Category Archives: Blog

Staff blog stories — make sure the author is set on these posts

Chirps from the Bird

As we continue with the finishing touches of the new lodge, we are very pleased with the function of the building. As Jim adds a new lunchbox to the collection and an antique sign goes up on the wall, memories of the old lodge return. Many repeat guests have commented on how the new lodge has the feel of the old lodge. (The location of the cookie jars the most important of course). We always strive to make everyone feel at home at Maplelag and will do everything we can to make the visit to Maplelag as memorable as possible. Probably the most surprising business avenue we have taken is the weddings that have occurred at Maplelag. The lodge has enough space to accommodate all the activities associated with a wedding. It is particularly fun when the majority of the guest stay at Maplelag. Everyone has a chance to relax and have more opportunity to visit with the bride and groom.

If you missed a visit to Maplelag this past year but kept up to speed with the newsletter, you read that Jonell and I were getting ready to add another person to the Maplelag family. Jens Niklas came right before the first winter storm of the year and he is truly a blessing. His older brothers love having him around (although I am not sure Jens feels the same all the time). I look forward to the day when they all grow up and we will have the trails groomed and the lawns mowed in record time!

The past summer has been the usual busy with the language camps and planning for the fall activities. We did quite a bit of work on the course for the Laddies Loppet weekend and feel the bike course is getting better every year. I still continue to race mountain bikes myself and had the opportunity to go to a National race in Idaho. Jake and Jon went along and enjoyed seeing the different types of mountain bikers.

With the leaves already showing hints of color, it won’t be long until fall is here and the snow will be falling.

Have a crisp fall and think snow.

May We Recommend

I have just added to our “recommended list”, a place where Mary and I stayed this past Fall(2004) while in London mainly enjoying the London Film Festival. To me London is a very exciting place and I guess I would have to call it my favorite city in the world. So much to do, great public transportation, wonderful dining experiences especially from the ethnic perspective, fantastic museums with constantly changing exhibits making such a vibrant and dynamic city that is so exhilarating to all the senses. To go in the non-tourist time of year such as the fall or spring, and to fall in the daily rhythm of life there is pulsating to say the least.

And the place where we stayed this year is what we would like to recommend. The location is fantastic, perhaps the best in London, just 2 or 3 minutes from Gloucester Road tube where you have Circle, District and Picadilly Lines from which to choose. It is called the Manor Court Apartments on Ashburn Gardens in SW7. As we had stayed in a real dump the Fall of 2003, the Manor Court was such a pleasant surprise. Family run, super clean, and a staff that is always ready to serve, and with a price structure that is more than fair in a city where hotel rates are so high. The little kitchen provided is a godsend for helping stretch the budget. The owner Peyman is always ready to help and a very smart and informed person. Contact Peyman for a stay in a fantastic city. And also feel free to contact Jim or Mary at if you have any questions. Just a couple 100 feet away is the smaller supermarket, Waitrose, and the selection and quality and variety of its foodstuffs just blew us away. The prices were dear, but for value received, it was most fair.

And I have to also applaud the Time Out Magazine. This comes out every week and keeps one abreast of all that is happening. Their restaurant guide(a large separate book) to eating establishments is, to my way of thinking, the best restaurant guide published. Be it price range, location, ethnic type, it is all here. The only other guide that I feel is honest is the restaurant guide in the Chicago magazine.

I have one last place to put on our recommended list and this was from our fantastic visit to Argentina in the Spring of 2005. I have talked about Argentina in my other column, but here is a place I would like to recommend and this is where we stayed when we were in Buenos Aires. It is the Recoleta Guest House, a family run B and B located in the heart of Recoleta which is one of the best neighborhoods in Buenos Aires and close really to everything the city has to offer. The street is quiet yet there are always cabs running and close to the bus and subway system. There are also many small coffee shops, ice cream places, restaurants and there was even a great Chinese take out down the block which was excellent.

The B and B is run by the family Doctor Aldo Cossovich and his wife Isabel and their children Mercedes who is an English teacher and their son Rodolfo, a electronics engineer and they were great hosts. The value is fantastic with a great room with bathroom, a computer and internet in the home for your use and a wonderful breakfast. If you are considering a visit to Argentina, Mary and I would give this the highest recommendation.


  • Manor Court Apartments
    1-2 Ashburn Gardens
    London SW7 4DG
    Tel 0207 244 8537  Fax 0207 835 0648
    Contact Peyman

  • Recoleta Guest House
    Laprida 1821
    Buenos Aires
    Tel/Fax (54-11) 4-803-5474

Lag Happenings

Well, some how the last “article” that I wrote never made it to the website. Obviously, a lot has happened since the last time I wrote but, that does not include any more grandchildren! Both families are standing firm with four boys each. Let me just say that when I see all eight boys together I am glad that we have food delivered to the lodge by a semi! It’s still hard to believe that having had only two children we now have eight grandchildren..

Jay and Jonell and their boys seemed to have gone from working with us to having Jim and I working with them! (Well, actually I had best just speak for myself. Jim seems as busy as ever!) I can’t begin to list all the responsibilities that they have assumed but I know that it means that Jim and I are free to travel a bit more.

Last spring we were able to have an incredible experience when we visited our friend, Gustavo, and his family in Argentina. (Gustavo is the assistant dean at the Concordia Spanish Language Village which we host during the summer.) We first spent ten days in Buenos Aires at a Bed and Breakfast and then eight days in Cordoba, staying with Gustavo’s parents in their home. They own a tourist hotel so we have a lot in common. Our Spanish is minimal but having wine with most meals and Rita and I sharing an Italian heritage and talking with our hands and all of us laughing alot we managed quite well. Gustavo and his wife, Marsha, and their daughter, Paloma, joined us for most meals. I now at last have an “adopted” granddaughter! It was nice to split our time doing “touristy” things in B.A. and then spending time in a smaller town with such a warm and generous family.

Our daughter, Debbie, and her family are still living in the “Ice Box of the Nation”, International Falls, MN. Dan has his own law firm but they are considering relocating to another area in Minnesota. Debbie is a “stay home mom” who frequently can be found loading her boys into the van. Church, 4-H (of which she is the club activity coordinator), Awana, preschool, football, dance, hockey, etc., etc.! She also manages to find time to substitute teach and her latest passion is writing. She has recorded some of her essays and hopes to find a newspaper for which she could write a column. She is in the process of having a website created so watch for a link on our website.

During various weekends this fall there was a lot of creative energy with a Creative Memories scrapbooking retreat in the large conference room as well as various other groups here to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. Biking, canoeing, hiking on the trails or just walking down the driveway and coming back for a massage and a soak in the hot tub seems a delightful way to spend the weekend.

Jim and I are returning soon for the London Film Festival so I will give you a report on that when we return.

As ever,