Feb 142015
 

I have wasted many hours trying to get online at the Smugglers’ Notch resort, and I hope this blog will help save you some aggravation.  Smugglers’ Notch provides such great amenities and family friendly accommodations that it’s pretty natural to bring our “big-city” technology along to take photos and videos to share with family and friends on-line.  This is precisely where Smugglers’ Notch falls down.  They have been trying desperately in recent years to catch up with the demand for access to modern communications, but they continue to be hampered by their rural location and service providers.  This year felt worse than ever, and by mid-week I was disappointed enough to start a public conversation about it on Twitter.

Smugglers Notch is a ski / snowboarding resort in Vermont.

Smugglers Notch is a ski / snowboarding resort in Vermont.

In case you’re just investigating Smugglers’ Notch and have never been there, here’s a little background.  Smugglers Notch is primarily a ski and snowboarding resort in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont, though they offer vacations and activities all year.  They often receive awards for their family friendly atmosphere, not to mention great terrain.  The resort is a few miles south of the nearest accessible town, Jeffersonville, and it sits just north of rival resort town, Stowe.  Smugglers’ Notch recently became part of the Wyndham organization.  We’ve enjoyed taking winter vacations there for many years, and (full disclosure) my in-laws are fractional owners of a condo there.  The atmosphere is great, the staff is friendly, and the ski instructors are top notch (pun?).

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Feb 172011
 

As an architect on ski/snowboarding vacation in northern Vermont in February, 2011, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tour HGTV’s Dream Home, which was built in the resort town of Stowe.  Furthermore, as a part-time blogger, I could not pass up the opportunity to write about my visit.  I don’t need to go into too much detail about the products used or construction process because you can read all about it here and here.  I will, however, share my observations on the experience of visiting a Dream Home and probably throw in some philosophical thoughts along the way.

Exterior Photo of the Dream Home

The Stowe Dream Home exterior as I saw it.

I had only been to Stowe once or twice before, and this was the first time going to the actual ski resort.  For those who don’t know, historic Stowe is in the valley below the actual ski resort.  The character of the town reminds me of Princeton, NJ, only without the collegiate Gothic university buildings flanking one side of main street.  So to get to our tour, we drove through historic Stowe and up to the resort.  It might not be readily apparent on the HGTV website, but the home site really is right in the middle of a giant ski resort complex.  The actual access to the site is through one of Stowe’s Spruce Peak parking lots and up a driveway identified as “Ski Club Lane” on Google maps.  Since our tour was supposed to start in Spruce Peak Lodge, we parked in the main resort parking lot on the opposite side of the Lodge.

Dining in the Dream Home

My view of the kitchen island, dining room, and exterior beyond as seen from the mud room.

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Jul 052010
 

Ever since I started this blog, I had it in the back of my mind that I should spend some time writing down some of my memories of my trip to Japan before they get too foggy or slip away.  Since it was a year ago last week and this week (June 24th – July 8th, 2009), I thought it would be fitting to start now.  Since this is Independence Day weekend, I would like to share a little about my 4th of July experience in this first post.  It’s a little off-topic for the blog, but I’m going to let it slide since Architecture is part of our cultural experience, and 4th of July celebrations are significant cultural rituals.

View of the work site where I was located on July 4th, 2009

Most years I'm at the beach or visiting family on July 4th. In 2009 I was visiting this church in Japan.

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