Nassau Inn’s Year of New Traditions & New beginnings!

2016 was our year of new traditions and new beginnings! Here’s a glance at our year in review. We hope to be part of your 2017 traditions!

Royalty takes over our Ballroom! – March

Two hundred and twenty five princesses and queens dressed to the nines took over our ballroom as part of the WPST Princess Brunch. A fabulous time was had by all, complete with two famous princess meet & greets, games and entertainment, dessert tasting and princess hair styling. Save the date for the next princess brunch on March 5th – Tune into WPST for more details.

Guests Experience a Princeton Wedding at a Showcase unlike any other! – March

Nassau Inn and Hamilton Jewelers presented a truly interactive showcase unlike any other at the inaugural Princeton Wedding Showcase. The live model fashion show allowed brides to interact with the models and ask questions, dance lessons, food tastings, hair and makeup trials, floral displays and engagement photo shoots were just some of activities guests were encouraged to take part in. With over 30 vendors and 200+ guests, it was a great first annual showcase!
Save the Date for 2017! Sunday, March 19!

The Yankee Doodle Tap Room Gets a Face-Lift – April

The Yankee Doodle Tap Room received a face-lift. Enjoy all the historical features in our brightened atmosphere. Now taking reservations online!

Lori Rabon Named Vice President of Palmer Square Management – May

Nassau Inn’s General Manager of over 20 years Lori Rabon was named Vice President of Palmer Square Properties! Rabon still holds her position as General Manager of the Nassau Inn. She was honored at the Toast to Tourism awards ceremony this September when she received the Salute to Service Award from the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, for all she has contributed to tourism in this region!

NFL football players make an appearance at JaZams Summer Block Party – June

Jason Garret, a Princeton University Alumni, accompanied by several Dallas Cowboy players and coaches, took the opportunity to meet local fans at the JaZams summer Block party. They were in town for his annual Starfish Charities PLAY IT SMART Football Camp and Leadership Forum held at Princeton University, Nassau Inn is a sponsor of the camp.

Nassau Inn’s #BestDayEver Wedding Packaged Introduced – July

Nassau Inn Weddings

Kyo Morishima Photography

This all-inclusive package makes planning your dream wedding effortless, with customized floral centerpieces (from Kristin Rockhill), valet parking, upgraded rental linens and chairs, and many more offerings including preferred pricing with our favorite vendors (such as Kyo Morishima!), this package IS your dream wedding handed to you and all for under $200 per person.

Breakfast with Santa – December

You could hear the bells ringing as Santa made his way down the halls. He serenaded the crowd filled with children of all ages as he played the ukulele. From his grand entrance right up until his exit the children were mesmerized by our special guest. The day was magical for all who attended and guest not only got to meet with Santa but also received a special gift (donated by Hamilton Jewelers). Author Simone Mets, was on hand signing her book A Very Christmas that was given to each child. Both seatings were sold out so book early next year because Santa will be back!

It has been a great year at the Nassau Inn! We loved making new friends and sharing traditions with you! Happy New Year from our family to yours, we look forward to seeing you in 2017!  


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

“Twas the Night
Before Christmas”

Lori Rabon is the Vice President of Palmer Square. She has been at the Inn for over thirty years and has been Nassau Inn’s General Manager for the last twenty years. She is married, the mother of 5 children and will celebrate Christmas this year with her new grandson! Here’s a glimpse at Lori Rabon’s holiday traditions, as told by her daughter, Loren Shelton.

Lori

Lori reading “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to her family

“Growing up, Christmas with the family was always our favorite day! As the oldest child of 5 and one of 10 cousins, Christmas was as chaotic as it was a blast!” said Loren. “On Christmas Eve, we always put on our Sunday’s best and went to church for the 5 o’ clock mass. This was the mass that included the children’s Christmas Play. Being in our family, which had so many children, there was always a family member acting! And you bet, our family was always the most obnoxious singers when it came to ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain!’

Lori Rabon

After church, the entire family would head back to Nanny and Poppy’s house for dinner. Nanny always made her famous beef bourguignon. When we were done eating, each child got to open ONE present under the tree. We would all try to figure out which was the one gift we wanted the most and asked for. When finished opening gifts, we’d all race to the car because we had to get home and get to bed before Santa Claus came!

Loren’s grandfather during present time!

Once we got home, there was no going to bed just yet. Mom had other plans for us. We would all get into our Christmas pajamas and find our spot on the couch next to mom. She read us “Twas the night before Christmas.” When we were younger, this wasn’t always our favorite, in fact, we thought it was kind of silly. Who reads to their 15 year old kid?! However, after all this time, this is still a tradition, and a favorite at that! My sister and I have moved away and live with our significant others, my brothers are now in their twenties, but every year, no matter what our plans are, we go to moms for the reading of ‘Twas the night before Christmas.’

Christmas morning, we wake up at or now drive to moms (in our matching pajamas still, of course!) where we open our stockings, and then one present at a time in order of youngest to oldest, followed by breakfast with Nanny and Poppy. After breakfast we all go to Nanny and Poppy’s house and open our other stockings there and then our gifts. Before Christmas day dinner, the family gathers around and sings Christmas carols. Nanny spends hours in the kitchen making a delicious dinner for the entire family and we spend hours at the dinner table thanking God for our loved ones and spending quality time together.

Loren and family

While some of our traditions may seem a little childish to some, I can’t put into words how thankful I am for these special memories.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight…


 About the Author: Loren Shelton is a server at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room, and Lori Rabon’s daughter. Every year, Loren relives her favorite childhood memory with her mother’s reading of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’.

Mariela Blanco’s
Family Holiday

For over 23 years, Mariela Blanco has been an intricate part of the Nassau Inn family. As the Director of Sales, she a supporter of working in a close-knit team environment and building upon the longevity of the staff. To Mariela, family and tradition go hand in hand – whether that be her work family or immediate family.

Mariela Blanco Nassau Inn Holiday

Mariela, her son & daughter

Her “family first” mentality runs in her Uruguayan blood where she is originally from, and while most of her family is from South America, she moved to the United States with her parents and sister many years back. She dedicates the holidays to celebrating with her family every year and instilling those same family values in her children.

After attending church as a family, they celebrate the holidays at Mariela’s house for her specialty cocktail reception full of festive foods, champagne and wine!

It is tradition for her family members to go around the table with celebratory recognition towards each other’s’ accomplishments. “We’re big on giving cheers to everyone’s successes. I’m very proud of my daughter and son!” she said. Her son is a sophomore at Montclair State University and her daughter will be attending college next year. She recently performed in her last Nutcracker which she has been dancing in for years. They end the night with a gift exchange.

Mariela and Family

Nassau Inn EOC Family - Nick Ballas, Frank O'Reilly, Lori Rabon, Mariela Blanco

Nassau Inn EOC Family: Nick Ballas (Director of Rooms), Frank O’Reilly (Director of Operations), Lori Rabon (General Manager & Palmer Square Vice President), Mariela Blanco (Director of Sales)

Mariela Blanco

Mariela moved to the shore recently, and her decorations are a fun holiday beach theme!

Mariela Blanco

Mariela and her daughter, Daniela, with their two beloved dogs, Sophia & Buddy!

Cheers to the holidays. Wishing you lots of joy and peace!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Nassau Inn’s Traditional
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Courtesy of our Chefs – Here’s the insider recipe for the Nassau Inn’s Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Nassau Inn Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter (room temperature)
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
3 2/5 all-purpose flour
1/3 cup oatmeal
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup walnut pieces

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on low speed. Add salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and whole eggs. Mix until smooth. Add ½ of the flour to mixture, with all the baking powder, mix until smooth, then add remaining flour to batter, repeat. Finally, add remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Remove from mixing bowl, and scoop onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake in 375ºF oven for 14-18 minutes, or until they’re ready.

Tip: chill the cookie dough (for as little as 30 minutes, and up to several days) for more flavor and texture.

Gift idea: bake for friends & family. Make cookies into fun shapes using cookie cutters. Wrap cookies in treat bags to share the love.

Happy Holidays! Nassau Inn Traditional Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Hope you enjoyed our Nassau Inn cookie recipe. Now, get baking!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Nicole & Christine’s Wedding
August 22nd, 2015

Nicole and Christine are sweethearts who go a long way back. “We definitely don’t have a typical love story,” Nicole said. “We attended the same small grade school and high school, and had a lot of mutual friends and activities during that time, so we were in each other’s lives for almost 20 years before we became a couple.

We were both cast in an alumni summer theater production at our old high school. We were friendly with each other, but not quite friends until we volunteered to work on the costume committee together. Several costuming weekends (and a few drinks) later, we were inseparable. We quickly realized we both wanted our relationship to turn into something more. Christine proposed during a trip to Disney World, and shortly after, we decided to hold our wedding at the beautiful Nassau Inn.

Aside from being an overall wonderful town, Princeton has always been a special place for us. We both grew up taking day trips to the shops and restaurants in Palmer Square with our respective families, and since we got together, we’ve loved coming down here for date nights. Nassau Inn was the first wedding venue we toured, and as soon as we stepped inside and met with Melissa, we knew we didn’t have to look any further.

Our friends and family still tell us what a great time they had at our wedding. Thank you for helping us make our big day so special!”

Not only are Nicole and Christine an extremely sweet and vibrant couple, but they are also an inspiration to Melissa Dill, our Sales & Catering Manager. “Nicole and Christine are great people, and made working here so wonderful! They’re the reason why I’m here,” said Melissa.

Nassau Inn Wedding - Nicole and Christine 2Brides2Be

Catch a glimpse at Nicole and Christine’s wedding day!


Nassau Inn WeddingNassau Inn WeddingNassau Inn Wedding Ceremony #LoveWins #LGBT #Wedding
Nassau Inn Wedding
Nassau Inn Wedding - Ballroom Dance Floor - After Party

Nassau Inn Wedding - Father Daughter Dance - BallroomNassau Inn Wedding - Cake - Ballroom - Cutting the Cake - Kiss - LGBT - Love Wins
Nassau Inn Wedding - Nicole and Christine - taylorbrides #taylorbrides #lovewins #lgbtwedding

Photographs by: Hurricane Productions


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.

Holiday Decorating Traditions

The count-down is officially on and Princeton is looking quite magical. The Palmer Square tree has been lit for a week and if you’re like many of us, you are probably busy with the traditional decking of the halls! To provide you some inspiration, we took a moment to ask our staff how they like to decorate and celebrate this festive season!

Holidays at Nassau Inn 2016

Jamie Volkert, Marketing & Business Development Manager


Jamie Volkert Nassau Inn Holiday Traditions

Jamie loves to host holiday parties all season long, entertaining around 30-40 people per party. “I do an open-house on Christmas day, a holiday cookie exchange, and the New Year’s Eve kid-friendly bash, which I really like. It’s low key, the kids enjoy it, so I enjoy it!”

Growing up, her grandfather was passionate about Christmas decorating. “We would cover the house with thousands and thousands of lights, and not the multi-colored lights, but the little white ones. My pop also had the two Christmas trees side by side with the train tracks in a figure 8 underneath, it was a tradition he kept from his childhood and raised us with.” Her aunts still carry on that tradition in the house she grew up in.

“My mother was huge on Christmas, and every year it was so amazing and magical. Unfortunately she passed away, but I try to create that same magic for my kids,” she said.

Now she and her family have a tradition of chopping down their own “perfect” tree and then exchanging meaningful ornaments. “Every ornament on our tree has a story and we always share those stories as we decorate it – in fact if you ask my daughter she could tell you every one. A lot of the ornaments came from my mother, so telling the stories keeps her with us all season long.”

Lupe Bergin, In House Designer & Manager of Yankee Doodle Tap Room

Lupe Bergin Nassau Inn Holiday Traditions

“During my childhood, we would visit the tree farm and go through aisles and aisles, until finally finding a tree that our father thought was perfect! After cutting it down, we would bring it home to decorate, and string popcorn across the tree. It was really pretty! We would also eat cookies and drink hot cocoa by the tree,” said Lupe.

“For dinner, we had this amazing Cuban tradition in my family! We’d roast a pig with an apple in its mouth, and marinate it with lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic! Our family members would take turns and rotate shifts, where we’d marinate and turn the pig for 4 hours straight. It had to be watched very carefully, and we couldn’t have it too close to the fire. It was worth every hour! It was so good!!! The roast pig would have a delicious crispy skin (my favorite part), and it was tender on the inside.” She and her family would gather at the dinner table… all fourteen to sixteen of them. “There was always wine and tequila at the table,” she said. “Then at 12 o’clock, we’d go to mass.”
“We used to always have three trees, but I moved recently, so there’s a fake one outside by the overhang. Our family still gets together… The older ones have passed on, but my brother comes over, and there are children and grandchildren. For Christmas, I make tenderloins, lobster, and crab – like surf and turf! There’s still tequila and wine at the dinner table, and we still go to mass at midnight. After mass, we come home to play Scrabble and all kinds of games with the kids, who aren’t really kids anymore, but more like young adults. And, that’s it!”

Annetta Hall, Reservations Manager

Annetta Hall Nassau Inn Holiday Traditions

“I usually go visit my mother’s house in Florida, where there’s a real tree, and I spend the holidays there. Back here, we have an artificial tree, and on the side, there’s a village filled with houses that I’ve collected for years! …Since my boys were around 10 years old! Some of the decorations are long-standing pieces from when I got them 20 years ago. My favorite piece in the village is the lit house, which turns multiple colors. There’s a snow slope with little people coming down!” said Annetta, who is featured in her winning ugly sweater from Nassau Inn’s holiday party last year!

Jaime Wolf, Catering Sales Manager

Jaime Wolf Nassau Inn Holiday Traditions

“Every year, we go to the Breakfast with Santa and take pictures, go ice skating, and cut down our tree. Then at home, we put up the lights, decorate the fence, and drink hot cocoa if it’s snowing outside!” said Jaime.

“We decorate the whole house, make a nice Beef Wellington, and put up stocking for each family member – me and my husband, our 5 year old daughter, and our two dogs. Then we go to Philly for the Feast of the Seven Fishes, which is an Italian-American celebration of Christmas Eve. We also love to see the crazy lights at Hamilton’s Winter Wonderland in Kuser Park!”

Zach Strong, Front Desk Agent

Zach Strong Nassau Inn Holiday Traditions

“My family holiday traditions consist of getting the tree from the farm every year, and cutting it down. Going through the storage unit at home, and getting decorations out of the boxes. Drinking hot cocoa, and decorating the house with my family. It’s really fun!” said Zach.

Ryan Halbasch, Associate Director of Sales

Ryan Halbasch, Nassau Inn Happy Holidays!

“We don’t have a tradition because every year’s something different!” said Ryan. “My wife usually does the decorations, and we like to use clear lights. We used to chop down a tree, but now we go with an artificial one because it’s not as messy!”

What are your holiday decorating traditions? Share in the comments below! We’re looking forward to our traditional Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Dinner Buffet, and exciting holiday parties. When you’re in town this magical season, be sure to visit us!


About the AuthorLily Lee is the Marketing Assistant at the historical Nassau Inn. She graduated from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Communications, minor in Digital Information & Media, and a passion for English and creative writing.