Tag Archive | vacation

Take Me Away, Vermont ~

We had spent our first three nights of vacation in Portland, Maine, but now, Tuesday morning, it was time to head out to Burlington, Vermont, catching some scenery through New Hampshire along the way.  All of our travel resources said it would be about a four hour ride to Burlington.  So, once again, I settled in and let Al take the wheel.

 Since we were only spending one overnight in Burlington, I had booked us into more moderately priced accommodations at the Burlington Travelodge.  It was convenient, right off the highway and not far from downtown and the ferry crossing we would be taking on Wednesday.  I had visited Burlington some years ago when I worked a marathon there for the American Heart Association, and I remembered it being a nice, relatively calm college town full of interesting things to see and places to go.

 The weather from the get-go wasn’t fantastic.  Overcast and threatening rain.  When we pulled into the Travelodge, Al went in to secure our lodgings (which I had booked February 13, 2013) as a king size room on the ground floor.  He came out and had been given keys to a room on the second floor with two twin beds.  Needless to say, I took my internet confirmation in with me to confront the young girl at the counter.  We ended up with a decent king room on the second floor, and made our way with our luggage just as the rain began to pour.  Eventually we emerged to go to dinner… a local IHOP.  We had decided to do most of our sightseeing the next day after we checked out and before our ferry crossing to New York.

 Cruising around Burlington was eye-opening, to say the least.  It had been “built up” since I had been there, and was very overtly commercial.  Still, we drove around the college section, where most of the more interesting shops still were, and then we decided to take the short drive out to Ben and Jerry’s.  I think we got there around 10:00 a.m., and it was so overwhelmingly packed with people that we didn’t even get an ice cream.  People were heard saying that they’d waited in line for over an hour for an ice cream cone.  I didn’t need one that bad!  So back down into Burlington to stop and shop at some of the more interesting stores we came across, and we also stopped and visited a really pretty park right on the water. 

 

Once I saw the Lake Champlain Chocolate Company it was all over.  We had to go in, even though I knew I would not be splurging on decadence like I wanted to.  I had done enough “damage” to my weight loss goals and promises already.  I did not want to add insult to injury.  But I thought there might be some interesting photos to be taken, so we went in.  We did end up buying two truffles each ~ they were enormous, and enormously expensive.  But, it was only four truffles… okay, and a small candy bar too.  Al ate most of it.  Okay, Al ate half of it and I ate the other half.  We are saps when it comes to good chocolatiers.

There were a couple of other “unusual” stores that Al had to check out.  One was a lighting store that had several statues in their parking lot that were created from lighting materials and metal things.  Right up Al’s alley.  By lunch time we were heading for the ferry crossing and parked second in line to board the ferry.  There was a nice little restaurant right there on the dock, so we took time for lunch, as we had an hour before the next crossing.  While we had lunch, the rain returned and deluged the dock.  Thank goodness we were inside.  The enormous bowl of clam chowder I was enjoying kept me warm while the wind whipped at the restaurant windows.  All too soon it was time to get back into the car and prepare to drive onto the ferry to cross Lake Champlain.  The weather remained unsettled throughout the crossing, but the ride was smooth.  On the other side, we stopped and took time to get our bearings and find out just exactly we would be getting to Lake George from the ferry crossing.

 I was looking forward to our upcoming accommodations in Warrensburg, just a six miles from Lake George.  This vacation that was supposed to be a rest and relaxation time, was wearing me out.

 Thanks for stopping by and reading about our excursion in Burlington.  Be sure to check out our Portland, Maine and Warrensburg/Lake George adventures.   TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Lake George, NY ~

It was only about 2 hours from the ferry at Port Kent down the Northway Route 87 to Warrensburg.  By far the easiest part of our trip.  Warrensburg, where our B & B was located, was only about 6 miles from the tourist town of Lake George, New York.  Far enough that it was quiet, close enough to be there quickly.

We arrived at the Cornerstone Victorian Bed & Breakfast in Warrensburg in the late afternoon… plenty tired.  Our hosts had left for the day, but left us an envelope with welcoming instructions and an invitation to help ourselves to a special dessert kept in a common-area refrigerator (along with sodas, water etc).  Tonight’s dessert was cheesecake drizzled with raspberry sauce.  I really cannot say enough about this establishment.  I was in awe the moment we walked through the door into the foyer.  This was Victorian, and immaculate, to the absolute hilt.  Our room was like something from the Tudors.  We actually had step stools to get up onto the enormous bed!  Stained glass windows, air conditioning, a jacuzzi tub/shower for two in an enormous bathroom with heated tiled floors.  Satellite t.v. – not cable – but over 1,000 channels of the most mundane crap to watch!  We did not indulge much there.  The next morning we would find out that our five-course, candlelit breakfast was incredible gourmet food made from scratch by our hostess.  Served on fine china plates, we were offered course after course.  Orange juice was poured into crystal glasses and our silverware was real silver and very ornate.  We were to be very spoiled here, indeed.

Thursday mid morning, we decided to drive into Lake George to have a look around.  It was August 15th, and our 15th wedding anniversary.  We had reserved a spot on a romantic dinner cruise for that evening aboard one of the lake’s steam boats, and we wanted to go an explore where we would need to be around 5:30 p.m. that evening.  Lake George was quaint, bustling with tourists and lacking in parking (yet again).  We did manage to find a spot on a side street, and walked around looking to see what, if any, shops we would try to squeeze into.  Many were “biker-type” shops, with cheap tee shirts and gaudy wear.  Some were geared towards kids and teens, but we didn’t really find anything worth the struggle to get through.  I had to stop and sit several times on local benches just to relieve some of the back pain temporarily before we moved on.  We finally did find a decent, large gift/souvenir store and bought a few trinkets to bring home.  After lunch in Warrensburg, it was “quiet time” until it would be time to get ready for the cruise.

Did I mention that Lake George was hosting a “music fest” that very weekend?  Even though it was Thursday, and the events didn’t start till Friday, the atmosphere was manic and the crowds were strong.  When we went for the dinner cruise, we parked across the street from the docks at $10.00 a shot.  The wait for the cruise wasn’t long, and soon we were lined up and boarding smoothly.  I had made our reservations in February, so when we stepped on board, the staff who would seat us were extremely accommodating, nice and treated us like royalty.  Not sure if the early reservation had anything to do with that, but they did not treat others quite as “special”.  We were seated at a table for two, on the very back of the ship right at the huge window so we had perfect views.  We were also behind the singing duo that would be performing music etc for dancing later on.  It was perfect.  We would not be tripping over anyone, nor anyone over us.  It was very roomy.  Our dinner was available immediately upon being seated, and our waiter took a drink order and kept a tab for us.  The buffet was amazing… a variety of salads (finally!), roasted potatoes, chicken marsala, baked fish, roast beef cutting station, rolls and a variety of cooked vegetables.  Dessert would be served later.  We were about done with dinner before the ship ever finished boarding and backing out to leave the dock.  After dessert, we meandered around the four decked ship, taking photos and enjoying the warm breezes off the lake.  Occasionally, the singer/announcer would tell us whose mansion that is along with a smattering of history.  The cruise lasted about 2 hours and took us out around 15 miles and back to dock.  Music and dancing was enjoyable.  The ride was so smooth, even the full glasses of water on our table did not spill a drop.  After the cruise there would be fireworks, but we did not stay as we knew the traffic and crowds would be impassable afterwards.  Back to the Cornerstone B & B for tonight’s dessert:  red velvet cupcakes filled with cream cheese pudding… and the rest of the evening to celebrate our anniversary in private.

Friday morning was our last gourmet breakfast at the Cornerstone.  I did NOT want to leave.  The time at this elegant and beautiful home had been the best part of our entire vacation… even Al agreed.  But we packed up and took one last walk around the grounds, took just a few more pictures, and we checked out and were on our way back home.

Hope you enjoyed my sharing our little vacation with you.  Thanks for stopping by and checking it out.  Look for a recap of how things went “food-wise” in my next Made to Crave post coming soon.

TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

Made to Crave ~ Of Ho-Hos and Yo-Yos

I can’t complain, though I’ve gained back a couple of pounds over the past couple of days… I’m still down like 10-11 lbs overall since July 15th.  I did expect to gain some back.  I’ve been having a little difficulty managing the hunger pangs thing.  They come on so suddenly and so strong that I want to just grab whatever I can at the moment to put something – anything – in my stomach to make them go away.  I do not need any more pain in my life!  But still, I’ve been good.  No, I have not eaten any Ho-Ho’s or anything of the sort.  I just thought that was a catchy title.  And it’s not like things like Ho-Ho’s don’t cross my mind when I’m in the grocery store.  So far, the closest I’ve come to anything “bad” for me are granola bars ~ at 90 calories each.  I expect my weight to “yo-yo” here and there, and I’m not discouraged.  As long as I know in my heart that I’m trying and I continue to eat the right things rather than the wrong things of the past, I’m happy.   God will see to the rest.

Tomorrow we head for New England for a nice, long vacation.  I am apprehensive about all of the temptations I know await me there… in the food department.  In past excursions with my husband, we always have liked to hit up candy stores to try the different delicacies that we can’t find at home.  And we always try something scrumptious at a variety of restaurants.  This time will be different, I will be restrained.  I won’t deny myself some of the finer things ~ well, except the chocolate ~ but I won’t go overboard on anything either.

I will redirect some of my food passions to photography passions.  Keep my camera in hand rather than something to eat.  And I will continue to drink, drink, drink flavored water.  I will have my laptop with me, so you might even see a post or maybe two from me while we’re away.  Sometimes the late evenings are conducive to blogging.

Lighthouse at Portland, Maine

Lighthouse at Portland, Maine

    Until next time, thanks for stopping in.  TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N ~

It’s finally here!  That time of year when I get to take some vacation time and get away from work for more than just a 3 or 4-day weekend.  I live for vacation!  I love to travel!  I get three weeks of vacation beginning this year, my fifth year at CNYEMS.  Al and I will be travelling to Maine in August for a week.  Well, we won’t only be in Maine.  We’ll be staying in Portland for the majority, but then coming back through New Hampshire and Vermont on the way home, with stays in Burlington, Vermont and Lake George, New York.

Have I mentioned that I’m a “planner”?  I’ve been planning this week long vacation since January… seriously.  I have every detail under control, planned out, reserved; from the B & B’s we’ll be staying at to the kennel boarding our dog, what we’ll do/where we’ll go each day, down to the mileage and time it takes to go from place to place.  I actually have a three-ring binder dedicated to our vacation.  Everything is not written in stone, by any means.  We can change our plans, except for where we’re staying and the Windjammer cruise from Portland, at any time.  The shopping, beaches, dining etc. are totally fluid.

Windjammer cruise out of Portland, Maine

Windjammer cruise out of Portland, Maine

Did I mention that I’m excited?  I have a tendency to think that each vacation I’m taking could very well be my last, so I make sure that it will be enjoyable!  Al?  Of course I consult and plan with my husband!  Well, sort of.  I do all the planning, then consult with him to see if he likes what I’ve planned, or if he wants to make changes.  Generally, he seems satisfied with my ideas.  Actually, when we began discussing 2013 vacation plans LAST DECEMBER, Al was the one who suggested New England.  We honeymooned in Massachusetts, but I’ve never been farther north than that.  I LOVE the east coast!

Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine

 

Where will you be vacationing this year?

Until next time, TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt

 

Cee’s Share Your World 2013: Week 16 ~

And what are this week’s introspective questions, Cee?

Are you awake before dawn?  Or are you awake before noon? ~ Well, I wake up at 6:00 a.m. and hit the Snooze button for 15 more minutes.  After that 15 minutes, I hit Snooze again… then just one more time before I have to get up and get ready for work at around 7:00.  I am, however, a “morning person”.  If need be, I can get up at the butt crack of dawn and be ready to go!

Are you usually late, early, or right on time?  At a minimum, I’m always on time, but usually early.  I don’t “wait for things” well.

For your potato chips do you prefer ridged or flat ones?  Flat ones, unless I’m planning to dip them in something… then rigid.  What an amusing question!

If you could inherit a vacation home anywhere in the world in which you could spend two months a year, where would it be?  This is a really tough one!  I absolutely adore the tropics and would love to spend long periods of time there doing nothing but enjoying the beach.  But I’ve always had a “thing” for my heritage of Germany, and have always wanted to go there and spend ample time.  Okay, if I HAVE to choose, I’m thinking Tahiti… where I could LOOK at pictures of Germany or visit Germany via the web.  Mmmmm, don’t look now, but I think I’m already there!

Thanks for your imaginative questions this week, Cee!