Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Burlington, VT

We headed out of New Jersey, following interstates for a way, but shifted over to Rte. 4 after Albany. Unless we need to make time for some reason, we prefer the secondary roads. They are slower, which helps us conserve fuel, and you get to see more of the countryside. The towns they go through slow you down a little, but are also interesting. You get to see how the locals live.

We found ourselves basically following the Champlain Canal without being aware of when we had crossed the Hudson River. At Lock 2 (just north of Waterford, NY) we pulled off the road and had lunch by the canal. Quiet and pleasant.

We reached Burlington at about the 5:00 rush hour (of course). There was heavy traffic for much of the way in, but we found Alan's with just one slight missed turn. We sat on the deck overlooking Lake Champlain and visited until Valerie got home from work, then walked downtown for dinner in a good Mexican restaurant. We walked back and continued to talk 'til about 11:00.

Breakfast on the deck, our favorite place. You can watch the wind patterns on the water, and see the boats as they come out of Burlington Harbor for a day on the water. Then we relaxed and got online for a couple of hours; Jean paid a bill and I went through the accumulated email. The three of us (Valerie had to go to work) walked downtown for lunch at a sidewalk cafe.  Downtown Burlington has been converted to a pedestrian mall about three blocks long. Today the weather was beautiful and the streets were crowded, with lots of buskers.

Downtown Burlington. This picture was taken on an earlier trip, after some rain.
We did a lot of walking while visiting Alan. Every place we went was about a mile from the house. There is a hill involved, so a round trip makes for good exercise, though not strenuous. An ideal situation. Would that it would be as convenient to get our exercise in Forest. At home we have to drive for 20 minutes to get to a good place to walk.

Next morning we walked to near downtown for a late breakfast at a new diner. Then Alan painted the upper deck railing while I made a couple of blog entries. Jean walked downtown to shop. About 4:00 Alan and I returned the scaffold to his house in Colchester and ran some errands, including a trip to North Beach for me to collect a bottle of sand. I have a new hobby of collecting some sand from  beaches wherever we stop, whether we spend some time on the beach or not.  Then we picked up Jean and went to Staples to get a card reader so I could download pictures off my camera. After Valerie got home from work, Alan picked up some Thai food and we had a pleasant dinner on the deck.

Next morning, after a breakfast of fresh fruit and fresh-baked muffins on the deck, Alan and I went off to his barn to collect the three boxes of stuff I stored with him when the house in Williamsburg was sold. We managed to combine two of the boxes into one (very heavy) which enabled us to store them under the bed in the Roadtrek. We used the empty box to organize all the clutter in front of the third seat.

Alan showed Jean how to get to North Hero Island (our next destination) and about 10:40 we bid a reluctant farewell and headed out to see the Vermont countryside.

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