Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanks to the last of the free world!

Howard and I enjoyed a very nice breakfast at the Emerson Guest House, located in Vergennes. I can recommend anyone who wants to go on a great Vermont vacation. To try and stay in the Bed and Breakfast places scattered around Vermont. Today's breakfast consisted of fresh fruit, homemade apple crisp, and homemade quiche. Thanks to Bill and Susan who do a great job, and make visitors feel very welcome in there great place.

Howard and I enjoyed a great scenic drive back north on route 7. We crossed through Burlington, on into Colchester, and crossed over the beautiful Vermont Islands. To get back to Rouses Point N.Y. From there Howard made the decision to head north along rout 15 up into Montreal and then we head west until we finally reached the 401.

The weather and traffic conditions were excellent. Howard did all the driving back to his home. We made excellent time. We reached Howard's home at 6:15. I quickly loaded all of my belongings into my car and was on my way back to Brampton. I reached home by just after 7 PM.

Thanks! I would like to thank long time great friend Howard S. for coming along with me on my 4th trip to visit Vermont. It was great to have a chance to holiday with such a great friend. He was excellent company, and really made this trip possible. As do to my heath problems I experience on this trip. It would have been a real tough go with out him.

Also I would like to thank Mother Nature. This fine lady has always looked out for me, every time I take to the open road. Frankly the weather forecast looked mighty grime. When Howard and I ventured into the Green Mountains. However things turned around quickly, and overall the fall weather conditions were excellent. Giving Howard and I the pleasure of enjoying the land of Green.

Thank you Vermont. I will never get tired of the pleasure of enjoying this enduring land of beauty. You truly have become a great friend of mine, and to anyone who ventures and explores your natures treasures that you possess. As the civilization crumbles around you. Your mountains remain Green, and your spirit remains high. You truly will always be a celebration of life.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Burlington Vermont, city on Lake Champlain

It's here the final day of our trip. We enjoyed a great breakfast at the Emerson House. Then Howard and did a walk about Vengennes, and Howard tried to do some fishing. He enjoyed no luck and no fish! But I shot some pictures of beautiful otter Creek and the falls . After that we headed north on route 7, first we passed through Charlotte, and then on to Shelbourne. We stopped briefly at a farmers market in Shelbourne. Then we were thinking of visiting the Shelbourne Museum. This museum features the history of Vermont, and lots of historic buildings. Which were relocated to the museum site. Howard and I enjoyed lunch in Shelbourne. The final decision was that we move on to visit Vermont's only city. Beautiful Burlington, Vermont.

Howard and I enjoyed ourselves, very much in Burlington. By this time the sun had come out to greet us, and the sky had become blue. Thank you Mother Nature. You are a wonderful lady! Howard and I walked and shopped and enjoyed all the way. This is the way you are suppose to enjoy Burlington, Vermont.

I purchased 3 Lp's during the trip to Burlington; a rare Jimmy Buffett Lp, Steppenwolfe Live, and a quad Mountain Lp, that I didn't know even existed.

Howard and I drove back to Vergenees, and had dinner at Luigi's Pizza. My stomach is defiantly starting to feel better, thanks to taking the Tagumet.

Vergennes- Vermont's Oldest City

Howard and I left Ludlow early Friday morning. We were on are way to enjoy the last leg, of our holiday. We were heading to the small Vermont city of Vergennes. It is located only 7 miles from beautiful lake Champlain. Howard and I enjoyed a nice breakfast as we found a nice bakery restaurant, located on the outskirts of Rutland, Vermont. Howard had a veggie sandwich, and I enjoyed a nice sticky bun and a fried egg sandwich on a onion bagel.

We arrived in Vergennes and found our last accommodation for this trip. The Emerson Bed and Breakfast. We parked in there lot and Howard and I went for a walk about Vergennes. Very nice place. Otter Creek run through Vergennes, and there is an impressive water falls in town. The falls have a hydro power plant that dates back to 1912.

At this point Howard set off on a bike ride, and I just stayed in town and checked out some of the local shops. They have an excellent old library in Vergennes. I did go in and got to use the Internet for free there. I met with Howard late on in the day. For dinner we walked down the street and found the local Shaw's supermarket. We were also in luck and found a very nice Chinese restaurant. After a few purchases at Shaw's we hit the Chinese restaurant. The meal was good. Howard enjoyed veggie chowmein and rice. I enjoyed pineapple chicken fried rice. It was very good. Too bad I'm not feeling any better. The good news for me. I started to take tagamet. To try and control the acid reflux. I sure hope it helps me.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Vermont Country Store

Today the weather has improved greatly from the previous day. I am still feeling the ill effects of digestive problems. What is the root of the problem is unknown at this time. I am determined however to continue to enjoy my vacation, the best that I can.

Howard woke up rarer to go, and after having some breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. He was off on his mountain bike. Howard decided to ride from Ludlow to the hamlet of Weston. The "Vermont Country Store" is located there. A touristy area for sure. But still worth checking out. Howard set off on his bike. I took his van out for a spin. I first drove to he hamlet of Cavendish. Which is located only 3 miles from Ludlow. I stopped into see the Cavendish General Store, which contained a lot of different merchandise for sale. The fresh produce looked like excellent quality to me.

I then retraced my steps back into Ludlow village. I stoped into the local sports shop. This store appeared to me. That it would appear more to skiers or snowboarders. I then completed the drive up Okemo Mountain. The mountain rises to an attitude of 3,344 feet. The drive was a pleasant one, and I did manage to get some great pictures from the top of the mountain. Then it was time to meet with Howard in the hamlet of Weston. My timing was good. As I arrived shortly after Howard had arrived on his bike.

We looked around and made a few purchases. I bought a nice gift set of natural Vermont jams, and a bottle of natural cola syrup. Howard purchased a couple of old copies of Time magazine. Then we drove back to Ludlow. Howard rode his bike from the downward side of the mountain, back into Ludlow.

We enjoyed some lunch at The "Wicked Good Pizza". We split a "Wicked" nice veggie sub. Then we rode are bikes into Cavendish. Howard found a very nice bakery coffee shop. We relaxed there awhile, and chatted with a nice couple from England. Then we completed the 3 mile ride back to Ludlow. It seemed like 30 miles to me. As the day went on from here. My stomach started to bother me again. I would up skipping dinner. The dread of having heath problems during vacation is not fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And the Rain Came!!!!!!

The rain came today! The saying is” I will build the ark, and you gather the animals”. Today Howard and I moved from White River Junction to the mountain town of Ludlow. The weather wasn’t to bad as we left the Junction. But as we arrived in Ludlow and checked into the All Season Hotel. The skies opened and the rain started to pour. Also the winds remained heavy for most of the day.

But it was a good day for me to rest, as my body hasn’t recovered from the 19.6 mile bike ride from yesterday. My spirit is willing, but my body is not cooperating. After we checked into the hotel, Howard went for walk around Ludlow. I had some lunch at a restaurant called the Hatchery. The homemade soup was good, but the sandwich was a big disappointment. $9.75 for a less then average sandwich was disappointing.

I checked out a thrift store in town, located almost right across the street from hotel. Some interesting stuff. I did purchase a nice Timex digital watch for $1. The rest of my day was resting in bed. Trying again to regain my heath. So I can continue with enjoying Vermont. Howard and I did enjoy some nice Italian pasta at a popular local pizza place called Wicked Pizza. Happy to say the weather for tomorrow is favourable.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vermont- A Special World!

For those who read this post. You may get an idea. How special this place that is named "Vermont", is. This is my 4th visit here. The special feeling you get when you are here. Never gets old. On your return here, it actually makes you feel young and reborn. I believe it is due to the quiet and the peace that predominates throughout this land. Also it is the endless natural beauty, that is always your friend and companion. That is what makes Vermont, a special world.

Today after Howard and I enjoyed breakfast at the Tukerbox coffee shop. It is White River Junction's version of Star Bucks. We headed towards the town of Woodstock. Howard and I decided we were going to do a bike ride recommended in one of the two Vermont cycling books, that I own. The ride started at the "Billing Farm" located very close to Woodstock. It would take us north to the village of Barnard . The total distance of the bike ride would be 19.6 miles.

Howard and I spoke to a local who just had finished the ride. The lady recommended that we do the ride in the opposite direction, to that of my Vermont cycling book. The first leg of our journey was pleasant at the start. Then we started to gain altitude, and hit a dirt road section. There was no let up in the climb. However I dug in, and keep peddling to reach the top of the climb, and then veer west into the village of Barnard . It was a great feeling to reach the top. Then Howard and I made the left turn to head into Barnard. There was a huge downhill section, before we reached the village. I was tired but felt satisfied as Howard and I reached the historic General store in Barnard.

Howard and I enjoyed a nice break at the General store. I ate a bagel fried egg sandwich, and Howard enjoyed a granola bar and a coffee. After about a break of 1/2 of hour. Howard and I were on our way heading south on route 12, and heading back to the Billing Farm, about 10 miles away. The ride out of Barnard started with a gradual climb. I felt tired as again we started to climb. Up one more hill. I have to keep my legs moving. Then after reaching the top of the hill. It was all downhill from there. The return trip went much quicker. It was a great feeling of accomplishment to see the Billings Farm again.

Howard was not done riding yet. He had made the decision to ride back to White River Junction, from Woodstock. So I put my bike in the Vermont mobile, and I drove back to the Junction. Howard would connect back with me. About 1 and 30 minutes later. Howard is a great bike rider, and loves the sport of cycling.

The title of this posting is dedicated not only to this fantastic place. But to a 1969 book I purchased at the Colonial antique mall. This unique book is titled "Vermont- A Special World", and was published by Vermont Life magazine. It will make the perfect souvenir of this great trip.

Tomorrow morning Howard and I, are off to the village of Ludlow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Up to the top of Mt. Ascutney

Well things are defiantly looking up for Vermont trip number 4. My heath I'm happy to say is looking better. Howard and I did breakfast at New York Bagels. Located right beside the Hotel Coolidge. Howard enjoyed coffee and two toasted bagels. I finished 1/2 of a Subway veggie sandwich from last night. I washed it down with a chamomile tea and a also enjoyed a oatmeal raisin cookie.

Then we were off to Windsor, Vermont. This tranquil little town located south of White River Junction on the Connecticut River. Is the original capital of the newly formed country of Vermont, which dates it beginning back to 1777. Windsor is also the home of the Cornish-Windsor Bridge. Which is the longest covered bridge in the world. But Howard and I main reason for being in Windsor on this day. Was to make it to the top of Mt. Ascutney. Last year I did a hike on the mountain, and only made it half the way to the top. This year I would again make the attempt of making it to the top of this wonderful Green Mountain, known Mt. Ascutney. Was I up to this challenge? We would soon find out.

Howard and myself ventured up the "Futures Trail". That was recommended by one on the experienced park rangers. That regularly works in Mt. Ascutney State Park. The trail was a long one. Howard and I choose to start at the halfway point on the trail. Because I am still not up to 100% shape, and Howard was also planing to ride back by bike to white River Junction, from Windsor.

Happy to say the hike went very well. Howard and were successful in reaching the summit at a point called "Castle Rock". The views were outstanding from the top of Mt. Ascutney. I believed we were located on the east side of the top. I also believe we were enjoying a great view of Mt. Washington, located in the State of New Hampshire. Mt. Washington at 6,288 ft is the highest Peak in the Northeastern United States. Howard and I also enjoyed using my micro hiking stove on the top of Mt. Ascutney. I had a hot noddles and veggies soup. Howard had a coffee. We now had the renewed energy for the return trip, down Mt. Ascutney. Happy to say all went well. We both made, and enjoyed our hike up Mt. Ascutney. It is always a special pleasure to enjoy an intimate experience on any of the Green Mountains.

After we were down Mt. Ascutney. Howard and I drove to the Harpoon Brewery, located on the outskirts of Windsor. We both enjoyed some of the finest beer brewed in Vermont. Also Howard and I enjoyed a sandwich. Howard had a veggie burger. I consumed a tuna melt. Then Howard was off on a bike ride. I drove the van back to White River Junction. I first went to the thrift store located in town. I purchased a very nice and expensive "The North Face" wind breaker for $6. I also tried to visit the antique mall located in West Lebanon. However it was already closed.

I then came back to the Hotel Coolidge to have a snooze. I met up with Howard after the rest. He was using his laptop in the reception area of the hotel. I had some more healthy Chinese food for my dinner. My appetite is still not back to normal. But I am getting better. Tomorrow's forecast is for sunny weather. I look very forward to that.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Green Mountain Railroad

I woke up today. Feeling better, then on my arrival back in Vermont. Which is a positive sign. Howard and I did the short walk to Lebanon New Hampshire, and The "Four Aces" diner. To my surprise there has been an apparent change in management at the Four Aces. Neile is gone, and all the familiar faces there. However it looks like the change has been a boom for business. The quality of the food looks like it has improved. Also the prices have increased. The restaurant also doesn't serve dinner anymore. They are only open from 6 to 2pm, and are closed on Wednesdays.

Howard and I also then enjoyed a relaxing drive to the village of Quechee, which is only located 7 miles west of White River Junction. There was a disappointing turnout of vendors for the Sunday flea market. Even though the weather situation is looking much better now. With no rain in the forecast. Howard and myself enjoyed a good look around Quechee village. Then we did a Vermont tradition and enjoyed the views of Quechee Gorge, and also did the hike down into the Gorge to the river. Howard enjoyed the experience.

Howard then rode his bike back to White River Junction. I drove his mini van back to the junction. I enjoyed a light lunch at the Oriental Wok Express. I ordered a small order of chicken fried rice. I still not myself. I couldn't enjoy and finish this small nutritious meal. But I am making some progress in the right direction.

I met up with Howard back in the junction. We were able to make the 2:30 ride on the "Green Mountain Railroad" from White River Junction" to Thetford. The train ride was a very scenic one. Which basically hugged the Connecticut River. The cometary on the ride was very good. The ride in each direction was 13 miles, and took about 1 hour. i enjoyed the ride. However Howard was bothered by motion sickness during the ride.

Our evening was enjoying a veggie sub at Subway. I only ate half of mine, and hanging out a chapter book store. Located in Lebanon, New Hampshire. Tomorrow we might make it to the top of Mt. Ascutney. We can only hope!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Arrived Back In The Green Mountains

Well happy to say Howard S. and myself arrived back in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. The trip down went well. Howard and I shared the driving, and the weather for most of the trip was very nice. We hit rainy weather after we did a meal stop in Barre.

I drove the final leg of the trip. The final part was through driving rain. However were here, and we arrived in one piece. Our Vermont vacation has begun. I am happy to say that I here again. My annual trip to Vermont was in jeopardy to to contracting a bad case of the stomach flu. I missed 5 days from work, and had 3 trips to see my family doctor. I defiantly not close to being back to 100%. I will just take it easy, and hope I enjoy my Vermont experience. The hope is that the Green Mountains make me feel better. As they always have.

Quoting Jim Croce's fantastic song "Hey Tomorrow" "Hey tomorrow, where are you goin'
Do you have some room for me
'Cause night is fallin' and the dawn is callin'
I'll have a new day if she'll have me"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

8 Days of Peace and Beauty

Happy to say. I am now in the final planning and preparations for yet again. Another fantastic vacation. If all goes well on October 3rd, I will be back in the State of Vermont, for the forth time!

This time I will not be traveling solo. I will have the advantageous of a companion on this journey. The person will be long time friend and fellow traveler, Howard S. Howard and I have been great friends since we met all the way back in grade 5, in 1972. Howard is also an ardent outdoor person. Who is very at home on the ski slopes, or riding a bicycle. He has been skiing in Vermont on a few occasions. However this will be his first time to visit the Green Mountains during Autumn splendor. He is in for a special time.

On our arrival in Vermont, we will venture to my Vermont home. The old railroad town of White River Junction. This tranquil and historic town is a pleasure to call home, and has lots to offer. We will be staying at The Hotel Coolidge, which is on the list of historic buildings in the U.S.A. A Vermont holiday wouldn't be complete without a stay there. Howard and I will spend 4 days in the Junction. Then we will venture southeast to the mountain town of Ludlow for a two day stay.

The final two days of this trip will be spent in the village of Vergennes, which is located south of Burlington, and very close to Lake Champlain. It will be another fantastic Vermont experience for sure. As Howard and I will staying in the 3 major areas of Vermont. On the Connecticut River, in the mountains, and close to Lake Champlain. Only 14 days to go, and we will be on our way. It will be up to Mother Nature help to provide beautiful weather over the green mountains for our trip. I do have faith in the good lady. She will come through!

The first European to discover Vermont was Samuel D. Champlain, in the year 1609. Legend has it. That Samuel and his colleagues were crossing by small boat from what today is New York State. As they were crossing the lake, that bears his name. Half way across the lake. Samuel stood up in the boat and said to his fellow travelers.

"Regardez cette terre de beauté. Regardez les belles montagnes vertes".

"Look at this land of beauty. Look at the beautiful Green Mountains.

I do believe this legend, is true!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Great Pictures!

Here are some more great photos from my weekend spent in Trenton. The feature of the weekend was attending the Trenton Airshow. The final pictures posted are from Empire cheese factory located just outside Campbellford, Ontario. They make excellent cheddar cheese!

The second group of photos are from the airshow.

The first pictures are from inside Canada's Lancaster bomber! Enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Trenton Airshow

This past weekend was my first opportunity of the summer to go and visit great friends Keith C. and Sandie L. They live in the town of Trenton, located on the beautiful Bay of Quinte.

The town of Trenton is the home of RCAF base Trenton, which began in 1929. It is also the home of the Royal Canadian Air force Museum. Canada has a very impressive history in aviation. One that all Canadians should be very proud of.

The July 4th weekend would be an exciting weekend in Trenton. As the base would be host to a large airshow, which would celebrate the 100th year of flight in Canada.

On Friday the 3rd of July. I had a relatively easy day at work delivering my mail route. I was finished my lunch and on the road for Trenton by 12:30. I arrived at Keith's and Sandie's place before 3pm. On arrival Keith and I went to visit his father. Colin C. lives in the small hamlet of Ameliasburgh. It was nice to visit with Colin, and also to visit his historic homestead.

On a weekend trip for me to Trenton. It has become a tradition, for Keith Sandie and I. TO dine out in the small town of Stirling. Located in Stirling in Jimmy's Pizza and bar restaurant. On Friday and Saturday nights. This eatery offers and all you can eat roast beef buffet, with great salad bar for the very low price of $10.95. The price is low, and the quality is high. You will enjoy your meal there if you get the chance. Jimmy's can be found at 2 West Front, Stirling, Ontario. Right across from there famous creamery.

Saturday was an eventful day. Some garage sales after breakfast, Keith helped a good friend to teach a scuba diving class. Keith left me his car, and I received the directions and met up with Keith, later in the morning.

Lunch was another great country Ontario eating experience. Keith and I wound up in Carrying Place and enjoying a terrific hamburger lunch at George's. This hamburger joint offers California style homemade burgers. Without the expense of traveling all the way to California. George's can found on Highway 33 in the village of Carrying Place, where highway 33 meets Mathie Rd.

Then it was time for us to have our fun at the Trenton Air Show. The weather was good, and It was a real enjoyment being there. The highlight of the show for me. Was having the chance to see a F-86 Sabre Jet fly. It was just the second time I had the pleasure to witness one take to the skies. A vintage flying museum,located in Gatineau, Quebec, named Vintage Wings. Was responsible for having a F-86 Sabre restored to flying condition. The F-86 is painted in the colors of the Golden Hawks Canadian aerobatic team. This team was entertaining crowds back in the 1960's. Long before the Snow Birds were formed. This classic airplane has been named "Hawk 1"

The other thrill experienced at the show. Was having the chance to have an on board tour of the Avro Lancaster. The Lanc did make an appearance at the Trenton Show. It was part of the static display. I will post some excellent pictures of being aboard the Lancaster. This airplane was the workhorse of the RAF during world war 2. There are only two airworthy Lancaster's left in the world. Our Lancster is based at Canadian Warplane Heritage, located in Hamilton, Ontario.

I would like to thank all involved in Trenton for putting on an excellent airshow, and for Keith and Sandie for making me feel at home, at there home.

Also I would like to thank Keith for shooting some excellent pictures and video from the airshow. The airshow pictures have been posted.