Monday, April 14, 2014

Could it be...Spring?

Presque Isle Sate Park Friday, April 11
I have heard the same message from many of the wonderful guests that have passed through here in the past several months--they are tired, exhausted...fatigued from work, from the long cold winter, from demands of their families.   What keeps ME going is seeing that, when they are ready to leave, these same guests look more rested, happier and ready to go back and face the world.

It HAS been a long cold winter...but, despite the fact that Lake Erie is not quite de-frosted yet, and we are supposed to get a bit of snow tonight...the crocus are blooming, and I saw my first blooming daffodil on a walk today.  So take heart!  Things are getting green!

Coming up in the next couple of weeks is First Friday (May 2nd) from 5pm to 8pm here in town with games, art and fun (North East Chamber), and a Garden Walk on June 21st..where you get a chance to peek in all the wonderful hidden gardens around town.

The Erie Otters and in the finals for their division, and the games have been exciting! are playing the final games against Guelph after shutting out Saginaw Spirit.   The SeaWolves have started playing, it's so fun and easy to catch at game...check out the schedule..Erie Sea Wolves.

So flowers and MUST be spring!

Innkeeper Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

For the Love of Maple Syrup

Do you love maple syrup as much as I do? I’m talking about REAL maple syrup. Not the high-fructose impostor. In my opinion that liquid that passes for syrup should be outlawed.
Real syrup from real maple trees. Syrup that is painstakingly collected and simmered down into the most sublime condiment I can imagine. 

Here at Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast we only use REAL maple syrup on our pancakes, waffles and french toast, and some bread and cookie recipes. You could say we take our syrup seriously. We also buy our syrup from local producers. 

Maple syrup was used and collected by the indigenous people of North America. There is a legend of venison being cooked in maple sap instead of water, and then served to a Chief.  When the Europeans settled in North America, the locals taught them how to tap, harvest and cook the sap. 

Did you know that before the American Civil War abolitionists used maple syrup instead of southern grown cane sugar and molasses (much of it was grown by southern slaves), to boycott the plantation owners. 

When in our area, there are many places to buy REAL maple syrup. It can be found at the Grape Country Marketplace and Orton's Fruit StandFor a special treat, take a scenic drive and go to the Sugar Shack on Route 5 in Westfield, NY (15 minutes from the Inn). While there, you can taste test a plethora of flavored maple syrups, all with vanilla ice cream.

Maple syrup is so much more than a breakfast treat.  Add a tablespoon or two to baked beans and taste the added depth of flavor. For an awesome slightly sweet and sour salad dressing, try whisking a teaspoon of maple syrup (or more to taste) into three (3) tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, a few dashes of lime juice (to taste), salt and fresh grated pepper. No preservatives and no corn syrup!

If you want to learn more about maple syrup, Wikipedia has a great page with tons of facts about my favorite condiment.

Until next time, stay sweet.

Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast

Monday, March 10, 2014

Springing Forward in North East, Pennsylvania

Breakfast started an hour early today, at least it did for the guests at Grape Arbor B&B.

It's daylight savings time again… Time to reset the clocks… Spring is on it's way.

Maple syrup producers are waiting for the weather to warm. The vintners are watching their soon to be exploding grape buds carefully. It was snowing a little this morning, but that will soon be a thing of the past…or at least until winter returns.

Lake Erie became a frozen tundra this winter, which brings its own effects for the beaches this spring.

As the ice on the Lake begins to melt, it creates a chilly fog that floats and drifts above the lake and sometimes above the surrounding landscape. It's pretty cool to see.

The huge chunks of ice that get pushed onto the beaches will melt. All of the pebbles and rocks that are in them, will concentrate into little piles on the beach. They look like miniature glacial till. They won't last too long as a good Lake Erie storm will wash them away.

And then there is the beach glass! Early Spring is the best time to go beach combing for glass and a winter like this one should push lots glass onshore.

Visit our website to pick a special for your beach combing adventure, or visit our March newsletter for more options.

Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Did You See? Record Snowfall in Erie.


Erie, PA is currently NUMBER ONE on the list of Top 10 Snowiest Cities for 2013/2014 on

Erie's average snowfall is 78 inches. Currently, Erie has had 115.1 inches.  We are only 3.6 inches below the 10th snowiest year on record…It's likely we will pass that benchmark. 
It may be raining today (first rain I've seen in months) but there is plenty old man winter still hanging around. These measurements are taken at Erie's International Airport. 

North East, PA (home of Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast) usually gets a lot more snow than Erie. The average snowfall is 99.4 inches. I found that number on
There's a great database here that you can search by zip code. How much average snowfall does your town get?

10 Snowiest Seasons
1. 149.1 – 2000-01
2. 145.8 – 2008-09
3. 143.0 – 2002-03
4. 142.8 – 1977-78
5. 131.3 – 1993-94
6. 129.2 – 1995-96
7. 124.9 – 1985-86
8. 122.6 – 2004-05
9. 120.0 – 1970-71
10. 118.7 – 2007-08

One More thing to add, Erie is the 19th MOST ROMANTIC city in the USA. 

20 Most Romantic Cities Article

Hmmm…Romance and lots of snow…. what a combo! 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wee Kitten Kisses from Pirelli

Psst... Don't tell Peggy that I found her password....

When you see Peggy, tell her what a good kitty I've been. I know I'm spoiled, but what kitty doesn't want a little more praise and kibble in his bowl. 

It's been a cold winter, keeping me and Sweeney (the black and white kitty that's almost as cute as me) cooped up inside... so understandably we need more attention to make it through the season.

Here is a little purrrfect poem I found for you.

I'm Only a Cat

I'm only a cat,
and I stay in my place...
Up there on your chair,
on your bed or your face!

I'm only a cat,
and I don't finick much...
I'm happy with cream
and anchovies and such!

I'm only a cat,
and we'll get along fine...
As long as you know
I'm not yours... you're all mine!

Author Unknown

Happy Valentine's Day from your kitty friend, Pirelli....purrs and kisses.

Grape Arbor Bed & Breakfast, North East, PA