Friday, October 12, 2007

to Vermont then visiting Rochester

It has been SOO long since we have written, largely because we now have only a dial-up connection. I now need to go back and reconstruct the last month and I’ll start where we left off. We left Maine a few days after labor day weekend just as the weather started getting chillier. The three hour drive to Vermont seemed like forever because Cassidy claimed to be “getting’ car sick” half the time which we believe means she is “sick” of being in the car rather than any real malady!! We were very happy to arrive here and see Meme (Dave’s mom Penny). Her garden was in full bloom and we were able to have fresh lettuce, tomatoes, basil, parsley, string beans and zucchini whenever we wanted. Her apple trees were also fully loaded but more of that in the next post!! Our original plan was to head to Cape Cod two days later to see the Stanton cousins but we decided everyone just needed to stay put. So we stayed in VT and Penny went to the Cape. We got settled in, Toby sleeps in a little cubby bed in the upstairs hall and Cassidy is in her Auntie Q’s (Dave’s sister) bedroom. The house, for those of you who haven’t had the chance to visit, is a cobbled together little 200 year old farm house perched on the top of a hill above the “village” of East Barnard (184 residents or something like that!). She has about 7 acres of garden, mowed grass, hayfields, apple trees and forest and a fabulous view of the surrounding hillsides. It definitely feels like someplace you could settle in and fend for yourself if the rest of the world goes haywire. We can call up a neighbor to order some local beef or walk over the field to another neighbors to buy fresh eggs ($2/dozen!).

Wednesday morning we headed to Rochester NY to see the Korfmacher cousins and do all the fun city stuff they told us about. Given that the drive was 6 hours the kids did amazingly well. We left early planning on a couple long stops but they were so excited to see their cousins they only let us stop once at a playground we passed en route. We arrived just as Ty and Stefan were done with school so we had lots of play time at their big beautiful house. They have an awesome rope swing and a zip line and great sidewalk loops for bike riding so there was lots to do. The big draw as far as Toby was concerned was Rochester’s National Museum of Play (Strong Museum). It is huge and by far the best kids museum I’ve ever been to. In addition to great exhibits of every variety they have historical exhibits of toys from the last two centuries. The big hits were – the butterfly garden (indoors with 30 varieties that land on you), adventures in storyland, making wizard hats, crowns, design your own bugs, miniature pirates, treasure chests etc, dance dance revolution (toby loved but never really figured out!) and a kid sized grocery store. The next day we hit up the Rochester zoo and then back to the Strong museum with my kids who would have moved in there if they could. Saturday got chilly but we went to watch Katrina play soccer (I almost got enlisted to play but a sub showed up and saved me from playing in my Capri pants and running shoes that didn’t fit!) and the kids rode bikes around. We decided to drive at night rather than deal with our recalcitrant travelers so we left after an early dinner, watched one video in the car, stopped for a potty break and put pj’s on the kids and crossed our fingers. Cassidy through a big but short fit until Dave squeezed into the backseat between them and they both fell asleep on his shoulders (very cute). So much for actually talking to each other in the car while they slept!! The next day was the perfect cool Vermont day and we went to the Tunbridge World’s Fair – a huge country fair about a half hour away with everything from antique motorcycle racing to historic reenactments, prize oxen raised by Penny’s old students, a 700 pound pumpkin raised by a class of pre-schoolers, pig racing, ferris wheel (kids and I rode), cotton candy, fried dough (with maple butter!!) and everything in between. We actually saw the only two families around our age that we knew at that point at the fair (among easily several thousand fair goers!) And the next day Shannon started work at Lyme Timber in Hanover!! Phew … more to follow when I can download some photos.

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