Tag Archives: Travel

Usually when we think of taking a road trip it is during the summer month when children are out of school and we take our vacation time. However traveling in the winter can be fun and it is just important to spend a little time planning a winter road trip.winter road trip


In the winter the weather can be much more of an issue. You have to keep an eye out for storms that might affect your travel. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a blizzard on the highway! When I was a child we spent many winter weekends driving from Connecticut to Vermont. My parents liked to ski and they wanted to introduce me and my brother and sister to the joys of skiing. We would take off every Friday and drive north no matter what the weather was. As a result we have many memories of slow drives in the snow and even one trip where we had to stay in a hotel for the night because the driving was so bad!winter road trip


When my husband and I drive in the winter we spend a little more time planning a winter road trip.


Before you leave on your trip make sure your car is prepared to make a trip. This is good advice whenever you are traveling. Ask your mechanic to check your car’s brakes, lights, oil, tired, exhaust system, heater and defroster. Have them check your car’s belts and hoses and replace any that look worn.


Have your battery tested, especially if your battery is over three years old. You can do this yourself is you have a battery tester. Clean any corrosion from posts and connections. Make sure you travel with a set of jumper cables as well.


Have the oil changed and ask your mechanic for the best type of oil to use for a winter road trip. Cold temperatures can cause oil to thicken.winter road trip


Check the antifreeze level in your radiator. The last thing you want is to have your radiator freeze!


Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition. If you end up driving in rain or snow you want to have good visibility. Check your windshield washer fluid as well. Make sure it is rated for cold weather. Keep an extra container of fluid in the car. You’d be amazed at how much fluid you go through when driving in bad weather.winter road trip


When you are driving always keep your gas tank at least half full. This will keep your car’s gas lines from freezing due to condensation building up in the lines.


Check your tires often. If you will be driving in snow, use winter tires, which will provide better traction on bad roads.


Pack a winter survival kit in the car, which includes an ice scraper, small shovel, sand or kitty litter, road flares, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, small tool kit, candle, matches, tin can, jumper cables. Towrope, flashlight with extra batteries, extra shoes and socks, extra gloves, a change of warm clothing, paper towels, blanket and at least one jug of water and extra food such as granola bars.


Keep your phone charged and carry a car charger for your phone.


By taking some time and planning a winter road trip you can be prepared for any situation you might come across. Plan your trip in advance and you’re your friends and family know what your plans are. Have you travels in the winter before? What advice do you have?winter road trip

Wassail WeekendOne of my favorite events in Woodstock, Vermont is the Wassail Weekend. People come from far and wide to enjoy this special event. The highlight of the weekend is the Wassail Parade through the center of Woodstock. More than 50 horses and riders are dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th century.Wassail Parade At the end of the parade Santa Claus himself puts in an appearance.

Wassail Weekend

Photo credit: The Vermont Standard


Woodstock, Vermont is often voted as the prettiest town, and with the twinkling Christmas lights and the historic decorated homes it is easy to see why. There is something magical about the parade, watching the horses and hearing the clomp of hooves and the clinking of harness straps as they clatter down the streets lined with people.Wassail Parade


One of my favorites is the wagon pulled by three large draft horses. The two men sitting in the front with their top hats on and listening to the jingle of bells on the harnesses.Wassail Parade


Another favorite is the Icelandic ponies. These sturdy little ponies wearing their winter coats and the young riders all wearing their Icelandic sweaters!

Wassail Weekend

photo credit: The Vermont Standard


This year marked the 33rd anniversary of Wassail Weekend. The weekend has passed but mark your calendars for 2018. The Wassail Weekend takes place on the second weekend of December. There is a wide range of other activities to enjoy; from carol singing on the steps of the library to ornament making at Billing’s Farm There is something for everyone to enjoy. There is even a life-size gingerbread house at the Woodstock Inn.Wassail Parade


Although there are many activities going on during the Wassail Weekend my favorite will always be the parade. Where else but in Vermont can you watch little ponies dressed up in their Christmas finery? You may have to wait awhile until the next Wassail Weekend, in the meantime enjoy these photos from this year’s parade!Wassail Parade

visiting Mystic SeaportRecently my son and his wife were visiting from the Pacific Northwest. Since we were going to be in Connecticut visiting family over Thanksgiving we decided to plan a day trip and visit Mystic Seaport.visiting Mystic Seaport


Mystic Seaport has so many things to see. After checking out their website they mentioned the following highlights that you wouldn’t want to miss. There are boats to visit, the seafaring village and many exhibits to look at when visiting Mystic Seaport.visiting Mystic Seaport


The first stop was the visitor reception center. Here we would find everything we would need to make the most of our day. They have maps and schedules and details of the daily events, performances and demonstrations.visiting Mystic Seaport


The Seaport exhibits are open from 10-4 and there are various activities going on all day. Since my husband’s family has a strong whaling background we didn’t want to miss the whaleboat presentation.visiting Mystic Seaport


The Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard gives you an awe-inspiring opportunity to watch skilled craftspeople perform skills made nearly extinct by steel and fiberglass.


Wondering what the Mystic River area looked like in 1870? There is a spectacular Mystic River scale Model which is over 50 feet long and features more than 250 detailed dwellings, shops, barns and lofts as well as five local shipyards.visiting Mystic Seaport


James Driggs Shipsmith Shop, this shipsmith shop was built in New Bedford, Mass, by James D. Driggs in 1885. It is the only manufactory of ironwork for the whaling industry know to have survived from the 29th century.


The highlight of the Mystic Seaport is the Charles W. Morgan whaleship. The Morgan has outlived all others of her kind. Built in 1841 in New Bedford, MA, the Morgan is America’s last surviving wooden whaleship and a precious piece of maritime history.visiting Mystic Seaport


These are just a few of the highlights of Mystic Seaport but there are many other building and exhibits to view. If you ever find yourself in Connecticut take time to visit this wonderful museum of America and the Sea.



A Walking Tour of Guilford, ConnecticutI love staying with my mother-in-law any time of year. Her house is located on the Guilford Green and there is nothing I enjoy more than taking a walking tour of Guilford, Connecticut when we are visiting.walking tour of guilford, Connecticut


Guilford’s Green is one of the largest in New England. In the beginning it was even larger, sixteen acres and about one mile around. What happened? In 1670 the town was in desperate need of a blacksmith. They persuaded Nicholas Huges to come to Guilford, and since all the home lots around the Green has already been assigned, the town gave him a piece of the actual green! The Green is now down to about eight acres.walking tour of guilford, Connecticut


My favorite walking tour of Guilford, Connecticut is walking around the Green. The walk is a distance of about a half a mile. You follow Whitfield to Boston Street, Boston Street to Park Street. Park Street to Broad Street, ending with 88 Broad Street on your right. The Green will always be on your left.


A Walking Tour of Guilford, Connecticut


In that short half-mile walk you will numerous beautiful old buildings and homes. I will only feature a few of my favorites. If you have further interest in learning more about the beautiful homes in Guilford and taking your own walking tour of Guilford I would suggest purchasing the book Guilford: A Walking Guide.


Lydia Chittenden, 1 Whitfield Street, built in 1886.


This house was originally built after tearing down the original tavern which had been built in 1750. I will always remember this house as Elizabeth Adams house. Dr. Adams practiced medicine here for many years, it is still a private home.Guilford, Connecticut


William Eliot’s Store, 21 Boston Street, built around 1880.

William Eliot built his dry goods store on the site of an earlier store owned by his uncle, Andrew Eliot. Both structures had both Greek Revival and Italianate features, but the charming canopy is Queen Anne. In the 30’s this building was an automotive business where cars were sold for 52 years.Guilford, Connecticut


Heli Hoadley-Aaron Dutton, 37 Park Street, built in 1805.


This is my favorite house, now owned by my mother-in-law. This simple Federal house is distinguished by light touches of ornament-carved cornice, window heads and the doorway with fanlight. The great kitchen chimney has been removed but the house retains its picket fence. The house was first owned by Hoadley and his wife Ann Seward but is better known buy its next owner, the Reverend Aaron Dutton, distinguished pastor of the First Congregational Church from 1802-1842, where he was dismissed for his anti-slavery views. The church council believed slavery was a political, not a religious issue. Charles Hubbard, writer, teacher and artist also lived here, working in a third floor studio which he called Hobgoblin Hall.walking tour of guilford, Connecticut


First Congregational Church, 110 Broad Street, built in 1829-30.

This was the church my family attended, my husband and I were married here, and our oldest daughter was also married here. The church sits at the head of the Green and was the most splendid meeting house of its day on the shoreline.walking tour of guilford, Connecticut The builder was already well known for Yale’s chapel and other major buildings in New Haven. The church has had additions since it was built but the exterior, dedicated in 1830, remains the same.walking tour of guilford, Connecticut


These are just a few of the wonderful structures found in Guilford, Connecticut. There are five structures open to the public, which are well worth a visit. Take your own walking tour of Guilford, Connecticut and see all the beautiful homes for yourself.walking tour of guilford, Connecticut



Yesterday I shared about our decision to have a family vacation on Anderson Island, located in Puget Sound Washington. We had done a lot of planning ahead of time and we were well prepared to enjoy our time on the island. Anderson Island ended up being the perfect place to gather and although the island is small there was lots to see and do in exploring Anderson Island.


The house we found on HomeAway was actually a working farm complete with cattle grazing next to the house. There was plenty of room for everyone, a large farm table where we could enjoy our meals and wonderful hiking trails within walking distance of the house. To top it off our weather was perfect, cool evenings and sunny days.Exploring Anderson Island


The public hiking trails near the house were beautifully maintained and after walking through the woods the path came out on the water.Exploring Anderson Island Every so often you would come upon a picnic table in case you wanted to have a picnic. We saw all sorts of wildlife from newts to slugs to various birds.


Anderson Island is so small you can easily drive from one end to the other in a very short time.Exploring Anderson Island They do have a well-equipped store and two restaurants, which we did not try out. We preferred to cook our meals at home and gather around the big table for a family meal. Our evenings were spent playing games.Exploring Anderson Island


The island has a wonderful history museum, which we will have to visit another day. Our time was spent exploring the numerous hiking trails and playing hide and seek around the house.


All too soon our time on the island came to an end and we were heading back to the ferry. Although the ferryride is only 20 minutes you feel like you have been far away. It was the most enjoyable, relaxing time. I look forward to the day we can go back.Exploring Anderson Island





There are many types of islands on which to have an island vacation. There are beautiful tropical islands, islands off the coast of Maine as well as islands in Puget Sound. Since all four of our grown children have chosen  to call the Pacific Northwest home we decided to have a mini reunion on Anderson Island. Anderson Island is located in Puget Sound and is accessible only by ferry. It is a rather small island with only one little store and one restaurant. Since we were going to be there for four days we wanted to be prepare for our island vacation. It would be too costly to have to leave the island for supplies and we didn’t want to have to purchase everything on the island.


The first thing to do was figure out the meals we would need. There were going to be 9 adults and three small children and we would have meals for all four days. After figuring out how many meals to plan for I asked if others would be willing to take on a dinner. Both of our daughters immediately chimed in and said they would cook a dinner and bring all the supplies needed for that meal.Anderson Island


Since we would be arriving late the night before we were to take the ferry to the island I decided to place an online order for any dry goods we would need. I had the order shipped to my daughter’s house. I then created a shopping list for the morning after we arrived, which would include all the fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy. That way we could make one quick trip to the local grocery store before catching the ferry in the morning.Shopping, budget, prudent living


We also wanted to limit the number of cars on the island so we figured out who we could take in our car. Since our daughter’s both have children their cars would be full, and they needed the car seats so our two sons and one daughter-in-law drove with us.


By planning ahead and thinking about what we would want and need while on Anderson Island it made it possible for us to relax and enjoy our time together. The meals had been thought out ahead of time, the food purchased and we could just have a relaxing time.


We also planned ahead for activities on the island. If it rained we would have plenty of games to play and if the weather was nice we had already looked at the various hiking trails available on the island.Anderson Island


It didn’t take much time to plan ahead and as a result we had a wonderful island vacation on Anderson Island!


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