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Pet Friendly Getaway

At this time of year I hope you are planning a spring or summer getaway and thinking about what to do with Fido.  A pet friendly getaway is just the ticket.

Sometimes while watching the morning news I have to distract myself  from politics with  Facebook.  We are definitely obsessed with our pets.  I can waste a good deal of time reading heart-wrenching stories and watching funny videos. Obviously others are just as distracted and obsessed or there would not be so many.  A friend from high school has two Golden Retrievers. She raised a litter of their puppies last year and I watched the whole thing.  From just after birth to adoption, they were entirely documented.  Today a memory popped up of my other dog, Daniel, 6 years gone, basking in the sun on the back stoop.  Definitely Facebook material.

Spencer and Nicodemus

These two are almost as well documented as my son.  Spencer is much more fun and an integral part of the Harrington House experience.  Nicodemus is just trying to ignore him.  More on the cat at some later time.  I have a million pictures and every Harrington House guest goes home with at least one.   He goes on hikes–with anyone.  And is always the first to greet you coming in or the last to say goodbye as you leave.Spencer the happy dog

Every holiday, our local pet store, Milford Pet Supply, has a photographer friend come and take pictures with whoever is the holiday icon.  Saturday was the Easter Bunny (owner’s husband–I think he has lots of costumes).  For $5 you got your photo and the proceeds go to a charity.  In this case, GAIT Thereputic Riding Center.  Their shop cat, Wiley, just watches all the dumb dogs come and go.  I for one would love to read his mind. Meanwhile, I hope you like Spencer and the Easter Bunny.

Getting Away

So with our dog obsession, it can be hard to get away.  Sometimes finding a pet-sitter can be difficult.  Then you have to actually leave them looking at you with sad eyes.  So you decide to take them along.  Great idea.  Finding a dog friendly Bed and Breakfast can be a challenge.  Finding one in Milford, however, is a cinch.

Pet Friendly Towns

If you come to Milford, you can hike, shop, eat and stay with your 4 legged friends.  You may even meet some of Spencer’s buddies, Alfie at the Hotel Fauchere or Tamale at the Columns Museum.  Well-behaved dogs are welcome just about everywhere.  You should familiarize yourself with pet policies , if available.  Leashes and poop bags are a must, but you will find water dishes everywhere.  Have you made your reservation yet?

#BookDirect – We are in!

I watched an ad this morning from Hilton Inns about booking direct with them and all of the advantages.  Then I received an email from PABBI about February 6th being #BookDirect day.  It was time for me to tell you about the stand I took.

Long about August of last year I started wondering why with all the reservations I was getting through Expedia, Travelocity, etc. also known as OTAs, there was no uptick in occupancy and in fact  many of my returning guests were booking through these sites.  Certainly was worth a conversation.

Come to find out, many of these returning guests thought they were booking on my website and they were being misled.  I disassociated  myself with all the OTAs, updated Trip Advisor and started trying to outwit Google.  So let’s talk about the issues here.  It is not all about me, the Innkeeper.  It is all about what is in it for you the guest.

#BookDirect lets me talk to Harrington House guests!

If you do not #BookDirect, you don’t get to talk to me until you get here.  OTAs want to keep themselves between you and me, your host.  A stay at a Bed and Breakfast is an intimate experience and we want to make sure we can give you the best possible experience when you visit my home.   We can talk about all the things to do around Milford and the best places to eat and shop.  And when you book directly with me, your email address won’t get sucked up in a vast data mining and marketing machine.

How do you want to spend your money?

OTAs make their money by charging either the traveler who books a room or the place of lodging — or both. Their strategies vary.  They also charge you the full amount of your stay when you make your reservation.

Most B&Bs will charge a deposit but the balance is still in your pocket until you arrive.  If you are planning a stay months in advance, this is money in your pocket.

Other benefits of #BookDirect with a B&B

If you go directly to my website, you will not only see more photos and get a better feel for the place, but also:

  • All available rooms for the days you want will be shown on our booking calendar.
  • All dates can be searched on the inn’s own reservation system. I have personally taken Harrington House off of the OTA sites so they may tell you I have no availability when I do. Other Inns may block OTA access to certain dates when they know they will sell out anyway.
  • You might find last-minute deals or additional services. Maybe it’s something extra added, a freebie. Maybe it’s a price cut on a room not covered by the inn’s contract with the OTA. It sure seems worth a look.
  • The opportunity to get personalized information in answer to questions or issues important to you. Have you ever tried communicating with a property owner via an OTA’s email system? The OTA watches over all exchanges to make sure the two parties are not cheating the OTA. Meanwhile, the clunky exchanges between disguised email addresses cheat guests and innkeepers out of genuine human interaction.

When it comes to making reservations for a B&B, who serves you better? The middlemen building online empires by charging you fees and/or gouging small businesses? Or the folks who will greet you by name at their door, show you to a lovely room, and serve you a great breakfast in the morning? #BookDirect.’

Baby, It’s Cold Outside(or maybe not)!

Milford had it’s first snow really early this year but its long gone and so far there is none on the immediate horizon.  The bad news is that your typical winter sports that bring people to Harrington House, like cross-country skiing and snow shoeing–very popular in our neck of the woods–are still waiting for the right conditions.  Normally the Recreation Committee in the Borough lays down an ice skating rink in Ann Street Park for the Winter Lights Festival at the end of January, but it is looking iffy.

Old Movies

The good news is that hiking conditions are alive and well.  There are plenty of other events in Milford to take advantage of.  Like old movies?  Our own John DiLeo, film historian extraordinaire, is hosting two film series this month  The first is free at the Triversity Center right across the street from Harrington House.  The second is on Thursdays with dinner($$) at the Delmonico Room at the Hotel Fauchere.  Now that is a great winter time activity.

Pike County Historical Society events

The Columns Museum is hosting a late afternoon art opening on January 26th.  Using titles of Zane Grey books as inspiration to a newly formed group of artists will exhibit.  “50 Shades of Zane Grey” will combine new art with history …”artistory”, if you will.  On February 9th they are hosting their annual Explorer’s Dinner featuring Doc Bayne.  He will be speaking about the great chain that was forged and put up across the Hudson River to stop the British invasion of the Colonies. Check out their website for more information on this dinner and lecture.  And on Sunday March 24th at 5 pm the Foundation Room will be the site of the Sunday Soiree featuring Ronny Whyte.  Always a sold out show.

So while we wait for the snow, you don’t need to wait to come to Milford!  It is sure to come.

And Then Comes Christmas

I just put up my tree and started dragging all the Christmas decorations out of the basement and attic which is happy stuff but there is a piece of me that is very sad when I see this image.  My friend took this photo a couple of years ago and I am so thankful.  Last year the cat got caught in something that he dragged through the living room on his tail.  It caused quite a ruckus and this snow globe crashed to a million pieces.  It was 30 years old, bought for me by my husband at the time.  We liked to think it was Christopher hiding behind our living room chair waiting for Santa.  Christopher is now an adult, living a distance from here and the chair is in the Rose Room.  The snow globe is memorialized in this photograph.  It won’t be in it normal place  on the marble top table in the Harrington House living room, but I will imagine it there.  The little boy, the chair and Santa will be on the kitchen mantle so the memories are still there.  Happy Holidays to one and all.

Septemberfest: Milford Pennsylvania

One great way to end the summer is with a Borough-wide music festival.  Since 2002, Milford kicks off the summer season with the 3 day Milford Music Festival in June so in 2011, we added the one-day Septemberfest, just as much fun and a great time.  Hundreds stroll, stop to listen, eat, shop and generally enjoy the beauty that is Milford in the summer.  This year some great local musicians including Bobby Kyle, Scott Weis, Chris Raabe, Eric Langberg and Walt Edwards, just to name a few, will be performing all over town on September 8th.  An event not to be missed.

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