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Years ago, fellow sailors on the dock in Barnegat NJ predicted that Melanie would one day own a place where she’d share her love of food to bring together customers and friends.

Finally, in 2020, this vision has come true.

Melanie has created the Cracked Mug Guesthouse with the purpose of providing Monhegan travelers with extraordinary hospitality that is real and honest, and full of joy.
With each decision, she aims to respect the history and beauty of this storied island, and to incorporate island families and businesses to give you a warm Monhegan Welcome.

Come “share the love” by experiencing her unique brand of hospitality, and by participating in the Kindness Rock Project at the guesthouse.
Then learn her unlikely journey to Innkeeper. It just might inspire you, too, to follow your dreams.


Hi, I’m Melanie.  Let me introduce myself…

“My love of travel all began the summer I was seven. That summer my Dad bought a Shasta camper and he road-tripped us around the West. We did just ordinary things (I remember the Tang that my Mom mixed up each morning) but I came home with extraordinary memories.

As a young adult, fate deposited me in Tiananmen Square the very day they declared martial law. I saw my first cobra in Marrakech and I rode the Orient Express.

And then I had kids!  I like to say I raised my 4 sons partly in our home in Princeton NJ and partly in our Ford van as we crisscrossed the United States on our annual 6-week adventures.

But unlike the roadtrip of my childhood, these trips were extraordinary.  I buckled them into bush planes to go sleep in grizzly country in Alaska. We swam with whale sharks, slept in treehouses, and hiked up volcanoes.

As we drove, we collaged bumper stickers onto the rear doors of our van. And when we needed a new van, and couldn’t part with those doors displaying so many mementos of our travels, we took them off and hung them on a wall in our home. My oldest son began his college essay like this:
The doors to my youth are hanging on my living room wall.”

My travel passion was ignited!

And along the way, I was meeting a lot of other folks who wanted to travel like I did – but they weren’t sure how to pull it off. So I started my own company where I could bring the magic of off-the-beaten-track travel to other families.

Tough Love Travel (renamed Rare Finds Travel) was born.

That was 2007.

Since then my sons have been emancipated (or I have – not sure who gets freed?)  and I got inspired to open a guesthouse.

It was destined to be called The Cracked Mug, though I won’t spoil that story for you.  You can watch for yourself right here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iApsaUaTOL4)

And when I discovered Monhegan Island, I knew this was the right place.

I bring to the Cracked Mug 6 years of SuperHost credentials with AirBnB, certifications in Innkeeping and SafeKitchen and CPR, over 20 years of experience in the travel industry, and an abiding love for hospitality.

I look forward to meeting you on the island and welcoming you to the Cracked Mug!”