Fall Foliage Day 1
We had a great dinner last night at the American Flatbread restaurant in Burlington, VT. Burkley’s were not able to join us since their plane got in later. We saw them later at the Juniper restaurant in the Hotel Vermont lobby.
We all had breakfast at Juniper (except for Galusha’s who were at the Marriott Courtyard next-door. We met the Sojourn bike tour van/guides at 9:30 in the courtyard between the two hotels. The van took us to Sojourn HQ about 20 miles south of Burlington along Lake Champlain. We got our bikes set up/adjusted helmets, water bottles etc and after a safety talk were off on our first day of riding. We crossed our first covered bridge within a few miles of the start.
The terrain was “undulating” with some interesting climbs and some great downhills. We stopped for a picnic lunch in Vergennes, VT. about 16 miles from the start. The weather was cool but sunny and warmed up gradually through the day. We all stopped in Middlebury to see where some pewter is made at the Danforth Pewter factory. They gave us a short tour. After that it was mostly flat for the rest of the 20 miles after lunch to the Waybury Inn where we will be staying for the next 2 nights.
I will show some Fall Foliage pictures later in the week when I am hoping the colors will be more vibrant. Vermont has had some unseasonably warm weather recently and that has affected how the trees are turning color. So fart they are turning more brown and not the bright reds/yellows/golds that I know they can do.
We had a wonderful dinner tonight in the Waybury Inn and will have breakfast here tomorrow and then we are off for another days ride in the area ending up back here tomorrow.
We flew into Boston and took a leisurely drive the next day to Burlington VT. The trees are just starting to change color. Some hills are still totally green and others are in various degrees of color change. We stopped on the way for a cup of coffee (and some hot cider) and discovered we were on the campus of Dartmouth College. Just another stop on our quest to visit all Ivy League schools!
We have enjoyed exploring the Church Street open air Mall in Burlington VT, similar to the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder. It is laid out much the same with lots of shops and restaurants in the vicinity. There are lots of college kids about like in Boulder. We have also explored the Lake Champlain waterfront which is only a block and a half from our hotel. There are lots of walking paths, boardwalks and bike paths to explore also. We are scouting out a place for the large group (of bikers) to eat on Saturday night (before the ride starts on Sunday) and are finding lots of conflicts with others wanting to eat at the same places at the same time. We have given up on a single large table for the group and will have to settle for 2 tables of 6 or 3 tables of 4. The quest goes on.
On Saturday morning Burlington has a huge Farmers Market on a square block with diagonal sidewalks crossing the square. The booths can spread out more and while there are lots of people it doesn’t seem as crowded as in Boulder. Lots of variety of things to buy and eat. Janet fell in love with a cinnamon swirl baby bundt cake (gluten free of course).
There is a bike path all around the city (like the 360 and 180 in Boulder) and all along the waterfront. We have explored south but not north yet.
We had brunch at Handy’s Lunch. They said they are going to be on the cooking channel soon for a combined reuben/patty melt that they serve and then on another TV show for the “Chuck Norris” 4th degree black belt french toast special sandwich that you have to see to believe.
Now I understand why we see so many college kids here. It isn’t just UVT (University of Vermont) but they also have Burlington College, Champlain College, University Green, Trinity College, Community College of Vermont, Saint Michael’s College as well as others.
There is an indoor shopping mall just east of our hotel. It is mostly empty and is slated for “redevelopment” except for the anchor stores which are LL Bean and Macy’s.
Everyone else arrives later today – will have dinner together tonight and the bike ride starts tomorrow.
We will be starting our annual bike ride in Burlington, VT next Sunday. Stay tuned for blogs and pix
Today everyone went exploring around New Orleans. Some of the places visited by some of the people were Armstrong Park, Cafe Dumond (for beignets), Jackson Park, Mardi Gras Museuem, various spots for lunch, the French Market, Bourbon Street, bike to City Park and environs, horizontal contemplation, chatting in the interior courtyard near our rooms, shopping, etc. etc. For dinner we all gathered at The Italian Barrel for a very nice dinner and treated Dick and JoAnn for all their help in making this trip a success.
Afterwards we relived some of Clark’s memories of when he was here as a young man and went music hopping to 2 different venues and 3 different bands on Franklin street. Tomorrow we have the last meal (breakfast at Stanley’s) in New Orleans and then head to Covington, LA.
Today we had a very nice breakfast near the Hotel at T-Coons restaurant. Afterwards we loaded up the cars and headed to Vacherie where we had a wonderful lunch at DJ’s Grille. Afterwards we dropped by the Goodwill Plantation where JoAnn grew up. Some of us enjoyed the shade on the porch and some walked to the levee by the Mississippi River. Then we headed to New Orleans to the St. Pierre Hotel near Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. We have an enclosed courtyard adjacent to some of the rooms which is very nice for visiting and happy hour. We walked to the Bon Ton restaurant for dinner – again excellent. After dinner some of us wanted to see the end of the March Madness final game so some of us went to a nearby sports bar and others went to the Royal Orleans Hotel for a drink and to watch the end of the game. Big V won over UNC with a last second jump shot!
Check back for pictures later.