Our latest leg of the Red Chair journey kicked off at the Phipps Inn Bed and Breakfast in Hudson, Wisconsin in April 2017. As we all know in the hospitality biz breakfast is key to a great stay and let me say Phipps Inn Bed and Breakfast did not disappoint! Red loved morning coffee in Bridget's Suite with new friends and the lavish breakfasts served each morning. As Red always says, a great adventure begins with an amazing breakfast...
Who doesn't love when the days get longer and the sunlight lingers later into the evening each day? The Red Chair is experiencing sunset in a whole new way in Alaska! Waiting for sunset, on its first night at the Ocean Bluff Bed and Breakfast in Kasilof, the Red Chair had plenty of time to admire the stunning views of the three active volcanoes across Cook Inlet. This is the time of year Alaska's sunset occurs at about 11pm! Visiting during the months of May through September expect to experience significantly longer days than anywhere else in the US.
West Chester Lagoon was one busy place! How can a place with so much activity seem to peaceful? Here the trail intersects Anchorage's famous Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. There were many joggers, walkers, some skate boarders, and bicyclists. Innkeepers of the Camai Bed and Breakfast and the Red Chair stopped to watch a beautiful bald eagle perched in a nearby tree. Red posed for a picture beside the Lagoon while watching a family of ducks and the Chugach Mountains in the background. This is why it was one of Red's favorite place to explore!
The Red Chair and the innkeepers of Bear Lake Lodgings Bed and Breakfast spent one whole day riding along the highway that connects Seward and Anchorage, which is named on of the top 10 Best Scenic Highways in the USA. Red agrees! It kept asking to pull over because the views were breathtaking and the animals quite unique to Alaska were out in full force. Located right off of the highways is the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center - dually purposed for offering land mammal viewing and education research programs. Here the Red Chair came face to face with a native Grizzly bear, with a fence in between them of course!
We love when the Red Chair Travels has the opportunity to try something it has never done before! When visiting the innkeeper of Clair's Bed and Breakfast in Ladner, BC the Red Chair had the chance to learn a new game, Lawn Bowling or it is also known as Bocci. You need a grassy area, a few wooden balls and a smaller ball to play. The goal, get your wooden balls as close as possible to the smaller ball. Being a chair, Red of course needed a bit of help but hey beginners luck was on its side, as well as one of the club members! The Ladner Lawn Bowling club was organized in 1916 and is the oldest club south of the Fraser. It was extremely interesting to see old pictures and hear the stories, definitely a cool spot to check out. It was a fun game and Red cannot wait to play again, it promises to be even better next time.
Kitty Islet was one of the Red Chair's favorite stops with the innkeepers of the Oak Bay Guest House in Victoria, BC, Canada. Like the Red Chair these colorful additions to Kitty Islet had a unique start to their fame. Now they are often searched out, photographed and well known by many who enjoy a front row seat to a spectacular view. Check out how the interesting story of how these two colorful chairs originated here: http://bit.ly/1SBSa8D
Langley, Whidbey Island is right on Saratoga Passage and in the Spring the Grey Whales come in to feed on ghost and brine shrimp on their journey to Alaska. Spy a whale? Ring the town bell! It alerts everyone to a whale sighting off the town's beach which such a fantastic sight to see. There is also a local whale center in town that is run by the Orca Network Red recommends you check out if ever in town. Red learned about Lolita a local "L" pod resident whale captured in 1970 in Penn Cove and about the efforts to retire her and "Bring Lolita Home" to live out her life in Native waters. Red didn't get a chance to see a whale and ring the bell this time, but that just gives it one more excuse (of many) come back to the Eagles Nest Inn. It will ring the bell some day followed by a "there she blows"!
As I sit and write this today, I realize the Red Chair has now been travelling for over five years from coast to coast across America and Canada. It’s now on its way to Alaska! Born from humble thrift store beginnings, the Red Chair has grown into an internet sensation and is the darling of the B&B industry.
Yet, the tale of the Red Chair started from a simple photo and painting, and yesterday we learned that it’s story took a strange twist. It came to my attention that our friend and artist, Julie Cromer, who so beautifully originally captured the Red Chair in her photo, was arrested in Santa Barbara for elder abuse. We are shocked to learn this news, and saddened to think that such a talented person is now in such trouble.
Julie is the photographer whose striking original photo of the Red Chair at Nobska Beach in Woods Hole first got me musing about this simple chair, ruminating about it’s poetic power, and blogging about random connections made over the internet (http://bit.ly/1TRtzRz).
From Julie’s original photo, and the power of the Red Chair in making connections, an amazing movement has grown. Joyous visits to extraordinarily beautiful places, photo opportunities with local celebrities from sea to shining sea, and the broad smiles of innkeepers who often meet face to face for the first time to advance the journey of a celebrity chair have been the legacy of the Red Chair. The Red Chair movement has grown far beyond these first photographs and taken on a life of its own. It symbolizes the best of hospitality, the adventure of travel, and the beauty of local places across North America.
We are shocked and surprised to hear this news about Julie’s unfortunate situation. The details of her legal situation are blurry and I am sure we will never know the whole story of which there are always two sides. But this cloudiness is not at the essence of what makes the Red Chair great, so at this juncture, we feel we must sever our official ties with her while also wishing her well.
As in life, and any journey, the Red Chair is moving on to greener pastures, bluer seas, and fabulous, welcoming B&Bs. Tune in for the next adventure.
A cool and unique stop the Red Chair made while visiting the innkeepers of the Cobble Hill Bed and Breakfast in Cobble Hill, British Columbia was to nearby city of Duncan, home to The Raptors, a education and conservation center. Here the Red Chair met new feathered friends and learned all about the many different, beautiful birds of prey. Red also got a chance to provide a sturdy perch for a Saker Falcon named Airington!
The innkeepers of the Pineacre on the Lake Bed and Breakfast in Peachland, BC, made sure to take the Red Chair to Gasthaus on the Lake Pub & Restaurant for a Medieval Fest. As Red approached the building it knew it was in for a treat! The decor was fantastic with its authentic feel and vintage touches. Inside Red found the massive fireplace and admired the holiday decorations. Red learned the innkeepers had coordinated a medieval fest for the arrival of the Red Chair, a reoccurring event this particular restaurant is known for in the winter months. Red had never been the guest of honor at a feast before, let alone a medieval one with costumes and decor to transport you back in time! Once the feast began it was an evening affair with pewter plates, dripping was candelabras, a stuffed boar's head, costumes and everyone speaking in the medieval tongue. Not to mention everything Red tasted was superb. The Gasthaus on the Lake Pub & Restaurant was a spectacular dining destination, and you should check it out no matter what time of year you visit!
This blog is maintained by the participating innkeepers of the Red Chair Travels project.
Sign Up to Follow the Red Chair Blog HERE: