A Misunderstanding and a 50/50 Trip – part two

The next morning we woke up about 8:30, threw on our clothes, and made it to breakfast with 15 minutes to spare. They had a great spread, with just about anything you could want to eat. Even though we arrived just before closing, the server was very patient and gracious. We ate more than we should have and drank way too much coffee for people who were going to be travelling by car for the next eight to ten hours. After breakfast we returned to our room and finished getting ready. Check out time was 11 O’Clock, and we were out of the room by 11:15.

We continued on our way to Vermont, by way of Canada, and stopped at Kitchener, Ontario, so we could go to Moose Winooski’s for lunch. The waitress brought our drinks to the table. I took one sip of my Ginger Ale and then spilled it all over the table. Harriet, reacting to my spill, some how bumped her wine glass, spilling the Merlot. I think our waitress hated us. (The last line was my attempt at humor. She was actually quite gracious.) Our waitress, somehow, knew about the flood at our table and was on the spot with paper and cloth towels. The table was covered with butcher paper and she quickly folded it in the middle and removed it. I was very wet, in fact it looked like I had peed my pants. (It was ginger ale, I swear!) After taking the wet table cover, towels, and glasses way, our waitress returned and said she would like to move us to a new, drier table. We moved down a couple of tables, and she brought us fresh drinks. The lunch continued without further incidents and the food was really good.

When travelling, we don’t usually make reservations. This is because, I never know how far Harriet will be able to travel one day to the next. When we took our two month trip, out west last fall, we would have to stay in one place for two or three days while Harriet got rested up. One thing that was bothering Harriet was her acrylic nails had grown out too much and she really wanted to get a manicure. After leaving Moose Winooski’s we googled Nail places near me and found one quite close to the restaurant. We drove there and, since they had immediate openings, Harriet was able to get the offending nails repaired and as good as new.

We were soon back on the highway, but the traffic had increased since we stopped for lunch. About 30 miles east of Toronto, we got into stop and go traffic. Our speed went from 115 kilometers an hour down to around 35 kilometers an hour. This stop and go, very slow traffic, continued for about the next 50 miles. Even the express lanes were backed up. Finally, we got far enough east of Toronto, that the traffic thinned out and we were able to go the speed limit.

It was past sundown, and we were getting hungry. I took the exit for Port Hope, and we drove around town looking for a good place to eat. We found a restaurant, the Trattoria Gusto, which looked promising. It was one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever eaten at. I ordered, a Seafood pasta, with wine sauce and angel hair spaghetti and a local amber beer. Harriet ordered, the Salmon, with her favorite wine. Our server asked us where we were coming from and where we were going. We told her about our 50/50 trip, which she thought was really interesting. When dinner was through, we ordered coffee, but felt too full for dessert. Imagine our surprise when she brought us a large piece of cheesecake with a candle on it. Even though we were already full we managed to eat the entire dessert.

The Restaurant is a part of the Waddel Hotel, so we booked a room. It was strange that my Discover Card declined the charge, since I knew there was plenty of room on the card. Then it occurred to me that I had forgotten to contact them about the trip. Also, my phone wasn’t working at all, even when I had wifi, I couldn’t get the phone to do a single function. When we were in Canada in June, for Zach and Gina’s wedding, the phone worked great. All of that led me to use the debit card while in Canada.

The Waddel Hotel, is very well maintained, everything has been updated, so even though the building is quite old, it feels very modern. The rooms are huge, and very comfortable. When you check in, they give you a voucher, to a local restaurant, for a free breakfast. I was very happy to see that the voucher was good until 11 o’clock. I was sure we would be able to make that deadline with no problem.

The next morning, Harriet was beat and having a difficult time getting ready to leave. While she was getting ready I took the luggage down and packed the car. By the time we walked out the door we had fifteen minutes before our voucher expired. By the time we got to Ganarascals, it was 10:50. The waitress assured us that it didn’t really matter, that it was so close to eleven, she would be happy to take the voucher. Breakfast was great. I had scrambled eggs, ham, home fries, and sourdough toast. Harriet had granola with fresh berries, and yogurt mixed in. We had all the coffee we cared for. Not bad for a free breakfast. We walked around town for a bit and were on the road by 12:30.

After leaving Port Hope, we drove for a couple of hours. However, all the coffee we drank made it so we HAD to make a pit stop. We also filled the gas tank and had a light lunch at Tim Horton’s. Our route was being directed by Google Maps, which took us out of Canada and into northern New York. Quite a scenic drive through farm land and small villages. We went along Lake Champlain and crossed over a bridge into Vermont. It was around 6:00 pm, and the sun was going down. If I can get the pictures posted you will notice the sun shining right in Harriet’s eyes. Harriet has now been in all 50 States, something that has been on her bucket list for quite a while.

We began looking around for lodging. There are a number of Bed and Breakfasts, and camping sites, but I couldn’t find a motel. We checked into the Ransom Bay Inn & Restaurant. The restaurant was completely booked for the evening, so went back into New York for dinner. The Inn had no elevator, and we had to make our way up some very steep steps to the second floor. Harriet was not sure about climbing up the stairs, but, since I was bringing the luggage up, she did just fine.

The day started off with a really good breakfast at the Bed & Breakfast. All 7 guests were together for food and conversation. One couple was there, with their adult daughter, who taught at a public school. They had spent the weekend at Ransom Bay because of a wedding. It seems the wedding was a mini-disaster. The Bride and Groom, were late for the wedding, because they were out getting drunk. This couple had made the wedding cake, which, because of the rain, was pretty much ruined. The second couple were from Connecticut and had come to see the Fall colors, which were a real disappointment. There was much discussion about the lack of color in the trees: that either there wasn’t going to be a peak this year or it would be in November. The weather was cold, cloudy, and windy. The wind was blowing so hard, that there were white caps on the lake.

this picture is in front of the North Hero Inn, and doesn’t show whitecaps; just the Lake

After breakfast we went to Church. This congregation must have been involved in the Charismatic Renewal back in the Seventies. They didn’t have hymnals, they had really old spiral bound songbooks, with songs that were popular in the 60s and 70s. The songs we sang should have been put in the museum of dead songs.
The pastor spoke about Jesus’ teaching on mustard seed faith. He said three things are necessary for strong faith: 1-Daily Bible study, because, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God.” 2.-A lively prayer life. When you pray you should expect great things because you are praying to a great God. 3.- Repentance, because Sin gets in the way of answered prayer. Therefore, we must live a life of repentance.
After church we drove up U.S. 2, which meanders through the string of islands in Lake Champlain. We came to the village of North Hero, where the North Hero House Inn and Restaurant is located. This Inn has been in operation since 1861. We stopped to check it out and, like the first Inn, this one didn’t have an elevator either. It was so beautiful that booked a room anyway. It was time for lunch, but because, at this time of the year, the Inn only served breakfast and Dinner, went down the road to McKee’s Island Pub & Pizza for lunch. We shared a Calzone and drank some local crafted beer. After lunch we went to a couple of souvenir shops, where Harriet bought a sweatshirt and I got fudge.
We returned to the North Hero House Inn and took naps. Then we went down to dinner on the Front porch. Dinner was great, we got into a conversation with a professor and his wife from Tennessee. They were on their yearly pilgrimage from Tennessee to Maine. They shared some ideas of things not to miss while we were in Vermont. That evening, I sat in front of an open window writing about our day. Our room was on the third floor, facing the lake. I could hear the waves crashing on the beach. There was a cool breeze coming through the window. Very peaceful. Harriet hadn’t had a bad day since we left Michigan. I felt like, all was well in my world. It was the end of another beautiful day. As I was dozing off, I wished a good night to all.

Breakfast, the next morning, was a well supplied buffet, coffee and fresh orange juice. We sat on the front porch watching the birds, and the lake. One nice thing about being so late for breakfast, is that you have the place to yourself. Almost everyone had already left for their next destination. After breakfast we went back to our room and finished packing. The stairway to the second floor was wide, sweeping, and spacious. However, the stair to the third floor, was narrow, closed in, and steep. I had the feeling that the second floor was for guests and the third floor was made for the servants. It was awkward bringing the luggage down to the second floor, I could only bring a few things at a time. All of the luggage was finally in the car; we left the North Hero Inn and drove off as the rain started to fall.

Our first stop after leaving North Hero was at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. We bought tickets for the tour of the factory. The tickets were selling for a tour that was about an hour away. We decided to get some ice cream while we waited. To purchase Ice Cream, you had to go outside and stand in in the rain, until you got under an awning. Fortunately, the rain had slowed down to a drizzle, so we weren’t getting soaked. We finally got up to the window and Harriet got a hot fudge sundae with crushed pecans and whipped topping. I got a waffle cone with strawberry ice cream. both were delicious, and made the wait, for the tour, seem very worthwhile. At 1:40 the cowbell was rung, and everyone who had tickets, for that time, crowded up towards our tour guide. She explained what we would be experiencing: a movie, a bird’s eye view of the factory, and then, the free sample room. “But first,”she said,”you must go through this door and up 27 steps to the video room. If 27 steps are too much for you. there is an elevator, just around the corner. If you take the elevator, simply push number 2 and we will meet you upstairs.” She opened the door and the young people went bounding up the stairs. We, on the other hand, made our way to the elevator.

The video gave the history of Ben and Jerry’s, from their humble beginning in a garage to the international power-house they were today. It then went on to tell of the multitude of ways in which they were changing the world through ice cream. This included: helping farmers become more profitable through fair trade practices and education, working to help people to become more ecologically responsible, and using their profits to fight for equal rights for all. For example, Ben and Jerry’s joined in the fight for Marriage Equality.

Following the informational video, we entered a room, above the factory floor. Our tour guide pointed out large numbers above each station and explained what was happening in the process of making ice cream in each one. Following that it was either back down the stairs, or the elevator to the room where free samples were handed out and any leftover questions answered. Since we had already had quite a bit of ice cream, we should have declined the sample. Lead me not into temptation. We ate at least one sample, which made both of us feel a little ill. (Something that the salt in potato chips or french fries would cure. Wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t provide free samples of either one.)

After eating more ice cream than was good for us, we visited the gift shop and bought some things we could not live without. We bought: a cow bell, a 2020 Calendar, dog treats shaped like ice cream cones, and a T shirt. After that, we staggered out to the car to eat a few potato chips.

We bid Ben & Jerry’s a fond farewell and drove through the Green Mountains. Whereas there was little to no fall colors around Lake Champlain, the trees in the Green Mountains couldn’t have been more beautiful. Even the rain couldn’t hide the brilliant red, orange, and yellow leaves. The clouds were hanging so low that they looked like smoke on the mountains. What a beautiful drive.
We got off the highway at the Woodstock, US 4, exit. We wanted to see some of the covered bridges and the Quechee Gorge which is called the Grand Canyon of Vermont. The pictures are from the North and South side of the bridge that goes over the Gorge.

We drove through Woodstock saw a number of interesting book stores, shops. and bridge that was closed for renovations. And stopped at a Glass blowing shop and Pottery shop. Harriet seemed confused, when I would ask her what she wanted to do, she would answer, “Do whatever you want to. This is your trip.” We decided to leave the rest of Woodstock for Tomorrow so that we could drive South to Windsor and drive over, one of the longest covered bridges in the world. I took some pictures of the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge, but I cannot find them. If I remember correctly, it was built in 1861, and cost $9,000. We drove across the bridge into New Hampshire and, since there wasn’t anything to do there, turned around and drove back into Vermont.

We went North to White River Junction and got a room at the Holiday Inn Express, Our plan was to go to Taftsville and see the glassblowers, drive across the Taftsville Covered Bridge and then move on to Woodstock, for lunch and to walk around town.

Every where we went people would ask Harriet, “How did you break your arm?” She would answer, “I got out of bed, in the middle of the night, tripped and fell down.” After a few days of this, I said, “You need to make your story more interesting.” ” How would I do that?” She asked. “The next time someone asks you, ‘How did you break your arm?’ you answer, ‘My husband got drunk and broke my arm.” I said. “They’ll say, ‘Do you mean the dirty bastard hit you?’ Then you answer, “Nothing like that. He was laying on the floor, dead drunk, and I got out of bed and tripped over him.” Harriet wouldn’t go for it.

A glassblower in Taftsville, Vermont

The next day was beautiful. The weather was bright, clear, and sunny, and the fall colors really stood out. We drove to Taftsville and went to Simon Pierce Restaurant and Glassblowing studio. While we were watching a terrible accident occurred. One of the glass blowers inhaled and got a pane in his chest. (I know. It’s a bad joke)

The Taftsville Covered Bridge

Harriet was having real difficulty getting around. She thought she was just tired and needed to sleep for about an hour. We decided that she would sleep while I drove to the Norman Rockwell museum in Rutland. After going through the museum we would return to Woodstock.
On the way out of Taftsville we drove across the Taftsville Covered Bridge which was built in 1836.
The drive to Rutland was beautiful and by the time arrived we were both hungry. I love going to Mom and Pop restaurants. You get local flavor, color and different food than just going to a chain, so we went to the Seward Family Restaurant. The restaurant was filled with local people who loudly joked around and teased each other. Sadly, the waitress was stressed, because another server called in sick, and the cook was having a bad day. The food was not the best, it was bland and just there.
After lunch we went to the Norman Rockwell museum. The first thing I noticed is that the museum is for sale. The second thing was how neglected the buildings were. Going up the rotting log steps, made me very concerned for Harriet’s safety.
Once safely inside we met the owners. A very nice older couple. The whole place had become too much for them and they wanted out.
Norman Rockwell’s work is displayed in Chronological order, starting in the 1910’s and going to the 1960’s. There were only a few original paintings, but the Magazine covers were the actual, printed magazines.
About halfway through Harriet started feeling sick. She said, “I think I need to go to the Urgent Care. It feels like the U.T.I. is back.” We quickly finished up the museum and headed to the hospital.
Just before the hospital, there’s a Urgent Care clinic that I pulled into. Shortly afterwards we left with two prescriptions and headed to CVS.
We’ve checked into the Comfort Inn and decided to head back to Michigan in the morning.

The next day, Harriet was feeling some better and the sun was bright with a brilliant blue sky. We stopped at a farmer’s market in Eastern New York. We were there for quite a while. We bought, a plant, various gourds, a birdhouse gourd, apples, cider, and a huge red and white flowering plant, that i think are Mum’s.

Later we stopped for lunch at a mom & pop restaurant called, the River Roadhouse Bar and Grill. This was a wonderful restaurant, the food was great, and the waitress was cheerful, friendly, and interested in the 50 States/50 years story. (Interestingly, the bill, with the tip came out to $50.50. ) If you’re ever in Schenectady, New York, stop in for dinner. I highly recommend it.

Much later, we stopped at a Cracker Barrell just south of Buffalo.
We were almost home and Harriet asked me, “Why did we take this trip?”

We got back to Adrian, and home sweet home, around 2:00 am. Harriet had a doctor’s appointment the next morning at 9:20 am. We didn’t get much sleep but did make it to the doctors where they changed Harriet’s cast. The new, tighter, cast was very uncomfortable, she cannot wait to get it off for good.

That afternoon we unpacked. Almost all of the food in the cooler had to be thrown out. This was because some idiot, (me) forgot to put ice in it.

Michelle and Joshua had kept the garden picked so that the fruit wouldn’t spoil. I went out and did a final picking and, as you can see, the Lord blessed us with a good harvest.

This week is taken up with preparations for our 50th Anniversary Celebration on November 2. We started out with the idea of just close friends and family going out to Red Lobster for dinner. Now, things have grown to where 200 people have been invited to a dinner/dance being held in the activities room at St. Mary of Good Council Church. I’ll tell you about it next week.

Please continue to pray for us, and be assured that we are praying for you.

2 thoughts on “A Misunderstanding and a 50/50 Trip – part two

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