Tag Archives: Travel

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

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.

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