NY Part 1 + Vermont

Because of the shape and size of the states on the East Coast, some of the blog posts will end up being disjointed due to our road trip route. While this post is about NY state, it only showcases a small portion of our time in the state as we end up in NYC on the opposite end of the state later in our journey.

We left Ontario Canada and crossed back into the USA in Niagara Falls, NY on September 16, 2016.

Our next destination is something that DB discovered on Pinterest. We arrived at Watkins Glen State Park located within the small town of Watkins Glen, NY. In the parking lot of the park, we changed into our hiking boots and hooked ourselves up with some bug spray.

The Gorge Trail did not disappoint! We were amazed with the scenery!

Unfortunately, Niner’s back was starting to get achy, so we were not able to do the long hike in we had planned. Plus, we were running a bit short on daylight. So, we left the park and made our way to the main street of the town. There, we decided to dine at the Wildflower Café. We had the crab and gouda dip and the kale Caesar salad. The dip was perfectly piping hot and ultra yummy. The salad was really heavy on the dressing, so we asked for some extra kale which was a generous portion and they only charged us $2.

Full and ready for some rest, it was time to make our way to our hotel in East Syracuse. We checked in, washed up, and knocked out.

The next morning we got up early and headed to the nearest drive-thru oil change place. We arrived just as they raised the garage entrance. Becky got her fluids and got a clean bill of health. Then we hit the road for Cooperstown, the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

When we arrived in the small town of Cooperstown, the first thing we noticed was just how small it is! If it wasn’t for the fable of baseball being created by Abner Doubleday in that town, it certainly would not see as many tourists as it does!

First we opted for an early lunch at the Doubleday Café. We had the minestrone soup and the hummus veggie wrap with fries. It was a filling and reasonably priced meal and we loved all the baseball themed décor.

Then it was time for us to soak in all of the glorious history of America’s favorite pastime!

The museum is full of interesting artifacts, history, and information, but it was not easy for us to navigate. The building has 3 stories and we felt that the way the exhibits are arranged didn’t flow properly. Despite that, we did enjoy the massive amounts of memorabilia and the epic hall of fame with the beautiful plaques for each inducted player.

We left the museum and walked down the main street and checked out all of the baseball themed souvenir stores. DB got herself a shirt at the basballism store.

Then it was time to hit the road for Vermont. Our Airbnb was located in a remote area, but our Garmin navigation unit (named Nene, pronounced “nay nay”) got us there with no problems. It was pitch dark when we got there. Our hostess was very nice and was eager to chat with us about our travels. She let us do laundry and when we were done folding our clothes we knocked out.

The next day we were greeted with freshly made coffee and some yogurt, fruit, and granola for breakfast. We chatted with our hostess a bit more, and then bid farewell to her and her adorable home to get our tour of Vermont started.

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We drove into the town of Wilmington to start our way up the 100 Highway scenic route. Our first stop was the Vermont Country Store. This place is amazing! We sampled all sorts of delicious snacks and roamed around the grounds.

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Next, it was time for some lunch. We walked to the building next door to the huge country store and ate at the Bryant House Restaurant. To start off we had a bowl of clam chowder, which was nothing special, but nice because it was kind of cold outside. DB ordered the pot pie and Niner got the white cheddar grilled cheese. We were both very happy with our meals.

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As we made our way north up the scenic byway, we stopped to view the scenic-ness along the way.

While walking back to the car after viewing the lake, Niner spotted a huge dead spider on the ground. She stared at it too hard and ended up with a migraine. DB took over driving and we headed to the town of Waterbury to the Ben & Jerry headquarters.

Niner had a decent nap and a good prescription in her system, so we were ready to indulge in some ice cream with clever names. We went on the tour and our tour guide was young and goofy. Unfortunately, we were there during factory down time and we didn’t get to see the machinery in action. At the end of the tour we were given a free sample of…  vanilla. It was surprising and honestly a bit disappointing that the brand of ice cream known for their unique flavors would hand out plain old vanilla to the folks that travel all the way to visit their factory.

After the tour and after finishing our kiddie scoops of vanilla ice cream, we visited the gift shop. Then we were ready for some serious ice cream. Lastly, we visited the Ben & Jerry’s “Flavor Graveyard” where all of the flavors they no longer make are laid to rest.

Just down the road from the factory we saw a bunch of farm animals behind a wooden fence in front of a store. We pulled over and hung out with some sheep, llamas, and goats for a while.

Our next stop was the town of Stowe. We went to the downtown area to find that most of the restaurants and all the shops were already closed, even though the sun had not set yet. The restaurants that were open, were fancy and/or expensive. So, for dinner we found ourselves at an upscale convenience store where we purchased an Alfredo pasta bowl and a pre-packed salad with grilled chicken. Then we headed to our Airbnb which was a huge house full of other Airbnb guests.

We ate our dinner in the kitchen, washed up, and went to sleep.

When we woke up the next day we were surprised to find amazing views surrounding the house. We had arrived in the pitch dark, so we had no idea what was around us. Right behind the house was a Christmas tree farm.

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We checked out and headed to the city of Burlington. When we arrived, not much was open as it was early on a Monday morning. We found a bagel place with free Wi-Fi and relaxed a bit while we shared a lox sandwich. Then we roamed around the downtown area and happened upon the original site of the first Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop which is now a lovely parking lot.

Even though it was barely approaching lunch time, Niner was determined to get Vermont beer. We came across Leunigs Lounge. We sat at the bar and Niner ordered a very tasty lager from the Von Trapp Brewery.

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Next, we left Burlington and on our way out of Vermont, we stopped at the state capital in Montpellier  – the country’s smallest capital city.

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With our last stop in Vermont taken care of, we hit the road for our next state of the union – Maine.

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