THE REAL 'HOLIDAY INN' IS NOT JUST ON BROADWAY!

December is especially joyful as our beloved 'girls weekend' trio, Pam, Janice and Jules, come to visit. It is the 12th year that they have decorated the Wilburton Inn Christmas tree and their 24th visit to the Wilburton Inn! Yankee Magazine devoted a full page to our magnificent tree in their holiday issue! These girls deck the halls in their very gay apparel. Click here to see a video of their spectacular matching outfits at the Wilburton for over a decade. 

This was our 2nd annual Canine Slumber Party and Jetson loved welcoming more than a dozen fellow Cavalier King Charles Spaniels -- plus a very sweet yellow lab! It was a wonderful celebration of college friends, children, romantic couples, tourists, locals, and of course very cute doggies!

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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


A Jewish Innkeeper's 1st Christmas Tree

I never had Christmas tree envy. I never even yearned for a Hanukah bush. My mom spray painted pine boughs with silver and gold then frosted them in glitter. They captured the magic of Vermont's December's snowy shimmer. That was more than enough for me. Yet somehow our family's Vermont country inn's Christmas tree now graces a full page spread in Yankee Magazine's holiday issue.

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Two years ago, my siblings and I inherited the majestic Wilburton Inn in Manchester, Vermont that our parents had run for 27 years.

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We also inherited Pam, Jan, and Jewels, aka "The Twinkle Girls," three lifelong best friends who have been decorating our tree on girls weekend escapades for a decade.

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In addition to festooning our tree, they also decorate themselves. (Click here for a video of them in action.)

They arrive armed with glue guns, martini shakers and a carload of arts and crafts. Late into the night, they create matching light-up theme costumes in triplicate. They have been candy canes, angels, Christmas trees and reindeers. Then like Santa, they spread joy to all, caroling at the town nursing home and tossing candy from the lead float in Manchester's light up tractor parade. They even decorated my puppy and inspired me to turn Rudolf into, "Jetson, The Red Coat Cavalier"

This fun loving trio comes back for annual summer girls' weekends too. Then they wield their glue guns to make summer themed outfits like cowgirls, luau dancers or patriotic cheerleaders. The Wilburton Inn is their happy place and they make everyone happier when they come to visit.

Innkeeping goes back to the very first Christmas when Mary ended up in the manger because there was no room at the inn. (Perhaps the modern equivalent is Columbus Day weekend in Vermont?)

Times have changed, but innkeeping has not. In a world of Facebook, innkeeping is always face-to-face (though I admit I love Facebook because it helps me stay in touch with our guests that literarily span from Brazil to the Arctic Circle.)

The Twinkle Girls bring their glittery spirit in good times and in bad. When we were stunned to learn that our mom, Innkeeper Georgette Wasserstein Levis, had cancer, the Twinkle Girls decorated the inn for her pink sparkle "This Is Your Life" party. They invented new light-up pink costumes from the shoes to the hats - and made a 4th matching outfit for mom.

When mom passed away just three weeks later, the Twinkle Girls were back to decorate the inn with white organza garlands and overflowing boughs of flowers.

This was going to be a very special Christmas for the girls. It kicked off their second decade of decorating the Wilburton Inn Christmas tree and of course their new celebrity in #Yankee Magazine. (Would you believe a man from California read the article and called the inn to get their autograph?)

Two weeks ago, however, I got a call from Pam. She just heard the devastating news that she had cancer and would be spending December in surgery. She said she was was doubly heartbroken to miss decorating our tree. But at least the Twinkle Girls will be together. One went on leave, the other quit her job so they could all be there for the surgery at Johns Hopkins and the recovery period back home near Albany. The Wilburton Inn staff sent Pam a pink sparkly Christmas tree -- because if Mohamed couldn't go to the mountain, the mountain was coming to her. We also sent three matching hot pink Wilburton tank tops and a cozy new Wilburton Inn bathrobe so Pam can feel wrapped up in our family's embrace. And whenever she is up to it, all three girls are coming to recuperate in their favorite suite at the Wilburton for as long as they want on the house.

Innkeeping is intimate. Some guests are just passing through, but for the majority of guests, the Wilburton Inn becomes their touchstone, and they become a part of our extended family. You don't get that at a Sheraton. (But of course, as we sing in our family inn theme song, "We didn't buy it to run it like a Hyatt.")

So this year, I will decorate my first Wilburton Inn Christmas tree. Fortunately, Linda, our head housekeeper and Wilburton Inn dorm mother will be there to help me. And Pam, Jewels and Jan can be there on Facetime on my phone to be sure we've done it just right.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or just the winter solstice, to me, the season is really about wonder. The wonder of cold dark nights that twinkle with glittering stars. The wonder of catching up with extended family and sharing good laughs and good meals. It's lifting your voice and singing out in gladness and going back in time to hear bells on horses ring. It's feeling cozy and content in front of the fire and grateful for the blessings of friendship, family and health.

I am grateful that my new career in innkeeping has introduced me to so many wonderful, inspiring friends like the Twinkle Girls who make every day merry and bright.

Such Sweet Friends

A highlight of growing up in Manchester were the towering cakes and gooey fudge sundaes at Mother Myrick's. Their orgininal fudge factory (where Zaccheo Fine Art is now located) was our very own Willy Wonka/Serendipity magical confectionery. And the incredible thing is -- 30 years later, it still is!

Jacki Baker and Ron Mancini, the talent, faces and hearts behind Mother Myrick's are still delighting the taste buds of locals and tourists. And now through their thriving mail order business, they share their incredible buttercrunch far and wide. (Be sure to stock up for Christmas!)

Jacki and Ron are such supportive members of the whole community. I love seeing them at outdoor summer concerts on the town green, farm night dinners at the Wilburton Inn and Chamber of Commerce events. When I saw them at the Manchester Music Festival Led Zepplin gala I realized we saw each other 4 times in one week!

Our mom loved welcoming special guests with their buttercrunch, and of course when it's time for my son's birthday, there's no place else I'd go to for a Lemon Lulu cake. They even invited my son and nephew to a backstage tour of the Mother Myrick's factory! And yes, there was an Ethel and Lucy sticker on the conveyor belt.

When we hosted our Canine Costume Howl'oween Party at the Wilburton Inn last week, I knew I wanted to include community involvement and Ron and Jacki were the first people I called. They created a wonderful prize for the "Sweetest Costume." Our talented judges, Rabbi David Novak and Shona from Second Chance Animal Shelter, awarded the prize Jetson in his banana split outfit, but of course, I couldn't accept.

Our other generous community sponsors included Northshire Bookstore (who awarded the most literary costume to Snow White) and Pets Etc who gave prizes to the most creative home made costume. (Beemer and Gracie snatched that one up hands down.) Here is a photo of the trio!

Our fourth sponsor was another cookie baker with a factory right next to Mother Myrick's: Wagatha's Organic Dog Biscuits! What a great opportunity to make a new friend in Wagatha's CEO Neil Reilly and his terrific assistant, Erica. Wagatha's sweetly supplied a box of Maple Bacon dog cookies to every 4 legged guest.

My heart overflows with gratitude to Jacki and Ron and all the businesses, judges, guests and community dog lovers who were a part of our Howl'oween hoopla. Not only did we have so much fun, but we also raised $100 for Second Chance Animal Shelter!

I feel fortunate to have come home to the Wilburton and be a part once again of this wonderful town. What is sweeter than a homecoming with dear friends, beloved dogs and the BEST buttercrunch in the USA?

So many things to do in Manchester!

What a busy weekend!

It's another beautiful August day with bright blue skies and green trees. Today is the antique car race up Equinox Mountain. We wish our guest Andy Greenberg a great race. This is his Aston Martin that he drives up from New York City for the big race. Nice wheels, Andy!

Andy's Astin Martin

Today is the sidewalk sales in Manchester. You can save on all the great shops at like Coach, Kate Spade, Ralph Lauren at Manchester Designer Outlets, plus Orvis, and our favorite independent boutique, The Gold Trout, 

This is the final weekend of the 6 week Vermont Festival Horse Show. We have loved hosting so many riders who have stayed with us for many weeks. We think you all take the blue ribbon.

Vermont Festival Horse Show

Today was a town wide tag sale in Arlington Vermont. Norman Rockwell lived in Arlington for the later part of his career and it is a charming small town with lots of great treasures and antiques.

Tonight is the August Moon Dance at the Southern Vermont Art Center to benefit the Israel Congregation of Manchester.

This weekend we are delighted to welcome back two Wilburton Alumnae brides and grooms who are here celebrating their 7th and 11th anniversaries with their families. We are also hosting a sustainability conference in one of our homes and two family reunions. 

We want to welcome back the Lundberg family who have been guests at the inn for many years for their family reunion. This year includes weddings for two of their children -- so it's great that they can relax before the wedding planning begins.

Have a great weekend!

family reunions at the wilburton

Have a great weekend!


Happy Birthday, Jetson!

Our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Jetson turned 1 today! He has filled the inn with so much love and joy and we thank all the guests for being a part of his first year. 

Jetson came from Autumn Hill Cavaliers in South Burlington, Vermont because we felt very strongly that since we have a Vermont inn, we needed a Vermont dog.  

Jetson has been a part of all the guests experience at the Wilburton Inn. We've even caught a few guests trying to sneak him home!

We hope you enjoy this video celebrating his wonderful first year at the Wilburton Inn!


Enjoy Early Spring in Manchester

My father and I took a stroll last night and heard the bullfrogs singing in Hildene meadow. Manchester is alive with nature and we're all so happy all the winter is past!

The Wilburton is abuzz with all the changes that await our guests this spring! The seeds have been planted and the gardens are growing at Earth Sky Time Farm.

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We have stripped all the white wool carpets out of the guest rooms and restored the beautiful original hardwood floors to all 11 guests rooms in the Wilburton Mansion.

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Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the splendor of the mountains when they are purple and yellow with a increasing dose each day of green.  Join us this weekend for the last of our Two for One April weekends. Call 802-362-2500 and enjoy!

This is Talula Levis, the only grand daughter in the Levis family.  Here she is smiling last May at our Mother's Day brunch. Come join us for another wonderful celebration of family.

This is Talula Levis, the only grand daughter in the Levis family.  Here she is smiling last May at our Mother's Day brunch. Come join us for another wonderful celebration of family.