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ONE LAST VISIT WITH MY GRANDCHILDREN

Two Nights in Plattsburgh then on to Vermont

sunny 68 °F

Hi all--

It has been a busy week since last reporting. The 2 hour drive to Cumberland Bay State Park at Plattsburgh was pretty with the colors of Fall just beginning to show their beauty. I had dinner with Tim, Marie & the girls, and Todd and we heard all about their (Amelia, Vivi, and Marie's) first days of school. On Friday I left Plattsburgh and traveled by ferry boat across Lake Champlain to Vermont. The lake was as smooth as glass and the 2 mountain ranges, Green Mountains of Vermont and the Adirondack Mountains of New York, were a delight to view. I booked a campsite at the Burlington City Beach and Campground, a lovely location on the northside of the city. Burlington is Vermont's largest city (about 100K with suburbs) and home to the Univ. of Vermont. Naturally, there are hundreds of students on the streets and the youthful flavor abounds.
On Saturday my friend, Pat flew into Burlington from Minneapolis/St. Paul to join me in our trip southward. Sunday was spent touring Shelburne Farms, the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, and the Von Trapp Family Lodge.

A bit of history on the 'Gilded Age' Shelburne Farms. A young medical doctor from New York City whose name was Dr. William Seward Webb met and courted Lila Osgood Vanderbilt, daughter of Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. The couple married and a few years later in the early 1880's after her father died she came into a considerable fortune. Their dream was to build a model agricultural estate overlooking Lake Champlain and the mountains. They bought up 32 local farms creating a 3,800 acre estate then hired famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr to organize this concept of Farm, Forest, and Parkland. Olmstead designed NYC's Central Park among dozens of other famous landmarks. Architect Robert H. Robertson designed the beautiful mansion, carriage barn (housing 60 carriages), horse stables (200 horses) , cattle barn, and related buildings all carrying a common architectural theme. During its heyday (1900) the private estate had a staff of 300 people who supported the family and demonstrated innovative agricultural practices of the time. Today, the not-for-profit Shelburne Farms, rents rooms in the main mansion (Shelburne Inn), offers tours of the barns, demonstrates cheese-making and sells 170,000#'s of farmstead cheddar produced there from its herd of 110 Brown Swiss cows. In addition it markets Maple products produced from maple trees which grow on the farm.
After spending about 3 hours touring the Farm we drove the 20 miles or so to the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory at Waterbury, VT for a tour and sampling. Several hundred visitors enjoyed their ice cream cones along with an unexpected treat, a Chevrolet Car Caravan of pre-1955 Chevies touring from several states. From there we drove the short distance to Stowe, VT, a ski resort town and home to the Von Trapp Family Lodge. The famed Sound of Music family operates a Bavarian-style lodge and resort there overlooking the Green Mountains. The Lodge is beautiful but, unfortunately the food didn't measure up to the scenery. Much more to come..................

Dick

Posted by dixter 13:09 Archived in USA Tagged the of vermont beauty

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