Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Vermont and New Hampshire

Our journey from New York to Vermont will, in all probability, be the shortest drive we will have…it was a 10 mile drive from RV Park to RV Park. From Ausable Chasm to Port Eden was 4 miles; a Ferry transported us across Lake Champlain and it was 6 miles from Burlington to our RV Park just outside a little town called Shelburne. It was quite an adventure and a welcome one to be taking the ferry, the alternative would have involved driving around Lake Champlain which is long and narrow and would most likely have taken days. However, driving the big RV, tow dolly and car onto the ferry was nerve racking to say the least; and we were not the only RV on the ferry. Shelburne, noted for Shelburne Farms and Shelburne Museum is a suburb of Burlington. We opted for the Museum and were delighted as it is an all day and more kind of place with a wonderful eclectic collection that includes period houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, barns, farm outbuildings, blacksmiths forge, the National Historic Landmark steamboat Ticonderoga, a lighthouse, a Meeting House and the Electra Havemeyer Webb Memorial Building in which six interiors (rooms) from the Museum founder’s 1930s Park Avenue, New York City apartment are re-created including pieces by Degas and Monet and others from her unique art collection.

One of the buildings was in a horseshoe shape specifically to display a scaled (inch to a foot) circus parade of almost half a mile long depicting animals and people from all over the globe - on horseback, camels and floats, the detail on the carriages and costumes is spellbinding. The Circus Museum in Peru, Iowa has nothing to compare. Another exhibit was devoted to fashion from top Paris designers, some old and some modern, shoes by top Italian designers and a film of models strutting their stuff on the ramp at a Paris fashion show. It is a fascinating museum which stands as a testament to its creator and original funder Electra Havemeyer Webb. No visit to the Burlington area is complete without a day spent at the Shelburne Museum.
We played golf next day on a very nice nearby golf course called “Kwiniaska” about a mile from the RV Park, we could probably have seen the course but for the trees.  Later that day we drove into Burlington and walked down “Church Street” a four block pedestrianized and crowded tourist trap, with shops, cafes, restaurants and Ben and Gerry’s right there where it all started.

From there we drove to Newport, New Hampshire to visit with friends who had lived in Los Gatos in 1996-7. Having “hooked up” we drove around Lake Sunapee and caught glimpses of the lake through the trees and happened upon a restaurant called “Bubba” which was full of people so we stopped for dinner there and I had my first Lobster Roll of this trip. The following evening we had dinner with Caroline and Iain in “The Old Court House” in Newport; we had a lot of catching up to do and were talking so much we had a hard time ordering our food. Needless to say we closed the restaurant after a most enjoyable meal and visit.
Next day we went for a hike to see a waterfall Iain had recommended not too far from the RV Park and I decided that we should complete the loop by hiking up the river back to the RV. Of course, I fell in not once but twice, cagey Tom did not. The first - I was easing my way down the bank slipped and ended up on all fours in the water, no harm was done but the only place left dry was the back of my tee shirt, all I could do was laugh take my phone out of my pocket quickly and give it to Tom in case I fell in again. We crossed the river (the Sugar River is shallow and has lots of rocks and stones) as the far bank looked flatter and easier and ended up in a couple’s garden; they were busy tidying away their garden furniture in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. As we cross the river back to the RV Park SPLASH! Once again I am on all fours in the river, I really thought that I should go for a swim at this stage as I am now soaked.  

That night Eileen and Carl called from Maine to tell us that the path “Irene” was taking looked like it would pass right over VT and NH and encouraged us to take shelter from the storm at their home. We didn’t need to be asked a second time!

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