All posts by Jim Richards

Winter 2007-2008 Recap

The Winter of 2007-2008 was a winter of Winters Past, meaning that after some weird winters the past few years, this was a normal winter.  Snow came early around the 1st of December and our last ski was the 1st of May which was an all time first.   We had no thaws or rains to mess things up and while we didn’t have a ton of snow, it was a super season thanks to cold temps.   We always close the middle of March and after we closed the snow gods really let loose and we had almost more snow in April than we had all winter.   The last week end in April we received a 20 inch dump and it was so deep and heavy that the local staff could not get in to work.   Our chef Debbie had to come by snowmobile as we had a ladies retreat here and they all arrived on Friday early before the snow hit on Friday night and the rest of the week end was no travel in and out to Maplelag.  But the snow started to melt rather fast at the end and Jay had the last ski on May 1, a new record at Maplelag.    It was a good season and hopefully the coming one will continue in the same mode

We had two great winter staff members that were here on the J-1 visa program for students from other countries.  They are allowed to come for up to four months and be part of the US work force.  We had Pedro from Brasil and Daniel from Peru and both of these students did an outstanding job.   Working mostly in the rental shop as well as keeping the sauna going, they were a great addition to the regular Maplelag staff.   This coming 2008-2009 winter we have two students lined up to come from Brasil and there might  be a third.   Over the years now we have had close to 160 students come and work at Maplelag and it has been a fantastic experience for all concerned.

Buried in snow around the cabins at Maplelag after late April snow storm dumped nearly 2 feet of snow.
Buried in snow around the cabins at Maplelag after late April snow storm dumped nearly 2 feet of 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 [email protected] 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.