New England Drive - Part ME, NH, VT, & NY (July 28-31, 2012)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

On the way to the hospital in the morning, we saw Paul Bunyan statue #2. Score! This one was located next to a lumber mill...seemed a bit more appropriate than a casino construction site.


We hung out at the hospital for a while before we were allowed to spring Terri.  She had a really nice view from her room.




We were out early enough that we were able to grab lunch (meatball pizza, yum!) and head to the White Mountain Transmission Victim.


Everyone had been looking forward to our next stop in Littleton, NH. We hit up Chutters, the world's longest candy counter at 112 feet, for lots of sweets. Of course, while everyone else was captivated by the candy, I headed straight for the hilarious postcards.




I managed to find time for some candy too.


My kind of lobster.

In the same town sits the Littleton Grist Mill, a working flour mill from 1797, where we took a small tour and bought crazy sodas made in NH. We all tried the many flavors. The orange cream was by far the best.

I loved that the Grist Mill had a covered bridge attached!

How are you supposed to get to the door upstairs?





They don't seem to get many tours based on the cobwebs.



Yup...Yup tasted a lot like 7-Up.

Maple Cream soda makes you feel like you just ate a waffle.

We were trying not to wear Terri out, but she just wouldn't let us slow down. Our next stop was the Maple Grove Farms of Vermont in St. Johnsbury where we learned a bit about the maple making process and purchased maple candy. The smell around the factory was so enticing. I know it made me hungry.


Can you see Kristy, the photo bomber?

Maple Grove Farms of Vermont

Our next lodging spot was at the Lyndon Motor Lodge in Lyndon where we learned Lyndon was the Covered Bridge Capitol of the USA.  From the outside, this hotel looks awful, but it was a very pleasant, clean, and affordable stay.


We didn't have any bridges planned for the evening, but that quickly changed. Kris wasn't elated, but I loved it. We visited five bridges with a little map provided by the proprietor of the Lyndon Motor Lodge.


First up...the School House Bridge.


Then we drove over the Chamberlin Mill Bridge.


Next up was the Miller's Run Bridge, another bridge to drive over.


Then we went to the Randall Bridge, one that shares Adam's name (Randall Adam).

Last up was the Sanborn Bridge.  This was our favorite because we could walk on it.



Sanborn Bridge at twilight
We had dinner that night at a good local dive and did laundry at a walkable laundromat.




Sunday, July 29, 2012

Kris did some great research and planning to make sure he was in Danville, Vermont during the operating season of the Great Vermont Corn Maze.  This is a 10 acre corn maze designed by a husband and wife team who've been at it since 1999.  Every year they create a new design.  Pretty darn spectacular!  And, we were there for opening weekend.


Art at the corn maze

The boys prepare to enter the maze

Terri and I opted to sit out while Kris and Adam tried to complete the corn maze.  We enjoyed looking at postcards and photos of previous mazes, looking at the animals in the petting zoo, and checking out the play area for kids.

This year's maze.

Terri rides a tractor.

Kristy goofing around.


Terri has a knack for getting locked in fake prisons.
While we were playing, Kris and Adam were super close to solving the maze.



When they thought they were done, they reached...

The Bell of Frustration
the bell of frustration.  They were very close to finishing the maze, but it is a ten mile track and Adam was exhausted.  They decided to call it a day and celebrate their near victory with cold beverages.

Our next stop was Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont.


This cemetery is a true work of art.  The paths are large enough to drive around and take a gander, but we had to get a closer look on foot.



Barre, Vermont is considered the "Granite Capital of the World", and Hope Cemetery stands as a magnificent tribute to the artisans and stone cutters of the area.



The tombstones are completely nontraditional with lots of granite and marble carvings and personality.  Many of the designs serve to tell more about the deceased.





Our next stop was the Vermont Capitol Building in Montpelier followed by a very tasty lunch at a place called Prohibition Pig.

Capitol Building of Vermont

Our eating wasn't over yet.  We headed to the Ben & Jerry's Factory tour in Waterbury.



Loved all of the labels on the packages on the Ben & Jerry's tour
We all got to try some Cherry Garcia, and then we headed to the Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, VT for some Lake Champlain Chocolates.

Streets of Burlington,Vermont

Adam at City Hall

Inside Lake Champlain Chocolates

The streets of downtown Burlington were covered in street art bears and protesters.

A close up of the hot air balloon bear

(Click to see a larger view of any of the photos)



It wouldn't be a complete trip in the USA lately if you didn't run into an occupy movement, right?

Abolishing money seems like a great idea, right?
Vermont has a thing for strange creatures.  We saw a lot of them today.  Their favorites seem to be mounted to buildings, but they have some planted firmly on the land...or in the sea.

Champ the Lake Monster was one such creature.



Not to be missed were the Winged Monkey Statues on the roof of the old Union train station and other oddities.







We also went to the World's Largest File Cabinet.  This thing was pretty massive at 38 feet tall, but not very functional.


We were lucky enough to miss the rain while on foot, but, while on the drive to the Best Western Plus Waterbury some rain fell.  It made an incredible double rainbow.



Common area lounge at the Best Western Plus Waterbury

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kris and I never tired of the odd and obscure, so we were happy to detour a bit out of our way for the next Roadside America find...Gorilla Holds Aloft a VW Beetle in Leicester, Vermont.


Noticing the gorgeous, flat scenery, I offer to drive for a while.  This is pretty legendary, but I thought Kris needed the break.  I drove over an hour and across the state line of Vermont into New York.


At the state line of Vermont and New York before we left.


I never thought I'd see the day when I was driving in New York.  Kris had to take a photo as evidence.
I drove us to Friendly's for lunch, and then Kris and I swapped seats again.  Our next stop was the New York Capitol Building in Albany.  I personally don't see any reason to ever go back.

Deceivingly nice photo of the backside of the NY Capitol Building

We actually got a bit turned around at the Fork in the Road in Red Hook, NY.  It lead us to some Giant Prozac folk art.



Calmed down and happy, we were elated when we finally got to our Poughkeepsie Best Western to meet up with Marlene, Carol, and RJ.

We all went Hobnobbin' to dinner.



From left to right:  Adam, Terri, Marlene, Carol, Kristy, and Kris (not pictured - RJ who was well-behaved under the table)

Next up...walkway over the Hudson for sunset.  The walkway is the largest pedestrian bridge, and the group of us had a great time.  We even made some new friends.



RJ - such a cutie



I'm sure people think there is something seriously wrong with me and Carol. Marlene is just an innocent bystander in this.

Okay, I lied.  We're all a bit goofy.  Carol and I were prepping to jump.

Liftoff!

We're all in this together!


I don't have a clue what this is, but RJ is getting up close and personal with Flat Nancy.

Aw - you'd think we like each other.
Marlene was great about getting people passing by on the bridge to think we were funny and charming instead of annoying and certifiable.  At one point, she was going to take a photo of all us on the bridge and a young man came by and asked her if she wanted to get in the photo.  She says, "I don't know them, but sure - I'll get in their photo."  He almost didn't know what to think.  He sure did get a good photo of the group of us though.  He even waited for RJ to look.

A really nice young man got this one of all of us.  Even RJ was looking. 

Marlene took this awesome photo and got strangers to pose.  She's got some serious charm!

Sunset over the Hudson




After sunset, we all went back to the Best Western Plus The Inn & Suites at the Falls in Poughkeepsie and hung out in Carol and Marlene's room with RJ.

Adam and RJ became fast friends.

Marlene made us awesome cookies.  New Jersey (her home state), the moose for Maine (remember Lenny the Chocolate Moose), and the snail cookie for the wildlife I saw in Hawaii.

She also brought me back to school loot!!!
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

After a quick breakfast at the hotel where Marlene and RJ came down to say goodbye, we drove from Poughkeepsie to LGA.  I think we made record time.

We got a good view of NY skyline while driving in and witnessed a risky moment at a tollbooth.



We returned the car, saw a few planes land, helped Terri and Adam get checked in, and headed to our gate.


Flight #18 of the summer for Kris and #15 for me. So tired of airports at the moment but going to get to number 17 when I go see Jenny in a week.


After I got home, I noticed that wildlife was attacking Paris, so I made him escargot.

Thanks Marlene.  This is the only kind of snail I'll ever eat.



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1 Response
  1. Carol Curren Says:

    LOVE reading your blog entries! Great to relive all the fun we had in Poughkeepsie!