The next day we awoke to a beautiful Vermont morning. The weather was perfect– crisp, cool with blue skies. We went next door to the Inn to have our breakfast in the dining room.
I was so excited to eat on this trip. Because being pregnant and unskinny all at the same time = NONSTOP HOooNGRINESS. And I enjoyed every meal while we were in Vermont. Plus I was thankful that we didn’t have to drive 20 miles to get breakfast!
Look at this yummy meal! It was outstanding.
And check out our gorgeous surroundings:
We had big plans for the second day of our vacation. We had booked a ride on the Green Mountain Flyer, expecting it to take us over and around (or even through!) mountains ablaze with fall color. We drove to the town of Bellows Falls on the New Hampshire border to get on the train.
The Bellows Falls Union Station was built in the 1850’s and looks just as it did in the 1940’s when people still used it as their major form of transportation.
Mom says “Choo Choo!” as we depart the station in Bellows Falls.
But instead of traversing the mountains we saw a lot of this:
and then some more of this, which is really only interesting if you are M. Night Shamalan or trying to find your way through a corn maze shaped like Sarah Palin:
But there were some interesting sights along the way. We went over Brockway Mills Gorge with a nice rushing stream below it.
We also caught a glimpe of the first of many covered bridges that we documented on the trip:
And we stopped for just a minute in the town of Chester, VT where we saw lots more of that barn red paint. Somebody is making a killing off of paint sales in Vermont.
This was inside the Chester Depot:
The train headed back to Bellows Falls and we saw more cornfields. The swaying of the train car made for a hypnotic ride, so I think I took a little cat nap on the way back. Here was our train car, straight out of early 1900’s.
After we arrived back at the depot we decided to head back toward Weston and do some shopping in the small towns along the way. We shopped all afternoon, then went back to the tiny town of Londonderry for dinner a second night in a row. After that we it was getting dark, and dark in Vermont means it is very dark.
Like, Booger dark.
There are not many streetlights, and lots of small curvy roads
with bears and meeses and maybe even a reindeer or two ready to jump out at you any second.
Soooo… knowing my family’s luck with hitting cows, we decided not to take any chances and made our way back to the Inn at Weston for the night.
The next morning we decided to head out and find a monastery of Benedictine monks that Mom had read about in one of the tourism brochures.
At first I was like, “A monastery? For real?” But once we arrived I was glad that I visited.
It was peaceful, serene and beautiful.
It was here that we got our good first dose of autumn color in the trees.
And then I began to feel as if I was in the middle of a Robert Frost Poem.
We got a little lost on the drive home, but that was ok, because we saw some really cool sights like this:
From there we decided to just start driving and see where we wound up. We made our way all the way over to Charlestown, New Hampshire, where we decided to stop and see the Fort at No. 4.
It is a Fort that dates back to the 1740’s when some of the first colonists used it as a safehouse during the French and Indian War, all the way up through the American Revolution. Here we met this nice man, who served as our tour guide through the Fort.
He was an interesting fellow who gave us spent a good deal of time talking to us about the history of the area, and also about the lighthouses of Maine.
Basically we had the place to ourselves, aside from a bus load of school kids who were on a field trip. But we are nerds and enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.
I played a drum solo for Boudreaux in my belly.
And coveted the rustic wooden kitchen bowls.
We watched a nice lady churn butter and said a prayer of thanks for Land o’ Lakes.
I have no idea what this is, or why I am sniffing it, but it made me feel very Pocahontasy.
The tour was cool, and definitely something you won’t see in Alabama. It did make me stop and say “Thank you, Lord.” for the fact that I live in more modern times.
Imagine how bad your back would hurt if you had to sleep on this every night:
And you had to cook your meals here:
And poor baby G. Do you think this would have any safety recalls?
After we left the Fort, we moseyed south down the interstate and exited at Brattleboro, where we took Route 9 west toward Bennington. Along the way we saw another covered bridge, so of course we had to stop for the photo op.
We kept spotting all these painted bears along the way. I later learned the bears were used to raise money for charity. They were all very cute!
We stopped along the way and took photos at the 100 mile view overlooking the Green Mountains.
After arriving in Bennington, we exciting Route 9 and headed North on Route 7 toward Manchester. We were basically making a big circle back to Weston, and this appeared to be the fastest way that we hadn’t seen before. Along Route 7 we spotted a sign that I just had to stop and pay homage to, being a fisherwoman:
Farther up the road we spotted another sign for the Norman Rockwell museum in Rutland, so we made a pit stop to check it out.
At the museum I saw something I had never seen before, and it gave me a chuckle.
All I could think when I saw this was “I’m Mister Plow, that’s my name, that name again is Mister Plow.”
Inside was chock full of Rockwell’s work. It was amazing.
How cool would it be to be a teacher and receive this from one of your students? It says, “Please excuse Tommy Rockwell’s absence from school on Nov. 12th because he was deer hunting. Norman Rockwell”
And here’s one for fishing. Talk about priceless.
It was getting very late, so we decided to head on back to the Inn at Weston for our final night in Southern Vermont. The next day we had to pack up and head north to White River Junction because the busy weekend had arrived, and there was no more room for us at the Inn.
To be continued….