Ultimate Life Swap


Since my last post in May??

We’ve been busy! Business has been excelent and even better than last year! The Rose and Truman rooms have changed totaly to what you see below all courtesy of our guest friend Laura from CT who redesigned the Blueberry room last year

Rose room

Truman room

 

For those of you that stayed prior to the change in the Blueberry room last year, here it is. It looks so much different!

The living room has changed too and looks quite colourful now

As has the Sun Porch too…

The Brewster clothing range is out and selling very well!

We’ve sold 60 fleece jackets this year and now have just brought out our polo shirt design

The detail of the 2 logos is brilliant!

The fleeces are $35.99 for a quarter zip or $39.99 for a full length zip in 4 colours shown here

The Brewster polo’s are $29.99 available in different sizes and colours which will appear here soon

 The gardens are being worked on now and as well as new planting all along the front lawn (no pics of that yet) we’ve pulled up all the old barberry bushes that ran from the one drive entrance to the other. Its something we had planned to for some time as unlike when the Brewsters were here and it was one perfectly manicured hedge all the way along, by the time we got here, there were just little little islands of bushes with big gaps in between and maples growing up through them. All the dead wood was in the inside and all the greenery was on the outside and when you trimmed them you were just left with the dead stuff.

Well they are no more as these pics will show and the difference just by pulling them out is impressive. It opens the front up so much more and makes the house stand out better. We love it!!

Before

 During

 After

 

This summer we commissioned a Maine company to paint the Inn and we’ve now brought out our very own “Brewster” card for all occasssions and its selling pretty well at $2 each or 5 for $8 inc envelopes with decent sticky on the flaps!

The picture is how i envisage the gardens looking at the front of the house in 2 years time and on the back you have an image of our sign and the history of the house 

  

And below we have our new brochure! Well not exactly “new” as such as its been out 6 months but we love it and it works so well for our business

 

Ok, so its time to crack on and tell you more about whats going on here at the Brewster. I think i need to fast forward and take a couple of posts to bring you up to date so that i can tell you about everything thats happening as and when it happens like i’d always wanted to do. What i’ll do from now is probably jump back in time with a post every now and again

 

Time for some pics to start with (in no particular order) from February and March 2007 when we first arrived

Us on our “thrones” as people said when we appeared in one of the 2 State daily newspapers
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Our first snowfall 2 days after we arrived. You don’t get snow in England so to find 12″ of it outside was interesting Photobucket

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Our snow plow guy Perry, Theresa and his truck. He is a BIG help when we get major snow
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The snow has enabled us to have a little bit of fun Photobucket
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Some people go ice fishing where they get out onto the lake, drill a hole in it and then put a line down into the water. Then they sit in a hut and wait for the little red flag to pop up
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Heres our “cable guy”
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Heres our car. Like the plates? Photobucket
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Here are our logos done by a good friend of ours called Kim who also just happens to be a wonderful and very talented designer Photobucket

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In May just 12 weeks after we got here, we won an award from the State of Maine and Maine Tourism Assoc for all the work we’d done since we got to Maine. It was a very nice surprise Photobucket

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On the way back from Bethel and the awards function we found the border with Mexico!
And if you have stayed here in the past, you’ll know why i’m Photobucket
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In June once all the snow had gone it was time to get on with repairing the house. The 2 people that we gave that task to were Elijah and Ethan. They are great workmen both with their skills and their work ethic. In September Elijah left the area to take his wife and children to Missouri as they were going to be training to become missionairies over the next 2 years and so we then had their father Eric carry on the good work here with Ethan

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These pictures are how the house looked in June once the paintwork had all been scraped and powerwashed prior to priming and brush painting

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Here i am!! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sorry for the delay in the updates but we kind of reached a “turning point” in the story. After chatting to friends over here “in the know” i need to leave a chunk of “our story” out. Shame really as i’d always planned  to tell the whole thing, leave no stone unturned etc etc but its for the best right now. A lot of guests and friends have said we could write a book about “our story”. Yeah we probably could but i don’t have time to read books now let alone write one hence the blog. Pretty much all our guests have asked us how we got here and so we tell them and then they begin to know and understand the whole story. The story has a long way to go too…..

Watch this space real soon Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Back in 2004, Judith and I had discussed in depth about trying to move to America, buying an Inn and becoming Innkeepers. We’d stayed in Inns before and thought “we can do that”. We’d looked at what was required to attempt to get visas, but on reading the list of “rules and regulations” it seemed an impossible task so we gave up on the idea. Afterall we’re not famous rock stars, soccer players, brain surgeons or anything in particular really, we’re just Mark and Judith, 2 very normal people doing normal jobs, living in a normal 4 bed house earning normal money. (Equal to around $35k each per year). What we did do was start the planning of a major holiday to the US that would last for 4 weeks. In that time we were going to travel through something like 15 States and part of Canada meeting up with friends that we’d met via Nascar forums, taking in a couple of races at Richmond and Dover and having a pretty good time.

What we never told anyone was we were also trying to get a feel for what living in the US would be like hence we were there for a month, and by traveling through so many States we were hoping to find the one State that we wanted to try and settle in if we were going to make a real attempt to get visas this year and so on May 9th 2005 we flew out of Manchester England and into Washington Dulles.

We arrived in Washington and headed straight for the Alamo car hire. Its time to start driving on the other side of the road again. For those of you that read this and have never driven on the “other” side, you should really give it a go sometime and for that woman in the Blue Ford Explorer that came right up behind me blasting her horn on this quiet little road near a mall where we were heading for dinner in Gaithersburg MD as i was sat there trying to figure out the correct way to take on my 1st ever roundabout  sorry i mean “rotary”… Yeah thanks a bunch love, you should really try flying to another country, getting in a car on unfamiliar roads, driving on the opposite side of the road where everythings back to front and the opposite way round, finding your first roundabout within about 30minutes of getting in the  car and whilst you know that you need to go round the roundabout the “other” way while all this is going on your brains telling you “this really isn’t a good idea you know”. Then you might see and appreciate what its like for us after driving in the UK for the last 22 years.

 Talking of rotarys heres one near where we lived in a town called Swindon. Its official name is “The Magic Roundabout”. Its rather good! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

You see, its really quite simple. You just arrive at the roundabout, point in the direction you want to go, put your foot down and keep going till you reach the required exit. Don’t worry about everyone else, they’ll be doing the same as you. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So anyway, we’re heading out of Dulles onto the Interstate heading in the general direction of Gaithersburg in “rush hour”when we come across our first road accident and the traffics backing up for a couple of miles. I’m starting to slow our red rather fancy Monte Carlo down and some bloke in the lane to my right decides he’s not going to wait in the queue like everyone else. Nope, he blasts his horn, swerves across in front of us straight down onto the median (that had quite a big dip in the middle) keeping the speed up bounced his car over the median before swerving back into the lanes heading in the other direction and carrying on as if nothing had happened Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Yes we did make it to our destination, had a lovely meal at our first “meet and greet” with our friend John before heading south into the night to our overnight stop in Fredericksburg VA.

Just as a side note, John asked us if we’d heard about all the problems in Washington that day. It turns out that thousands of people were evacuated out of the city centre around lunchtime as a couple of “clowns” in a very small 2 seater aircraft were flying straight for the capital and not letting on who they were each time traffic control enquired culminating in a couple of fighters being sent up to escort them down. The rumour amongst our friends was that the 2 people in the plane were none other than me and Judith “heading to America” Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We’ve been asked this a few times. It all started in 2000 when i was flicking through the TV channels to see if there was anything interesting on the box. On one of the obscure European satellitesports channels i found a load of cars going round and round in circles. Turns out it was NASCAR and i was watching 1 hour delayed highlights of the Daytona 500 from Feb 2000. This racing got my interest as in Europe we see cars on road courses not ovals and so i started to look round on the internet for more info.

One of the first websites i found was a motor racing forum that included a NASCAR section where i proceeded to post and learn more about it and make some good friends that i would meet up with in years to come. In 2003, Judith and I decided to make our first trip to America where we took a week long motorsports tour from the UK to Orlando Florida to go see the Daytona 500.

 We had a great time visiting Tampa with its aquarium, St Petersburg and Cape Kennedy Space Centre which by the way if you’ve never been, you really should go to as its a great visitor attraction. There are these mobile launcher platforms that move the shuttle from the shuttle assembly building to the launch site. On their own they weigh over 8million pounds! You do not realise the size of them until your stood looking up at one.

mobile launcher platform

 To be honest, Daytona is as impressive when you go there for the first time and especially when its your first NASCAR race. Watching the cars getting up to speed for the 1st couple of laps running side by side round the high banked 2.5 mile oval is  a sight to be seen. With your nose up against the trackside fence, the sound, smell and colour of the cars as they race through turn 4 and head down the front straight is something that will  live with me forever. This particular race was called off just after halfway because of rain and marked a win for Michael Waltrip. Can he remember what its like to win actually get a qualifying time good enough to be in a race?

Ryan Newman wrecked his car right in front of us during the race and was luckily able to just walk away from the crash[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l32L_B-4G98]

 Here’s a longer (4 minutes) showing more of what happened [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX79ruM8QMY]

 And that was it, we realised we  loved America from that moment on and during 2004 began planning our second trip that this time would last 4 weeks…

 Till next time

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