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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Grand PA Visit

It's been 6 months since we visited our youngest granddaughter and family. But, since our recent wedding trip to NJ made the trip to PA about 2-1/2 hours more, of course we extended our trip.

We last saw Lilliana in December for her first birthday celebration. 

She wasn't yet walking at that time. But that has changed fast. Now she's a very active toddler who is not only walking, but running around keeping her parents (very) busy.She likes sitting with her father, Paulo, and watching children's videos together.

And, like many children her age, she can be quite serious when watching something.
We went to a local eatery for dinner.While waiting for the meals, Lilliana offered crayons and kisses. We were quite smitten with this little girl who is growing up fast. 
Grandpa's cap provided some entertainment and a good photo opportunity as well.
Our visit was just an overnight one this time. Her parents both work and Monday mornings come early, unlike for retirees like us. We visited a bit more after dinner, before Lilliana's (and her parents) bedtime. 
Her mother, Coleen sent these photos shortly after our visit. We're not sure what she planned to do with that roller.

We're hoping to see this cutie and her family again before the end of the year. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

More in Woodstock VT

There's more to Woodstock, VT than just the very classic Woodstock Inn where we stayed recently for our anniversary getaway. Thanks for the comments and congrats.

Downtown Woodstock boasts its own covered bridge right near the town green. The Middle Bridge is a 139-foot long lattice truss that carries Union Street over the Ottaquechee River. It was compltely rebuilt in 1969 to replace an iron bridge that had been in use since 1877. of course, we took a selfie in front (when no cars were there).
The bridge was built using traditional methods with wooden pegs and not nails. It was built on dry land and pulled across the river on scaffolding by oxen walking around a capstan (revolving cylinder). In May 1974, the bridge was set afire by arsonists. Repairs took over 3 years and exceeded $50,000.

The Norman Williams Public Library has been in the center of Woodstock Village for over 130 years. The word “public” means that it's open to the public without charge, not that it's all publicly funded. The library receives about 40 percent of its funds from public sources. The rest is raised privately.

In the early 19th century, most libraries were subscription and charged a fee after the Ben Franklin model, making it difficult for all to access books. In 1843, John Jacob Astor opened up the first free public library and then free libraries began opening up countrywide. 
The library's namesake, Norman Williams was a prominent Woodstock citizen. After his death, his son demolished his parents unused home and outbuildings to build a library. Edward Williams founded the Norman Williams Public Library as a non-profit public library in 1884. It was built in the Romanesque style with Vermont marble and Carolina pine woodwork. 

The Woodstock courthouse is  called the Windsor County Courthouse as its in the county seat. It was built in 1855 and is located directly adjacent to the public library

It was designed by architect Thomas Silloway known for building over 400 churches in the eastern U.S more than any other individual. The distinctive brickwork is said to resemble piano keys.

In addition to being the center of local government, the Woodstock Town Hall presents a selection of events, including movies and plays for more than 35,000 people annually, both residents and out-of-town visitors. We didn't see a performance here while we were in Woodstock. 

Opened in 1900, it was originally called the Woodstock Opera House and featured a banquet hall on the first floor and a Victorian style opera house on the second floor. At the time, it was considered the best cultural center of its type rivaling even Boston.
Central Street and Elm Street are the main business and shopping streets in downtown Woodstock. They include several local restaurants, speciality shops and the Vermont Flannel Company where I bought Grenville a new shirt for the next NH winter..
Woodstock is a very walkable town, mainly because it's not very large. Its population is under 3,500 full-time residents. Of course, tourism boasts that number especially during leaf peeping fall months and warmer summer months.

Woodstock, VT was named the "prettiest small town in America" by the Ladies Home Journal Magazine. It's a comment that many people use after visiting, including us.

Laurance and Mary French Rockefeller had an enormous impact on the overall character of the town as it now exists. They built the Woodstock Inn, a center point for the town and helped preserve the 19th century architecture and the rural feel and had the village's power lines buried underground. 

Visiting this quaint New England town is an easy 90-minute ride from Nashua, NH and we're already planning a return visit.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Celebrate Fathers

To Patrick (aka Grenville) and all the fathers, stepfathers, foster dads, grandfathers, uncles, brothers and anyone who has guided a child, all good wishes. (comments are off) 
Celebrate Your day

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Love & Marriage

This past weekend was another traveling one. We spent part of it in our home state of NJ. As we were only 2+ hours away, we also took a short trip to PA to visit with the youngest granddaughter. 

Our first stop was NJ where we attended the wedding of my niece, Jamie, the younger of my brother's two daughters. 

Despite a previous weather forecast of rain, Thankfully, Saturday was bright and sunny. We were all decked out in finery that included Grenville's dress summer hat.


Oh, the anticipation as the groom, Michael, and his best man waited at the alter as the bridal party made its entrance down the aisle.
Soon, his bride, Jamie, walked down on the arm of her father, my brother Tony.
The wedding service took place in St, Bernard's Church in Plainfield, NJ. This is my family's parish church and my brother and his wife attend services there.  


Soon enough it was time for the blessing and exchange of the rings. Smiles were quickly evident compared to the solemn faces earlier.
Once the ceremony and mass had ended, the very happy couple began their exit down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs.
Then there was the traditional "meet and greet" including a newlywed kiss on the church steps.  
The bride and her parents posed for the photographer. 
The bride and groom posed with the bride's family which includes my sister Julie and her fiancĂ©, who is also named Michael. We also posed for a family photo with everyone. 
The groom with his parents and two brothers.  
This photo of a mother and her son sharing a smile was my favorite shot of the event. 
It was a breezy afternoon and the bride's veil was battling with the wind during most of the outdoor photo session. 
The entire bridal party was the final shot of the photo session.
There were the traditional "first" dances, first the newly weds, Jamie and Michael,took the dance floor.
The couple then danced with a parent, bride with her father and groom with his mother. 
Love has no age limits, you're still your parent's child as seen here. 
This traditional wedding included the cutting of the cake and feeding of the bride and groom. They were really quite neat and didn't smash each other in the face with cake.
I've always found it difficult to capture good shots on the dance floor at a wedding. The couple were having a great time as these photos show.
My brother and I posed for a photo and the groom photo bombed us. It was a fun way to end the evening. We did get a photo without Michael joining in.
In a few short months, we will be repeating these scenes in NJ. My brother's oldest daughter Julie and her fiancĂ© Michael are married in NJ at the same church. 
We returned to NH earlier this week. I'll be catching up with everyone's blogs over the next few days.    

Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Funnies

Would this be considered . . .
Getting down to the nut and bolt of things? 
Yes, there's usually nuts and bolts, but there was only a single sculpture of each one.


Internet source
This artwork was seen in Stowe, VT outside the Helen Day Art Center and Stowe Free Public Library on a visit last year. I failed to get information on the artists, but these may have been created by a Stowe-based stone and metal sculptor.

Both facilities are housed in a Greek revival building from 1861 that's one of the most historic buildings in Stowe. The library occupies the first floor and a community art and education center is on the second floor. 


Enjoy your weekend, Everyone

(We're attending an out-of-state family event this weekend, then visiting our youngest granddaughter and family. I'll catch up with everyone when we're back.)

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sundae on Monday

No, that's not a typo. It's a giveaway about how we started the week. After a recent spell of warmer-than-usual weather in NH, this week started much cooler. It was the perfect time for ice cream.Actually, for us, any time is perfect.

Since we were out for errands on Monday, we had an ice cream lunch. A big plus to this outing was the absence of weekend crowds at a favorite local creamery. Yes, there were other folks there as well.
These sundaes got our week off to a very sweet start. It was raining, so we enjoyed them in the car. Sorry, we couldn't share with everyone.
As you can see by the chocolate on my face, I'm an avowed (and proud of it) chocoholic. There are many reasons for liking chocolate; for example, chocolate comes from beans and beans are healthy for you. (You can rationalize any treat in a similar way.)

Here's some fun "reasons" for liking chocolate, but really none are needed.


Chocolate is the answer — who cares what the question is

Chocolate is not an addiction, it's a necessity

Come to the dark side  — we have chocolate

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy, and you don't need an appointment

Chocolate  — a delicious cure for a bad day (or any day)

A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands

If dark chocolate is less fattening, eat chocolate with the lights off

Everytime I hear the word exercise — I wash my mouth out with chocolate

All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt

Save the earth, it's the only planet with chocolate!

Either you love chocolate   or you're wrong

There's nothing better than a friend, unless it's a friend with chocolate

9 out of 10 people like chocolate. The 10th always lies

I'd stop eating chocolate, but I'm no quitter

Follow the bunny. He has the chocolate

You can't buy happiness, but you can buy chocolate, and that's sort of the same thing

Here's a couple of my personal favorites:
Chocolate is nature's way of making up for Mondays
Chocolate doesn't ask silly questions  — chocolate understands

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Inn Place in Woodstock

This was our anniversary getaway destination — the Woodstock Inn & Resort in Woodstock, VT and lucky for us, the tulips at the end of that expansive front lawn had just bloomed. Our earlier Boston trip was a pre-anniversary celebration.
As you've noticed, we like to celebrate special times more than once and why not? 
Woodstock Inn lobby


Here's the main lobby of the Woodstock Inn. That eagle above the fireplace is significant as years ago. In the 1830s, the inn was known as the Eagle Hotel after a local cabinetmaker carved a large eagle that was later mounted above the tavern's entryway. Before then it was called Richardson's Tavern when Captain Israel Richardson built one of the Woodstock's first lodgings in the 1790s.

The current Woodstock Inn has incorporated the eagle symbol into its brand identity and eagles can be found throughout the inn.
Staying in a grand hotel of this type is admittedly an extravagance, but it's well worth the expense if you admire and appreciate the history of these places, as we do. Besides treating ourselves is also special.
Our queen bedroom wasn't the largest available and it didn't have a window view of the expansive front lawn. However, it was not only comfortable, but the bathroom was very large (sorry, no photos).
Woodstock Inn, Conservatory sitting room

Woodstock Inn, Red Roster main dining room

Woodstock Inn, basement lounge area
An earlier Woodstock Inn was built in 1892 on the site of the original Eagle Hotel at a cost of $120,000. It featured over 100 guest rooms and soon attracted affluent visitors from east coast cities who were part of the tourism 
boom of the mid-19th century. It became known as Vermont’s first winter-sports center where parties  were reportedly the "talk" of Boston and Montreal. 
Over the years, basic improvements were made to the Inn, a major renovation was needed to modernize it. In 1967, American philanthropist and financier Laurance Rockefeller was approached by the inn’s manager to help finance a remodelSuperficial remodeling would have cost $600,000, experts recommended tearing down the 76-year old inn. Rockefeller purchased it, tore it down, and built a new facility which opened in 1969 under its current name, the Woodstock Inn & Resort.
The Woodstock Inn & Resort promotes iteself as "
Vermont's most beautiful address." While we haven't seen other locations for a true comparison, it certainly is one of the best locales in Woodstock, VT. with its central location set back from the town's central square, called the Green.
We explored some of the town and surrounding areas, but that's material for another post. 
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