Epic Road Trip (Day 9: September 1, 2016)

(click here for pictures)

Another good night in a hotel room.  The laundry did finish and we were able to go to sleep before 1 so that was wonderful.  Doing laundry is necessary for a trip this long and a family our size but is it not always our favorite thing to do.  I had about 24 ziplock bags that had been emptied of kid outfits in the last few days and had to fill them back up again.  I was shocked when my clothes and bags all came out even-not even a sock lost.

It was pretty quiet in room last night.  Yesterday, Keaton knocked Robby’s fan off of the top bunk in the caboose so it is on the blink.  It was already making some odd noises and slowing down some but the fall knocked out a blade.  We need a tiny screwdriver to open the fan up and retrieve the now clicking blade. Even without it, there was enough air conditioner noise that we all did sleep soundly despite being able to hear all of our little people breathe.

Robby was the first one up and when I heard his shower turn on, I started moving around.  Graham, my early riser, was quickly up and dressed.  Everyone else followed and soon Robby and the 5 big kids were headed to breakfast.  When I finished my shower, Whitman was still sound asleep.  I started getting him dressed while he was sleeping and despite this he woke up in a great mood this morning.

We joined the others at breakfast and it was very crowded in there. After breakfast, we loaded the van and headed on our way. It takes about 90 minutes from bed to van for the Dennie folks and that includes breakfast so that is pretty good.  Of course that would be better if we felt like we were on Eastern time but we are still lving like we are on Central Standard Time.

Our first stop this morning was at a gas station and it seemed to take forever since it only had a one person bathroom-the boys all ended up having to use the girls’ restroom since theirs was occupied.  After we had all done our business, we marveled at the fresh pastries and even convinced Robby to buy 2 whoopie pies for our lunch.  They were huge-at least the size of my hand. Then we back tracked a block or two for him to run into Walmart to buy cokes, bread, tortilla chips and more apples.  

When we pulled out this morning, the GPS asked about us taking a ferry.  We opted not to but when we saw that we would be right near it, we thought we might should check it out. The GPS said that it would save 10 minutes off of our time but we probably had to wait for 10 minutes on the ferry but it sure was fun.  Keaton was a bit skittish and had lots of questions-will it go underwater and is it fast.  Whitman just wanted to go to the other side and go back to his house.  They were both fine once the realized that the ride was smooth and short.  

We had just drive through the beautiful Adirondack mountains and the ferry ride connecting Ticonderoga, NY and Vermont was just as pretty. We crossed Lake Champlain in just a few minutes on a ferry route that has been in operation since 1759.  After all of this, we were a bit behind schedule but we’re sure enjoying our day.  

We stopped at Dakin Farms, which was really a store on the side of the road that makes cheeses, honeys and meats. It was a neat little stop and the kids enjoyed eating the samples.  After a few more miles, we drove past the Shelbourne Museum, which looks a lot like a Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village in Detroit.  Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough time in the day to drive across Vermont and see everything that we would like today.  We did stop at Shelbourne Farms and have ourselves a picnic. We weren’t able to see the animals since they were a tractor ride away but we enjoyed their beautiful picnic grounds.

Next stop was the much anticipated spot-Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour. We started our tour at 3:15.  It started with a short film, then a view of the factory, which they were thoroughly cleaning and ended in the tasting room. They passed out huge servings of strawberry cheesecake ice cream.  Just hearing those words made Keaton and Campbell not try a single bit of it.  Whitman took one lick and then he was done which was good for me-the samples were about one whole scoop of ice cream. It was quite a bit and after eating my sample, Whitman’s and Keaton’s sample I couldn’t eat anymore.

Robby bought one more cone which was passed around multiple times until it was all gone.  Then we walked to the Flavor Graveyard. The kids played on the playground while Robby moved the car a bit closer. Then we hiked up the hill to see all of the long gone Ben and Jerry Flavors. After this we were back in the car for just a few minutes until we arrived at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. We were in Vermont 8 years ago and I so wanted to go to a cider store but we ran out of town because we were booking it to get to a now closed restaurant, Boves.  We had to wait forever to get a table but the lasagna was delicious-probably not as delicious as my cup of cider and apple cider doughnut was after walking through the cider mill was today.

The drive was just beautiful and at one point, I tried to convince Robby for us to rent canoes and float down one of the many streams that I am seeing beside the road. He looked at me like I was crazy and I must be because Keaton and I almost froze while outside of the Ben and Jerry’s store.

Next up was a walk through Littleton, NH.  We had stayed there 8 years ago in the cutest little inn so we walked around the town.  They have a Pollyanna statue at the library so now that book is on our short list of books to read together.  Then it was on down to the covered bridge.  The covered bridge there is a new one but still pretty so we walked along it.  The last trip to this area we found lots of old covered bridges to see but this trip I happily settled for a new covered bridge!

From there, it was just a short drive to Lincoln, NH.  This town is a ski town and has one of our favorite New Hampshire restaurants-The Common Man.  We ate in the dining room, which is probably a bit too fancy for us. We ordered 4 things to share (meatloaf, chicken sandwich, pot roast, bbq mac and cheese) but forgot to take into account the crackers and cheese at the front, the rolls and blueberry bread which was delivered to the table and the white chocolate given at the end of the meal.  We left there stuffed!

Our hotel was just a short drive away and again we were in late doing laundry.  We turned the lights out for the kids at 11 tonight, which is still too late.  Hopefully, we can do better the next few nights but they enjoy a bit of downtime and had lots of grandpa texting to catch up on since they hadn’t had their ipads out today.

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