Thursday, June 30, 2011

Burlington, VT

We arrived in Burlington late afternoon checked into our hotel and headed downtown to explore the area.  There happened to be a Jazz Festival going on the whole week we were there, so lots of music all around.  There are many restaurants and shops along Church Street which is blocked off to traffic for 4-5 blocks making it an easy and pleasant walk.  We walked this every night we were there, with the Jazz Festival going on stages were set up along the way and bands played throughout the area.

Many of the restaurants had outside dining, it was a beautiful evening so we chose a spot outdoors "Sweetwaters" and enjoyed a meal of Tuscan steak, sweet potato fries, grilled vegies and a glass of Cabernet.  This street is also home to the flagship "Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream" so we checked it out but were to full for dessert that night.

We then walked  down to Lake Champlain to see the water view but by then the sun was setting so took a couple pictures and headed back to the hotel.  We were staying at the Sheraton Conference Center since that is where Jim's meeting was located.  It was your typical Sheraton, we had access to the Club Room which was nice in the mornings for coffee/tea and morning papers.  The hotel was on the edge of town and although probably about a mile or two  walk to downtown it was part highway so we usually drove.     It was a nice hotel indoor pool, work out area, good parking all the usual, we had no complaints.  Jim's meeting began the next day and I had plans to meet up with Alyson our oldest in Norwich, VT.  She was driving up from Boston so we could spend the day together.

...........Norwich, VT tomorrow.......

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New York/Vermont/New Hampshire/Boston Road Trip

     With a meeting in Burlington, VT we added a couple days to drive across VT, NH and on to Boston with a quick visit to Alyson.  If you have ever driven through upstate New York and on into New England you can appreciate our drive, it was beautiful the whole way.  We left early enough to plan our lunch stop in Sharon Springs, NY at the  "The Black Cat Cafe".   This is a bit out off our route maybe 10-15 min off the highway but we were ready for a break from the drive.  They serve fresh baked goodies, sandwiches on fresh bread, soups, & salads.  We tried the Ginger Carrot Soup, Curry Chicken Sandwich and the Gorgonzola Saladwich --all where great choices.  Seeing the giant cookies in the cabinet I couldn't resist buying a chocolate chip for the road.  What a great place for a good lunch a & walk around town.   

Gorgonzola Saladwich
      We have traveled in the area years ago, visiting Cooperstown, NY another great spot for a long weekend!   The Fabulous Beekman Boys have brought a lot of attention to this beautiful area, I am hooked on the show so also stopped by their mercantile for some soap.  I love watching the scenery, the farming, you'll learn things you never thought about. It reminds me of visiting my grandparents that had a dairy farm in Pennsylvania when I was young.  Who could resist a beautiful farm?  Alright there is probably someone out there, just hard to imagine not loving this farm.

American Hotel

We then moved on driving North along Lake Champlain to Burlington, VT.  

Next part of the trip coming soon.......

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stony Run Hotel

Stony Run Hotel  
2409 Route 737
Kempton,  PA  19529   (Under New Ownership)

This is a small town on the east side of Hawk Mountain, we live on the west side so were surprised we hadn't found this spot sooner.  From route 78 you can take the Kutztown exit north follow 737 right to Stony Run (see map link below).  They serve traditional German/Austrian food with a long menu of choices.  They do have a lot of other offerings that I have tried and enjoyed but  I seem to go back to the German offerings.  Stony Run is owned and operated by a German couple, he is in the kitchen making each order and she has prepared all the desserts.  The staff has always been friendly and quick to wait on you.  There is a combination plate that is quite popular, Austrian Bauernschmaus it is selection of some of the most popular items.  My choice is the Pork Schnitzel with Spaetzle, the homemade Spaetzle is amazing.  They offer a long list of Austrian/German Beers along with many other choices.  There is a full bar for other drinks.  The homemade desserts are a must try.  The Strudel made with apples or in season rhubarb is a favorite.  This night we tried the Rhubarb Pie, you won't be disappointed with their dessert.  This is a fun spot to try, homey atmosphere, a little something different for dinner out.

Pork Schnitzle with Spaetzle

Rhubarb Pie

Friday, June 3, 2011

Weekend/Day Trip, Lancaster, PA

Lancaster, PA

What a beautiful area of the country!  Lancaster is less than an hour from us so an easy day trip, but there is plenty to see if you have a few days.  Jim actually went to college there many years ago so for him we always check out all the old hangouts.  The Central Market downtown has been operating for over 275 years!  They often have musicians playing outside, vendors indoor or out, and the freshest of local produce that you can imagine.  A number of restaurants are nearby also.  Until you have time to make a visit check out their website with some wonderful photos posted under contests, you can have a virtual visit.  If you have time visiting some of the local farms is a great way to see the area, also the  "Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania" in nearby Strasburg is a fun visit for all ages.  Lancaster County is filled with activities you should check it out when you pass this way.

Book signing at "Barnes and Noble" Lancaster, May 2011 with Mika Brzezinski.  Great book, I will be making sure both my daughters read this.  Notice shelves are empty, good day for book sales.  I'm a big fan of "Morning Joe" on MSNBC one of the very few shows that present the topics of the day and then let people from both sides share their thoughts & opinions.  Often heated debates but yet respectful.  I like hearing the discussions so I'm more informed of different opinions and then I have a better understanding of the issues to make my own opinions.  I also like that it comes on from 6-9am in my time zone.  Great show!  Coincidentally in college our oldest Alyson worked at the "Katzen Art Center" on campus at American University in Washington, DC and had the opportunity to work with Mika's mom Emilie Brzezinski who is a sculptor.

"Moon Dancer Vineyards & Winery",  Wrightsville, PA

"NIssley Winery", Bainbridge, PA
We left downtown and headed for stops at some nearby Wineries, both nice stops for a tour & a taste.  Check out their events calendar, they have music, arts, festivals, lots of choices.  Nissley has a beautiful country setting, big trees, amazing barn with these eye catching stone arches and tours of the vineyards.  Moon Dancer is located high atop a mountain with a view of the Susquehanna River, they have a lovely patio for enjoying your wine, their events calendar is creative offering something for everyone.  Both wineries are worth a visit if you get the chance, there are also others in the area we look forward to trying.