As you can see I've been playing with the layout on my blog. I finally changed the background on my title for Fall too. Let me know what you think. Do you like it? Is it too busy?
I've had a very quiet Tuesday here in Lincoln, NH. Terry started coming down with a cold late on Sunday night. Yesterday he had a little bit of a sore throat, but we had planned to drive about 2 hours to Vermont with our best chance for a good weather day, so we headed out, stopped off at the drugstore to stock up on cold remedies and Kleenex, then hit the road. He did well all day and didn't seem to be feeling too bad. But by last night it had moved into a full blown head cold and he was congested with the kind of cold where you can't breathe thru your nose and you feel like you're in a fog. Needless to say, he has slept off and on all day. I feel so bad for him. He hates being sick and especially missing out on his favorite part of vacation - the sightseeing.
Fortunately we needed to do some laundry today and didn't have any pressing plans that couldn't be rearranged in the schedule. The sky is cloudy and gray with a spot or two of blue peeking thru on rare occasions, but not enough to warrant traveling farther than the balcony. Even with a day spent indoors, I still have plenty to post from our last few days.
So, let's see...where to begin... Yesterday, on the drive to Vermont, first, we toured the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury. A quirky and cute little place that truly reflects the off-beat style of the founders. What a cool story about this pair and the fact that they still have the factory here in "middle of nowhere", Vermont. It was a fun stop and we enjoyed our tour & sample of "Half-baked" ice cream at the end. Did you know that they have a Flavor Graveyard where obsolete flavors are laid to rest after they die? It was filled with clever rhymes and the year of birth and death of the flavor on each tombstone. Click on the Graveyard link above and check out the tombstones & Halloween additions at the bottom of the screen as well. You'll find links to the spooky Mansion Grounds, the Library, Lab and more. Their web and graphic designers must love their jobs!
After B & J's we drove on to the town of Stowe. You've probably heard of it. It's a well known ski resort area with a quaint little village for shopping and browsing. We spent a few hours checking out the local shops and picking up a few treasures along the way. This photo is a few of the items we picked up. The rest will remain a secret since they may become your gift: a bottle of a silver medal winning Reisling (my favorite, you know) from the Grand View Winery in East Calais, Vermont. We had a glass with dinner tonight and it's very tasty. We also bought some delicious Vermont Cheddar Cheese from the Cabot Creamery Cooperative (not to be confused with Tillamook Cheddar from Oregon, which is quite different), and a link of Ridgeway Venison Summer Sausage (this was Terry's choice - he likes unusual foods - we'll see how it tastes before I give it a thumbs up).
I just love all the autumn vignettes with bales of straw, colorful pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, and fall colored flowers scattered around on porches and front yards. Somehow with the temps still in the 100's in Phoenix, it just wouldn't seem appropriate to do that yet. Oh well, maybe things will cool down by the time we get back.
I almost forgot to mention that we found some precious gourd decorations that made me think of Michelle M. These are probably a little too cutesy for her taste, but I love the folk art style and primitive look of them. I almost bought a snowman, but decided on just a simple chubby pear that I can keep in my kitchen all year long. I may try to see if Michelle can grow some in these shapes for me to buy...or maybe I'll try to do it myself at some point. I think they're really sweet!
After a little shopping we drove out to the Trapp Family Lodge. Yes, it's just who you think it is. The family made famous by the movie with Julie Andrews. The Sound of Music. Read more about the history of the lodge here. Warning: Maria didn't look anything like Julie Andrews.
We wandered around a bit there, then headed for a nearby Cider Mill to browse. That's where we found the wine and also this great idea for a Christmas tree. Notice the red plaid flannel ribbon wrapped around the tree. I love it! And it would look great in our living room with the red sofa. If I can't find that kind of ribbon, I could always get fabric and cut my own ribbon strips. I love the idea - now I just need to remember it until December.
Soon we started looking for a place for dinner. That's always a challenge in a small town & unfamiliar area. I must admit that we haven't had a lot of success on this trip. It makes me appreciate how many great restaurants we have in the Phoenix area.
Last night was one of our better choices. After stopping at several spots to look at the menu and finding the pricing out of our range for a vacation meal, we settled on The Whip Bar & Grill, in downtown Stowe. Now it's not exactly cheap, but had enough variety in price that we knew we could find something to our liking, especially since Terry didn't have much of an appetite with his cold. I was really tempted to have the roast duck and brie quesadilla appetizer (can you imagine how many people mispronounce "kay-suh-dee-uh" in New England?), but I decided to go for the salmon dinner instead. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture when the meal arrived, but I did remember to take one of the absolutely scrumptious Cheddar Ale soup. It was a real treat! I would definitely recommend the place if you're ever in the area.
This darling little pumpkin was sitting on the back of the bench in our cozy corner booth next to the fireplace. I love the way the lights and shadows play against it.
On the way home, as we do every evening around dusk, we watched for moose. There are "moose crossing" signs all over the place, but so far we've just seen this one at the barn sale.
I hope you're enjoying the news about our trip. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to hear about.