Travel


Something i’ve always wanted is to get more international guests staying  at the Brewster Inn here in Dexter Maine. We’ve always had a small amount find us on the web each year BUT i wanted to work harder again to get more. In 2009 i signed up to be part of the contingent of attractions and accommodations group representing Maine  at the annual getting together  from all the New England States at the Discover New England international tourism summit where they all  promote their business and area in short 8min meetings to a large group of US and European based receptive and tour operators from countries such as UK, France, Italy and Germany.

The “buyers” as i’ll call them are broken into groups like the ” receptives” that are companies that make the tour packages for the trade such as Travalco AlliedTPro and Tourmappers . These are all  companies that the Brewster Inn has contracts with now to supply our product to the world tourism market.  There were many tour operators there too like  Bon Voyage and Audley Travel and America As You Like It 

Already in  3 summits as i’m now just back from the latest one held at the Omni Mt Washington resort in NH we have a total of 5 receptive contracts with hopefully a couple more contracts to come. The bookings are coming in with just last year alone about 40 room nights from the contracts that we now have. Each year should get better and better as following on from the 27 meetings that i had at this years summit, i’m now talking to the tour operators about who we have contracts with that they can buy from and what packages we are planning on putting together so that when guests come they can experience real Maine like moosewatching, white water rafting, snowmobiling or hiking to name just a few.

Attending the DNE summit as a small tourism related  business in Maine is a great way to network and show off our part of the USA to the world. Its hard work, takes a lot of planning but the long term benefits for the Brewster Inn could and hopefully will be significant. I’ll be at the next summit in 2012.

Looking for interesting structures made from red rock? Come to Sedona AZ.. a really colourful place for all the landscape as long as you like red that is

We took a visit into the town and came across the Chapel of the Holy Cross. Its a Catholic church built into the side of a mountain. A very impressive structure with an interesting history on how it came to be there.

The unique architecture and location of the Chapel of the Holy Cross are the inspirations of Marguerite Bruswig Staude, who went on a trip to New York City  in 1932. She observed that a cross could be seen in the newly constructed Empire State Building when viewed from a certain angle, and was inspired to built a church based on that design.

Staude kept an eye out all over Europe and the USA for the ideal location, and she was especially struck by the beauty of Sedona. She decided to build her chapel here, which would be “a monument to faith, but a spiritual fortress so charged with God, that it spurs man’s spirit godward.” The Chapel of the Holy Cross was completed in April 1956.

Heres the view from the back of the church in the mountain. It doesn’t look so big when your up there. Its a good long walk to get to the church unless you want to take the car and wait in line for a space further up.

When you get to the church and go to the front, look down and you will see a really strange place below you to your right. Its someones home, thing is theres numerous ideas on whos house it is. Its a little bit over the top?

It appears the house is owned by one of two people, either  by the Dr. who invented the laser for Lasik eye surgery from Romania or i believe another doctor from India that has invented numerous medical products. This blog tells more on the property. These  pics have been taken by someone who got in the house and i have to say it look pretty vulgar.

Sedona was nice, well worth a visit. After stopping for an excellent lunch in town we happened to see this sign below. It raised a laugh

After being at the Brewster Inn the whole time since our arrival in Dexter early Feb 07, it was time for a break. Mar and Apr are the quiet 2 months each year so we decided to take some time away in April. Something like 17 days in total inc our time off and then heading to Newport RI for a big New England tourism conference that we now attend each year as part of the Maine delegation thats involved with bringing more Europeans to New England when they travel to America.

Flying out of Boston, we headed to Phoenix to stay with guest friends related to the Brewster family. When we reached Houston,  for some reason i was convinced we were still going to be in central time, and then it wasn’t until we were on the plane ready to go onto Phoenix where the captain said “and todays flight will be 2hrs 45min” and i turn to the lady next to me, slightly confused as i thought it was a hour flight and asked her, “excuse me but is this plane going to Phoenix?” Have you ever thought you’ve actually been on the wrong plane?

Once we’d got over that bit of excitement the flight was uneventful but the scenery was amazing. Like flying over a lunar landscape. Rocks, craters and mountains everywhere inc snow on the highest peaks.. in AZ? Flying into Sky Harbor airport you drop in over the mountains and then straight into Phoenix. Seems odd to see this major city in the middle of nowhere.

The 2 days we were there were good. Had the chance to explore a little going to Sedona and Jerome. Interesting places that are well worth a visit.

Jerome is a town that at one time was the 4th largest community in Arizona and then fell to the bottom of the list when the copper mines closed. The community was incorporated in 1899 following four disastrous fires that destroyed large sections of what was once known as “the wickedest town in the west.” So much history and ghostly goings on, its a town that has plenty to see and do

More on Jerome, history and what to see and do here

Sedona is a very pretty town too with some amazing scenery and buildings inc one really odd one that i’ll explain more about in my next post

The snow is falling and lots of it too. We must of got a minimum of 12″ last night and of course theres more forecast soon. ITS 85 that runs right by us has not been so busy as there was still not a major amount of snow on the ground but i think the snow in the last 24hrs changes all that. The sleds are already running more now so the snow will be a lot more compacted and better to run on.

The Brewster Inn is pleased to announce that we will be running all the same snowmobile special offers that we did very successfully last year. Come and stay at the Brewster Inn with great bed and breakfast accommodation from as little as $34.75 per person per night inc breakfast, great rooms with dvd players and wi-fi. All rooms have their own bathrooms. And NEW this year ALL rooms have their own climate control thermostats for total guest comfort. This will appear on another blog post soon or if you check in on us via our Facebook fan page you’ll already see all the big new additions we have here right now

Check out our snowmobile specific brochure here. Its double sided as we also are a business sponsor of our local club in Dexter Wassokeag Snowmobile Club and their info is all on the back of the brochure. The brochure is also viewable on the bottom of this blog post.

All our current Brewster Inn Specials are here

 

 

Located just off Rt 7 in Dexter, 20 mins from exit 157 on I-95, we’re right on the trail for ITS 85 that takes you up to Greenville, Jackman, Millinocket and the North Country.

Trail maps are available from both the Wassookeag snowmobile club and Brewster Inn websites

On Presidents Day  weekend  12/13/14 Feb we have the Dexter Winter Festival. Full info is available from the Wassookeag snowmobile club website. Come and enjoy a great weekend of snowmobiling and winter fun that weekend here in Dexter.

The Brewster Inn is also a proud sponsor of Pine Tree Camp that is a summer camp for children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities and that snowmobilers throughout Maine are proud to support and we are also very happy to be members of the Maine Snowmobile Assoc

Almost at the end of our trip and its time for the big event. The Nascar race weekend at Dover Delaware. Our friends Tammy and Casie, Judith and me headed down from Maine for the race weekend. We were looking forward very much to  it and whatever else would happen to us with regard to Richard Childress Racing whilst we were there.

 We arrived at the track on  Saturday morning. I had instructions to go to the Nascar credentials truck to get the pit passes for all of us but they never had them so they directed us halfway round the speedway to a gate where we would have to give our names so that we could go in past the grandstands, cross the bridge over the track and get into the infield. This we did and we managed to talk our way past 2 security gates to get right down by pit lane. We were looking for a red single story building that was where we would have to show ID and they would get the PR guy from the 07 team to come out with our passes. 30mins later and whooohoooo we have the passes!!

So much happened to us over the next 2 days as we utilised our “hot” pit passes to the full. In Nascar terms “Hot” means “access all areas” and thats just what we did. It would take a long time to write half of it down here, so with words and pictures i’ll give you a feel for it for now.

Saturday was spent in the pits all morning until the Busch series race in the afternoon. We took plenty of photos of cars and people coming and  going all round us whilst practise and qualifying for the races was in progress

Kevin Harvick

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Jimmy Johnson

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 Ryan Newman

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Mark Martin 

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Kurt Busch

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Tony Stewart

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Dale Earnhardt Jnr

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Judith met this guy…

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Yeah, its Richard Petty and during our time at the track Judith wandered off. 5 minutes later she reappears and said “I got an autograph” to which i replied “Great! who of?”
“I don’t know” she said. “There was this other guy having his pit pass signed so i thought i’d get mine done too”
“Ok” i replied “where is he?” And Judith pointed to the man in the hat. None other than Richard Petty! LOL

A bit later on  we’re still watching what was happening in pit lane and there was a bit of a crowd gathering. On closer investigation we see Jeff Gordon surrounded by “his people” and about 10 yards away we see a tall guy surrounded by “people” too. Both groups get closer and then the 2 men go to each other,  shake hands and start walking slowly along pit lane talking like they’ve known each other all their lives. Turns out the other guy was the quarterback for the Philidelphia Eagles NFL team and this was a staged photocall.

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Heres some more photos of the pit lane area this time from Sunday

The gas tanks they use are so much bigger than they seem on tv

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And then during the pre race stuff, it was time for Nascar to interview me by Kevin Harvicks car for part of the “Nascar Nation” tv programme.The lady that interviewed me was tall at about 6′ and she had a cold that day too. This was all in preperation for the interview a few minutes later that was going to be done for tv with me and RCR owner Richard Childress. Heres some pictures from the interview session

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Tammy, Judith, Jeff Burton (31 car) and me

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Judith and me with Richard Childress. He was a really nice down to earth man as well.

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Tammy, Richard and me

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After the pit stops during a race the team members that work on filling the car with fuel each time then use a trolley to take 2 of the empty gas tanks down to a main filling area operated by Sunoco who supply the fuel for Nascar where they have to leave the empty tanks on the trolley and whilst they walk to the other end of the walkway, the Sunoco employees then fill the tanks before handing them back to the race team members who take them back to their own particular pit box

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As the race started in 100+ degree heat we were up in victory lane watching what was happening. Victory lane might be where the winning car goes at the end of the race, but at the start its where all the unused race tyres are stored

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Watching the 31 team during pit stops

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It gets a bit crowded in pit lane during the race

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And people can get injured

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The race was won by Greg Biffle with the 16 “National Guard” car. The crewman above is one of his. Whilst i was up in victory lane during the race, the guy from the National Guard that was in charge of sponsorship for the 16 team came up  to stand by me and tripped as he reached the last couple of steps. We got talking and he asked about our trip. At the end of the chat he gave me his card and told me to get in touch when we got home which we did. About 5 weeks after we got home we had a package arrive from the National Guard with a t-shirt and signed diecast of the race winning car!

That was pretty much the end of the trip and at this time we realised we enjoyed being in America and it was while we were driving back to Dulles airport in Washington that we made the decison to try and make it to America to live and work and so the next stage of the story starts…

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