Journal Day Five and Six, a Trip to the Northeast

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Saturday, August 3

ST. JOHNSBURY, VERMONT – The weather up here in the north can change just like it does in Oklahoma, and it was a bit nippy out this morning. I was not prepared for 52 degrees.

Today was a long driving day as we planned to make it all of the way to Rutland, several hours away on the narrow winding roads through Vermont.

Driving through this state is a beautiful drive with the small towns scattered about. We decided to head over to the picturesque town of Stowe were many people photograph the town during the winter.

Drawing of Stowe, Vermont. [Provided]

This is where Leroy’s sister would preach her first sermon and a place he had visited several times before, but things were changing in this well photographed city. The place was packed beyond belief.

We stopped for a cup of coffee and looked at an art shop but did not find anything. I was ready to head over to Burlington on Lake Champaign. This is home to Bernie Sanders.

At noon we arrived and found lunch at Sweetwaters, which is located on the Church Street Marketplace. It was a good lunch.

The fascinating thing is that the city closed a north to south street, bricked it and now has shops lining the pedestrian friendly area. Traffic still flows east to west, allowing easy access.

This is something Edmond needs to look into with Broadway in downtown. The core of our city should be a destination and not just a drive thru. If a business wants that then they need to put a window on the side of their building and move out of downtown.

Church Street Marketplace

There were street performers, local artist selling things and people from all over in this small college town of about 44,000 residents. That is half the size of Edmond.

Afterward we puttered down the road to our hotel. I was getting tired and grew even more weary when we got stuck behind a road painting truck. But, it allowed me to slow down and see the countryside.

We arrived in Rutland, checked into our hotel and then headed off to see the town. It was nice, but dead for a Saturday night. For dinner we went to Little Harry’s, which was nothing to write home about.

By the end of the day both Leroy and I were exhausted from all of the driving. He is getting crankier and I am getting cranky.

Sunday, August 4

RUTLAND, VERMONT – Leroy and I went to church this morning after having  breakfast at the hotel at the Rutland United Methodist Church.

I brought the median age down quickly when I entered the door by several generations. I was the youngest person there out of around 50 people.

I was saddened to see that outside of a simple good morning, none of the members greeted us until we were walking out the door. There was not even a time to pass the peace.

The normal pastor was not there, so somebody was filling in. He sermon was short, but they had a guest bell player who was able to play a full octet with both hands. He had devised a way to play them and preformed Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.

It was impressive and something I hope the Waterloo Bell Choir can adapt.

Bell player playing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Afterward, we drove to Lenox, Massachusetts where we stopped for some lunch at a bistro called Haven. Leroy had the pancakes with Vermont maple syrup while I had the croissant French toast. It was good but the town was a mad house.

Apparently, every summer the Boston Symphony Orchestra comes to the town for Tanglewood. This means everybody and their second cousin had to come to this small town with little parking. I parked about a half mile from our restaurant.

By mid-afternoon I had a major headache, so we left without seeing much and made it to Hartford, Connecticut. I was ready to get a workout in and got a nice 4-mile run in. I have not exercised in several days.

Leroy was also getting very cranky and kept falling asleep during the car ride. Yet he complained that we were not traveling the backroads. I was ready to stop driving.

We are staying at a nice Hampton Inn on the east-side of downtown with friendly staff. One lady Shantae, was welcoming and just as friendly as can be.

I did a little reading later in the lobby and she said that she was also reading a book about former First Lady Michelle Obama. I am reading about Barbara Bush.

We ate dinner at the U.S.S. Chowder Pot IV, which was recommended to us by Shantae. She said that the ladies around her knew what good food was, so I took her advice.

It was a great restaurant and I would recommend it. I had a blue crab casserole, while Leroy had the fried clam strips in honor of his son-in-law Brad Beardmore.

Tomorrow we are off Providence, Rhode Island which is the final stop on our journey. We fly back sometime on Wednesday, but there is still more to see and many people to meet.

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