bought the Wilburton for his 50th birthday. This June, Tajlei, the eldest of the four Levis siblings, turns 50. (Though fingers crossed she won't be buying another inn!) Albert turns 80 in July, and Columbus Day marks our 30th anniversary of owning and running the Wilburton Inn. Here's Dr. Max Levis celebrating his 1st birthday as a junior. innkeeper.

My birthday is tomorrow. It's a small one: 47. 45 was the biggie. That marked my divorce, our mom's passing, my career change from NYC rock star to five year-olds to my commuting life as a Vermont family innkeeper. Best of all, 45 was the year I got my first dog - my beloved Jetson.

Spring_Wilburton_Mansion_Melissa_Jetson.jpg

I spontaneously decided that the best birthday present I could give myself would be to invite our guests to join us this weekend and give a room for their friends for free.

See my favorite part of innkeeping isn't always having a reason to shop for throw pillows and decor. It's meeting the endless flow of people who arrive as strangers and depart as friends. Many even become an extension of our family as they come back not only through the years, but through the decades. Best of all, they returns as their family's grow. And speaking of birthdays -- beautiful Naomi Dove who was born this week to our Wilburton alumni bride and groom, Sara and Justin Zaslow!

Here I am celebrating my 18th birthday at the Wilburton Inn. Dad's hair is now silver. His glasses are gone, but I wore those gloves at our Murder Mystery weekend this Fall. (It's good that some things stay the same.)

A birthday is just another number, just another day. Tomorrow I'm having a small gathering with fellow NYC/Vermont transplants and you can be sure there will be singing around the piano. I am also getting a massage with Carlos, our Argentinean masseur in our very own spa. (Now THAT's a perk of running an inn!

But every day truly feels like a birthday when you're an innkeeper. There's always a celebration - an anniversary, a wedding. Here's our birthday girl Lea who turned 90 during her family reunion at the inn this summer!

I am very grateful to spend my birthday with my dad, my family, my dog, our staff, our guests our friends (and a bottle of Clairol.)

Happy birthday to you all!

Melissa
Levis Family Innkeeper

Remembering and Looking Forward

Today is the second anniversary of losing our mom and innkeeper, Georgette.

We write this from the beach of Aruba which was her happy place (second to the Wilburton Inn.) As Max, Dad, and I watch the hot pink sun set on the ocean, we think of her parents' favorite song, Sunrise, Sunset.

Sadly mom's sun set far too soon, but she would be so proud and delighted to know that the family and inn she loved so much are growing life anew.

Dad is opening his new Moral Science Art Gallery in Manchester Village. He is finishing his volume of case studies and writing a new book about his cultural card game called Healing the Person, Healing the World. Pierre Mattisse, the grandson of Henri, was so touched by his two week vacation at the Wilburton, that he painted two portraits of dad to thank him!

Oliver and Bonnie are expecting their 4th child this spring. They return tomorrow from a month long tour across America spreading music, bus baked pizza, and the creative Levis family spirit on their incredible double decker bus. Read their blog here.

 

Tajlei is polishing her draft of the Broadway bound musical of Green Acres.  Max is hunkering down to finish his PhD. Grandchildren Noam and Monty are preparing for their Bar-Mitzvahs. 
 

Taconic Mansion

Melissa, Tajlei and Max just bought this historic home where they now live as a family with Albert, one mile from the Wilburton.

We thank our guests, staff and community for helping to sustain Georgette's presence at the inn and in our lives. Continuing her legacy, the Wilburton is more vibrant than ever. We look forward to sharing it with you.

Click here to enjoy these musical tributes to Georgette:

Georgette's Celebration of Life Funeral

Melissa's song, "Me and My Mom"

The Family Inn Theme Song

With gratitude and love,  The Levis Family


Mother's Day Is Every Day at The Wilburton Inn

Our mom, Georgette Wasserstein Levis, believed in family. She came from a large family in Brooklyn, New York. Her siblings, playwright Wendy Wasserstein, Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein and advertising executive Sandra Meyer were all extraordinary, all legends in their fields.

Wendy, Mom, Sandy, Bruce at our parents wedding at the Plaza Hotel in 1967.

Wendy, Mom, Sandy, Bruce at our parents wedding at the Plaza Hotel in 1967.

Mom was extraordinary in a completely different way. She married a nice Jewish doctor. (Well, Albert is certainly many more things in addition to 'nice'. More like 'brilliant,' 'interesting,' 'complicated,' and 'generous.') Georgette had four children in 3 different decades: Tajlei and Melissa in her 20s, Oliver in her 30s, and Max when she turned 40.

Georgette and Oliver, the farmer, Melissa, the children's songwriter, Tajlei the Broadway bound lyricist and lawyer, and Max, the scholar and manager of the Wilburton Inn.

Georgette and Oliver, the farmer, Melissa, the children's songwriter, Tajlei the Broadway bound lyricist and lawyer, and Max, the scholar and manager of the Wilburton Inn.

Mom was an intrinsic part of the community of Manchester, Vermont, serving on the board of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Weston Playhouse, The Israel Congregation of Manchester, and many other organizations. Mom was a hostess and innkeeper for 27 years. She welcomed guests from around the world to the Wilburton. She made our guests and staff feel special and truly cared for. 

Innkeepers Albert and Georgette Levis

Innkeepers Albert and Georgette Levis

In the Jewish tradition, families sit shiva for a week and friends drop by to reminisce. Our family has been so grateful because every weekend for more than a year we have enjoyed visits from returning guests and Wilburton brides who share wonderful stories of what Georgette meant to them: her charm, her hospitality, her inspiration, her wit and of course the pretty bows and flowers in her hair. 

We honor Georgette every day in our lives and at the Wilburton Inn. The parties continue, the guests return. New families play lawn games and splash in the pool. More brides and grooms celebrate their love on our majestic hilltop.  Max, Tajlei, and Melissa have come home to Vermont work beside Albert and make the inn more vibrant than ever.

Levis Family at Farm Night

How Georgette would have loved seeing her dear guests return for their annual vacations. How she would have enjoyed tasting Oliver and Bonnie's delicious food at farm night, watching Tajlei's theatrical annual Murder Mystery, hearing Melissa's family concerts, and seeing Max shine in every capacity as he hosts corporate events, weddings, and runs the Wilburton Inn. And now she would be so proud to see Albert and Max open the Museum of the Creative Process on Memorial Day!

An innkeeper is like a mother to her guests and staff and community.  So here is to our mom, Georgette Wasserstein Levis, with gratitude, joy, and love. Thank you for the huge impact you made on your family and friends and community. Forever may you dance.

Me and My Mom: A musical tribute to Georgette Wasserstein Levis.