Tag Archives: Travel

Vermont has two major trail systems, the Long Trail and the Appalachian Trail. We are lucky enough to have both trails intersecting not far from our house. Recently we had friends up for a few days; the weather was perfect so we decided to hike the Appalachian Trail. There is a wonderful short hike in Barnard that takes you to Luce’s Lookout. Luce’s Lookout is on the Appalachian Trail (AT) between Woodstock and Killington. You can start you hike on the AT from Route 12 or you can take the back roads up to a local trailhead for a much shorter hike, about 3 miles round trip. The trail is very easy to follow, you hike up an eroded road and take a sharp right at the Y, at that point you merge with the AT. Continue hiking until you see the sign for Luce’s Lookout.

 

The trail we took is a 3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Woodstock. When you get to the Lookout there is a small cabin with a lookout platform built on the roof, accessible by a steep ladder. Once you are on the lookout you just about have a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.Appalachian Trail

 

The cabin is open as a hiking shelter and you can spend the night there if you are a through hiker on the AT. There are no facilities but at least you have a roof over your head. It is also a very nice place to just sit and enjoy the scenery.Appalachian Trail

 

Although the trail is popular and used for hiking, nature trips, and birding we only meet a few people on the trail. It was a perfect morning hike with our friends, there was time for conversation, enjoying the scenery and getting a little exercise at the same time!Appalachian Trail

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Recently we found ourselves in Guilford, CT for the weekend visiting my mother-in-law. We realized it was also the Guilford Fair weekend. The previous two years we had attended the fair because both my husband and I graduated from Guilford High School and had class reunions which were held on the Guilford Fair weekend.Guilford Fair

 

This year there were no reunions but we had fun anyway. One of the highlights of the weekend is the Guilford Parade. Saturday morning the parade marches around the town green and as my mother in law lives on the green we have a prime viewing spot. Who doesn’t love a town parade that features tractors?Guilford Fair The high school band marches and there were even lamas in the parade. A New England tradition is the marching fife and drum. Every small town in the area sends their units. Even the town musicians have a float.Guilford Fair

 

We also enjoy attending the Guilford Fair. The fair started as an agricultural fair and the tents of animals and produce is still one of the best features. When I was growing up we used to get the Friday of the fair weekend off from school. It was always such a wonderful tradition. They no longer continue that tradition but the fair is still a great attraction. The flower arrangements were quite clever.Guilford Fair

 

Several of the farms in the area put on beautiful displays of their highlights. Hard to believe the Dudley Farm has been farming for 375 years!Guilford Fair

 

It’s also fun to see all the various canned goods being judged.Guilford Fair

 

Every vegetable from peppers to pumpkins was on display.Guilford Fair

 

No agricultural fair would be complete without a display of apples from Bishops Orchards. They grow so many different kinds of delicious apples.Guilford Fair

 

It was a fun weekend, we reconnected with long time friends and my husband and I even took time to ride the Ferris wheel!Guilford Fair

Taking a road trip can be a wonderful vacation idea for you and your family. Loading up the car and driving somewhere is usually a cheaper way to travel than buying various airplane tickets. The journey of a road trip can provide wonderful sights and thrills along the way, rather than being clumped in a crowded flight, make a road trip its own reward.road trip

 

However, a road trip can just as easily turn into a major headache if you don’t plan for it. Traveling with the whole family in one car is surely going to turn up some challenges, but it’s still worth it. Here are some tips to make the family road trip go smoothly…road trip

 

Prepare some distractions for your kids

 

When you pack your kids into a car and expect them to sit there quietly all day, then you are invariably going to have problems. This is most families’ hesitation with taking a road trip, as it can be a horrendous experience if you are going to hear crying and bickering the whole time. For this reason, make sure that you plan out things for your kids to do on the road trip.

 

Think of some road trip games that the whole family can play, or give them a creative task to do while the drive is going. If all else fails, there’s also no shame in letting technology do some of the heavy lifting for you and getting some entertaining apps to hold their attention for a while during the longest stretches of road.

 

Budget what the drive will cost

 

While taking a road trip is definitely going to be cheaper than taking a flight, there are still going to be some deep costs for a long journey. You should expect this, but you can ease some of the travel pains on your wallet by thoroughly planning out the road trip and budgeting what it will cost you.

 

Once you get everything down and on paper, you can see ways that you can cut hotel costs, or ways that you can spend less on gas. Just make sure that you also budget yourself a cushion, because there are almost always things that come up that you just don’t expect.

 

Get your vehicle a checkup before you go

 

Nothing can wreck a road trip faster than having your transmission go out, or your engine stalling, in an area that you are unfamiliar with. Breakdowns are sure to add a great deal of stress to the trip, and can make your costs skyrocket. For this reason, it’s always worth the insurance and peace of mind to take your vehicle in for a checkup by a professional before a long drive, so that you can rest easy knowing that you can get where you’re going, safely.

 

Plan for regular bathroom breaks

 

When traveling with a large group of people, it’s important to understand that everyone’s bathroom habits aren’t going to suddenly synchronize, as beneficial as that would be. Don’t limit your family to only one, two, or even three bathroom breaks throughout the day. Plan for some regular stops so that they can relieve themselves and travel comfortably. This will make the trip much more pleasurable, believe me.road trip

 

Pack a wide variety of snacks

 

Getting hungry on a road trip is an easy shortcut to getting angry, and nobody wants that. Always make sure to pack enough snacks and drinks to keep everyone appeased for the duration of the trip. Sure, you’re probably still going to stop for a quick meal at an interesting place that you spot along the way, but you still want to make sure that everyone is staying hydrated and well-fed during the long stretches of road where you can’t stop. Don’t only stock up on sugary snacks, either, as that will lead to sugar highs and crashes, which won’t be fun in the full car. Make sure to get some healthy things in there, as well.

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Once a summer my husband and I drive to Groton, Vermont to visit a dear friend of the family. He has a wonderful farmhouse there that sits up on a hillside. Sitting on his porch enjoying the view has got to one of the highlights of our summer. Even on a misty morning the view is impressive.Groton, Vermont

 

This year the weather was a little chilly for swimming but there is a perfect swimming pond to enjoy on a hot summer day.Northeast Kingdom

 

Groton is a small Vermont town with a population just over 1000, located in the southwest corner of Caledonia County. It’s about an hour and a half drive from where we live, or just into the Northeast Kingdom.Northeast Kingdom

 

There are five state parks located in the Groton State Forest: big Deer State Park, Boulder Beach State Park, Ricker Pond State Park, Seyon Lodge State Park and Stillwater State Park. The various parks offer hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, picnicking and in the winter snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.Groton, Vermont

 

While our visit was short we were able to explore the beach although it was too chilly to go swimming. We also took a nice hike in the Ricker Pond State Park.Groton, Vermont

 

It’s always nice to be able to visit an area close to home and enjoy a change of scenery. Groton is a beautiful part of Vermont. It’s the perfect place to relax for the weekend.Groton, Vermont

 

On the drive home we always make a detour and stop at King Arthur in Norwich, Vermont. It you are ever in the area King Arthur is a wonderful place to stop. Not only do they have a fantastic store but they have a wonderful restaurant where you can find all sorts of goodies, from delicious salads and sandwiches to tasty desserts. Well worth the stop!King Arthur

 

Visiting Groton, Vermont each summer has become a tradition and we will miss visiting when we no longer live in Vermont.Groton, Vermont

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Guilford ConnecticutOver the weekend we drove to Connecticut and spent four days with my mother-in-law. I love that we can still go back to enjoy the town both my husband and I grew up in. Guilford, Connecticut is a very special place, not only because it is our hometown but it is a town filled with old houses kept in wonderful condition. I have mentioned this before in a previous post and it is worth mentioning again. My mother-in-law lives right on the town green so everything is within walking distance.Guilford, Connecticut

 

Before the rains set in I was able to enjoy a beautiful day and walk around town. At the top of the green is the First Congregational Church of Guilford, the church that my husband and I were married in. Our oldest daughter was also married in the same church. This church was founded in 1643, just a few years after the first settlement of Guilford in 1639. The original simple stone structure was replaced in 1713 with this building. It is reputed to have been the first church in Connecticut with a steeple clock and a bell! The Congregational Church is still quite an active church.Guilford, Connecticut

The town green is surrounded by many old homes and several churches. Several of the old homes have been turned into dress shopsGuilford, Connecticut

 

As you walk away from the green and turn down Broad Street you’ll find the street is lined with picket fences.Guilford, Connecticut Lilacs and picket fences are so New England.Guilford, Connecticut

At the end of Broad Street you can look over the East River. This is a brackish river which means it connects to the salt water and experiences tides. Sometimes the water will be very high other times you can see the mud flats.Guilford, Connecticut

I tend to take a long walk when I’m enjoying the sights of Guilford, Connecticut. I love that one minute you can be enjoying the view along the river and the next view is of the oldest house. The Henry Whitfield House was the first house built in Guilford, built in 1639 just before the town of Guilford was settled. It is the oldest house in Connecticut and the oldest stone house in New England. The house was built for Henry Whitfield. He was a puritan minister who had come from England to flee religious persecution. It is open to the public.Guilford, Connecticut Around the corner from the oldest house are several other beautiful old homes. Both are now museums. The stately Thomas Griswold House was built in the first or second decade of the 18th century by Thomas Griswold, a local blacksmith. This house is also a museum and open to the public. It includes the 18th century period New England saltbox, a historic blacksmith shop, a barn with farm tools and implements, two corn cribs and a Victorian era three seat outhouse!Guilford, Connecticut Just down the road is the Hyland House.This colonial house was built in 1713 and is also a museum and open to the public. It is a red saltbox built by Issac Parmelee and has been open to the public since 1918.
Guilford, Connecticut

Aren’t the old windows just wonderful? I am so blessed to have grown up in such a wonderful town filled with so much history.

 

All too soon my walk is over and I am back at the town green.Guilford, Connecticut It was a wonderful weekend and I certainly enjoyed the sights of Guilford on this beautiful spring day.Guilford, Connecticut

It is our desire to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. We try to visit the area at least twice a year. In April we managed to spend several weeks on the west coast dividing our time between Portland and the Seattle areas. Despite the wet spring weather we were able to enjoy some beautiful hikes. We always enjoy exploring the Pacific Northwest.Exploring the Pacific Northwest

Our first hike was in Cape Disappointment State Park on the coast of Washington at the mouth of the Columbia River. The weather cleared up just as we arrived and the walk down to the water was stunning.Exploring the Pacific Northwest We stopped by Dead Man’s Cove and my grandson was intrigued by the name!Exploring the Pacific Northwest

We also had the opportunity to return to the Portland Japanese Gardens, which are just beautiful.Exploring the Pacific Northwest Despite the fact that you are in the city when you enter the gardens all you fell is the peace and quiet of the surroundings. The Camellias were in full bloom everywhere as were the cherry trees.Exploring the Pacific Northwest

The highlight of our trip was visiting our children and our grandchildren, but it’s always fun to explore the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I also discovered a wonderful nursery in Portland. I would just love to work there. They even sell Venus Flytraps!Exploring the Pacific Northwest

Our last hike was to Crescent Lake in Washington. It was a bit of a drive from my daughter’s house, but worth every mile it took to get there. The color of the lake was incredible. More like the colors of the tropics.Exploring the Pacific Northwest The hike itself was along an old rail bed which ran right along the lake. There were eagles soaring above us as we hiked and every now and then you would glimpse the lake through the trees.Exploring the Pacific Northwest It was the perfect hike for our eight-month-old granddaughter.Exploring the Pacific Northwest

 

All too soon we were packing up and heading to the airport. We look forward to the day when we can call the Pacific Northwest home and spend many days each year exploring.Exploring the Pacific Northwest

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