Monday, October 20, 2014

Road Trip to New Hampshire and Vermont 2014

Last week we left Maine and headed to New Hampshire and Vermont. Our adventure continues.

Here is the link to my pictures!

10/12/14 – New Hampshire

DSCF0893We left Maine and drove to North Conway, NH for a train ride on the Conway Scenic Railway. It cost $59 per person and lasted for about 5 hours. It was a nice train ride and the fall colors were fabulous! We sat on one side on the way to Fabyan and then they announced that on the way back, everyone had to switch sides. The scenery was beautiful but almost impossible to take good pictures from a moving train.

10/13/14 – Vermont

DSC_0008We had a lovely day in Vermont. We ended up driving along the road that the train traveled by yesterday and we got to look at the sights again from the car. First we took a free tour of a maple sugar factory and bought a box of pure maple candy. Then we went to Cabot where we took a tour of the cheese factory for $2 each. We drove to Stowe but left because we had to find a new hotel room other than the one we booked (see the story below). We stopped in Montpelier and thought the town looked cute but the visitor center rep recommended that we find a hotel room as soon as possible because they fill up fast. We found a cute motel in Barre, VT called Hilltop Inn of Vermont. We had a coupon for $59 and it is a lovely room with a tiny kitchen and sitting area. For lunch, the desk clerk recommended the Wayside restaurant which was absolutely wonderful! Then we did laundry ($10 to wash and dry one load) which seemed to take about 2 hours but at least we have clean clothes now.

Disappointed in an Airbnb reservation we had for tonight. We were supposed to be at a B&B in a double bed/private bath. Yesterday afternoon, the host emails me and tells me that they are going to a museum today and won’t be able to clean that room after the last guest leaves so they moved us to 2 rooms with single beds and no bath. The bathroom is in the hall. She didn’t think I would mind since her and her husband enjoy separate beds when they vacation! We’ve only slept apart 2 times in 32 years! Plus there won’t be anyone there when we get there so just make ourselves at home! Hubby refuses to go into a house with no one there (what if we got the wrong house or what if this is a scam and not really there house!). Plus, how safe would we be or even our belongings because there wouldn’t be anyone there to give us a key. So we called the credit card company and asked for a refund (I was charged for the full amount when we made our reservation in August) and will have to find somewhere else for the next 2 nights.

10/14/14 – Vermont

After breakfast at the motel, we headed to the Rock of Ages visitor center where we bought tickets for the 9:15 tour of the quarry. It cost $5.50 for adults and they gave a AAA discount plus senior discount for Don so we only paid $9.50 total for the 45 minute tour. Art was a great tour guide as we rode the school bus to the quarry. Before the tour though, we watched a short video that explained a little of the background. After the tour, we went into the factory for a self-guided tour where we watched the people make monuments from the slabs of granite. Then we went downtown Montpelier and had a tour of the Capitol building and walked downtown. Don found an antique store right next door to a knitting store! Then we drove to the Hope Cemetery to look at the unusual headstone sculptures made by the sculptors for their own graves. After that we hunted for the floating bridge (road on huge floating barrels) but when we found it, it was under reconstruction and wouldn’t open until 2015. We decided to spend another night at the same hotel as last night since the price was right and included breakfast.

Things I Learned:

1. The pure maple candy has only 40 calories per piece.

2. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

3. Cabot cheese is a coop of many different dairies.

4. Vermont law only allows 25 tons on the roads.

5. Barre granite is monument grade granite and it has feldspar, mica, and quartz in it.

6. Many people have died from the granite dust in their lungs.

7. There used to be hundreds of sculptors (mostly Italian) but now there is only 1 at the factory.

8. Now most of the etching is done with sand blasting and rubber for the stencils.

9. Vermont is the only one of the 6 New England states that is landlocked.

10. There are many nautical themes in the Capitol building.

11. That Capitol building was destroyed once by fire and the portico is the only thing saved from the fire.

Original photos by Pat Hensley

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