A Travellerspoint blog

Made in the USA!

Montpelier, VT, August 30-31, 2013

semi-overcast 79 °F

Happy 3 months, Callie! It is hard to believe that Callie is already 3 months old.
We drove a whopping 60 miles from Burlington to Montpelier yesterday and settled in for the Labor Day Weekend. In the afternoon we set out on the highways and byways of Vermont. Our first stop was the Cabot Creamery in Cabot. The Cabot Creamery is a co-op that has merged with Agri-Mark and produces some of the best cheese! The co-op started with 4 farmers and now has 1250 across New England and New York. One million pounds of milk are transported to the Cabot plant every that is then transformed into 42 lb blocks of cheese. 100% of the proceeds from the sales go back to the farmers. The best part was tasting all the flavors of their cheeses which are all lactose free.
Making the Cheddar Cheese

Making the Cheddar Cheese


Next was the Goodrich Maple Farm which was also in Cabot. Mr. Goodrich was one of the original 4 farmers in the Cabot co-op. the Goodrich Maple Farm produces 20,000 gallons of Vermont Maple Syrup in a good year, working only 4-6 weeks to do so. They have 4 grades of syrup, maple sugar candy, maple cream and maple sugar, all of which we were able to sample. Yum!
That's one big maple leaf stuck to rock!

That's one big maple leaf stuck to rock!

Stainless Steel maple boiling equipment.

Stainless Steel maple boiling equipment.


On the way home we found a covered bridge that was off the road a bit. When we stopped to explore we found out that it was one of very few covered bridges that was built solely for the farmer, Mr. Martin, to access his land on the other side of the Winooski River. It was built in 1890 and is the only remaining covered farm bridge in Vermont. In 1927, 1200 covered bridges were destroyed in a flood, and the Martin Bridge was one of very few that remained standing. A neat little piece of Americana.
Old agriculture covered bridge from 1890

Old agriculture covered bridge from 1890


Today, after a pancake breakfast at the campground, we continued our quest for things made in America and headed to Waterbury. That, of course, is where Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is made. Ben and Jerry were best friends from 7th grade and they are from Merrick, New York. That's Long Island. Who knew? We had a nice tour, but they were not producing because it is a weekend. Of course there was sampling after the tour. Today's flavor was Americone Dream and it was delicious. It was vanilla ice cream with bits of chocolate covered sugar cone mixed in! Unfortunately it was pouring, so we didn't get to the Flavor Graveyard :(
Ice Cream Mecca

Ice Cream Mecca

Ben/Jerry Mural

Ben/Jerry Mural


Right up the road from Ben and Jerry's we found Cold Hollow Cider Mill. For those of you central New Yorkers, it reminded us a little bit of Fly Creek Cider Mill, but smaller. There was cider, maple syrup, cider donuts and many other goodies, as well. The leftover squeezings from the cider goes to their pigs and their bacon has an apple flavor. Another yum!
Lots to sample here.

Lots to sample here.


The weather has been less than ideal, with rain most of today and predicted again for tomorrow. Oh, well, we need rain. Temps in the mid to upper 70s, but very humid.

Posted by jcorilio 17:33 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Bikes, boats and the beach in Burlington

August 27-28, 2013, Burlington, VT

sunny 82 °F

Burlington is bike friendly and we took advantage of that. Between yesterday and today we biked almost 28 miles, about 95% on the Burlington Bike Trail. Our first venture of only 1 1/2 miles south on the trail brought us right downtown! We checked out Church Street, which is a pedestrian mall about 3 or 4 blocks long and full of places to eat and shop. While downtown we went to the harbor area and rode on the Northern Lights for a 1 1/2 hour cruise on Lake Champlain and lunch! The narration was terrific, especially if you are a history buff, like Don. Lunch was pretty good, too! The funny thing about the boat is that from the outside it doesn't look like much, but when you get on board, it is beautiful!
Lunch and a cruise

Lunch and a cruise

Lake Champlain: a hidden gem!

Lake Champlain: a hidden gem!

Great scenery on the boat ride

Great scenery on the boat ride

US Coast Guard Station in Burlington

US Coast Guard Station in Burlington

Ferry from NY coming into port.

Ferry from NY coming into port.

Cool shot!

Cool shot!

Church St in Burlington

Church St in Burlington


The northern ride was longer and mostly right along the edge of the lake, but when we got up to the Mallett's Bay area there was a causeway right across the lake. The causeway is on an old railroad bed and about 3 miles long, with a cut in it for boats to cross. In order for bikers and walkers to cross there is a bike ferry. Unfortunately the ferry only runs on the weekend, so we had to turn around there.
Biking the Burlington Causeway

Biking the Burlington Causeway

Oops, this is as far as we can go!

Oops, this is as far as we can go!


Our campground is a city park and right on the lake with a very nice, large beach area. We spent a few hours on the beach each day after biking and BOTH of us went swimming. Of course, I only went in once, but I DID go in.
Future SU fan!

Future SU fan!


Both mornings have been very overcast, but clearing up by noon and mostly sunny in the afternoon with temps in the low 80s. It has been too hazy to see much of the Adirondack Mountains.

Posted by jcorilio 18:37 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Collections!

Shelburne and Burlington, Vermont, August 26-27, 2013

sunny 80 °F

There are collections and there are collections, but have you known anyone who collects buildings? I guess if you have enough money and space you can collect anything you like! Electra Havemeyer Webb did just that. She was a very wealthy woman who saw the value in Americana and American arts long before it was popular to collect American artifacts. Her idea was to save these items for future generations. The Shelburne Museum is an enormous museum with approximately 40 buildings housing collections of Mrs. Webb's. There is everything from dolls and dollhouses to weathervanes. There is a National Historic Landmark Lake Champlain steamboat, Ticonderoga, and a steam engine, as well. Luckily the ticket is good for 2 days, so we started on Monday and finished up on Tuesday. I thought my head would explode from all the facts we learned and artifacts we saw.
Who do you know has their own carousel?

Who do you know has their own carousel?

Original Lake Champlain lighthouse in her backyard.

Original Lake Champlain lighthouse in her backyard.

Mrs Webb even had a Conestoga wagon.

Mrs Webb even had a Conestoga wagon.

3500 miniatures at a circus!

3500 miniatures at a circus!

The 250 foot Ticonderoga was dragged 2 miles inland to this spot.

The 250 foot Ticonderoga was dragged 2 miles inland to this spot.

The dining area of the Ticonderoga Steamship

The dining area of the Ticonderoga Steamship


The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory was much less stressful and entertaining. The tour was full of information and 'bearly' funny jokes. It seems in 1980 there were almost no Teddy Bears made in this country and that is how the idea for this company got started. Today it is a mammoth business with Teddy Bears going out to all parts of this country and Canada. Luckily we have a granddaughter now that will need one of these bears, so we took care of that right away.
Going to the bear factory

Going to the bear factory

What a neat country store.

What a neat country store.


After lunch at a local joint, we had beers. The Magic Hat Brewery is in South Burlington and quite the place. The tour guide was thorough and we got to see the process from beginning to end. The beers were free but still tasted like beer :(
Good tour and free beer.

Good tour and free beer.

Silly signage at Magic Hat Brewery

Silly signage at Magic Hat Brewery


Lake Champlain Chocolates offer a tour, but we were too late today. We did get to see the video and sample the wares, though. That was a bonus.
Our campground is in a city park that is right on Lake Champlain with swimming and even a bike trail that runs right through it.
View of Lake Champlain from campground.

View of Lake Champlain from campground.


The weather started out poorly with rain this morning. Since it rained much of the night everything was very wet. We were fortunate that the sun did come out and we had a lovely day, doing some driving around the area as, well. High temp 80°.

Posted by jcorilio 17:29 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Adios Amigos!

Sylvan Beach, NY, August 23-25, 2013

sunny 81 °F

On Friday we had teacher friends, Steve and Rae, up for the afternoon. It was great fun to have them come here. We were able to just enjoy each other's company without having to go anywhere.
Saturday was a day of rest. "A day of rest" you say? Yes!! In the morning we just hung around our campsite! It was wonderful! Then we took our bikes out and rode to see Sandy and Ralph at Ta Ga Soke Campground. After visiting with them for a while we rode into town to play Skeeball one last time. With our tickets in hand we stopped for ice cream at Cinderella's before coming home.
Last day at Sylvan Beach

Last day at Sylvan Beach


Today is our 40th Anniversary!! Wow, who knew we would last this long! In honor of this occasion Don got us tickets to see Reba at the State Fair. First off this morning, we packed up almost everything, then headed to the fair. Sandy and Ralph also had tickets, so we met up with them for a while before the concert. It was nice to be able to spend a bit of time together, just the 4 of us. We didn't have seats in the same section, so we parted company to go to the concert.
The opening act was a 16 year old girl by the name of Caroline Kole who was terrific! She has a fabulous voice and amazing stage presence for someone so young. We expect to see more of her. Reba was wonderful!! We knew just about every song, as did the entire audience. Everything about the show was great except for getting out of the parking lot. This was our 3rd Reba concert and we loved it!
Waiting for Reba

Waiting for Reba

Caroline Kole opener

Caroline Kole opener

Reba Concert

Reba Concert

Reba in her signature Red dress.

Reba in her signature Red dress.


We are heading out tomorrow towards New England. Can't wait to get on the road again, although we have enjoyed our summer here very much.
Weather has been sunny, low 80s.

Posted by jcorilio 21:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Fair Weather Friends

August 20-22, 2013, Sylvan Beach, NY

semi-overcast 87 °F

The past few days have been busy with friends again! On Tuesday, Bob and Shirley came and spent the day with us. They have been in the upstate New York area for a family reunion, our BFer Banquet and a NOMAD Mission project. Since they had not been here before we took them to all the 'hot' spots in Sylvan Beach, like the Amusement Park, Lighthouse and restaurants. Ryan and Khristina came for dinner and the six of us had a good time eating and visiting.
Bob and Shirley at Sylvan Beach.

Bob and Shirley at Sylvan Beach.


On Wednesday we got to visit with Paul and Ann, who have been away for about a month. After catching up at their camp, we had lunch and more visiting. Their camp is only about 6 miles away from our campground in North Bay. We had dinner with Linda and Phil and then went to the concert in the park in Sylvan Beach.
Concert in park at Sylvan Beach.

Concert in park at Sylvan Beach.


Today was Fair day with Rob and Cathy. We know them from Florida, but they live in Livonia, NY and never go to the Fair. We shamed them into it this year and had a great day. Of course there were the butter and sand sculptures, chocolate milk and baked potatoes, and lots of animals. We saw chickens, rabbits, ducks, cows and horses. There were lots of free goodies and crazy foods. It was great fun until the rain started. At that point we had been there most of the day, so we headed to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner. It was wonderful to see them again!
Cute couple at State Fair

Cute couple at State Fair

Colorful Chickens

Colorful Chickens

This year's butter sculpture!

This year's butter sculpture!

Rob and Cathy taking a break from a hard day at State Fair.

Rob and Cathy taking a break from a hard day at State Fair.

The famous sand sculpture begins to take shape.

The famous sand sculpture begins to take shape.

Impressive national bird.

Impressive national bird.


It has been hot and humid this week, but with today's rain it should be cooler with less humidity.

Posted by jcorilio 18:13 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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