Vermont – our 47th state

One night stop in a small KOA in Brattleboro so we can ads Vermont to our list of states visited – we are now at 47!! But along the way we saw some classic rural sights and landscapes as we make our way East.

I do love Barns!!

Vineyards dot the landscape in eastern NY, western MA as well as southern Vermont.

Baby milk cows are raised separately to protect both mothers and calves from disease.

Loved this mural in a tiny town we drove through.

Beautiful yellow house!

A classic New England farm scene.

Connecticut River as we approach Brattleboro.

Our stop at Brattleboro KOA was eventful – our reservation was screwed up on dates – but the new owner made room for us to spend the night and was very accommodating. This is too small a campground for big rigs like the Taj,but it worked out for overnight. The next day we headed to Hampton Falls New Hampshire for two weeks.

Our return to sister towns – Saugerties and Woodstock NY

During our first Motor coach trip in the 2008 Tiffin Allegro Bus in 2015’we stayed here for a week and loved it – so a return was in the cards.

Saugerties is a quaint and lovely Hudson River based small city that never fails to intrigue us.

Rich in history and culture it entices you to learn about its past but also hope it’s future us bright. Every year they have an art show that involves a city wide theme and the competitors display their work outside retail stores along the Main Street. This year “Sailboats” were in! So beautiful and amazing to enjoy. Below is a sample of several entries. There also are great eateries – we had a fab lunch at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen and had delicious pizza across the street at “Slices.”

A wonderful dinner at The Red Onion in Woodstock capped off a great return visit. Diners come from the Big Apple to enjoy the fabulous food at the “Onion” and the service is unparalleled.

Put the Saugerties/Woodstock KOA on your itinerary for a perfect location between these two sweet sisters as well as the other nearby attractions such as the Woodstock Museum, Overlook Mountain and the sculpture phenomena – Opus 40.

The sign below at a local church struck me as an important reminder.

My cousin and our significant others enjoyed lunch at Miss Lucy’s Kitchen and celebrated Saugerties on a beautiful sunny day.

Love this symbol as you enter Woodstock – it’s twin is in Saugerties.

Yummy cupcakes had here!!!!

Art is everywhere.

Lenny and Lola love Woodstock too especially via their special dog stroller.

Peace, Love and Flowers everywhere.

Blue Brothers await a table for lunch…..

Follow the sign to Calm…….

A visit from momma deer and her fawn later that evening.

Note: Lenny had his follow up checkup while we were here and he is almost 100% recovered from a severe gastric disorder – such a relief!

Next stop Vermont and New Hampshire as well as two days in Boston for a USS Constitutions Captains and Wives reunion lunch at the Boston Harbor Hotel and dinner with two of our eight grandchildren.

Halls of Fame Tour continues with Pro Football Hall of Fame as well as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Last years trip included several museums and three distinctive Halls of Fame – Country Music which we hit in Nashville, followed by the NFL and Rock and Roll versions. All were great experiences but decidedly difference and fabulous in their own right. We delighted in the exhibits and memorabilia.

Nestled along the lakeshore of Lake Erie the Hall is an imposing sight and an anchor for the city’s revitalization. The building is fascinating and architecturally pleasing It welcomes would with music and colors immediately.

We would return to the Rock and Roll one because it was so big and a mirror of our lives – we are sure we missed things, and I’m such a music buff – I was in heaven there! Rick caught my enthusiasm and we both really enjoyed our first visit. Music is everywhere and the memories of your life coincide with each new performer or group – it was delightful and enormous fun.

We traveled south of Cleveland to Akron where the NFL hosts its legends. Being a Patriots fan made our visit to the NFL Hall as good as it gets. We had a great tour there and learned a lot about how the leagues were formed as well as their history with civil rights and integration. The docents there were fabulous and we would recommend paying extra for the guided tour. The Hall of Fame inductees room is a tribute to all the greats including my personal favorite – Terry Bradshaw who I finally met several years ago – after being a huge fan before the Patriots became my guys. He’s a singular talent and I still get to see him on Fox NFL Sunday Shows.

Make time to visit these two places – very worthwhile and fun for all.

Terry Bradshaw- my first sports idol.

Winning the first super Bowl after two bi losses was a dream come true but six in 20 years is magical.

We departed the northern Indiana area and headed northeast to Utica New York for a visit with a former Ameriprise colleague and a view of a city I traveled to with family many years ago.

Petoskey and Traverse City MI

Our site at Hearthside Grove complete with outdoor furniture and grill. It was cool when we arrived but got warmer everyday during our stay. It’s a beautiful place not far from the bridge to the Upper Peninsula, Mackinac Island and Traverse City within a mile of Lake Michigan. This was our first visit here but likely not our last. Friends had told us of its beauty but combined with the views, restaurants and shops as well as historic significance and architectural lovely homes – old and new – it’s a special place. The staff at Hearthside were fabulous and helped make our stay delightful. It was a good rest but also a stimulating visit.

Hemingway spent summers there during his youth and one can see why. It is an inspirational area.

Also we took some gun shots along the way in the Michigan countryside.

A great entrance to one of the many farms.

A field ready for seeding.

Little Traverse Bay – with fog bank in distance

The historic Bay Association homes were built as summer cottages for a Methodist group similar to the one that built the cottages in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. It is a separate self governed area with homes of all sizes and colors. We were fascinated by them and drive up and down the streets. I’m surprised we weren’t stopped for stalking. I took over a hundred photos – these are just a sample of the brightest colors. many were in fabulous condition but several were indeed fixer uppers

A row of homes from the street heading north.

These two building were in downtown Petoskey and had been refurbished by local architects. They were appealing to the eye so I thought I’d include them. The downtown small and very walkable with lovely shops and eateries. Don miss Salmons Grocery and go to Chandlers for dinner regardless of how dear it is….. we celebrated my seventh decade birthday there and it was splendid.

Along with drizzle, fog is a preeminent weather condition during spring in this area. Huge Lake Michigan makes the weather and the shore goes along with it. It’s beautiful and mysterious in the mornings and evenings when it moves across the water and fields like a cool blanket.

Petoskey stones – found on the beach at Little Traverse Bay – these stones contain fossils of coral that lived when the land here was covered with the primordial oceans. They are hard to find so I’m lucky to have found any myself. Usually you need to buy them.

We took a day trip to the “Upper P” and had lunch a Clyde’s Drive In – famous for delicious cheeseburgers. Our server at Chandlers recommended the burgers and the drive back through the Tunnel of Trees. Great advice.

Turning Stone RV Park, and Utica & Ithaca NY visits.

We arrived at this Casino connected RV Park on the Oneida Nation land outside of Utica located just a mile down the road from the main casino and hotel location. We got a nice long site in the very pleasant park that had many sites for campers, trailers as well as motorhomes. Rain followed us here and made the site very wet and damp. We had plans to see our friend Greg from our Ameriprise days while here but also just relax a bit. Our first day was spent scouting out the large Casino and its numerous restaurants. We sampled one for lunch and were pleased with our choice. We are not gamblers but have found several nice RV Parks colocated with the casinos.

The next afternoon, we visited with our friend – showing off the motor coach to him for the first time – the next afternoon followed by dinner in the Casino’s Harvest Buffet. The following day we had a fabulous tour of the Adirondack Distillery – a small downtown Utica distillery making an array of liquors but with bourbon production as their primary focus. Our tour guide was a staff member since the distillery began about five years ago. His breathe of knowledge and commitment to quality and excellent products was obvious. One of the co owners arrived while we were there and I realized we had previously crossed paths in our former lives in politics. We both agreed it was great to be on the sidelines these days.

Dinner that evening was at a Greek restaurant with a long history of community involvement and commitment as well as delicious traditional Greek delicacies. On Friday we had a fabulous brewery tour at Utica Club or Saranac as it is also known. The brewery is still owned and operated by the original Matt family founders and has survived numerous economic situations but continues to make quality beer and soda products.

That evening we spent relaxing and enjoying dinner at home. Our older Yorkie, Lenny seemed out of sorts and began throwing up that night. He never does that so we wanted to keep an eye on him. We retired for the night with him still not doing well and agreed to take him to the vet in the morning. Around 5am he woke us up very sick – vomiting and diarreha with bright red blood visible. We now had an emergency to deal with called the local vet who directed us to the East Syracuse Veterinary Hospital. We arrived and after examining Lenny they recommended we take him to Cornell University Veterinary Animal Companion Hospital in Ithaca as he needed an ultrasound and serious emergent care. With an IV for fluids to prevent dehydration we bundled him off to the world renown animal hospital. They greeted us at the door, they admitted him immediately. It was obvious he was a very sick baby. We were told quickly they wanted to keep him until the vomiting stopped and his digestive tract calmed down. After three days Lenny was on the road to recovery, diagnosed with severe Hemorrhagic Gastro Enteritis – a sometimes fatal condition if not diagnosed properly. We are eternally grateful to both veterinary facilities for their superior care of Lenny, our dear family member. Sent home with antibiotics and detailed report on his illness we were hopeful of his return to normal soon. We will do a follow up visit at the Banfield Pet Hospital in Newburgh in a week. This experience highlights an important aspect of traveling with your dogs – finding and getting good medical when necessary. We have hadVPI Nationwide insurance and now have the Banfield Optima Wellness plans for them so we can get care at any Banfield. We think this has worked out well although we are considering a catastrophic coverage plan after the expense of Lenny’s illness. Taking good care of your pets is just as important as caring for each other and we make it a priority. We made a few itinerary adjustments so he could have some quiet time to recover and headed to Saugerties/Woodstock KOA.

Home Sweet Home

We closed on our new house in Lake Ashton of Winter Haven at the end of July 2919 and have had a pool and big birdcage built off the lanai and we love this new nest! We have now stood still here – enjoying life – except for two weeks on Big Pine Key in early December and a week at the Tampa Super RV Show in January. The Taj is quartered nearby in community covered storage fir a reasonable monthly fee. We have met lots of other new residents and are beginning to feel right at home.

We love the area and are witness to all sort of wildlife – reptile and avian. Sandhill Cranes are our most prominent winged neighbors and alligators are in every pond even our small one. Herons,. Egret, limpkins, mergansers, pink footed ducks and galliludes are plentiful and provide endless entertainment and distraction.

Below are some house pictures first followed by just a taste of the wildlife.

And now some birdies…..

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