It is good to be back home again but we did have a marvelous vacation. We spent four nights in Lauderbrunen, Switzerland, and loved it. Our hotel was into the fourth generation of family ownership. Naturally we got to talk to the current generation and see some of the back of the house operations. Many of their issues are the same ones we deal with. The valley they are located in is spectacular. There are three glaciers at the end – the Jungfrau, the Monch, and the Eiger. We took trains up and walked down. All too soon it was time to move on.
The next major stop was Tuscany and our villa. I think everyone enjoyed being in a house rather than a hotel. We stopped for wine tasting and house tours at vineyards. We went to a local weekly fair. We spent time in Siena and Florence. We ate at Trattoria Za Za which was good and we bought their cookbook. We also got stuck in an elevator in the parking lot for about an hour.
Our last stop was Rome. I dragged everyone around to the major sites to see – catacombs, churches, piazzas, fountains, and museums. We attended a Papal audience. We climbed to the top of St. Peter’s. We spent 5 hours in the Vatican Museum. We walked all over and averaged probably 5 miles a day of walking.
Needless to say, we ate every kind of pizza and pasta there was available. We also ate venison in Switzerland. We picnicked in the Alps as we walked down a valley and at the top of the Gottard Pass as we drove through. We ate gelato in Rome and chocolate in Switzerland. It was all great fun made even better by sharing it with our friends.
Time was not standing still at Gunflint while we were gone. In fact winter is almost here. Our first couple days home were windy and rainy and miserable. Today it is cold (25 this morning) but the sun is out. I noticed that Jason has the plow truck plugged in each night and the snow plow is right behind the truck ready to be put on immediately.
The animals are anticipating winter too. Snow buntings are migrating through. Snowshoe rabbits are changing color. The ones in my yard have white feet and white bellies. I understand they also have a white edge around each ear but I missed that.
As things are a little slower here, the staff is taking some vacation time. I have to look are a written schedule to figure out who is here on any given day. Our weekends are busy but mid-week is slow. We are closing the dining rooms a bit so that deep cleaning can go on in the kitchen. It is hard to clean the stove exhaust hood if you are trying to cook.
Reservations are still coming in strongly, especially for the winter. Both of our fall work weekends are full. Thanksgiving is filling up with cabin guests and locals coming for dinner. I haven’t really looked at Christmas and New Year’s yet but they will be busy too.
So Bruce and I are enjoying some home-cooked meals and evening down time but we will be ready to welcome you all this winter.