Tag Archives: Travel

Two weeks ago we received a letter in the mail from our granddaughter’s first grade teacher. The class was reading a book, Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. In the story Stanley is flattened, but not hurt, when a bulletin board falls on him. His parents take advantage of his flattened condition and send him in an envelope to visit relatives in California. Inspired by this idea each child in the class made a flattened version of themselves and mailed it off to their relatives. We had the wonderful opportunity of exploring Vermont with Flat Alma!

 

April in Vermont is not the best time to visit, the weather is unpredictable, you may get rain or you may get snow. Regardless of the weather we had fun exploring Vermont with our “Alma Doll”.exploring Vermont

 

The first day I drove into Woodstock, Vermont, which is the neighboring town. We drove over the covered bridge that was closest to our house. I’m pretty sure they don’t have covered bridges where Alma lives!exploring Vermont We ended up at Billings Farm. I was really hoping the young cows would be outside but the only animal we saw was a white horse.exploring Vermont

 

Luckily our neighbors have a farm with alpaca’s and sheep and horses. Flat Alma was able to stop and visit those animals!exploring Vermont

 

At the end of the visit my husband had a chance to visit good friends in the Northeast Kingdom. They have a large maple sugaring operation there.exploring Vermont It was a drive but all in the fun of exploring Vermont! Flat Alma was able to view the whole process of making maple syrup, from the sap coming out of the trees to boiling it down to pure maple syrup.exploring Vermont

 

On the drive home they drove by the state capital building in Montpelier, Vermont.exploring Vermont They even drove by the Ben & Jerry’s factory, but no time to stop for ice cream.exploring Vermont

 

I thought this was quite an inventive idea for the teacher. They will be studying their maps to see where each flattened first grader went. It was a fun week for us exploring Vermont with our Alma Doll! We sent back numerous pictures of all the places Flat Alma visited as well as several postcards.exploring Vermont

 

It was a short visit but we thought we did a pretty good job of exploring Vermont with Flat Alma.

Exploring Colorado

 

Glenwood Spring, Colorado

 

Last week we were in Glenwood Springs, CO for a business trip. While we didn’t get to explore all of Colorado we did get to explore the small town of Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, and we spent an afternoon walking around Aspen. The majority of our focus during the week was helping a friend get their website launched for their business but we also got to do a little bit of exploring Colorado.exploring Colorado

 

Glenwood Springs is about three hours west of Denver. We arrived late at night so we didn’t really have a chance to view the scenery. The next morning when we woke up I realized just how remote we were! The elevation was almost 9000 feet, quite a bit higher than he 1000 feet we experience in Vermont.

 

Gazing out the window in the kitchen you look over at Sopris Mountain, it was a view I never tired of all week.exploring Colorado

 

We also spent several days enjoying the Iron Mountain Hot Springs. There were numerous pools all at varying temperatures. You could move from one pool to the next depending on how hot you wanted the water. They also had a large pool where you could swim if you wanted. The water felt so good.exploring Colorado

 

Carbondale, Colorado

 

Carbondale was another town that we enjoyed exploring. It is a small town with numerous little shops. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at one coffee shop called Bonfire Coffee. They make a delicious cup of coffee and an awesome breakfast sandwich! Great breakfast spot.exploring Colorado

 

I was amazed at all the artwork everywhere. Even the trashcans were brightly painted!exploring Colorado Another thing that impressed me was that the coffee shop had cans for both compost and recycling. Carbondale is a fun town to walk around and such colorful architecture.exploring Colorado

 

Aspen, Colorado

 

Aspen was about a 45-minute drive from Glenwood Springs. The ski season is pretty much over but you still saw folks with their skis. There were even skis leaning against the restaurant called The White House, where we went to for lunch! Aspen is definitely a ski town.exploring Colorado Such fun poking in the various antique shops and art galleries.exploring Colorado

 

While we didn’t spend a lot of time exploring Colorado it was the best business trip I’d ever been on! In fact I can’t wait to go back and spend more time exploring Colorado!exploring Colorado

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

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