Day 9 – Palmerton, PA to OBX – Corolla, NC

So we left Palmerton under grey skies this morning for our eight-hour drive to The Outer Banks (OBX). We had sunshine and very heavy rain along the way but we are promised sun for tomorrow.

As we’ve spent most of the day in the car, there’s not been a lot of ‘action’ so I’m afraid today’s post is rather thin on the ground.

The day didn’t exactly start very well when at 2.00 a.m. (US time) this morning I tried to book my spinning class for Wednesday next week at my Nuffield gym back in the UK. Basically, it wouldn’t let me book because booking doesn’t start until 7.00 a.m UK time! It didn’t matter that although it was 2.00 a.m. in the US it was was actually 7.00 a.m. in the UK. Just because my phone was saying 2.00 a.m. (five hours time difference) I wasn’t allowed to book! Crazy or what! I will be having a word with them when I get back, that’s for sure. Don’t they realise that people take holidays outside the UK time zone?

During the long drive here I was mulling over one or two things (well there’s nothing else to do except admire the scenery and eat crisps and sweets!) When I spoke with my two besties, Dot and Nat, this week the first questions they asked were (1) had I ordered my new iPhone and (2) which iPhone was I intending to get? Those who know me well know that I like to have the latest gadgets and usually order a new iPhone as soon as it’s released. Well, the thing is, having been away from the UK during the Apple Keynote speech, I haven’t had time to watch it yet, I’m not fully up to speed about the ins and outs of the three new phones, iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X (or ten as it will be known). I only know the basics but for those who are interested, my instinct is to wait for the iPhone X that will be released in November. I really think I just can’t live without the facial recognition capability! 😉

The other thing I was mulling over was the fact that I was overcharged $5 for a book I purchased in Jim Thorpe yesterday! I don’t think it was intentional, the lady was rather elderly, I just think she got confused. It’s a lesson learned, always check your change folks!

Those of you who have followed the blog over the years will know that we do like a Cracker_Barrel_Old_Country_Store_logo.svg

Cracker Barrel restaurant. Well, they’ve been very few and far between this trip. In fact we’ve only seen one and that was today on the way here. We did the usual of arms raised in homage and shouted “Cracker Barrel” out loud. We never got to actually see the restaurant though so was unable to savour its wares as it was off the Interstate.

We saw many interesting sights on our trip here, one of which was this! Nice to find another Harry Potter fan!

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Many of you will will remember that when we do a ‘big’ trip to the US we usually like to play the Licence Plate Game and we usually end up with never having seen a Delaware licence plate! Well, as this is a short trip we haven’t bothered with the game but having driven through Delaware today we’ve seen dozens of Delaware plates. How typical is that? Well, I think when we get home we’ll be turning the little wooden plate over as I feel justified in saying we’ve definitely seen a Delaware plate or hundreds!

For our music pleasure today we listened to Brucie (Springsteen) that is and Jackson Brown. Who wouldn’t sing along to Brucie’s Thunder Road and Jackson’s Brown’s Lawless Avenues? Now’s your chance!

A lot of the places we drove through were named after loads of places from the UK, such as Kent, Sussex, Essex and Somerset to name but a few. We also saw Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. It’s all very confusing to the elderly! We even saw the Statue of Liberty in Virginia! Sadly, I was too slow to get the photographic evidence. The world’s gone crazy!

We drove over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on our way here. What a magnificent feat of engineering that is! Due to the very high wind and rain the sea was raging and we were only allowed to drive at 45 mph!

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CB Bridge 2

For the engineers among you, the Bridge-Tunnel project is a four-lane 20-mile-long vehicular toll crossing of the lower Chesapeake Bay. The facility carries US 13, the main north-south highway on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, and provides the only direct link between Virginia’s Eastern Shore and south Hampton Roads, Virginia.Project Information Board

The crossing consists of a series of low-level trestles interrupted by two approximately one-mile-long tunnels beneath Thimble Shoals and Chesapeake navigation channels. The manmade islands, each approximately 5.25 acres in size, are located at each end of the two tunnels. There are also high level bridges over two other navigation channels: North Channel Bridge and Fisherman Inlet Bridge.

We eventually rolled in to Carolla, part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in the rain and are now staying at The Inn at Carolla Light. What a great find this is! We have a lovely suite that overlooks The Sound. Upon arrival, we were greeted with enthusiasm by JC, a great guy, who very manly carried our two very heavy suitcases up two flights of stairs to our room!

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Here are a few miscellaneous photos that we took along the way today!

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A ‘friend’ we passed along the way! I just love the wind in my hair!

 

On the recommendation of JC we dined at North Banks tonight. A small, but lovely restaurant and very busy. Si decided on the full rack of ribs and a beer and I had the Atlantic salmon and a gin julep. All excellent!

We managed to get back to the hotel in time for Si to take a beautiful sunset photo from the deck of our hotel.

Corolla Sunset 2a

More tomorrow from Corolla Light! Night folks.

Day 8 – Atlantic City, New Jersey to Palmerton, Pennsylvania

Well, what a difference a day makes!

Yesterday, hot and sunny this morning it was raining, windy and the waves were really quite high and breaking on the shore creating white water. Good job the Ironman was yesterday and not today.

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We were told yesterday that the bar at The Claridge Hotel was the original from when the hotel opened in 1930. Just imagine the people who have sat there! Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra to name just two.

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These are photographs on two the lift doors, remembering Atlantic City how it used to be.

After breakfast and with our pockets a little lighter than when we arrived in Atlantic City on Friday, we headed out on our relatively short trip to Palmerton, Pennsylvania. Straight away we discovered we had trouble with Margaret (sat nav) again in as much as she kept wanting to take us the long way to our destination just as she did when we were travelling to Atlantic City. Our trip this morning should have only taken us 2.5 hours whereas Margaret was saying it would take 4.5 hours. What could possibly be wrong with Margaret!!??

Well, suddenly a lightbulb turned on in my head and I knew what the problem was! Click on ‘Settings’ and there it was! Whoever had been using the sat nav before us had programmed it to avoid all toll roads!!!!!! Hence, why she kept trying to either get us to do a u-turn or keep asking us to turn right or left off the Interstate. As soon as I turned ‘no toll roads’ off everything was right again with Margaret. Hooray!

By the time we arrived in Palmerton the weather was sunny and hot. If you read yesterday’s post you will know that we were meeting up with our good friends Nat, Terry and Ty today.

We spent some time this afternoon with Nat visiting the town of Jim Thorpe. Nestled in the breathtaking Lehigh Gorge, this Victorian town originally known as Mauch Chunk was changed to Jim Thorpe in honour of the Olympic champion.

James Francis Thorpe, (May 22 or 28 1887 – March 28, 1953) was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. A member of the Sac and Fox Nation. Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for his home country. Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, and played American football (collegiate and professional), professional baseball, and basketball. He lost his Olympic titles after it was found he had been paid for playing two seasons of semi-professional baseball before competing in the Olympics, thus violating the amateurism rules that were then in place. In 1983, 30 years after his death, the International Olympic Committee restored his Olympic medals.

The town has been called the “Switzerland of America” due to the picturesque scenery, mountainous location, and architecture.

 

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Sandra with Nat in Jim Thorpe with the biggest lump of coal Nat had ever seen!

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We all had a lovely dinner together but unbelievably we were so busy enjoying ourselves that we forgot to take a group photograph!! I know I have one from the last time we all got together so I’ll dig that out and post it instead!!

Tomorrow we head to The Outer Banks in North Carolina, a 200-mile-long (320 km) string of barrier islands and spits off the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia, on the east coast. Somewhere in the US that we have never visited before!

See you there!

 

Day 7 – Atlantic City, New Jersey

First of all, let me apologise in advance to all our readers if you find parts of this post do not make sense or have rather a lot of spelling mistakes. Si and I have been taking advantage of the ‘Happy Hour’ at the rooftop Vue bar and lounge on top of the hotel. It was such a beautiful afternoon and as all the cocktails and small plates only cost $5 each (£4.00 a pop) it seemed very rude not to!! 😉

Si took this great picture from the rooftop of our hotel reflecting next door in Ballys exterior.

Claridge Reflection 1a

Before I forget, I meant to say yesterday that it had come to our attention that the ‘maids’ looking after our room are male! Never really thought about it before but this is the first time we haven’t had females looking after us. Guess that’s a sign of the times!! 😉

The day started sunny and hot again and after a very special FaceTime call with our dear friend Dot in Upstate New York for a catch-up, we had breakfast in the Twenties Restaurant. We were told today that the bar area is all original dating back to when the hotel was built in the late 1920s early 1930s. I had the healthy option again and Si the Western Omelette. Both excellent. So, nicely full we set out to do some of the ‘touristy’ things in Atlantic City.

First port of call was the Absecon Lighthouse. It’s a coastal lightbouse and at 171 feet (52m) is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey and the third-tallest masonry lighthouse in the USA. Construction began in 1854, with the light first lit on January 15, 1857. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1933 and although the light still shines every night, it is no longer an active navigational aid.

Lighthouse 2

It was designed by George Meade and still retains its original first-order fixed Fresnel lens. The lens is made of lead glass and weighs 12,800 pounds (5,800 kg). As the light was fixed (non-flashing), it does not have a landward segment allowing visitors to look up in the lens where the keepers entered it for maintenance.

Lighthouse 1

We climbed the 228 steps to the top (after six weeks with no real exercise, my poor knees paid the price!) and there was a great view of the whole of Atlantic City.  We were greeted at the top of the stairs by a man called Bayard Moran, a very pleasant elderly gentleman who gave us a signed card in acknowledgement of our achievement. It turned out that he was an Anglophile having spent time in the UK when he was in the Service and also his son studied at Cambridge and so he had holidayed in the UK as well.

As we left the lighthouse we met Buddy. Now Buddy has been a volunteer at the lighthouse for eight years and has lived in Atlantic City since 1956. He will be 90 years old on 24th September and various events are being held to celebrate his birthday. He climbs the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse every Friday and often on one other day as well!!! He is described as a volunteer treasure and a true keeper of the light. His aim is to reach 105 years of age as that’s the age his oldest relative reached before dying.

Buddy

After the lighthouse we visited the aquarium. They had many species of fish, lizards, tortoises etc. I don’t know but keeping any wild animal in captivity doesn’t sit right with me!

Yesterday I mentioned that an Ironman triathlon was happening here today, well it turned out to be a half Ironman, that’s Ironman 70.3. The “70.3” refers to the total distance in miles (113.0 km) covered in the race, consisting of a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run. Each distance of the swim, bike, and run segments is half the distance of that segment in an Ironman triathlon. Well, you learn something everyday! It was a very hot day for such activities!

Iron Man

Looking after everyone was the local Police in some of the strangest vehicles we’d ever seen!

Police

Tomorrow we leave Atlantic City for Palmerton, Pennsylvania. It’s a very special day for us as we will be meeting up with our other dear friends Nat, Terry and Ty! 😀

It was Ty’s birthday today, he’s nine years old. So, “Happy Birthday Ty” hope you’ve had a great day. See you tomorrow. 🎂🎉

More from Palmerton tomorrow!

 

 

Day 6 – Atlantic City, New Jersey

Good day loyal followers!

A strange thing happened at the hotel last night that I forgot to mention in yesterday’s post. I was sat here writing the blog and suddenly there was a ‘ding dong’ and a buzz and a man’s voice flowed into the room saying “regarding the emergency, don’t worry, the Fire Brigade 🚒says there’s no fire so no need to worry!” What the …. , what emergency, we hadn’t heard a fire alarm? Si called down to the front desk to ask what that was all about and they repeated what we had already heard. About an hour later, the guy came over the speaker again telling us not to worry as there was no emergency and we should just “carry on.” 😱 We meant to have a word with reception this morning to tell them we didn’t hear an alarm …… but we forgot. Must do that as we leave for dinner this evening. Scary!

We ate breakfast in the Twenties Restaurant here in the hotel this morning. Service was a little slow but as we are holiday and not in any particular rush we didn’t really mind. Si had the Crab Cake Eggs Benedict while I settled for the healthy option of Homemade Granola Parfait with fresh strawberries, blueberries and strawberry yoghurt. Both were magnifico. What do you think Si’s intentions are with that knife!! 😱

Alas, the restaurant does lose one star because they do not serve camomile tea! Now back in the 1980s when we first started visiting the US they couldn’t even serve a decent cup of tea, it was always made with lukewarm water but over the years things have improved dramatically and my experience for some time now has been that tea is usually served with boiling water and most places serve herbal teas. Luckily, I always carry my own supply of tea bags so I asked the waiter to just bring me hot water instead. He was most bemused by my request. All I can think is that the hotel is still serving the tea they were serving back in the 1930s when the hotel first opened!!

When we awoke this morning thick fog was covering the Atlantic Ocean but the sun soon burnt it back and it’s been the most glorious hot and sunny day. Having been born near the sea but having moved away long ago, it’s always a great joy to soak my tootsies whenever we are near the ocean and that’s just what I did this morning.

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We explored the hotel this morning recalling whose footsteps we were following in. It really is beautiful. Note the lift (elevator) says ‘Car Up’ as it would have done in days gone by. There’s also a tribute to Frank Sinatra that includes his piano.

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Frank Sinatra’s piano

We did a walk along the Boardwalk and visited the Tourist Centre where a very helpful lady recommended places to visit and very kindly pointed out where the Outlets were!! Si grimaced and thanked the lady for pointing that out to me!

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Well, what would you expect me to do!? Of course we got the car out and made a visit. I wanted to check out the Pandora shop anyway. I’d bought myself one charm in Boston to remind me of our visit there and so it seemed a good idea to see what the local store had too. It was well a visit and I managed to find two lovely charms to adorn my bracelet. Also, one of the shoe stores was having a Sale on Vans Trainers so it seemed like a good idea to check that out too. We both managed to find some we just couldn’t do without!

There was a Zumba class on the Boardwalk this morning. Oooooh, if only I’d had my Zumba shoes I would have given the old hips a good shaking!!

Zumba

We decided that we would try Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant at Ceasar’s Palace for dinner tonight but sadly, it was not to be. We arrived and were seated straight away, so far so good but alas, when I sat down the seat was so low that my chin was resting on the table. Ridiculous! Obviously, I couldn’t eat my meal like that so we asked to be reseated. Well, we waited, and waited and no-one returned to move us and in the end the waitress said it would be a good idea to go and stand at the reception area. Well, long story short, we left. An appropriately worded complaint will be going to Gordon Ramsey’s team and nil points will be going on Trip Adviser. Terrible, terrible customer service.

In the end we ate at the Twenties Restaurant again. It was us and six other people. As this is a non-casino hotel most people were out in the casinos eating dinner. Let’s say it was a very quiet affair.

I have been asked for pics of Si not eating ………………………… well, here he is drinking instead! He said that this little pinot noir is now his favourite wine! 😀

Pinot Noir 1a

A little bird has told us that the weather back home is not quite as lovely as it is here so we’ll be doing all we can to send a little sunshine your way! 🌞

There’s an Ironman Triathlon here tomorrow so that should be interesting to watch. Si was thinking of entering but he didn’t want to embarrass all the contestants!! In his dreams!!

 

 

 

Day 5 – Taftsville, Vermont to Atlantic City, New Jersey

Before I tell you about our day, I remembered that I’d forgotten to add two things to yesterday’s post. One was photos of the covered bridge, the weir and the river at Taftsville just up the road from the Inn and second was a very short, quick video of the apple pressing at Cold Hollow Cider Mill. I’m  starting to get forgetful in my old age! Taftsville 1aTaftsville 2aTaftsville 3a

This morning before we left the Inn we had a lovely breakfast with four new guests, a couple originally from Scotland who now live in East Sussex and an American couple from Guilford (I thought they said Guildford but apparently not!) in Connecticut. We had a very lively discussion about Scottish independence, Brexit and Donald Trump!!

The American couple, Ken and Naomi, were on their way to Stowe to partake in the 27th annual ‘British Invasion’ which is a weekend celebration and salute to the Great British motorcar and British lifestyle. They own a Jaguar and last year won first place in the Jaguar Sedans (1955-87) MK I/II, 420, S-Type, XJ6, XJ12, XJ6C section with their 1962 Jaguar Mark II. Fingers crossed they managed another win this year too.

So, it’s “goodbye” Vermont and “hello” New Jersey!

Now then, as we spent most of the day in ‘the beast’ I’m afraid there’s no ‘action’ to speak of but just what we could see out of the car windows as we hurtled along.

We departed lovely Vermont and headed out for Atlantic City. The drive was scheduled to take 6.5 hours but allowing for stops on the way ended up taking seven. It was a much easier drive than we were anticipating and arrived in brilliant sunshine and not the rain we had been expecting. To smooth our passage we listened and sang along to the tunes of John Denver. All together now, one, two, three:

We needed a smoothing tune or two because Margaret (sat nav) didn’t want to take us on the route to Atlantic City that we preferred (i.e. away from New York as we knew it would be too busy on a Friday afternoon), instead she insisted on trying to turn as around at every exit en-route! It’s not like Margaret, she’s usually so co-opertive!

A long drive like this one can be rather boring but a few sights along the way made it interesting including this rather pretty picture as we left Vermont of Echo Lake in Tyson and one of the Fall colour ‘in progress’.

Echo Lake Tyson

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At one point on the drive I began to wonder if I’d had a drink or two, albeit it rather early for a drink, because I realised that I was indeed seeing cows and a moose(!) standing on a roof!! Luckily, on closer inspection I realised they were not real after all.

Cows 1Cow Moose

I felt really at home when I saw this sign. My name before I married my dearest was in fact Weston! Pleased to see I was offering ‘luxurious accommodations and fine dining”, definitely my kind of place.

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When we saw this one we were rather confused ………….. had we been transported back home and didn’t realise it!

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It was very kind of the good ‘ole folk of New York and New Jersey to lay on a welcome for us!

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and boy were we pleased to see this sign!

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We are not staying at a casino but at The Claridge Hotel and Brighton Park here in Atlantic City. It has a very interesting history as it stands on the site where the founder of Atlantic City, Jeremiah Leeds, built his family settlement in the late 1700’s. The hotel opened in 1930 during the great depression and some of its famous guests included Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Princess Grace of Monaco, Al Capone and Nucky Johnson who was an Atlantic City, New Jersey political boss, Atlantic County Sheriff, businessman, and racketeer! Some of you back home in the UK may have seen Sky Atlantic’s Boardwalk Empire in which the character Nucky Thompson was actually based on Nucky Johnson. Great show!

Tomorrow we’ll take some photos of the hotel, I know, the excitement is just too much, but in the meantime, this is the view from our hotel room looking over Brighton Park and out to the Atlantic Ocean. Is that the UK I can see, I’m waving, 👋are you all waving back?

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That’s all for now folks, see you tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Taftsville, Vermont. A Day Of Very Mixed Weather!

We were woken in the night by very heavy rain and thunder! But by the time we had partaken of an excellent breakfast here at the B&B the rain had stopped. This morning we were treated to a very delicious cheese and ham scone (no, not like a British scone, this was a flat cheese scone with the ham inside) together with poached eggs on top and tomatoes completed with a lovely red nasturtium from the garden on the side. There were also homemade raspberry turnovers, fruit and cereals. We were the only two for breakfast but more guests are arriving today so it will be interesting to see who those other guests are and where they are from tomorrow morning.

After breakfast we left to drive to Waterbury. The rain had left mists everywhere, curling round the mountain tops it was a stunning sight.

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We saw various warning signs along the way …….

but alas the only ‘wildlife’ sighting we saw today was a little bunny rabbit!

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One thing that is always obvious to us as we speed along the Interstates is how well kept they are. Grass nicely cut and no rubbish at all.

Being in this part of the country always feels like home as a lot of the towns are named after places back home i.e. Manchester, Portsmouth, Windsor, Essex and Middlesex to name but a few. It’s pretty obvious who settled this part of the USA!

By the time we arrived in Waterbury the sun was out and it was lovely and hot. Waterbury is home to the original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory. This is where the whole B&J story really started. From a renovated gas station in Burlington, Vermont, to far-off places, the journey that began in 1978 with two guys and the ice cream business they built is as legendary as the ice cream is euphoric. We decided to do the factory tour but were not really impressed as we had chosen the day production had been stopped to clean the machines ready for a new flavour run!  Anyway, we were given free ice cream to try so not everything was lost!

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They have an ice-cream graveyard on site and that’s where all the retired flavours go to ‘rest’. Each retired flavour has its own headstone. Here are just a couple.

As Si’s into cider at the moment we felt that a trip to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill was in order. We were able to go and see how the cider is made and this turned out to be very interesting as we had it explained about how our cider is known as ‘hard’ cider in America (i.e. alcoholic) but American cider is just pure apple juice with no additives whatsoever and confusingly enough, in American you can also buy apple juice distinct from cider because it does have additives and flavourings! Confused ………… we were. There’s a wonderful store in the Cider Mill too filled again with all those goodies we just have to have! I picked up a jar of Apple Cider Jelly (jam to the Brits) to bring home with us but sadly it didn’t make it to the counter as I dropped it, boom, glass and jelly all over the floor. They also make cider doughnuts and of course we just had to try them! They were fabulous.

Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Tonight we went back to The Mill at Simon Pearce for dinner and once again, it didn’t disappoint. We don’t eat lamb at home but Si decided that as we are in the USA it’s somehow okay as the lambs are American …………….. so that’s what he had for dinner!

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I think someone somewhere wasn’t happy with his choice because as we tried to leave the restaurant the heavens opened and the rain lashed down! It was running in rivers down the car park. We had neither coats nor brolly! That’ll teach him!

Tomorrow (Friday), we leave the lovely Applebutter Inn here in Vermont for quite a long drive down to Atlantic City for the weekend. Just a little history note for all those historians reading the blog, the Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as in 1854 it was the home of Edwin C.  Emmons and he fought in the American Civil War for the Union.

By the way, that’s our ‘beast’ of a car on the drive. I can just about manage to climb out of it without falling but getting in is not a very lady-like affair as I have to put one foot in and then heave myself in by pulling on the armrest!! Hey ho, the perils of being short!

 

See you on the shores of the Atlantic ocean tomorrow folks.

Day 3 – Boston, Massachusetts to Taftsville, Vermont

We leave Boston today to travel to Vermont but before we do that let me tell you about last night’s ball game, Boston Red Sox versus Oakland.

We toyed with the idea of getting a taxi to Fenway Park as it seemed a lot easier than walking to the station and working out how to buy tickets. Our last experience of train travel was when we wanted to travel from New Jersey into New York City to go and see Ground Zero. Now we are quite intelligent folk and as some of you will agree, I’m quite a techie (Sandra that is, not Si, no tittering from anyone thank you!) but it really was a bit of a nightmare. We had to purchase them from a machine that really didn’t speak English, I think it had been imported from the planet Krypton! Anyway, we had to enlist the help of a very pleasant guard who explained it all to us. It wasn’t possible to buy return tickets, had to be singles. Alas, I ended up using the inbound ticket to travel outbound, the guard on the train didn’t notice and I was lucky that the inbound train guard didn’t either! Duh!

Anyway, I digress …………. last night’s ticket purchases was extremely easy, even though it was from a machine and only cost us $11.00 for two returns to travel anywhere. Now that’s what I call cheap. So we jump on board, packed like sardines in a can (we’ll never complain about the London Underground again!) and off we shoot to Fenway Park.

It was a great game and the Boston Red Sox won by 11-1. The whole thing about baseball is that it’s such a family event. Everyone having a great time. There’s no swearing and shouting of abuse like we have at football (soccer for our US followers) matches. At football, once the game starts everyone is concentrated purely on the game. No-one speaks or usually moves until half-time whereas at baseball there’s people on the move all the time but not in a distracting way. There are dozens and dozens of snack vendors going up and down the isles selling hot dogs, pizza, peanuts, candy floss and drinks. No need to go hungry or thirsty there.

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First Ball! Can you spot it? Not bad considering I took it on my iPhone!

 

They were having a special event last night in aid of children’s cancer and they had families affected who came on to the pitch.

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We had great seats just up from behind the batter. We were under cover and there was also a fine net so that no-one would get hit with the ball if it came behind. Sadly, there was a very small area where the net was not attached to the roof and we couldn’t believe it when a ball came through that small space and hit an elderly gentleman on the head! 😱 🤕 He had a little cut but seemed okay, the medics however insisted he went out with them to be checked over. He was very reluctant to go though and miss the game.

All in all a great experience. 👍

As we needed to go to the Post Office this morning and it was just along from the Paramount Cafe we decided we would go in there again for breakfast. As we entered the waiter welcomed us back which was a nice touch. Another great breakfast consumed, Si had the Avocado Surprise while I just had scrambled eggs on toast.

Just one side note regarding Boston ….. we were told this morning that there were gangs of young men on Boston Common last night with guns and one was critically injured!!

Now, onwards to Vermont!

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Sadly, didn’t see any!

It was a lovely three-hour drive to where we are staying, in Taftsville, just outside Woodstock, at the Apple Butter Inn. An 1850’s farmhouse bed and breakfast and our hosts are Jill and Don together with Ginger a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

The B&B is absolutely lovely. We are in the King David room and it even has a sleeping porch all screened in so that we can sit there in comfort with a nice glass of wine and some cheese. In fact, Si’s already been down the road to the little local store and purchased said items! 😀

As we had arrived rather too early for check-in we decided to go into Woodstock to take a look around. It must be at least 20 years since we were last there. It’s a wonderful little town with those gorgeous little shops that are always full of things we can’t possibly live without!!

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There are a couple of lovely covered bridges locally that have been restored to their former glory.

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On the drive into the B&B we crossed over the Ottauquechee River with its covered bridge and waterfall. Next to it stands a building that for centuries served as a woollen mill and is now home to Simon Pearce Glass and The Mill restaurant. We are booked there for dinner this evening. We are told no-one who eats there is ever disappointed! I shall report back later this evening on our experience. In the meantime, this is the setting!

Well, we’ve returned from The Mill at Simon Pearce and what a find that turned out to be. It was voted one of “America’s Most Romantic Restaurants” and we could see why, everything was magnificent. We were advised to book early and turn up about ten minutes ahead of time as we wanted a table by the window and it’s first, come first served. We did as we were told and bingo, we had the best seat in the house.

Best Table In The House

We may go back tomorrow evening. We both started with mashed avocado and lump crab on toast then Si had the fillet mignon and on a lady’s recommendation who eats there regularly, I had horseradish crusted cod, it was magnifico!! We shared Bakewell Tart to finish and the waiter was keen to know what we thought of their English pudding. We reassured him that it could easily have been made ‘back home’ so that pleased him.

For those who follow Si’s daily intake, here’s tonights!

Si's steak

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Quechee Weir at sunset

Well, it’s been a long old day one way and another so it’s off to bed we go. Tomorrow we continue our tour of Vermont!

Night everyone! 😴

PS: Note for Sue P ……………. the gin and tonic lip balm is working a treat! 😘