Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stowe, Vermont

At AAA we have these "Drive Vacations"  (I have to enunciate that carefully....some clients thought I said "Dry" vacation and were horrified!)  that are pre-packaged vacations within driving distance of our offices.

I noted that one of them was for Stowe, VT at the Golden Eagle Resort.  The price was ridiculously reasonable, so I asked Hubby if he wanted to go there for Memorial Day weekend.  I don't think the words were even out of my mouth when he said yes!  He loves Vermont, and the last time we went to Stowe was when he planned a birthday trip for me in 2003.

We left on Saturday morning and stopped at a nice cafe in Contoocook, NH for breakfast.  Continuing on, we stopped in Queechee, VT  - home of Queechee Gorge.   We've been there a couple of times before and love the hike up and down the Gorge.

The last time we were there must have been in the Fall because we were able to walk over and sit on the rocks.   The water was much higher this time.

It was at this point that we noticed the camera was broken.  The screen you usually view the photo through was gray.   Hubby thinks he may have sat on it and broken the screen.   We were quite disappointed because we love taking pictures.  Hubby thought maybe the camera was still taking pictures;  we just couldn't see what we were taking.  So we continued taking photos.....and they came out awesome!!

From Queechee Gorge we drove the rest of the way to Stowe, where we stayed at the Golden Eagle Resort.  This place was fantastic!  The room was big and comfortable.  There was a nice porch on the back where we sat in our Adirondack chairs and looked out over the pond while we had our coffee and listened to the birds chirp.

The resort itself had both indoor and outdoor pools, hot tub, sauna, shuffleboard courts, tennis courts, children's playground, and fishing in the ponds.  Everything was included  - even a delicious off-the-menu breakfast!

Saturday night we took a walk down into Stowe Village and did a little sight-seeing.

Of course, Hubby tried out the piano in the country store and then let me beat him in checkers.

We spent some time in the indoor pool and the hot tub, then set off to find a place to eat.  We found a buffet restaurant that was just fair.  I went on TripAdvisor today to leave a review, and wished I'd checked that before we picked that restaurant!  That'll teach me!

On Sunday we went back into downtown to go into some of the stores that were closed on Saturday night.  Then we decided to walk the recreation path since it was a gloriously bright blue sunny day.

First we walked along the "Quiet Path" which was only for walkers...no bikes or rollerblades.  It was all grassy so it was off with the shoes!

It meandered along a small river.

Hubby felt he had to direct me in how to make our selfie picture come out centered.  Please note that all the photos are centered despite his instructions!

Hubby captured this lovely photo of a young girl running through the field. He should recreate it in a painting, yes?

We walked all afternoon on the Recreation Path.   I thought the end of it came out right at our hotel.  I didn't realize that we had to turn off the path to get to the hotel.......so we just kept walking and walking...then had to turn around and come back!

When we finished that, we felt the need for a swim, and didn't want to go inside to the indoor pool.  We tried the outside pool and lasted about 30 seconds!  The "heated" pool wasn't heated yet!  But we had a lovely time relaxing and reading by the pool interspersed with games of shuffleboard.  We also tried the ping pong table and laughed ourselves sick trying to play foozeball.

Our second dinner was at a wonderful place called "Gracie's" where the food and the atmosphere were fabulous.

Monday morning we had another delicious breakfast, then I felt the need to walk some of it off.  I'd seen an ad for Sterling Falls Gorge, so we checked out of the hotel and set out to follow the directions to the Gorge.  It wasn't very well marked, and the last road was a very long dirt road.   We got to a certain point where we didn't know how much farther it would be and we were running out of gas, so we reluctantly turned around and went back to town.  After gassing up, Hubby offered to drive back up the road and find the Gorge.  It was about a quarter mile further along from where we turned around!  But the double-ride was worth it.

Finally, we pretty much ate our way out of town!   We stopped at the Cider Mill and got some hot, fresh cider donuts and a sample of cider.  Then to Cabot where we munched on samples of cheese.  Next door was the chocolate store, where we each bought one piece of Raspberry and Dark chocolate.  Finally, we stopped at the Ben and Jerry's factory, where we took the tour and had a sample of Triple Caramel Swirl.

Just for fun, we took Route 100 part of the way home because it was more scenic than Route 89.

It was a fantastic, relaxing weekend.  We had a great time.....it was hard to come home!

Monday, May 19, 2014

On the Verge

Spring is the most wonderful season!!  Especially after the long and freezing winter we had.   There is nothing as wonderful as being able to spend time outside.....watching stuff grow!

A couple of jonquils that Hubby rescued from the back yard.

This flower was in too much sun last year....it seems to like a shadier spot.

The across-the-street neighbor's Azalea has already bloomed.  He gets full afternoon sun over there.   This beautiful bush was "rescued" from the next-door-neighbor's yard when the house was abandoned.

Pansies are the happiest flower ever.

Good to see flowers everywhere and the American Flag flying.

Daylilies I just planted in the fall look like they're going to do pretty well against the stone wall.  

My new bird

Bleeding Heart I got from my good friend Sylvie.  They were her late father's flowers.....I'm  honored to have them in my garden.

The new front English Garden.......taking it's time coming in.

Second year on the side English Garden.  Last year I was very pleased with how it looked...this year should be even better.

Irises just waiting to burst.

Doesn't look like much now!  But just planted beans and summer squash.

Tiny Pea plants coming up.

Newly mowed backyard at sunset.

Tiger lilies were there when we bought the house....they will look spectacular in another month or two.

Climbing Clematis from Auntie Izy's garden.  I'm hoping they'll cover the lattice fence.

This doesn't look like much but it's Forsythia given to us by Hubby's boss.  One day it'll be huge shrubs that form a natural fence between our yard and the neighbor's.

The lush green grass Hubby just mowed.

The scene of many a good time to come.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


The other morning I went over to my son's house to care for my 6 year old granddaughter before school.  Mom leaves horrendously early for her teaching job, and Dad usually does the morning care routine.  But Dad had an early morning meeting so Memere got the honors.

It's always fun to help Emily get ready for school in the morning.   I helped her get dressed, brushed her hair and put in braids, got her some breakfast.  She brushed her teeth on her own, and her backpack and lunch were all ready to go.

Conversations in the car are always enlightening.  (which is why I detest in-car tv's and hand-held games)   Emily was regaling me with a story about the Super Duper Fairy Club she and her friends had formed at school.  I asked her who was in the club, and she reeled off a list of names.

"What do you have to do to get into the club?"  I asked.

"You have to be Strong, Courageous and Beautiful",  she replied.

"You have to be Beautiful?"  I asked.

"Not beautiful like this," she said, as she held up one of her long, silky blond  braids.  "You have to be Beautiful on the inside, like a really nice person."