Warning! This is very long so make sure you’ve had a potty break, refilled your drink, gotten a snack and have a few minutes without interruption…
<–Just so you know, that’s me with a dime-store Indian.
So we had a pretty good time on our vacation. We left early Friday afternoon after getting into a minor fight about something so trivial. I hoped it wasn’t going to ruin our trip. We had directions printed and a pretty decent map of Vermont and despite the printed directions, we got inevitably lost (and it wasn’t because I can’t read a map…I can’t, but that wasn’t the reason.) So, we made it there in about 3 hours including a stop at the Vermont Country Store. The hotel (Econo-Lodge in White River Junction) was a decent place. They had an indoor pool and a hot tub. The rooms were clean and didn’t smell of smoke like many non-smoking hotel rooms I’ve been in. Bug immediately liked jumping on the beds. He would have his own queen size bed for 2 nights.
After getting checked in and settled, we decided to get something to eat. We debated for a while on having something delivered and when we asked Bug he said he wanted fries which only means one thing…McDonalds. There was one down the road so we headed off. We got about half way there and the car started making a very terrible noise. Darling Hubby pulled over and we had a flat tire. We ran over a bolt (complete with washer). Easy fix, right? Nope. Darling Hubby got the car jacked up and the lug nuts off (we were missing 2, by the way) and the darn tire just would not come off for anything. Long story short, after an hour of kicking it, tugging on it, hitting it with the tire iron, a quick walk to the service station just back up the street (who couldn’t send anyone for at least 45 mins) and 2 nice passer-byers later, the wheel came free and the donut (yes, our car only has a donut) was on and we made our way to the McDonalds. Then it was back to the service station to drop off the tire so it could be repaired first thing in the morning. Sigh…some vacation this it starting out to be…At least it didn’t completely set the tone for things to come.
We had a tough time getting Bug to go to sleep that first night. He was so wound up from being some place new that he just couldn’t settle down. Plus all he wanted to do was jump on the beds and watch baseball. He finally settled down in his own big bed around 10 and we all crashed after that to be well rested during the night. That would have happened had the bed Darling Hubby and I chose been comfortable. There was a severe dip in the center (and no, I was not sleeping in the middle all night) that was causing us to lean and sleep funny. Needless to say, Bug was the only one who got a decent nights sleep.
In the morning we showered and got ready to go. We went down to breakfast where we dined on cheerios, danishes, and orange juice. We met a very nice family with a couple kids one was almost 2 and the other looked to be about 4. We talked briefly (well, the little ones talked) before everyone set about their business. Our first mission was to get the tire from the service station. They had patched it and it only cost us $10. Not bad…then it was to the Toyota dealership (oh, and I should note, White River Junction is mainly comprised of Car dealers, hotels, and gas stations.) so we could get replacement lug nuts. In total, it only cost us a little over an hours worth of hassle and $15. Then it was back to the hotel to put on the new tire and clean up. While Darling Hubby was fixing the car, he found 3 more lug nuts that were loose on the car. We are beginning to think that the dealership did a shoddy job of putting them back on after the last tire rotation…
Then, it was off on our day of fun. Our first stop was to the Quechee Gorge. It’s nothing spectacular. It’s a gorge. Just a mountain with a river running through. They say it’s like the Grand Canyon…except it’s smaller and has trees. It was pretty anyway and a long way down from the bridge we were standing on.
After that we went to Scotland by the Yard, a little store that sells all sorts of Celtic items. It was a cute little store that had a lot of great stuff, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to spend $150 on a sweater…even if it would keep us warm in -800 degree weather. After that we went looking for the scrapbooking store I wanted to visit, but we couldn’t find it anywhere…oh well…less money I’d spend, right. Then we went to the Quechee Gorge Village. Bug enjoyed eating all the cheese in the Cabot Cheese Store as well as pushing the buttons to start the model trains in the toy museum, riding the train (and pretending to be the conductor) that went around the property and playing video games with daddy. They had some beautiful stuff in the antiques and craft sections. There were lots of old things that I would have loved to have bought, but just couldn’t bring myself to pay the asking price. It’s funny, we saw an old Schoenhut child’s piano that they were asking $125 for. We picked up the same thing (in better condition) at a garage sale this summer for Bug for $20. There was a lot of beautiful things in the Danforth Pewter store and the Glassblowers Studio, but they were really pricey, and I just couldn’t pay that much for something that would possibly get broken.
After a filling lunch at the Farmers Diner, we went over to Vermont Country Iron (the Blacksmiths shop). We were hoping they would be forging things, but with the heat, I can’t blame the guy for not. We met the owner, Rich Franklin, who is a very nice man. We were looking for something that we could use as a door stop for one of our doors in our house and not seeing anything that would fit the bill in the shop, he’s hand-forging us something to our own design. It should take a couple weeks to make and then he’ll ship it out to us. I can’t wait to get it. I’ll post a picture of it when it arrives.
After leaving the village, we made a quick stop at this kids clothing and toy store (I figured there had to be something Bug could play with there since he hadn’t been able to touch much) We found out upon entering, that Muddy Duck Kids was going out of business and we talked with the owners for a little while. They were very nice people. Bug liked playing with their wiener dog, Gypsy. And to make things better, they were selling the clothing for 75% off and everything else 50% off. Of course none of the clothing would fit Bug, but we ended up with a cool Melissa and Doug picture frame, a book, and a bag of rocks (it’s what Bug picked out) for $18. After that, it was another quick stop at McDonalds for dinner and then a quick swim in the hotel pool where we met up again with our friends from breakfast whom I learned were named Braden (older) and Malachi (younger). The three had lots of fun wading in the 1′ deep water and pouring water over unsuspecting mommies. (Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures as we didn’t want to take my camera down to the pool and risk it getting damaged or stolen). Back in the hotel, Bug had a bath and then we all curled up and watched Shrek 3 which we purchased from the hotel for our in room movie. We’d heard lots of bad things about it, but Darling Hubby and I actually enjoyed it.
Our final day there began rain and before we left White River Junction we took another trip to the village and another tour through the antiques place, the Glassblowing Studio and the pewter store before having another round of tasty Cabot cheese and heading home. We stopped for lunch at Burger King in Rutland and then went to Bennington Potters in Bennington, VT. The store front was cool. There was this moose statue wearing galoshes and it was through the glass. They had lots of cool things inside, too. Of course, I never want to purchase anything at full price so you could find me browsing the shelves of “seconds” (things that are not aesthetically perfect) where I found a cool mixing bowl with pour spout in blue agate and a set of mugs in green for discounted prices. After leaving Bennington, we headed home to our dogs who had been cared for by our wonderful neighbors. I’m so glad we had a good vacation. It was fun to get away from the things at home and do something different, but, I’m happy to be home.