Each year hundreds of B&Bs open their doors for holiday tours. It’s a tradition that dates back centuries. More recently, guidebook author and B&B industry friend, Bernice Chesler, organized a National Open House for B&Bs and encouraged innkeepers to hold holiday open houses. For many years in the 80s and 90s inns working with Bernice would hold holiday open houses to introduce the community to their lovely homes.
The Country Inns in the White Mountains, a group of inns in Mt Washington Valley, NH, have held their Inn to Inn Cookie and Candy Tour for 13 years. Like most others, it took place last weekend. It featured inn tours, cookie and candy sampling, recipes and an ornament giveaway (earned only by those who visited each inn). One of the highlights of the tour are the gingerbread creations available for viewing at each inn. Those sponsoring the gingerbread creations choose a favorite charity and dedicate their creation to that local non-profit organization. Tour goers vote on their favorite gingerbread creation and the top three choices win prize donations for their non-profit choices.
Derrek Schlottmann and Hilary Jones of the Admiral Peary House in Fryeburg, ME not only participate in the tour as a member of the Country Inns in the White Mountains, they also chose to create a gingerbread scene this year too. Together Derrek and Hilary created a Maine fishing village scene out of gingerbread and edible trimmings. The effort took 17 hours, and their efforts did not go unnoticed. Their gingerbread creation took home the first place prize, which meant a $500 donation for the Conway Humane Society. When asked about it, Hilary said, “It’s nice to win something occasionally and it just so happens to be our favorite charity too, so we're probably more pleased about that than anything. My 8 year old nephew thought it was fabulous - and he's not easily impressed!”
Techies that they are, Derrek and Hilary created a video of their gingerbread scene creation. With some high speed dubbing they managed to fit 17 hours into a 10 minute video. Watch how this Maine fishing village came together as Derrek and Hilary take your through the steps, sometimes appearing to have six hands at work at once!