Archives for posts with tag: New York

Well, that R&R in Lake Placid, NY wasn’t all that when you consider that the fire alarms kept going off and on from the first afternoon and into the evening, and AGAIN in the second afternoon  until the early morning hours of my second night. I was already ragged and they knew it at the front desk…I’d told them…from the hectic drive from Thunder Bay to North Bay.

I kept thinking that it must have been a short in the electrical system for the fire alarms because it started each time we had a downpour each afternoon and night. By the time I checked out, I wanted some money back. The facilities were overrated and chair cushions were embarrassingly in need of cleaning. The worst part was that the Manager said she knew what they looked like! Heck! I would have NEVER have admitted that to a customer paying $116, $134 & $164 for each respective night! I got one good nights sleep…the last one. She gave me a whopping $50 credit.

I’ll say this about that…I’ll drive up the road a little farther up the road to find a Mom & Pop place if there isn’t a decent Motel 6! Enough of this “privileges” points crap! Ain’t no privileges when Motel 6 can give me more bang for my buck than their cheapest chain and it’ll be cleaner too!

Can you tell I was under impressed with Lake Placid? Ugh! Too much of everything with too little quality.

Getting out of town was a good thing for me because I’d be seeing old new territory of Vermont. I’ve loved driving the backroads of Vermont several times in the past of the north/south variety but this time, I was headed east. Burlington, Vermont airport was programed in Tom and we were picking up my next travel buddy, Stacey.

How incredible, I thought, as I headed toward the ferry, that I’d have three different loved ones join me this year for three different parts of my journey! I’ve never had company before and this feels great!

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Upper New York Backroads!

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Love ’em!

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UHH! What’s that?

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This house on the NY side of Lake Champlain definitely has a story to tell!

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Lake Whoabegone? LOL Nah! Lake Champlain!

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Waiting for the Ferry on the NY side!

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Peaceful, huh?

Then, like magic, I’m across this body of water (Lake Champlain) and in Vermont headed for the airport…on the backroads, of course!

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Love this sculpture in the Burlington, VT airport!

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Here she comes!

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YAY! Passenger #3!

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Somewhere in Vermont!

Tomorrow? Bangor, Maine to explore the Maine Coastline and whatever else we want to do until we get over to Nova Scotia! Oh, there’s so much to see and so little time!

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

I cancelled Canada and headed straight for the US Border. Frankly, mah deah, I’d had enough of paying $46.00 for a half of a tank, way too much for a good meal which wasn’t, driving the Trans Canada Hwy. 17 and more than ready to be home even if it meant the closest I could get to my cabin was 1200+ miles from it and in the Adirondacks! I’d visited there years ago and I am familiar with how beautiful the area is with mountains, lakes, rivers and forests.

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Lakes

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Fields

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BARNS! Yay!

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Rivers!

The Canadian people were lovely all across the country, so don’t think I didn’t or don’t enjoy their company or friendship because I do. Every one of them that I shared my story with of that last 200 miles before Sault Ste. Marie, laughed hard in recognition of the insanity of the drive. One woman said she experienced it when she was seven months pregnant! That my my story pale miserably in comparison, for sure!

And when I asked why Canadians feel the need to blow their car horns at anything, they also laughed and said they had no clue! I still say them horn blowers need to drive on any of the expressways with ten foot merge lanes into 200 MPH traffic! Blow at that, would you! Please!

This drive was to take me to a new level of healing and how else can I do that but be challenged more than ever before but in different ways from last year when Tom took me on the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee at the beginning of my trip and all the other switchbacks as well?

This year, it was harder for me to embrace by the 40th hour Trans Canada challenge. I was reminded of my own tsunami surfboard analogy and, admittedly, had difficulty finding the wax for my  board. In reflection, I believe it was mainly because of the never changing views, constant construction and slow progression because of the exasperating but necessary speed limits. However, today’s drive reminded me of the joy of being a US citizen, how convenient and organized we are at the gas pumps and on our expressways…and way too many other ways to list, but here’s a few.

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The BRIDGE to the other side!

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The view from the bridge

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The BORDER!

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Old Barns & fields

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Ahhh…looks like home!

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Cute little houses

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Lake Placid, NY

I’m recuperating at Lake Placid, NY for a few days so I can be ready to pick up my next travel buddy in Burlington, VT airport. It’s going to be an interesting week visiting Maine’s coastal areas, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia before heading for the cabin.

Tomorrow? Rest and relaxation and maybe some Lake Placid explorations…on foot! LOL

HAPPY TAILS, TALES OR TRAILS…YOUR PICK!

As those of you who have followed me for the last four trips out west know, I get easily cracked out on caffeine and, sometimes, I do it intentionally to go longer distances although I normally avoid it. Yesterday, I started my three-day trek to Tennessee through the back roads of  Vermont starting in Burlington (near the Canadian border) with a cup of real java. The 30 MPH meandering roads through beautiful towns and countryside were wonders for this Alice to behold. I clicked away knowing my trusty camera battery was fully charged.

Just as I got to some of the most amazing residential architecture from the late 1800’s I’ve ever seen, my camera DIED! NO! NOT NOW! But all my screaming and ranting did absolutely nothing to resuscitate the recalcitrant battery. So, I’ll try to describe what I saw and give you website addresses for the most amazing cities.

But first, let me bring you down from the Border crossing where it all started! And this time, the US Border Police didn’t ask me where my horse was! LOL Or did I forget to tell you that part? Here’s the short of it just in case I forgot to share it.

I drove across the Canadian Border to meet Mirjana and drove back across into US the same day without any comments out of the ordinary. The next day as Mirjana and I pulled up to the Canadian Border Police, he asked the usual questions about how we know each other, why we’re crossing and he sees I have Montana’s “passport” and asks, “Where’s the horse?” Mirjana and I start laughing hysterically at the insanity of the question as he looks back at the pop-up which clearly doesn’t have enough room for a horse much less lil’ old forty pound Montana! I ask through my hysteria, “Horse?” “Yes. It’s marked right here on the form that you have a dog and a horse!”

I digress, but it was funny!

I crossed the Canadian Border on Tuesday via 133 from Montreal which becomes SR 7 on the US side and pulled into Burlington (or close to it) and stayed at the Motel 6 a couple of nights to acclimate to the US. I remembered the first time Mom  traveled outside the US, she said she wanted to kiss the ground. And, although I had a wonderful time with my host and hostesses, I felt the same way. I was ready for the next phase of my healing heart tour. And, what better way to heal a heart than back roads?

I left Burlington yesterday morning around 9:30 and headed south on SR 7 and immediately found pictures everywhere!

I needed to mail a letter at the post office and this was a building across the street from it in Winooski, Vermont. It’s a tiny, charming town steeped in history.

the strip where Post Office is located in Winooski

I say “tiny” because I was in the next small town of Burlington, VT with the turn of a corner!

Burlington, VT

Look at the lacy cornice at the top of the building.

Just south of Burlington, I got onto SR 22A where I really was in for a treat. Vergennes, VT is beautiful and it’s also Vermont’s oldest town (vergennes.org). You don’t want to go more than 30 MPH because you’ll miss many beautiful buildings and houses. The most interesting part to me was the delicate lacy wood work of the cornices around the roofs of the houses.

On the way to Cornwall from Vergennes down SR 22A

Vineyards!

Clouds on mountain!

Old barns, of course!

Milk cow country for all that cheese they make in this area! It ain’t just made in Wisconsin! And, boy oh boy, you sure can smell the other by products from all those cows it’s worth the price!

Cornwall, VT

But, between towns, views…lots and lots of views.

is it a house or a barn…or both?

Talk about a “fixer upper”! They were asking $80,000 for something in THIS shape but in the middle of nowhere!

Singlewide with a view!

This town south of Vergennes in Addison County  was all white and crisp like a new white starched shirt.

the name escapes me…this is when the camera stopped working!

This town was just a little too perfect for me! Maybe that’s why I can’t remember the name!

Then the camera stopped working about the time I got onto SR 7; Bennington, VT was gorgeous.

As I was anxious to get lunch and charge the camera battery, I was looking for a place to stop. As I turned the corner in the road, there it was: Chauncey’s of Arlington.

Chauncey’s of Arlington, Arlington, VT

This is out back of the restaurant where Owner and Chef, Stanley Holton, cuts the grass.

And…there was even an old barn!

But, to really top off the amazing home cooked horseradish cheese hamburger and carrot cake like my mama used to make is the fact the owner’s mother, Lucille Holton, is quite the town celebrity. She posed for Norman Rockwell as he painted “The Babysitter!”

Sorry the quality of my picture is so bad but I just couldn’t get a good shot of it without a lot of glare. But, there she is holding the painting!

The waitress, Debbie Whitman, and I became fast friends and hugged as I left. You just won’t meet strangers in this establishment!

Now that my stomach was full and so was the battery for my camera, we could take off again! But first, I needed to go two driveways down to The Cheese House to pick up some local dark amber Vermont Maple syrup! Yum!

The Cheese House, Arlington, VT

And back to seeing beautiful houses and interesting engineering.

What the heck is that thing, anyway?

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Massachusetts town on SR7

Mountain views that are just stunning!

Outbuildings

Hudson River

New York mountain views

Virginia pastoral views

and…last but not least…Tennessee mountain views!

Tennessee

I’m here for a couple of days to recover from the 20 hour straight-thru drive and 4 hours of it was the first  150 miles of the journey!

Happy Trails!

 

We toughed out the tollways from Niagara Falls to get to the good part which starts in Watertown, NY. Mirjana focused right away on a little town on SR 3 called Tupper Lake, NY but because it would add another two hours onto our drive I really wanted to find a place in Watertown. I’d never heard of Watertown and was sure we’d be able to find something affordable. NOT! Every place we called was over $100 just to sleep! I’m getting beyond tired as I hadn’t gotten enough sleep the night before and just wanted a shower and a bed but not at such outrageous prices in a noname town.

SR 3 has lots of little lake communities along the route.

Beautiful!

Then we saw the Adirondacks!

Mirjana focused again on Tupper Lake. She went on  hotels.petswelcome.com  and searched Tupper Lake, NY and found a wonderful Mom and Pop place called Park Motel and Cabins, 336 Park Street, Tupper Lake, NY  (www.parkmotelandcabins.com). It’s a quaint lake town which reminds me where I live in the mountains but bigger and a great deal more developed. This motel has probably been around since the 50’s or 60’s but is so well-kept and the proprietors are very friendly, keeping that homey atmosphere you look for when traveling long distances and are over tired. The price was very reasonable as well.

The Park Motel office.

We were very hungry as we’d just smacked the last two days. The proprietor called a local restaurant and confirmed their hours. We drove a couple of blocks down to Little Italy Restaurante & Pizzeria where we found friendly greetings and healthy, fresh food. It’s a must if you’re ever in the vicinity.

Now we’re off to Montreal to go camping and dancing by the fire like gypsies in the moonlight! Boy, do I ever need that!

Happy Trails!

I FOUND THE REAL NIAGARA FALLS! It’s on the other side of the border! LOL Here goes! I TOTALLY apologize to Canada for saying their side of the Falls wasn’t as good as the American side. However, I will say the American side is all about nature and the park because their views really aren’t as magnificent without hiking down into the bowls of the falls as the Canadian side is from the curb. The Canadians have created a Vegas-like party atmosphere which irritates me because the nature of the Falls is so gorgeous that having all that neon seems to dilute the natural experience. So, for view, drive over the border, for a hike stay on the US side, for glitz and bawdy-hawdy cross the border, for dog friendly park stay in US as Canada’s side is so NOT dog friendly!

There they are! They’re on the Canadian side! LOL

Horseshoe Falls

Then we saw the Maid of the Mist boat drive right into the rainbow!

We were greeted with a complete rainbow into Horseshoe Falls!

Montana even got into the rainbow! She stopped traffic with her posing! Everyone wanted to take pictures of my Hollywood movie star Crazy Lil White Dawg!

Then we received a DOUBLE Rainbow into Horseshoe Falls! A gift from Ava! Look closely to the far right.

When Ava was fifteen, she and I were driving back from Florida. It was dusk and I wanted her to have some experience driving through the back roads. We saw the double rainbow and decided to pull on the side of the road. As she was pulling off, I said, “Be careful and don’t pull off too far…it drops…” Well, it did and we did! The right front of the car was in a ditch. I’m really mad because this is a back road where the curbs are pulled in at dusk and I’ll have to walk to a farm to get someone to get their truck or tractor to help us as there is no such thing as cell phones at this time…not for the general public, anyway! I sternly tell her to keep her bikini clad body IN THE CAR as I start hiking to the nearest farm.

About 500 yards into my hike, I look back at her and she’s doing exactly what I told her NOT to do and I see her perched on the back of the car. Trucks appear out of nowhere to rescue this damsel! I’m relieved but now anxious to get back to her. The men who stopped were wonderful. They pulled us out of the ditch in seconds and we were back on the road.

I believe the double rainbow for Mirjana and me was from Ava. She always wanted us to meet face-to-face and, yesterday, we finally did. Thank you Ava! We love you so much!

Double Rainbow!

Awwww…caught by the magic of a rainbow!

I called this photo “prism” because the falls gets caught between the two rainbows and had a prism-look to it. Darn, I’m good!

Montana had to have her picture taken with the double rainbow too! She stopped traffic again as everyone wanted pictures of this cute pup!

Rainbow in the Maid of the Mist boat!

Daisy and rainbows!

Look closely at the falls…the rainbow colors the falls!

Although the cafe’s in Niagara Falls don’t serve you if you have a dog, they did allow us to sit without service. Montana is protesting!

Me and my pop-up in purple camophlage as any good southern woe-man would be!

Gotta’ run close up the pop-up to head for Canada via Vermont!

Happy Trails!

The internet reception was so bad at the Toledo, Ohio Motel 6 that it took me until 3:00 AM to get my last blog posted (obviously cracked out on decaf consumed at 6:00 PM) and I woke up at 7:30 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep! Geez! So, up and at ’em finished loose ends and to get going by 10:30’ish.

The drive was pretty unremarkable except for the fact that the Ohio barns (few and far between) did have that Iowa barn look to them. But the minute I got into Pennsylvania, the barns started looking like the ones in Iowa which raises the questions did Pennsylvania move west or did Iowa move east? LOL

Pennsylvania farmland!

This is just for you Shannon! Cleveland!

ONLY in Cleveland have I seen wind energy in a big city! Look to the right!

Huh? Really? In the middle of the city?

The minute I crossed over into Pennsylvania, the terrain changed. Wish you could see the remarkable change better.

There is one of those Iowa barns in Pennsylvania!

For those of you who followed me on my Great Adventure into New York City last December, you know how much I love NYC and how it charges my batteries. Well, understandably, I’d forgotten that until I saw this! And, apparently, it ain’t just NYC that charges my batteries!

Oh, did I tell you I have a “thang” for old bridges? I won’t get on them, that’s for sure, but I do like to look at ’em!

The drive to Niagara Falls on I-190

BIG bridge but not a white-knuckler!

Grand Island KOA view out back of my unit!

Almost sunset

The internet here at Grand Island KOA SUCKS! The people are wonderful and very proactive but it’s taken me HOURS to just download these few pictures (started at 1:00AM last night and now into 2-1/2 hours this morning. What’s going on? Had the same issue at Motel 6 the other night. Are we spoiled or what!

It’s raining and, seein’ as how I’ll get wet at the Falls anyway, I’ll forgo downloading the last picture and take off to do some seeing of the sights.

I’m really praying hard that this trip helps my heart to do some seriously needed healing. Mirjana says I’ve been in Ava’s head too much lately and she’s probably right. She’s on the way tomorrow to rescue me from myself for about a week or so. Now that she mentions it, I think she’s right. My daughter was an opera singer (full lyric) and I’ve been listening to all her voice lessons for the past year (I’m up to 10/19/11 now) and hearing how hard she worked for sheer perfection is SICK. How can anyone be that perfect in FOUR languages not to mention being perfect in every note as well as the period of the piece and the author’s meaning. Seems like t