Tag Archives: Travel

Recently we traveled to Guilford, Connecticut to visit my mother-in-law. She had a bathroom she wanted painted so we decided to help her out. It is always fun to head to Connecticut from Vermont especially this time of year. We left warm temperatures and melting snow and arrived to bare ground and even warmer temperatures!Guilford, Connecticut

 

Not only does my mother-in-law live within walking distance of everything but living in town means I can get my ten thousand steps in and see so much! I’ve shared pictures of Guilford before; remember the pictures of the town agricultural fair that I took? Today the streets are quiet, not much going on. Being school vacation week I imagine many families have headed further south to enjoy some really warm weather.Guilford, Connecticut

 

Guilford, Connecticut was founded in 1639 and is considered by some to have the third largest collection of historic homes in New England, with important buildings from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. There are five historic house museums including Dudley Farm and the Henry Whitfield House (1639), the oldest dwelling house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in North America. The Comfort Starr House (1645–46) is one of the oldest wooden framed private dwellings in Connecticut, and one of the few houses remaining of the original signers who settled Guilford.. The majority of these old homes are built within walking distance of the town green. I love these beautiful old homes. Many have been updated but the original features are kept intact. The older homes in town all have a plaque on them with the date the home was built.Guilford, Connecticut So much history as you walk around town.Guilford, Connecticut

 

My favorite place to walk is down by the water. No activity on the water today it was flat and calm. I grew up in Guilford, Ct so I have many fond memories. My grandparents lived in town on the water and my summers were spent sailing and swimming. One thing I miss living in Vermont is the salt water.Guilford, Connecticut

 

There is also wonderful hiking in Guilford and an extensive trail system called Westwoods Trails. The trail system has approximately 39 miles (63 km) of trails with features such as: caves, lakes, streams, rivers, and interesting rock formations. The preserve extends across land owned by the Guilford Land Conservation Trust. The trails are accessible for walking, running, and mountain biking. My mother was very involved in the Guilford Land Conservation Trust and helped preserve many acres of land which is now enjoyed my many.Guilford, Connecticut

 

This was a wonderful town to grow up in and it is still a wonderful place to live and to visit. I am so thankful that my mother-in-law still lives here and we can come visit. I’m going to take advantage of the spring like weather and get as many walks in as possible before heading back to Vermont where we still have snow!Guilford, Connecticut

The Woodstock Wassail Weekend is a holiday tradition that sees the town come to life with festive holiday events and attractions the second weekend of every December.Wassail Parade The weekend’s nonstop schedule includes a parade, concerts, craft fairs, holiday house tour, and much more. Often named one of the prettiest small towns in America, the village of Woodstock, Vermont becomes the ultimate holiday destination during its annual Wassail Weekend.Wassail Parade

 

The highlight of the weekend is the Wassail Parade through the center of Woodstock with more than fifty horses and riders dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th Century.Wassail Parade Spanning the entirety of downtown, the Wassail Parade winds past the stately First Congregational Church before circling the town green and the Woodstock Inn, where each entry is formally announced.Wassail Parade Throughout the route, upbeat crowds lined the street, waving and clapping and calling out “Merry Christmas!”Wassail Parade

 

Mr. Claus himself usually puts in an appearance and then heads on to our Little Theater where he greets the children at the magical “Christmas Visions.”Wassail Parade

 

The merriment of the parade, paired with the Christmas-drenched scenery of Woodstock (a town already celebrated for its visual charms), is an utter delight.Wassail Parade

 

After the parade, as the Yule log burned low, volunteers lighted the 400 glowing luminaries.

 

Exploring Vermont with our grandchildren was such fun. Recently we were blessed to have our two daughters and three grandchildren visit us for ten days. Having three children ages, 5, 3 and two months under our roof was exhausting, but I wouldn’t have traded the time for anything. It gave us the opportunity to do some exploring with our grandchildren and show them the things we love about Vermont. It was also peak foliage so it was the perfect time for them to visit.exploring Vermont, grandchildren

 

Our grandchildren live in the Pacific Northwest and they are not used to having backyards with no fences. Running around our large yard was a pure delight. The first outing was to climb Mt Tom in Woodstock, Vermont.exploring Vermont, grandchildren, Mt Tom My husband drew a scavenger hunt of items to look for. In addition to finding the maple leaves and salamanders we also found beautiful spider webs and exquisite fall foliage.exploring Vermont

I also introduced our older two grandchildren to picking and shelling dried beans.

exploring Vermont My granddaughter was lucky enough to find one last remaining carrot in the garden. I think it is so important to introduce children to gardening and where our food comes from.exploring Vermont

We also took a ride in the gondola to the top of Killington Mountain. The day was spectacular and you could see forever.

exploring Vermont

I think the highlight of the visit was picking out pumpkins at our local farmers market. I had knit pumpkin hats for everyone including my husband!

exploring Vermont It was wasn’t easy but we managed to get a great shot of them all wearing pumpkin hats while at the same time entertaining everyone with our photo shoot!exploring Vermont

One of the last full days we had we drove down the road to a neighbors farm. The farm itself is absolutely breathtaking but the grandchildren had more fun just running around.exploring Vermont

They also enjoyed feeding the sheep and the alpacas! Not a normal sight in the city of Portland!exploring Vermont

Our house is much quieter now; I miss the sweet scenes between the cousins.

exploring Vermont I also miss the lively conversations at the breakfast table.exploring VermontI am so thankful for this time we had with our daughter’s and our grandchildren. Exploring Vermont with our grandchildren was amazing. Such fun to see everything through their eyes. Our desire is to sell our home and relocate to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to our children. Eventually it will happen and we look forward to creating another home front on the west coast!

Several weeks ago I mentioned that I went back to my hometown to attend my husband’s reunion and the Guilford Fair. While we were in town we had the opportunity to visit an original cider mill.Sperry Cider Mill We have a friend whose family home has been in the family since the 1700’s! On the property is an old cider mill that was in operation from the 1700’s until the early 1900’s!Cider Mill

 

Everything that was once used in the cider making process is still intact in the old cider mill barn.Cider Mill

People used to bring their wagonloads of apples to this mill to be crushed. The apple juice was then made into vinegar and hard cider. It was amazing to see the large gears that had been used to crush the apples.Cider Mill Apples were unloaded into the top of the barn and then poured into the chute where the apples would be ground up.Cider Mill A team of oxen was hitched up to the yoke and then they would walk in a circle and the apples would be crushed by the large gear. Kind of like a very large meat grinder!

 

The apple mash would then be transferred to a pressing station and the large press would be screwed down to extract the juice out. There were groves in the wood where the juice would pour out.

 

If you picture a small apple press the process is very much the same but on a much large scale.Cider Mill

 

This antique cider mill is in the process of slowly being restored. It was so interesting to see the ancient tools once used in the cider making process. It would have been amazing to go back in time and see the process in action. It’s wonderful that this gem has been saved and is slowly being restored. It gives people a glimpse into the past and how hard cider was once made.Sperry Cider Mill

 

I am so thankful for the opportunity to have viewed this cider mill. I look forward to visiting again someday when the whole barn has been restored.

I grew up in the small shoreline town of Guilford, Connecticut. Every year we looked forward to the Guilford Fair. It used to be held on the Guilford Green and the town schools were closed the Friday of fair weekend. It was started as an agricultural fair and people would come from all over to exhibit their fresh fruits & vegetables and exhibit their prized animals.Guilford Fair

 

The Guilford Fair has since been moved to a dedicated fair ground and has expanded to include numerous rides, food booths and entertainment! The fair may have changed location but it is still a fun old time town fair.Guilford Fair

 

Two weeks ago we had the opportunity to be in town for my husbands 40th high school reunion. The reunion coincided with the Guilford Fair. Both my husband and I grew up in the same town and we looked forward to returning to Guilford, both for the reunion and the fair.Guilford Fair

 

When we were in high school each class was responsible for a class float, which would be in the parade. All summer the classes would work on their float hoping to be the best. The reunion committee decided the class should have a float this year. Since the class of 1976 was a bicentennial year the float was decorated with red, white and blue. Judging from the smiles on the float everyone had a blast.Guilford Fair

 

After the parade we spent time exploring the fair. I love watching the horse pulls and the oxen pulls. Amazing how well these teams of horses work together.old time town fair

 

The tents of fruits and vegetables are another favorite.Guilford Fair This year there didn’t seem to be as many vegetables on display.Guilford Fair However the displays were just beautiful.Guilford Fair It was nice to see the exhibit of canning.Guilford Fair If I still lived in town I think I would have to enter some of my preserves!

 

It was so much fun to be back in our hometown and enjoying the fair with our friends. I enjoyed it as much this year as I had as a kid.

Once a year we have the pleasure of visiting a dear friend who lives in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.Northeast Kingdom It’s always fun when you can visit a place that is in your own home state but is so different from where you live! It was not even an hour and a half from our house but it felt like we’d traveled to another time and place.Northeast Kingdom

This old house that was once a part of a large dairy farm sits on the top of a hill with rolling fields in every direction. It is so beautiful. The white farmhouse and the green hills is classic Vermont.Northeast Kingdom

While there we drove to the nearby town of Danville where there is a wonderful walking and bicycling trail that used to be the old railroad and is very well maintained. Danville, VTThe views along the path were just amazing.Danville, VT

After a three-mile walk we stopped for lunch at the Peacham Café.Peacham Cafe Lunch was delicious and made good use of local food. Even the flowers on the table were freshly picked.Peacham Cafe

After our lunch we stopped at a local farm stand, WillowBrook Farm.WillowBrook Farm The owners were picking flowers which they dry and sell. It was fun to see the variety of tomatoes they had for sale!WillowBrook Farm

By the time we got back to the farmhouse there was just enough time for a swim. Nothing like a spring fed pond to cool you off!Northeast Kingdom

It was a wonderful, relaxing two days away and always hard to leave this beautiful spot. Time to head home on our own private highway.Northeast KingdomWe are looking forward to the day our home finally sells and we can move west, but I will miss visiting this very special spot.  There is nothing like enjoying a change of scenery so close to home!

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