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New England Cabins & Cottages

Today Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as a guest, Bethany Ericson author of New England Cabins & Cottages. Bethany is an expert on the New England States.


Welcome to Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com Bethany and thanks for accepting our invitation to be interviewed.

NORM: Please tell our readers something about yourself and your expertise pertaining to the New England States.

Bethany:

My pleasure, Norm. Thanks for the invitation. I grew up in New England, with family about the region, so I had travelled quite a bit of the area from early on. I lived near Thoreau's Walden Pond cabin, summered in a cabin in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, and have always been fond of exploring the rivers, ocean, mountains and woods in every season. However, while writing New England Cabins & Cottages I was constantly surprised and amazed by the beauty of the area I thought I knew so well, and I fell in love with it all over again.

NORM:

Where are the New England states?

Bethany:

New England is made up of the six most northeastern states in the United States: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. It is bordered by Canada, New York, and the Atlantic Ocean.

NORM: Why would you consider a stay in a cabin or cottage in the New England states a good choice for a romantic getaway or honeymoon destination?

Bethany:

Well, the added privacy is obvious, but it's also easier to feel part of the natural area you are in when you are in a cabin or cottage than when you're in some anonymous hotel room. When your natural area could include crashing waves, blinking lighthouses, mountain top vistas, or the astounding fall foliage, this connection to your surroundings really adds to the exuberance of your visit. Imagine you are in a characterless hotel somewhere and the forecast is for pouring rain you may feel trapped or depressed. Imagine you are in a cabin, and you feel like you have a great excuse to stay under the blankets with your significant other!

When I married this summer, I rented an old summer camp. My guests played in the lake, ate, danced in the main lodge, and stayed over in the cabins. Everyone had a deliriously childlike and cozy experience. Cabins and cottages allow for that nice combination of carefree enthusiasm, us-against-the-elements adventuring spirit, and romance somehow. (And it doesn't hurt that many of them have fireplaces, wood stoves, or hot tubs.)

NORM:

When is the best time to visit the New England states from the point of view of weather, costs, crowds, and the availability of flights from the USA, Canada and Europe and Australia, etc?

Bethany:

New England is extremely accessible its biggest airport is in Boston, Massachusetts, but there are also major airports in most of the states. Since the dollar is not at its best, it has made the US a less expensive trip for many visitors.

My favorite season here is fall and not just for the bright colors of the trees. There is that magical snap in the crisp air that adds excitement to bundling up and lessens your inhibitions about feasting in a season of roasts and apple pies. While the masses flock to Vermont, the Massachusetts Berkshire Hills, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire to "leaf peep" as we say, try heading to Maine. Fall is one of the least crowded and most beautiful times to visit Acadia National Park, for instance. (And let's face it; you never were planning on swimming while on the Maine coast if you went during the summer anyway, brrr.) By the way, the seafood is great here year round, and some lobstermen in Maine do not even put their boats in the water until its cold out.

NORM: If you had to choose 5 unequalled venues in the New England states for a romantic getaway, honeymoon or wedding destination, what would they be and why?

Bethany:

Tough question, Norm! There are so many. I'll name some off the top of my head.

The first one that comes to mind is the cottage at Three Mountain Inn in Vermont. They built that one with romance in mind. I think it is the only place I visited where I found myself blushing as the owner showed me its features: the ambient heating of the floor, the shower for two, the hot tub next to the bed, the stereo speakers built into the exposed beams, the stained glass window you can only see from a prone position and the whole thing, the music, the lighting, and the gas fireplace is operatable from bed with a remote control.

Sebasco Harbor Resort in Maine is a wonderful spot for a wedding, with all of its activities and the giant field stone fireplaces and sea views in big natural wood cottages that could hold extended family.

Sterling Ridge Inn and Cabins in Vermont would also be a fun wedding spot; the log cabins are beautiful, and in such a wonderful pastoral setting on the edge of the woods and a view of the Green Mountains.

The Summer House Inns & Cottages off of Massachusetts would be a fancy, but ever-memorable island event or escape (think rose-covered seaside cottages), the Turning Point Inn in the Berkshires adds delicious food to the mix, and oh -

The Inn at Sunrise Point on the coast of Maine has a cottage that literally sits right over the sea and is filled with the sounds of the waves. And there are so many more!

NORM:

What should people know about celebrating a wedding in the New England states from the point of view of requirements, etc?

Bethany:

Each state has its own requirements, and it's best to get in touch with a city/town clerk in the state you're considering getting married in. Typically you need to be 18 or have a court order. And usually you need to apply for your license at least a month ahead of your big day (and you'll need to have decided on your married name at that time). Some states require blood tests; some have waiting periods, and more. In some states anyone can apply for a license allowing them to officiate a marriage on a particular date. I had my brother officiate my wedding in Massachusetts, for instance. Massachusetts is currently the only state that legally allows same sex marriage.

NORM:

How far in advance should a couple prepare themselves for their honeymoon, romantic getaway or wedding in the New England states?

Bethany:

New England is such a beautiful region, and places tend to fill up early, especially those on the coast in the summer and those in the mountains in the winter. If you want to be beachside (lake or ocean), in the short summer season, reserve your accommodations as close to the beginning of the calendar year as you can. Some families reserve the same cabin for the same week every year, and make their next year's reservation as they are checking out, so you have some serious competition. If you are looking for a romantic getaway during the rest of the year, or more inland, give it a few months if you can. If you are looking to book a wedding site, you may need one to two years of notice- especially if you're reserving a weekend somewhere for a large party.

NORM:

What resources are available on the Internet pertaining to romantic getaways, weddings and honeymoon vacations in the New England states?

Bethany:

As the oldest colonized part of the country, New England is well developed, and that includes tourism facilities and their websites. There are endless websites about New England getaways. If you were planning a wedding, I'd recommend visiting some of the sites with regional message boards to get local resources for whatever you need for your event (like the Boston area online community on www.theknot.com.) Just remember, while doing web searches for cottages in New England that once upon a time the upper class of the Gilded Age built "cottages" in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that we would typically refer to as mansions today. Also, cabins referred to as "camps" in New England tend to be built more with fishing and hunting in mind than romance.

NORM:

Is there anything else you wish to tell our readers that we have not covered?

Bethany:

I would absolutely love to hear what you think of my book, and where else you feel I should have included. My email address is in the About the Author section. Now stop procrastinating; go make those Valentines Day reservations!

Thanks Bethany

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