Saturday, October 11, 2014


We drove north from the Boston area to Perkinsville, Vermont for a couple of days to visit a long-time friend and former colleague of mine, Alison Roth.


Her 100+ yr-old house has 5 front doors! It was built in sections over the years, and each new section got its own door.


A small waterfall can be seen in the river that runs behind her house.


We parked across the lane next to the grange, which unfortunately is closing for good the end of this month.


I’m not sure how old the building is, but it’s pretty old and could use some TLC.


Alison’s neighbors are former RVers whom I met 11 years ago when I visited Alison just after I started full-time RVing with my 5th wheel and truck. Dennis and Dottie Richardson also had a 5th wheel then, but now they just travel by car and spend their winters at a resort in Florida. We might see them again when we’re in that same area in a month or so.


The first night we were there, Alison cooked a nice chicken dinner for us and she and I had a chance to catch up a little on the intervening years. I don’t often think of my years of working in the library/information industry, so it was good to hear news of some of our colleagues and the companies where I worked.

The second night Dottie and Dennis joined us for a nice dinner at Black Rock Steakhouse in nearby Springfield, VT.


If you order a steak, it’s served on a flat, very hot black rock, hence the name of the restaurant. The steak is sizzling when it comes out of the kitchen, and you continue to cook it to your desired doneness.


Don almost got his too done because he didn’t realize you’re supposed to move it off the rock while eating so it doesn’t overcook.


This is a unique method of cooking that I had never seen. It was fun and delicious too!

During the day while Alison worked, Don and I toured the area. We drove across the longest wooden covered bridge in the U.S., the Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge. It links Windsor, VT with Cornish, NH across the Connecticut River.


Good thing we weren’t on horses. And we didn’t try to drive the motorhome over the bridge!


We visited Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site on the New Hampshire side of the bridge. Augustus Saint-Gaudens was one of America’s greatest sculptors. Here are two of his most famous works.

“Standing Lincoln”


“Shaw Memorial”


We also toured the studio and gardens to see many more sculptures. Saint-Gaudens’ home was available for tours, but there are no sculptures inside so we opted to skip that and go have lunch. It’s a beautiful home and the surrounding gardens are lovely.


The home was built about 1800 as an Inn. The huge tree in front is a thornless honey locust, planted in 1886. (The front steps were roped off to undergo repairs.)


We tried to go to Simon Pearce in Quechee, VT for lunch, but the parking lot was full and we knew there would be a long wait. So we just picked a small restaurant nearby. I remember visiting the glassblowing workshop in the past during another visit with Alison. The restaurant has a beautiful view of a waterfall in the White River.

Quechee Gorge, on the Ottauquechee River, is known as “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.” Here’s a shot of the gorge taken from the bridge. For lots more beautiful pictures, search online.


After lunch we explored Gillingham’s General Store in Woodstock.


What a wonderful store! Here are just a few of the things they sell.




It was a wonderful visit, though brief. Thanks, Alison!

Don has completed his visits to all 50 U.S. states, as Vermont was the only one he hadn’t been to! I’ve also visited all 50, but he hadn’t covered all of the New England states until now. There are still 4 more states that we haven’t been to together, but we expect to visit them in the near future; then our U.S. map will be completely full.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Massachusetts and Rhode Island

After visiting my family in New Hampshire, we moved to Hanscom AFB near Boston to visit Don’s brother Jim, his wife Michelle and his son Jackson, who live in Easton, MA.


And we can’t forget the furry members of the family. There’s Harley…


…and Fenway.


After two days, we decided to move to Canoe River Campground in Mansfield, closer to Easton so we’d have a shorter drive to the Del Rosario house.

A few days later we got together at their house again and this time Michelle’s parents Howard and Rena Baker were there.


Rena is a talented artist – she gave Michelle and Jim this beautiful watercolor she painted for them.


We all went together to a nearby harvest & craft fair. There was a lot of fresh produce as well as crafts and activities.





Don must have been telling Jim a fish story!


Jackson checked out a cool ATV…


…and chatted with some of his friends.


Back at the house, I admired the Hawaiian Islands displayed on the upper wall of the great room. (For those who don’t know, Don and his three brothers grew up in Hawaii; one brother Dave still lives there.)


Jim put together a beautiful buffet for us, including butternut squash soup, beef roast, asparagus, broccoli, potato salad (by their mother’s recipe), etc. Everything was yummy. I have yet to meet a Del Rosario who isn’t a great cook!

Rena is obviously a dog lover, and they love her back!


I admired all the buildings in the historic district of North Easton. The Oakes Ames Memorial Hall was built 1879-1881.


Ames Free Library is next door. It will be the setting for Jim’s 60 birthday party next May. We hope to make it back here for the celebration.


Meanwhile, Don and I visited Boston one day…


…had lunch at the Black Rose Pub…


…aka Roisin Dubh in Irish. The original pub is in Galway, Ireland. Check out the song on YouTube.


We decided not to take a city tour, but it looks like fun to ride a horse-drawn carriage.


We walked/drove by several well-known landmarks, including the USS Constitution, Harvard University, Soldiers Field, Faneuil Hall and Boston’s Back Bay.

On another day we went to Newport, Rhode Island. During lunch at Benjamin’s we met two couples from Canada and a younger man (and his wife) who’s attending the Navy War College in Newport. It was fun chatting with everyone.


We sat in the street-level Raw Bar where there are at least 100 bottles of Grand Marnier on shelves above and behind the bar. Each bottle bears the name of a member of the bottle club who owns it and drinks from it when visiting. Benjamin’s is the second-largest seller of Grand Marnier in the world!


Newport is the home for several fine mansions from the gilded age. We toured one, The Breakers, the summer “cottage” of Cornelius Vanderbilt II and his family including his wife and 7 children.


Built in the mid-1890’s, the mansion includes 70 rooms.


No pictures were allowed inside, but you can see some of the interior by following the link above.

We’ve both enjoyed drives through the area and all the autumn colors. Pictures I’ve taken through the windshield can’t really do the colors justice, but I still try!




Next New England destination: Vermont.