photo of the day (back to vermont)

It didn’t seem as if a week had passed but by Thursday it was time to pack up the car and head back up to Vermont to pick up Nick from Camp Common Ground. The husband had been with me on the trip to drop him off so we shared the driving there and back but this time he was off working in Boston so Clare and I were making the trip on our own. I haven’t driven that far on my own in a very long time and I wasn’t really looking forward to driving the  5 hour trip but I figured we’d stop along the way here and there and that would make it an easier drive.

Really, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, it was a breeze. We only stopped a couple of times. Once at the visitor center as we entered Vermont and the other at a visitor center just before we got off the highway. We didn’t have a problem until the GPS steered us in the wrong direction and we couldn’t find the bed and breakfast where we were staying for the night. Luckily, I did find a policeman who steered us on the right course and we pulled into the driveway of the Elliot House about 6 hours after we got on the road.

Ann, the owner of the inn, greeted us at the door. She gave us a brief tour and then brought us up to our room, very aptly named “Quaint.” Then she left us to get settled in and unpack a bit before we headed out to explore the area.

Our first stop, at Clare’s request, was the Vermont Teddy Bear factory. We took a tour and heard about the history of Vermont Teddies. Did you know they are the only bear made in the United States? At least they were when they started up back in the 80s.

My favorite part was the Bear Hospital. Note the bear in the foreground getting an IV honey drip.

Clare and I hadn’t stopped for lunch so we were both starving. We stopped briefly at the Shelburne Country Store before heading over to a local restaurant for dinner. While we were eating, I happened to glance at a brochure for the Shelburne Museum and I noticed that they were open until 7:30 pm on Thursdays, which meant that if we high-tailed it over there, we would have at least an hour and a half to look around. It was a beautiful evening and I didn’t want to head back to the inn so early in the evening so we decided to go for it, even though we wouldn’t have all that much time.

It turned out to be the perfect time to be there. The light was beautiful and most of the crowds had gone home for dinner.

The top floor of the round barn was filled with amazing carousel animals. Downstairs was a sweet and sad exhibit of quilts made by family members and loved ones of people with Alzheimer’s. The exhibit was called Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece. The quilts were incredible and the exhibit was poignant and sad. It made me think of my mother who is fading away all too quickly to dementia and has lost her ability to create the quilts that were such an important part of her life.

After we walked around and looked at the quilts, a docent suggested a ride on the carousel and a visit to the Circus exhibit. The circus exhibit housed a scale model of a circus parade with hundreds of beautifully hand carved animals, performers and carriages.

We headed over to the steamship that I remember from my childhood visit to the Shelburne museum with my parents but it was already time for the museum to close. I wish we had more time but I’m glad we got to spend the time there that we did. It’s on our list of places we want to be able to see again.

By the time we were headed back to the inn for the night, the sun was starting to go do over the mountains. I drove around a bit until I found a place where I could pull over and take some pictures. Then we drove back to our room and settled in for the night.

Clare and I went down to the living room of the inn, the best spot for their WIFI and relaxed a bit before heading to bed.

I got up early the next morning a let Clare sleep in while I wandered around and took a few pictures in the  morning light.

By the time I came in, Ann was starting coffee and getting ready to make breakfast. I remember the days when my mother wanted to run a bed a breakfast of her own. I can also remember staying in one with my parents. I must have been 13 and I was extremely uncomfortable staying in what seemed like some stranger’s home. Clare, on the other hand, took to the whole B&B thing right away.

Of course, she and the family dog made friends right away and that is really all Clare needs to feel at home anywhere.

We had a lovely breakfast with a couple from New Hampshire who were staying with us at the Inn. Thea and Abbott were from New Hanpshire. Thea is not only a horse person but a breeder  of Irish Terriers. We chatted about lots of things, horses and dogs included. I think I am now a Bed and Breakfast convert. What a lovely way to travel.

I had hoped to be able to pick Nick up at noon which would have given Clare and I a little more time at the Shelburne Museum before we headed into Starksboro to pick him up but that wasn’t to be. So we packed up the car and drove to Camp Common Ground to get Nick. He had a good time and Clare and I waited while he said his goodbyes and after a stop in Bristol for lunch at Snap’s Cafe and a visit to the Creeme Stand, we were on our way home. I’d love to say we had as uneventful of a trip as we had on the way up but alas, the GPS led us through a wind of back roads and city traffic. We arrived in Connecticut just in time for rush hour in not only Hartford but Waterbury as well. I think the trip took an extra hour because of the route. Oh, well. I know for next time. I feel very accomplished for having driven to Vermont and back in 2 days. Who knows where I’ll go next!

~ by photobella on 13 August, 2010.

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