parents and I had another wonderful trip with Holiday Tours.
morning we left Level Cross at 6 am heading out for Summerset, NJ. As
with most trips the first day is normally a long drive to get close to
the actual trip destination. We traveled some 541 miles with stops for
breaks and food along the way finally arriving at our hotel around
7:45. Dad and I quickly changed into workout cloths and spent some time
in the hotel fitness center. I always feel better after a long ride in
a motor coach when I can work out.
The next morning we were up
and on our way at 8 am traveling Rt 87
along the Hudson River of upper New York State. After passing through
the City of Albany on Rt 787 we crossed the Hudson onto Rt 7 into Troy
where we stopped for lunch. Rt 7 took us on through Rutland, VT for out
first tour stop, The Maple Syrup Museum. Here we learned how the
Indians first started harvesting the sap from
Sugar Maple trees into syrup, looked at old syrup making equipment and
the newer modern process. From here we drove on up Route 7 into South
Burlington, VT to our hotel for the next three nights.
We awoke Monday morning to a glorious day of bright sunshine and clear
blue skies. At the hotel we met our local guide. She would be with us
for our two days of sight seeing in and around the Burlington area,
directing our driving and giving us a lot of local information. She
first took us on a ride through the town of
Burlington for a look at the local University of Vermont campus, the
front along Lake Champlain, and downtown. From there we headed
up the road to the Vermont
Teddy Bear Factory.
We were taken on a step
by step tour through the factory showing us how the bears are made from
cutting the bear parts to assembly. From there we drove on to the Shelburne Museum.
Here we were on our own to explore all
the wonderful exhibits and antiques collected on the grounds. This
bridge was disassembled and reconstructed on the museum property. There
are a lot of buildings on the property housing everything from antique
horse buggies and sleighs to a old general store to famous art works.
It was far too much to see in the couple of hours we had alotted. I at
least walked through most of the buildings and stopped to look at the
exhibits I was most interested in. Below is just one of the many
From the Museum we drove a short distance to Shelburne Farms
which is a
1,400 acre working dairy/cheese producing farm. Most of the tour was
conducted by a local guide from the Farms via the coach. However, we
did get to go in the building where they make the cheese and to walk
around the grounds of the Inn. The back side of the Inn overlooks the
gardens and Lake Champlain. We also sampled some of the various cheeses
made at the farm.
Next, it was back into Burlington to the waterfront to catch the Ethan
for our dinner cruise on Lake Champlain. I have been on
bodies of water on various trips in the last few years but I must say
Lake Champlain was one of the prettiest I have seen. I also saw both
the sun set
over the Adirondacks and the moon rise over the Green Mountains.
Needless to say I was thrilled.
Tuesday morning we drove to Vermont's only "haunted"
bridge. This is the river which flows along beside and under the
From there we
headed into Stowe, Vt
beautiful little town. We had a couple of hours to browse around the
town. This covered bridge walkway was built after the covered bridge
that was over the roadway had to be torn down. It was costing the town
too much money to keep up repairs to due the bad weather and
After lunch we visited Mount Mansfield where we rode the gondola's up
to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately it was overcast and hazing
but once at the top the clouds lifted a little for a beautiful view of
the mountains. As you can the maples had started turning as well as
some of the other trees.
Next stop, the Trapp Family Lodge. While
visitors are not allowed inside the lodge to respect the privacy of the
were allowed to roam around the grounds and gardens.
Wednesday morning we were on the road again by 7:45 for the long drive
to Gettysburg, PA. Our driver took us on a rural route through the back
roads of Vermont and New York giving us a wonderful view of rural,
upper state New York. We finally arrived in Gettysburg at 8 pm. I
snapped this picture at one of the rest stops.
Thursday morning we drove to the nearby Gettysburg Park
for a two hour
tour of the battle grounds. We had a guide from the Park on board our
bus providing very detailed explainations of what led up to the
fighting and what progressed over the next three days during the Battle of
Naturally we stopped at the monument for North Carolina to take some
We left Gettysburg around 12:45 heading back to North Carolina arriving
in Level Cross at 8:30. These are just some of the pictures and
highlights of what was a very busy six day trip.
October 7, 2004