Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ernie and Noela in Quebec!!!! Here We Come!

We were up at 6:15, ate breakfast, finished loading the car, had a short conversation with our daughters, and then the 4 of us were on our way to Quebec in our CRV by 8:15.  We stopped for gas and then Jamie called to continue the conversation that we didn't have a chance to finish earlier this morning.  

Customs went smoothly, but traffic was rather heavy around Montreal. We did enjoy seeing the city's skyline! 

After passing that area and heading towards Quebec, we stopped at Tim Horton's, for the 1st time on this trip, for a bathroom break and to enjoy some coffee, hot chocolate, and some delicious pastries.  About 20 minutes down the road I realized I had left my belly bag at Tim Horton's.  Talk about getting a "sick feeling" deep down in your stomach. Fortunately Melissa had paid for 3 months of cell phone coverage in Canada (the least amount you could purchase, but they did have a special), so I used her phone to call Tim Hortons.  They had found it and would hold it for me till we returned.  I was so relieved and thankful!  So we continued on to Ernie and Noela's house.

Somehow we kept seeing all these Tim Hortons and
they called our name!!!!

We arrived at their home in Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil around 12:20 and what a happy reunion for all of us!  It was so good to see them again.  They had lunch ready for us and we really enjoyed the sandwiches and different salads.  Of course it was wonderful for the 6 of us to sit around their table and just catch up on life.  We toured the very nice home they had moved into last October when they turned their horse farm over to their son, Peter.  The house is located in such a quiet, nice area.  A perfect house and location for them at this stage of their lives!

What an adorable houseon a large lot in a very quiet neighborhood.

After unloading the car we all got into Ernie's truck and he drive us back to the famous Tim Horton's where I left my belly bag.  Everything was in it and I was so thankful.  The young man employee said, "Merry Christmas"!   Of course, it was time for another warm drink. 

Then we drove to the horse farm that was owned by Ernie's father, then the home of Ernie and Noela's family and now this large horse farm operation is run by Ernie's son, Peter and his wife who live on the farm. They have 42 horses boarded at the farm and they own 14 of them. They do horse shows and teach riding lessons.  It is a very busy place.  In the summer, Ernie and Noela cut, rake, and bail all the hay which is about 600 of those huge circular bails.  Quite a job for the 2 of them.  We also met their 2 1/2 year old adorable granddaughter and their 3 month old grandson. 

Arriving to tour the farm and stables!

The farmhouse is over 100 years old!

This wall in the barn is made out of  stacked logs!

Quite a large stable area......

and an areana for indoor lessons!

Organized Tack Room.

This board lists all the riding lessons for just that one day!

Lots of outdoor areas for the horses!

This is Peter with his daughter!

Ernie and his granddaughter have a very special bond!
He goes to the farm everyday and she is so excited to be
with him.  She is only 2 1/2 and is bi-lingual.

Their new 3 month old grandson!

Peter's wife with her daughter and Ernie
and Noela!

After leaving the farm, they drove us to a biking trail not far from their home - Route Verti d'Argenteull.  We walked towards the municipal/county campgroound called Brownsburg Chatham and it was beautiful.  The sites were so spacious and it was situated on a lake.  We were impressed.  After walking around the CG we got back in their truck and went back to the house for some peanuts and wine and more sharing time. 

We parked at this trail and walked over to the campground!

The happy camping friends!

This is a view from the CG.....

,,,and then checking out the campsites!

On the way back to their house, Ernie showed us an area near their property where each year you can drive over this water on an ice bridge.  The ice gets thick enough for cars to drive from the one shore line to the other.  Crazy!! Ernie and Noela both said they never have and never will drive across it.

It is hard to imagine driving across this body of water
on an ice bridge!

We ate peanuts and had some wine before dinner which gave us more time to just talk and laugh.  Then Noela, who is a great cook, coked the coq au vin she had made ahead of time and served it with noodles for dinner. It was positively delicious.  All the flavors and spices were incredible.  We all helped with clean-up.  Then it was time for some game playing.  Noela had bought Skip-Bo cards which Ken and I had taught them to play in Florida.  So we played 2 games and the women won both.  Go ladies!!!!

So good to all be together!

Doesn't get any better!

Taken out the backdoor of their property!

By 10:30 we were all headed to bed after a wonderful fun-filled day sharing life with special friends.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Scenic Driving Trip to the Stowe Area and Then Towards Burlington!!

We were up by 7:15 and Ken spent time taking things out of the car for our drive to Montreal tomorrow.  Now Waldo looks a bit like a storage area!   I talked to my sister and they were on the road in Harvey to Camp LeJeune in North Carolina for 3 or 4 nights and then they will spend the month of October RVing on Jekyll Island, GA.   After breakfast and clean-up, the 4 of were on our way Northeast towards Stowe, VT by 10. 

It was a cloudy day when we left with a prediction of rain arriving around noon, so we decided to go to the Von Trappe Lodge 1st with the hopes of being able to walk around the property before the rain started.  We did take a longer, more scenic route to get there and that was a very good choice.  We really enjoyed seeing all the large, interesting barns, old wooden buildings, and then winding through Smugglers Notch State Park and viewing all the beautiful trees.

The trees are slowly starting to change colors!

The barns in this area are large, picturesque, and being wood,
require a lot of maintenance!

It was very overcast and foggy!

One of the ski lifts near Stowe!

If it would have been a sunny day these trees would have
been spectacular!

Wow ,this was an old mill!

When we arrived at the Von Trappe Lodge the rain was just beginning, so our walking was very limited.  We did enjoy their gift shop and then walking through the 1st floor of the lodge.  In the early 1940's the Von Trappe Family toured the US as the Trappe Family Singers before settling in Stowe, Vermont on an enchanted farm with sweeping mountain vistas reminiscent of their beloved Austria.  In the summer of 1950, they began welcoming guests to a rustic, 27 room family home/lodge.  After a devastating fire in 1980, the original structure was replaced by the new Trappe Family Lodge, a striking, 96 room Alpine Lodge situated on 2500 acres offering magnificent indoor and outdoor amenities.  The entire property is owned and operated by the Von Trappe Family. 

The lodge was beautiful, but again, it would require so much
maintenance!  Many beautiful hanging planters and window

This is inside the ski, biking and gift shop!

From there we headed south stopping for lunch at a local Subway.  Then on to the Vermont Annex where we visited the Cabot Cheese Store, Lake Champlain Chocolates, and the Smuggler's Notch Distillery.  We got to sample many kinds of cheeses, granola, rich and creamy chocolates, and then Vodka, Rum and Bourbon.   It was a fun experience.

Some more beautiful scenery along our drive....

...and a colorful gift shop!

The fog and haze continued!

More colorful trees!

Time to sample more cheese!

Chuck was really enjoying lunch - I mean the samples!

After cheese, you need something sweet, so on to the
Chocolate factory outlet!

Way tooooo much temptation!

Delicious chocolate!

Then on to the Distillery......

.....where for $3.00 you could sample all 5 of their products.
Ken paid to sample and then was very generous.  He allowed
Melissa and I to have a 1/3 of each sample.  Chuck was
okay not trying them.

Then it was on to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory for a tour, including a movie about their humble beginnings, free sample of the Triple Caramel Chunk Ice Cream (delicious), and then of course we felt obligated to buy a cone of our favorite variety - I had Cherry Garcia and Ken chose Salty Blonde Caramel - delicious!!!!

This is their gift shop!

You go up 25 steps to the movie theater and all the walls
are painted with cows, etc.  Lots and lots of painting...

,,,and it goes on and on!

Even the movie theater walls were painted!

And they were painted on the way to the sample room!

Today it was triple caramel chunk - Yum!!!!

Ain't that the truth?????

This wall lists the customers favorite kinds of ice cream
and half baked is #1 followed by Cherry Garcia!

This is a replica of the motorhome Ben and Jerry drove across
the US to give free samples to folks along the way so they
would be aware of their ice cream.  It burned when they were
near Vermont and their journey and company got National
attention.  I guess it was a good thing it burned!

From there we went to Green Mountain Coffee so Melissa, our coffee person, could sample some of their special blends.  We all sat on the porch enjoying the rain while she enjoyed her "brew".  Then who should we see getting out of their truck, but Michelle and Tom from Michigan.  We had met them when we were at Bolton Landing in New York and chatted briefly because they were staying at the Reis House Bed and Breakfast.  Amazing how you can cross paths so unexpectedly.  We chatted for quite a while and she seems to be rather fascinated with our RVing lifestyle.  What a nice couple and we enjoyed seeing them again.  Maybe our paths will cross again in the future!

Here they had a room that told you how they make their coffee
and how it started!

Melissa is ready for her cup of coffee!

This is Michelle from Michigan.So glad
we met her and Tom.

Waterbury is the town where Green Mountain
Coffee is located!

We returned to the CG by 5:15 and it started to pour just when we got inside Waldo.  I think it is going to be a very rainy evening and night!  Ken and I packed our clothing and personal grooming items for our 2 night trip to visit Ernie and Noela.  Then it was time to download the photos from today and work on the blog.

I talked to Melissa and we decided not to get together tonight.  First of all it is raining so hard it would be difficult to walk to their motorhome and we all have plenty to do before we leave tomorrow.

We are supposed to get 2 to 3 inches of rain here through tomorrow night, but not as much as Lake George, where we just came from.  They are expecting 4 to 7 inches by tomorrow night.  That will make a "mess" at that campground.