Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Laughter is Good for the Soul

Time Flies is Fun, Silly, and a tiny bit Poignant

English Made Simple, really!

The opening "Playlet", Words, Words, Words

Words, Words, Words is worth seeing if only to watch what one of the cast members does with toes!
I think there are few people out there who do not love to laugh, but comedy is a broad category, and there are many, many kinds of comedy for us to consider.  Personally I enjoy comedy that involves word play and perfect timing, and therefore the current offering at the Salem Theatre Company is outstanding in my estimation.

It is called "All in the Timing" and is a collection of six mini-plays written by David Ives.  The NY Times said, about him, ". . .utterly delightful . . . David Ives spins hilarity out of words."

Steve Rotolo, who is the Director of this production, says "Everyone who knows David Ives is familiar with his tendency to "stress test" the English language."

Here is the line-up of what I chose to call "playlets":

Words, Words, Words
Sure Thing
Time Flies
The Philadelphia
English Made Simple
Phillip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread

The cast members were all terrific so I won't single one out over another -- you will just have to go yourself to see how well they handle this complicated material.  It's a Sure Thing that Time Flies and English is Made Simple with Words, Words, Words, not in Philadelphia.  Who knows about Bread?!

For only $15 you cannot miss this terrific show, playing Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 pm and matinees on Sundays at 5 pm.  Go to www.SalemTheatre.com to order your tickets, or call 978-790-8546.  If you go, be sure to tell them that you read about it here on my Blog!

Oh, and don't forget the early-bird specials in Nathaniel's would be a terrific way to start your evening.  If you order a full-sized entree by 5:30 pm we will add a salad and dessert to make it a meal for no extra cost.  Such a deal!  Click here to make reservations in Nathaniel's

I hope to see you here.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Butterfly Bush in the Ropes Gardens

When I was walking home from work one day last week I had my Nikon camera with me, and was able to capture not only the butterfly bush but also a butterfly on it.
None of these photos would have been possible for me before I went on the Photo Safari with the Essex National Heritage group at the House of the Seven Gables last week.

I hope you enjoy seeing a bit of our lovely Salem through my eyes.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Brass Before and After

Over the years, the brass fittings around the hotel have gotten worn and tired looking.  Since many of them are part of the original fittings of the hotel, we searched for ways to restore them, rather than to replace them, both because it was the right thing to do, as well as because getting replacements for such old items simply is not possible.

One day, entirely by accident, our Chief of Building Maintenance, Jay Gilliss, learned that our window washing company, Crystal Brite, actually offers such a service.  We found a time when we could start to remove a lot of them and send them out to be restored, and are now happily putting them all back.

Here are some before and after photos for your enjoyment.

Window Ventilator -- Before:
Window Ventilator -- After (they have held up well for nearly 100 years!)

Before (door pulls)
Door Pull After

Our Chief of Building Maintenance, Jay Gilliss, taking the door handles off to send them out for refinishing.
Brass door pulls are back to their original condition.  
I hope you enjoy yet another aspect of what we do to maintain our historic Hawthorne Hotel, here in Salem, MA.


REVISED Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 30 through August 5, 2012

This week we have several special requests for flags, as indicated by the asterisks.

Monday, July 30 China and Oklahoma

Tuesday, July 31 Colombia and Oregon

Wednesday, August 1 Comoros and Pennsylvania
Thursday, August 2 Ireland* and England*

Friday, August 3 Ireland* and England*
Saturday, August 4 Ireland* and England*
Sunday, August 5 Japan* and Puerto Rico

If you have a special request, please call us at 978-825-4444.

I hope to see you here.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Reading My Mail

If you, like me, enjoy stories told by correspondence, I think you will like this one.  Let me know if you do?


From: m b
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2012 4:03 PM
To: Juli Lederhaus
Subject: Thank you for a wonderful stay at the Hawthorne!
Dear Juli,
My husband and I had the pleasure of staying at the Hawthorne, July 22-25 this week and I wanted to tell you what a fantastic experience it was. We had stayed there several times about 15 years ago and what a difference! (we also used to live in Marblehead).
We had recently lost three pets in a row, 1 cat and our beloved senior dogs two weeks apart and we needed a much needed getaway with our remaining pooch. We felt so welcome as soon as we arrived with Sailor, our Golden Retriever, with her special toy, etc.
Your front desk staff especially Sarah and Leah were fabulous as well as every other member of your team that we encountered. I was in the hotel business for 20 years and I can see when management takes huge pride in their property!
Many thanks again for making our 18th wedding anniversary as well as "relief from our grief" a reality.
Here's some pics of Sailor, who by the way I posted on my Facebook page too!! Though you might enjoy them! We already booked for a weekend in December!
Lorraine, Jack and Sailor M.
"Sailor" loves his HH dog toy!

-----Original Message-----
From: Juli Lederhaus 
To: mb
Sent: Thu, Jul 26, 2012 4:23 pm
Subject: RE: Thank you for a wonderful stay at the Hawthorne!

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Meaney and Sailor:
Wow, what a wonderful way to make my day!  I love getting letters like this one, but in particular your email brought a small tear to my eye, and here is why.  My husband, Walt, and I have always had several dogs at a time.  About 18 years ago we lost three of the four little long-haired mini-dachshunds that we had, all right in a row, one week apart, all from different causes.  It was one of the saddest times of our lives. Having at least one dog left was important to us, and we showered her with love, but she became lethargic and unhappy without other dogs to be in her pack, so we got her two new buddies, which we recently lost over the past several years.
I fully understand what you are going through, and am so happy that you chose our hotel as a getaway place, and that you and Sailor were all treated so well.  I would never manage hotel that wasn’t pet-friendly!  I know that our canine and feline and other “friends” are so important in our lives, and I like making a safe haven for all here at the Hawthorne Hotel.
I wonder if you would be okay with my reprinting your letter and Sailor’s photos in our daily “blog” that I write for the Hawthorne Hotel?  I completely understand if you are shy about that kind of thing, but we would be very happy if you let me share this story.  May I?
Not to leave requests to just one, I also wonder if you would be as kind as to write a TripAdvisor review for us?  We know that sometimes people use forums like TripAdvisor only when they are upset about something, but not so easily when they are happy, which can tend to skew the results.  Since many people use on-line research in order to determine where to stay, getting the reviews to properly reflect the experience of all guests means we need to reach out to the satisfied guests this way.
Thank you again for making my day.  I will be sure to share your story with the rest of our Hawthorne Hotel team, and we will also make sure that Leah and Sarah receive a little bonus for making your stay such a special one.


Dear Juli,

First and foremost, please call us Jack and Lorraine as I feel like we are friends. 

Now you have brought a tear to my eye, as losing dogs so close together like that is so very hard to take you almost end up saying "what the hell happened and why didn't I see this?" But we go on and get other dogs, not to replace them, but to lift our hearts again. Now if you can only convince Jack to let me get another for Sailor... Still working on that one! LOL I volunteer for Golden Retriever Rescue and it's so hard seeing these precious souls being given up for one reason or another.

I digress.... I would be honored for you to put our letter in your blog with Sailors pictures. Very nice of you to do that. Leah also gave me the trip advisor card when we were checking out and I plan on going online today to do that (if we don't lose power! lots of storms heading here!) I will make sure it's done though as you're right, when someone has a complaint, they are in such a hurry to tell the world, well I am in a hurry to tell the world what a fantastic hotel the Hawthorne is!

As we speak, Sailor is running around the house with her Hawthorne Hotel "Woobie" squeaking away!

Best to you Juli, if you need me to write anything about our stay please let me know. I hope to meet you on Nov 30th when we come again!!


PS We had many guests come up to us (as Leah and Sarah will attest) and loved seeing Sailor, but about every other person asked if this was a dog friendly hotel and they didn't know it and left their dogs home to other caretakers. I wonder why as you room service menu etc.. But I assured them it was. 


I hope to see you here,



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Seen About Town, Lorna Luft

If you thought that was Lorna Luft that you saw touring Salem today, you were right!  Here she is with Thomas MacDonald, our Director of Sales for the Hawthorne Hotel.  She visited the Hawthorne, as well as PEM, the Salem Witch Museum, and the House of the Seven Gables.

She is visiting the North Shore with her husband, Colin Freeman, who is working on the play, "Annie!" at the North Shore Music Theatre.

We hear she enjoyed her day in Salem a lot, and is trying to figure out a way to get to the North Shore on a regular basis.  She was so nice, we really hope so!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cocktail of the Week

Jaime Harrison is our Official Cocktail of the Week Taster for July

Havana Cocktail
Cîroc Coconut vodka, Frangelico, simple syrup, grapefruit juice and fresh lime
on the rocks

Andy Rice and Jaime Harrison Rice
After the first sip, the drink was pronounced excellent by Jaime and her husband Andy.  I got to try this one too, and I can tell you from first-hand (or should that be mouth) experience, it was excellent.  I thought it tasted like an adult Mounds Bar, with a kick!

Here is what Jaime had to say about it:

Ever feel like you need to spice things up a bit?  How about a twist on an old standby?  That’s the Havana Cocktail – this week’s cocktail at the Tavern.   Take the tried and true combination of vodka and grapefruit (AKA: the Greyhound and one of my absolute favorites) and give it a little depth, a little excitement, a little mystery…  The Cîroc coconut infused vodka adds a welcoming aroma and creamy taste to this cocktail as you take your first sips.  Shortly after comes the earthy, but subtle flavor of hazelnut provided by the Frangelico, followed by the familiar and refreshing grapefruit taste.  
With each swig you experience these three distinct flavors, but they quickly melt together and contribute to the overall masterpiece that is the Havana Cocktail.   This cocktail is exotic and versatile and you might not ever go back to the old standby again!  

This will be the cocktail of the week through this weekend, so don't miss it!


PS  If you come in to try one of these excellent drinks, and mention to your server or the bartender that you read about the drink here, we will give you a $5 credit toward your appetizer or entree that you order to go along with it.  This special is just for our friends on FaceBook, Twitter and this Blog!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gina Medros Named Employee of the Month

Today we honored Gina Medros as our full-time employee of the month for June.  Gina works for our off-site division at PEM where she is the lead customer service person at the Atrium Cafe.

A number of our managers went to surprise Gina while she was working at the Atrium, and I love the expressions on her face when she realized what was going on.

Claire Kallelis tells Gina and the group why Gina was selected this month.
Gina leads the team of customer service agents at the Atrium Cafe at PEM (Peabody Essex Museum) and in that role we can really count on her.  She is very dependable, and makes sure of the quality of everything we do.  In addition, her consistency and attention to people has made her rapport with the regulars of some significance, and we are very appreciative.  Last but hardly least, Gina is always willing to step in to other roles to help the team, from being the sandwich maker, to working in banquets, she is always there for us.

Thanks so much for all you do, Gina!

Alaina Ferriero elaborates on Claire's speech.

Gina is VERY happy with the details of her award!

Left to right:  Alaina Ferriero, Dining Services Supervisor; Gina Medros; Juli Lederhaus, General Manager;
Claire Kallelis, Assistant General Manager

The Happy Team

I hope to see you here, or there! 


Monday, July 23, 2012

Melissa Kelly Named Employee of the Month

This past week we awarded Melissa Kelly of our Front Desk staff the Part-time Employee of the Month Award for June, 2012.  Here are the photos of that event.

Melissa Kelly of our Front Office Staff

We go to each staff member's work space, with all the managers who are on duty, to award this recognition.

A framed certificate to remember the occasion accompanies a check and a gift certificate.

We applauded Melissa as her award was announced.

Juli Lederhaus, Melissa Kelly and Lucie Ogeron
Lucie Ogeron, our Front Office Manager, nominated Melissa for her excellent customer service skills, her dedication, and her attention to the detail of her work, all of which are very important attributes for our front office staff members to possess, as they handle all of the detailed work that results in our being able to insure a flawless stay for our guests.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ July 23 through 29, 2012

Here are the flags that the Hawthorne Hotel will be flying on the front of the building this week.  You will notice that on Sunday we are flying the flag of Japan by special request.

Monday, July 23 Cameroon and New Hampshire
Tuesday, July 24 Canada and New Jersey
Wednesday, July 25 Cape Verde and New Mexico
Thursday, July 26 Central African Repbublic and New York
Friday, July 27 Chad and North Carolina
Saturday, July 28 Chile and North Dakota
Sunday, July 29 Japan* and Ohio

If you have a special request, just give us a call at 978-825-4444.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

More Excitement at PEM for this Winter

The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries

On view October 27, 2012 to December 31, 2012

SALEM, MA –– Monumental in scale and meticulous in construction, the Pastrana Tapestries are among the finest surviving Gothic textiles in existence.  Each measuring nearly 36-feet-long, these renowned Belgian tapestries will soon be on view at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) as part of a rare North American exhibition tour. Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Fundación Carlos de Amberes, Madrid, The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries unfurls a vibrant tableau of Portugal’s 15th-century military victories woven in glorious hues of wool and silk. The four tapestries were recently restored to their finest condition in centuries, and will be presented at PEM as an immersive, two-gallery experience before returning to Spain.

“PEM is honored to present this astonishing group of tapestries. The complex narrative program, vibrant colors, and artistic accomplishment of these works make for a dramatic and fascinating gallery experience,” said Karina Corrigan, coordinating curator and PEM’s H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art. “Viewing the Pastrana Tapestries is a singular event, and the presentation here at PEM will be the final opportunity for the U.S. public to see these exquisite works of art.”

Expertly woven in Belgium's Tournai workshops in the late 1400s, the Pastrana Tapestries are highly unusual in their depiction of a contemporary subject: the military victories of Portugal's King Afonso V (1432-1481) in North Africa. Through vibrantly colored wool and silk threads, a complex scene of military pomp and conquest emerges –– knights in full regalia raise their swords to the sky, royal trumpeters sound their advance, ship masts punctuate the horizon and scenes of battle teem with valor and might. The tapestries are the most important surviving representation of 15th century armor, weapons, and artillery in any art form.

Commissioned by King Afonso V to celebrate his overseas conquests, the Pastrana Tapestries represent the height of artistic accomplishment in the 15th century.  Textures of stone, metal, skin, and cloth are rendered with a vibrating realism that conveys weight, movement, and subtleties of light and shadow. Detailed facial expressions reveal individuality amongst the hundreds of figures depicted.


Seeking to extend Portugal’s military and commercial influence in North Africa and to expand the Catholic Church’s realm, King Afonso V led his troops to battle in 1471, conquering the Moroccan cities of Asilah and Tangier, strategically located near the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar.

The deadly and protracted battle of Asilah is detailed in three panels, tracing the military progress of landing, assault, and siege. The scenes of war are multilayered and intensely compressed.  King Afonso V is featured prominently in armor atop a fantastically decorated horse while the scenes of battle swirl densely around him. Military banners woven throughout the tapestries create a unified visual rhythm and echo the great movement and energy of the scene.

Having learned of the crushing defeat of Asilah –– over 2,000 dead and 5,000 captured –– the residents of Tangier surrendered to the Portuguese rather than suffer the same fate as their neighbors in Asilah. The stone walls of the city and the choppy waters surrounding Tangier dominate the fourth tapestry. Retreating residents are depicted stoically leaving the city with bundled belongings on their backs and children in tow.


If you plan to come to see this fabulous exhibit, be sure to check out our PEM (Peabody Essex Museum)  package, available on-line by going to Reserve Rooms and Packages at Hawthorne Hotel which includes passes to the museum, a gift certificate to use in their fabulous gift shop, and your overnight accommodations.

I hope to see you here.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

There is so much to see and do in this area of New England.  Here is something that will be very helpful to you if you are interested in exploring the region.

Link to information

Travelers along the 85-mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway will experience the best of coastal New England: historic seaports, colonial era farms, village and city centers, and a wealth of period architecture. Set against a rocky shoreline and The Great Marsh, New England's largest salt marsh, the byway traverses thirteen historic communities on Boston’s North Shore.

Located just ten miles from Boston and lying entirely within the Essex National Heritage Area, the
Coastal Byway offers visitors and residents unparalleled opportunities to Experience New England by discovering history, exploring nature, shopping and dining.

There are many pages on this website, and here is the one for Essex:  There are many more links on the Byway website.

Essex was incorporated as a town in 1819. It was previously part of Ipswich and was then called Chebacco Parish. The first European settlers arrived in 1633 to what was then land inhabited by the Agawam tribe. The settlers supported themselves through farming, fishing, clamming, and most importantly ship building. In 1852, one out of every 28 American ships was built in one of Essex's 15 shipyards. By the early 1900s, a quirky collection of local seafood restaurants provided a new destination all of its own. Recreational boating took the place of the working boats as the meandering Essex River provided a gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. Then the numerous antique shops came, making Essex "America's Antique Capital".



I hope to see you here, or somewhere along this 85-mile byway.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

We Love Our Pets

Because we love our pets so much, we totally understand it when our guests do not want to leave their pets behind when they travel.  So we have chosen to make the Hawthorne Hotel a pet-friendly hotel in every way that we can.  We allow any sized pet, we allow multiple pets, and we allow all kinds of pets.  We have a special "doggie room service menu" with veterinarian-approved specialties for your pet.  We only charge $10 per pet per day, which is much less than most other hotels we have surveyed.  We allow pets on the sixth floor, and in our five smoking rooms on the second floor.

Here are some photos of a recent visitor to the Hawthorne Hotel.  Her name is Gracie, she is four months old, and she is an English and French Bulldog mix.  She is quite charming, and we loved having her visit.

Gracie has the cutest swirl of a tail.  She was moving pretty fast, so this is not the best photo, but it is THE END.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Do You Love Comedy?

Salem Theatre Company Presents:

David Ives’

directed by Steve Rotolo

All in the Timing is the critically acclaimed, award-winning collection
of comedies which combines wit, intellect, satire and
just plain fun in a barrage of clever wordplay.


Miles Hartfelder, William McGregor, Natalie Miller, Will Neely, Libby Schap and Kate Ventimiglia

Thursday through Saturday July 26 through August 18 at 7:30 p.m.
and 5 p.m. on Sundays

The (delightfully air-conditioned) STC Theater
90 Lafayette StreetSalem

For Tickets call 978-790-8546

I hope to see you here, or there!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

59 Years and Counting

Mr. and Mrs. Norman Campbell were in for lunch on Wednesday July 11 to celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary with us. While they did not have their wedding reception here at the Hawthorne Hotel, they love our hotel, and feel that it is just the right kind of place to spend their anniversary.

 They live in Lynnfield, MA, and drive over here just because they like our place. We are honored, because we know they drive by a lot of other places where they could stop and dine.

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Campbell, and thank you for being loyal Hawthorne Hotel guests.

We look forward to number sixty!!!

Juli and the Team