Tag Archives: vacation

And we’re off….

 

By the time you read this, the husband and I will be winging our way to Arizona for our long planned and much anticipated 35th wedding anniversary trip. (Yes, he snagged me young.)

It goes without saying there will be an outrageously long blog series of our adventures when I return. We’ll be there for 2 weeks and I plan on taking pictures of everything… so don’t say I didn’t warn you.

But for now?

A few photo scraps…

When you’re menopausal…  (if you are, I’m sorry. If you’re not there yet, hang on sister, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.) …people think it’s funny to give you Christmas gifts like this:

 

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#1 – It’s not.

#2 – Please stop.

I was also given this –

 

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I don’t know about you, but any scent that promises to instantly change my mood can bite me. I’m a relatively optimistic person already and don’t need essential oil to put me over the top.

Essential oil…  please!

Why is it essential? I’ve lived without it this long, I’m pretty sure I can continue to do so without consequences.

As for our anniversary, the trip is our gift to each other…. but I did manage to find the perfect card to give the husband on that very special day.

 

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Perfect.

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So, be well my friends….

I may drop in from time to time but doubt I’ll be posting.

 

Any Arizona Wordpressers out there?

 

The husband and I have planned  ( and by that I mean me, all me, nothing but me, he doesn’t do squat ) a trip to Sedona, Arizona in January to celebrate our anniversary.

We’ll have been married 35 years by then, and I figured if the Petrified Forest isn’t an appropriate place to celebrate, nothing is.

 

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(Yeah, that’s pretty much us. Except it’s more like a quarter than two thirds.)

Neither one of us have ever been out that way and aside from visiting all the “must see” spots like the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Cathedral Rock, the Painted Desert and the aforementioned Forest… I was wondering if any local Arizonians could tell us where to go.

(It’s not often I ask people to tell me where to go….. you should take full advantage.)

 

 

We don’t mind driving long distances and love to explore, though Sedona will be our base at night. We’re up for mild hiking and serious cocktailing. (Okay, that might just be me.)

 

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(Damn, what happens if you’re both?)

So please, drop a comment and tell me where your favorite Arizona places are, what we shouldn’t miss and the best watering holes you know.

Thanks!

 

 

 

Homeward bound….

Yes, we’ve reached the end of yet another vacation series.

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We checked out of our Vermont mountain resort and walked by the required giant Adirondack chair….

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Which had a non required tiny snowman.

With horns.

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As we were leaving I noticed this sign…

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And thought, damn.

The only reason I left mine at home was the lack of decent parking.

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My husband had serious barn envy on our drive home…

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Which is easy to do in Vermont.

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And farther down the road,  I saw another interesting sign.

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Clearly Hula Hooping is a road hazard in the Northern Kingdom.

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The mountains loomed in the distance….

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And made for quite a scenic ride.

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Sadly, the Water Wheel…

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One of our favorite lunch spots…. was closed, and we had to make do with a local watering hole.

(For Martin, who constantly gripes there aren’t enough food photos.)

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A decent clam chowder for me.

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A mediocre French onion for the husband.

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A really good turkey club for me.

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And some nice homemade chicken fingers for the husband.

(Happy now Martin?)

We ate our meal under this watchful eye…

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And elected to pass on the specialty cocktail.

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I love bacon (and bourbon!) as much as the next girl, but bacon bourbon?

No.

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Yes.

Yes we are.

The Vermont vacation is officially over.

The Dog Chapel.

If you love animals, grab some Kleenex.

If you don’t… move along, you’re not my people.

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The Dog Chapel, on Dog Mountain, built by dog artist Stephen Hunecker.

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This is Stephen, and his dogs.

The following is the story of his near death experience…

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And a few words about the special space he created.

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I’d heard of this place, but wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

A chapel… for dogs. Okay, got it.

But I hadn’t.

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The pews are hand carved and supported by dogs.

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The stained glass is hand made…

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And filled with dogs.

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But what takes your breath away as you stand in this unassuming little building….

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Is love.

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And an outpouring of grief so heartfelt, I wept.

Non stop, for the entire time we were there.

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The love surrounds you.

Engulfs you.

From floor to ceiling, every single inch.

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People from all over the world come to this obscure little spot on the map to leave pictures and memorials to their beloved 4 footed friends.

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If you’ve ever loved a dog, this place will move you.

If you’ve never loved a dog, this place will move you.

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It was silent, and haunting….. and beautiful beyond words.

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The loss is palpable, and deep.

But the love?

The love is overwhelming and chokes me up even now.

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So I left a memorial of my own, for a very special beagle we had when I was growing up. Hiram… my father’s steadfast companion. Who happily romped the fields and gardens with him in the good times, and lay devotedly at his side through the bad. The dog that was inconsolable when my father was hospitalized with heart attack after heart attack… as if he knew.

Hiram.

His death was the only time I ever saw my father cry.

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Oh, yes…

Yes they do.

The Stephen Huneck Gallery

 

The Dog Chapel has long been on my list of places to visit in Vermont, and while I would have preferred to go in warmer weather and walk the lovely nature trails… we happened to pass the sign so I screamed,  “Let’s go!”

Up a steep hill, and over a narrow and rutted dirt road you’ll find a 150 acre farm.

 

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The Chapel…

 

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And a frozen, peed upon pumpkin.

 

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(I’m guessing dog, but wouldn’t put it past my husband.)

 

 

 

 

There’s also a gallery/shop that houses the owner’s folk art, which as you might guess….

 

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Is clearly dog-centric.

There are dog chairs…

 

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Dog benches..

 

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Dog lamps…

 

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Dog borders…

 

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Dog railings…

 

 

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And dog mounted trophies….

 

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Don’t laugh…

It beats the trophy mounted vegetarian on this butcher shop wall.

 

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Even the bathroom was dogged.

 

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It’s pretty clear the artist loved dogs.

 

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And why wouldn’t he?

 

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They’re marvelously talented creatures….

 

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Bugs and dinner.

 

 

Please note I did not say bugs for dinner. That would just be weird.

Although, admittedly…. a 3 piece cockroach musical ensemble would have been stellar.

 

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No… I’m talking about the last (and best!) part of the Fairbanks Museum.

Bug art!

I turned the final corner, and came face to mandible face with this beauty.

 

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Isn’t it wonderful? I would totally display this on my front lawn, and perhaps pet it as I walked by.

 

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As you can see, it’s a little large for the living room.

 

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So while the husband was examining some ancient knives and swords, ( He glanced at the bugs and kept on walking. Go figure. ) I delved deep into art made from bugs.

 

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Apparently it’s pretty rare, as evidenced by the fact there were only 8 pieces.

And if you’re not a fan of the creepy crawly…

 

 

You might want to scroll down to dinner… which thankfully, was bug free.

But if you’ve always wanted to see a beetle and moth likeness of Abraham Lincoln?

 

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And George Washington?

 

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I’m your girl.

 

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Yes, those really are all bugs.

 

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And bug art really is a thing.

 

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Ain’t it grand?

 

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General Pershing thinks so.

 

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And so do I.

 

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Now for the (boring in comparison) food part of the blog.

 

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Dinner was at a highly recommended little place called The Creamery….

 

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Which, to be honest, felt like someone’s basement.

 

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The bar was full of locals who gave us the stink eye as we walked in…

 

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But the margaritas were large and tasty….

 

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And while the menu was small, everything we had was perfect.

 

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From the crispy green bean appetizer….

 

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To the goat cheese and maple vinaigrette salad…

 

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My fresh, succulent baked scallops with stir fried vegetable medley…

 

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And the husband’s perfectly prepared shrimp scampi.

I would have loved to try their dessert but…

 

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I hate when that happens.

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Spot. Stay….

 

The Fairbanks museum has something for everyone.

 

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Samurai helmets?

 

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And swords?

 

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Check.

 

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And for those who are as fascinated as I am with the rich  history of Japan…

 

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There were dinosaur fossils…

 

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And mastodon obedience training manuals….

 

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Somehow I doubt that turned out well.

 

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There were more dead fine feathered friends..

 

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And a display about sheep back in 1840…

 

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Which begs for the old saying –

Vermont! Where men were men.

And the sheep were afraid.

 

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Although from the look of the numbers, maybe the men should have been afraid.

 

 

The rotating exhibit was a collection of photography from rural Vermont.

 

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They were quite good, but I won’t bore with you with photos of photos…

 

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Except for this one.

 

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That was my reaction too.

I was beginning to rethink my  “Isn’t Vermont a quaint place to live?”  attitude. I mean, really? Who cuts off their wife’s hands, nails them to the barn door and then photographs them?

Who?

 

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Slightly mollified, although vowing never to look at a muskrat the same way… we moved on.

Inching ever closer to the famous bug art.

 

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Yes, apparently it’s quite famous in these parts.

 

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And in case you just can’t wait till tomorrow’s post…

 

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Here are a few beauties to keep you company.

 

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(The bugs, not me.)

 

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You’re welcome.