Thursday, October 19, 2017

Springhill Suites Fishkill New York

Springhill Suites in Fishkill is a new hotel and the design is just gorgeous. The rooms are sleek and modern with a very stylish appearance. We loved it at first sight. I have to stay, the person who greeted us at the desk was friendly but her directions for which door to enter were so inadequate, and I asked several times,  that we ended up coming in the front door which required that we walk with our luggage a long distance that was totally unnecessary. 

She did not say enter by the side door even when I tried to get her to be more specific. She also did not tell us what time breakfast was served, I had to ask her. Another thing that I found odd was that I received an email about noon on the day we were checking in asking me if we were still coming. Since I had two rooms reserved and would have been charged a very high cancellation fee if I didn’t show, I certainly was. What if I had not looked at my emails as we were driving, would they have given my room away? That I found rather disturbing.

I was also not welcomed as a silver member which I always am and thanked for my loyalty. Usually I arrive in my room to find extra towels and pillows which I have requested, they are not guaranteed but usually, they are there, not here they weren’t.

Once we got to our room, we were quite delighted with what we found. I had a king sized bed, a very comfortable one I have to say, A desk that was part of a room divider, a sofa that turns into a single bed and a trundle bed a coffee table with a tray on top, Keurig coffee maker, microwave, and fridge,


The bathroom is downright glamorous, with a huge walk-in shower, sleek white countertops and sink, a night light which I love, glass barn door and separate, though not closed off toilet area. There is also a good sized closet and though Joe did not have a luggage rack in his, we did in ours. There is a bench of sorts of metal over the radiator and it served as a good place for him to lace his luggage.

The room was very clean and had plenty of plugs but the nightstand on the left side of the bed had no plugs so I couldn’t plug in my phone unless I changed sides of the bed which I didn’t want to do, that I found inconvenient. How do they know that both of you don’t want to charge your devices on your nightstand? Breakfast is a wonderful affair with scrambled eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, cheese to top the eggs and soft tacos to wrap your eggs and salsa. Chocolate croissants, bread, bagels, and muffins. Oatmeal, cold cereal and make your own waffles, you won’t go away hungry.


Marriott has also decided to get rid of the hot tubs in their newer hotels or ones that they update to the new design. I am not at all pleased with this decision and it may well be what drives me into the arms of another chain. When we travel, I enjoy a soak in the hot tub after a long day on the road, I find their decision very disappointing.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Structures built for world fairs that you can still visit

World’s Fairs and Expositions have been happening for over 150 years. They have been located in many different cities and the structures are usually built with the intention of being temporary. In spite of that, there are a number of structures that have remained for many times longer than their original designers intended. Here are a few of them that you may just want to visit.

Probably the oldest extant structure that was built for a World’s Fair or Exposition is the Eiffel Tower which was constructed in 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. The International Exposition of Paris lasted for 180 days and welcomed over 32 million people. It was certainly the first of its kind to achieve this scope of influence and the Eiffel Tower was the showpiece of the exhibition. Imagine how impressive it was over 100 years ago before there were buildings as tall as those we have today. And yet, there is hardly a person who would visit Paris in 2016 and not see and be impressed by the marvelous building designed by Gustav Eiffel.

The Parthenon in Nashville was built for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897. It was originally supposed to open in 1896 which was the actual 100th anniversary but none the less it was a great success welcoming almost 2 million visitors in the six months that it was open. The Parthenon was the Fine Arts Building at the exposition and proved to be one of the most popular. So popular in fact that it was not torn down with the rest of the temporary buildings. That is not to say that the gorgeous building of today is totally original, it isn’t. It had to undergo a massive rebuild in order to make it permanent. Any visitor to Nashville will agree, it is amazing. So amazing in fact that when the Greek Government was going work on the original, they used the Nashville version to help them, pretty impressive for a temporary building.

One of Brussels Belgium’s most iconic sights is the Atomium. It was built for the 1958 World’s Fair and was the main building of the fair. Five of the spheres on the structure are open to the public and offer a permanent exhibit, temporary exhibit space and also some wonderful views. No visit to Brussels is complete without at least having your picture taken in front of this unusual structure. It was built in an era where atomic energy had been used to end a war and ways were being looked at for a peaceful use of atomic energy.

These are just three of the many interesting buildings that have been built for World’s Fairs. A few others include the Vasco da Gama Tower in Lisbon, Portugal, The Unisphere in Flushing Meadow, N.Y., The Space Needle in Seattle, Wash., The Palace of Fine Arts in Chicago and the Tower of the Americas in San Antonio, Texas.

As these all indicate, being the location of a World’s Fair can mean that a tourist attract will be left behind for visitor’s to enjoy for years to come.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Fall antique shopping in Essex , Ma.

Essex, Ma. is a mecca for antique lovers. It is a charming small town that combines a wide selection of places to shop with some amazing food. It is the ideal location for a fall weekend getaway.

Located just 34 miles north of Boston, it is a short trip from most areas of New England. Route 133 runs through the center of town and connects Essex with Ipswich and Gloucester. Along this route, you will find many of the antique stores that the town is famous for. For the serious antique lover, there are some first class shops here. For those who like to browse through shops piled high with affordable treasures, there is plenty of that as well.


Alexander Westeroff Antiques is quite unique in its location, the owners have done a wonderful job of re-purposing the former Methodist Church. They specialize in lighting and dining furniture with a truly superb collection of well-documented pieces at all times. Not everyone can afford to shop here but browsing is free.

Another great shop in town is David Neligan Antiques. This writer was immediately reminded of the shops of the Cotswold village of Moreton in the Marsh. David has a good eye for something special and that may be the result of his years at Christie’s. The shop is filled with an eclectic mix or furniture and decor that is constantly changing. You need to return here often to see what new treasures have come in.

If maps and historic prints are what set your heart fluttering, a stop at The Scrapbook will be called for. Vincent Caravella the owner is proud of his shop and will be happy to give you a history lesson about anything that might catch your interest. The stock in the shop is always changing but you can expect to see great botanical prints, maps from around the world and some amazing art. Vincent also does quality framing so you can take home the complete package. There are also some gifts in the shop which coordinate with the prints; you have to see them to really understand.

Robert Coviello has two shops on Main Street, Main Street Antiques and Robert Coviello Antiques. Main Street Antiques is as brash and bold as Robert Coviello Antiques is sophisticated and staid. Both of these shops warrant a visit and are very enjoyable, for totally different reasons. Main Street Antiques is chock a block filled with things you never knew you had to have and his other shop offers some wonderful collectible items from around the world as well as furniture at both locations.

The White Elephant is as eclectic a shop as you will find in Essex. While you are probably not going to find a rare and unusual antique here, there are abundant books, glassware, and bric-a-brac. The room with $1 books is guaranteed to keep most people occupied for quite some time. If you are really looking for a bargain, they have an outlet that is open on the weekend and is located on the road to Ipswich where everything is half price.

If you are looking for something to bring home that is made locally, the place to go is  Sea Meadow Gift Shop. There are many great things to enjoy here even before you get into the shop. The yard is filled with birdhouses and wind art for your yard. Inside there is jewelry, soaps, books and toys and lots more. It is a great place to just poke around.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to antiques and shopping in Essex. There are over 30 antique stores alone and though this writer wanted to visit them all, it will take a couple more visits to accomplish that.

Be sure to book at room at the George Fuller House Bed and Breakfast and plan some wonderful dining at all the amazing restaurants in town. You can make a whole weekend out of antique shopping in Essex.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Things to do in Charleston, South Carolina in the fall

Charleston, South Carolina is a great place at any time of the year. There are lots of events, festivals, and entertainment that are geared to people of all ages. As the summer heat moves out of the Low Country, here are just a few of the things to do in Charleston, SC in the fall.

The Charleston Farmers' Market is open at Marion Square on Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a great opportunity to get some great fresh local produce and handmade products. From September 3 through November 28 come and enjoy the best in food, arts and crafts as residents and visitors have been doing for the last 26 years. In December there is a holiday market on both Saturday and Sunday.

For a month, for the last 39 years, homes and gardens in Charleston have opened up for tours. For 2017 the dates are October 5-29. The tours are a fundraiser for the  Preservation Society of Charleston and highlight architecture from the Georgian period right through to the present day. Private homes, historic buildings, and churches are all included.

For most of these buildings, this is the only way you would ever be able to tour them. It goes on for almost 4 weeks and there are a variety of different ticket options. You can tour a single destination, an entire area or buy the entire time. This is a highlight of the fall season in Charleston. 

The fall is the perfect time to enjoy The Sound of Charleston. The fall concert series will begin early in the month of September and run through December. The programs will be presented at  the Circular Congregational Church on Wednesday and/or Thursday evenings at 7 p.m.   It combines music with the history of Charleston and is something that will be of interest to older children, adults, and seniors.

The Harvest Festival in North Charleston's Wannamaker County Park takes place on November 4, 2017 in Mullet Hall Equestrian Center. A full day of fun for the entire family.  

If you are feeling the urge to get in the holiday spirit, for three days in mid-November the  Charleston Holiday Market comes to the Charleston Area Convention Center. Bring your camera to get pictures of the kids with Santa and have your wallet and credit card ready to do some serious shopping. It is a great time for the entire family.

Doing a ghost tour is a favorite thing to do at any time of the year, but in the fall with Halloween, it is even more exciting. You can take a 90-minute walking tour of the Provost Dungeon in the Old Exchange Building with Bull Dog Tours until November 30th. Would you prefer to tour in a mule-drawn carriage? Palmetto Carriage Tours offers a ride to some of the most haunted graveyards and buildings in the city.

Perhaps you would like to join Mike Brown of Old Charleston Tours on a 90-minute walk that is guaranteed to give you a look at some of the lesser known stories that you won’t hear anywhere else.

These are just a few of the many things that are available to do in Charleston, South Carolina in the fall. There are many more. The CVB has a calendar that lists most of the events that are taking place this fall. You will need to make your reservations for accommodations early as this is a very popular destination.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Chicago is a great place to visit in the fall

Chicago is a wonderful place to visit in the fall. The heat and humidity of the summer has gone and the air is crisp and cool. The wind may be whipping off of Lake Michigan so hang on to your hat and watch the bright leaves as they swirl through the air.

In the fall, there are plenty of farmers markets all over the city that will provide fresh fruits and vegetables plus all the items you will need to decorate for fall. There is nothing like a crispy apple or a piece of spicy pumpkin pie to set the mood for a perfect fall weekend.

The Chicago Botanic Garden will have many special events throughout the fall. Be sure to check their event calendar. Among the many events is a costume parade for pooches and lots more in October and the Holiday Market on December 6 from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.  There is always something happening at the Botanic Garden.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is a Chicago favorite and it is free. In the fall you can enjoy Fall Fest which will include a corn maze and hay rides as well as some attractions that require tickets and Spooky Zoo Spectacular which will include shows, trick or treating,  and other family activities.

If you are going to be in Chicago on Halloween or anytime for that matter make reservations to take the  Chicago Haunting Tour. Rated one of the top ten ghost tours in the country, there is no better time of year to find out about all the spectral sightings that Chicago has to offer. You can't miss the black Haunting's Bus which you will meet across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe.

Chicago knows how to celebrate Oktoberfest and St. Alphonsus Church is the location to be for an authentic German Experience. September 25-27 you can enjoy homemade brats, live German music and plenty of cold beer.

The Magnificent Mile Light Festival takes place the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It is the kick-off event of the holiday shopping season. Hundreds of thousands of lights will be twinkling and there are activities for all members of the family.

Some of the stores will have their holiday window displays in place and the Parade is sure to please everyone. For many families it is a holiday tradition. After the parade watch the fireworks that take place along the Chicago River. http://www.themagnificentmile.com/events/lights-festival/

Join over 300,000 other visitors who will enjoy the Chicago  Chriitkindlmarket beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving and running through Christmas Eve. Entertainment is featured, the Annual Christmas Tree lighting, and a children's lantern parade. You can shop at the booths, eat traditional holiday foods and get into the spirit of the upcoming Holidays. http://www.christkindlmarket.com

Yes, fall is a great time to visit Chicago and these are just a few of the special events that will be taking place. You can always visit the Art Institute, The Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum and the Navy Pier. Book your accommodations early as this is a popular time of the year to visit Chicago.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie New York


The Arkell Museum was created by the founder of Beech-Nut Packing Company Bartlett Arkell. He collected works by some of the premier American artists of the late 19th and early 20th century. Unfortunately, many of them were not on display when we visited. I certainly would have loved to see the Mary Cassatt!!


What we did get to see were two exhibitions that were set up to celebrate the anniversaries of the Women’s Rights movement and the Erie Canal. In spite of our disappointment at not getting to see more paintings from their collection, we did enjoy our visit here. I did like having a face to put on some of the women who worked so hard to get the vote for women.


Given our experience, I would suggest checking their website to see what actually will be on display when you plan to visit.

They don't allow you to use photos of their collections, you need permssion and I believe they charge. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Seeing Shakespeare in Stratford on Avon

I have been to Stratford on Avon several times, by several I mean 5 or 6. Part of any visit to Stratford is taking in a play at the RSC.  Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC ) is a repertory theater company. What this means is that the plays rotate and that the same actors must learn multiple roles in multiple plays. It is not every actor who is up for this challenge so you can expect to see the best of the best. 

The RSC has been operating under the name Royal Shakespeare Company since 1961 but it has been around under different names for over 125 years.

It was in 1875 that a local brewer, Charles Edward Flower first decided that Stratford being Shakespeare’s home needed to have a Shakespearean Theater. It was opened four years later but it took them over 20 years to attract major names to their productions. They were granted a royal charter in 1925 but the theater was destroyed by a fire the following year.

A worldwide campaign was launched and a new theater was constructed. By the 1940′s major actors were performing in Stratford. Many names are ones we all recognize, Vivien Leigh, Michael Redgrave, Sir John Gielgud and Sir Laurence Olivier.

The sixties saw the name RSC attached to the company and it is now considered a great honor to be one of their players. A new crop of actors has sharpened their skills here including Judi Dench, Ian Richardson, and Trevor Nunn.

The Swan Theater was added in 1986 and used part of the shell of the 1926 building.  The main theaters in Stratford are the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan. The Swan is a much smaller more intimate venue.

While you are in Stratford, take the time to visit Shakespeare’s grave which is in the church an easy walk from the theater complex. Walk along the river Avon, feed the ducks get to know the city that Shakespeare knew. It is a bit of a tourist trap but in a good way.

I am a great Shakespeare fan and have enjoyed many Shakespearean plays but the one that will always stick in my mind was the one I saw on September 11, 2001, it was Hamlet and it was in Stratford. A very modernistic version with the sound of a whirling helicopter and the exceptional cast made for an unforgettable night, especially given what had occurred in the U.S. on that day.

In 2006 I saw the Canterbury Tales Part I at the Swan Theater and it was so good that when the RSC brought Part 2 to the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., it was a no-brainer whether to go and was well worth the trip.

There is nothing quite like seeing Shakespeare performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and if you want to see the best there is, make an effort to see a performance. They do travel the world so you may not need to go to Stratford, but in my opinion, nothing else compares. 

Of course, while you are there you can see the homes that are a part of the story of the live of the bard and even visit his grave. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fun things to do in Tulsa in the fall

Tulsa is a city that has lots to do in any season and the fall is no exception. You can enjoy the state fair, Oktoberfest and a whole lot more. If you want to know all the fun things to do in Tulsa in the fall these events will get you started. 

The Tulsa State Fair is the kickoff event for the fall season. Beginning in late September and running into early October this 11-day event is an old-fashioned agricultural fair with lots to do for the entire family. The Oklahoma and Muscogee Stages offers live entertainment, there are special children’s events and attractions, lots of rides and exhibits and so much more.

The Just for Kids Adventure offers a schedule of things for kids to do at the Creative Stations, the Superplay Activity Center and Tulsa’s largest sandbox. Some of the other favorites are the Picking and Fiddling Championship and the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show. Come to the Tulsa State Fair to see the animals, the horse show, the oversized fruits and vegetables and the baked goods. It is all great fun.

Oktoberfest will come to Tulsa for the 39th time in 2017. It happens late in the month of October, the 19-22 in 2017 from Thursday through Sunday and celebrates all things German. It has been named one of the 10 Best Oktoberfests in North America by USA Today. The annual event features food, drink, music, and lots of German culture. This is the place to try schnitzel, soft German pretzels and lots of other German foods.

Plenty of typical festival type foods such as funnel cakes and kettle corn will also be offered. Come to enjoy the German Music and dancing and much more for the entire family. Arts and crafts vendors are available as well selling a variety of items. Of course, being a German festival, beer will play an important part in the celebration.

In addition to all the special events that happen in the fall, there are all the usual things that are enjoyable to do. With the weather getting cool it is a perfect time to visit one of the many parks around the city to enjoy the outdoors.  Miles of hiking trails await and the River Parks offer a great place to walk or bike the trails that go along the river.

If you want to head out of the city a short drive will bring you to orchards and farms where you can pick your own apples and pumpkins and get lost in a corn maze.

Fall is a great time to enjoy all the outdoor activities that Tulsa is so well known for and as the fall turns into winter, there will be all the Christmas events to look forward to.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Staybridge Suites Corning New York

I loved this hotel from our first experience with the desk staff, they were so welcoming and willing to go the extra mile to make everything about your stay perfect. We opted for a two bedroom suites and we were asked what floor we preferred. We chose three since we don’t like to have people above us. The room has a very nice setup. You enter into the kitchen which has everything but an oven but they provide a toaster oven. The table has four chairs and the living room has a couch, chair and coffee table.


One bedroom had a queen bed and the other had two doubles. The two doubles is a huge room. We, however, we took the smaller room and it was fine. The sink and vanity are in the bedroom so the bathroom is small but the shower pressure was amazing, loved that shower. Everything was very clean and we enjoyed playing cards at the table provided. The suite has three TVs as well. one in each bedroom and one in the living area, the selection of shows was good. 

Breakfast is included and is the standard fare, scrambled eggs or omelets, sausage or bacon, oatmeal, make your own waffles, cold cereal, juice, coffee, bread, bagels, muffins and some sweet things. Certainly, adequet and the dining area is large and was never overcrowded even though the hotel was busy.

They have a very nice pool area and a hot tub which we enjoyed using. 

Location is perfect if you plan to visit the Corning Museum of Glass, it is walking distance for most people. Lots of really good dining within a mile on Market Street downtown. 


I would highly recommend this hotel for great service, clean and comfortable rooms and great location. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Fall happenings in Little Rock

As the weather starts to get a little brisk and the leaves begin to change color, all over the United States people know that fall has arrived. The same is true in Little Rock. The kids have gone back to school, the summer clothes have been packed away, and now it is time to get out and do some of the fall activities that Little Rock is known for.


Adult Only

Lots of activities are family friendly in Little Rock in the fall. North Little Rock Taste for Business isn’t necessarily one of them. It has been happening early in the fall for the last 22 years. For 2017, it will be on September 28th at Verizon Arena from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.

This event is a chance to sample food and drink from some of the best restaurants, beverage distributors and caterers that the area has to offer. Over 1000 people will pay $20 each in advance and $25 at the door to enjoy two hours of great food and drink.

 

Arkansas State Fair

For ten days every fall, the Arkansas Fairgrounds come to life with the sounds of the midway, livestock, entertainment and beauty competitions. Livestock is an important component of this fair and the judging and award presentation are well attended. October 12-22, 2017. 


Main Street Food Truck Festival

October 7, 2017  will see the 7th Annual Main Street Food Truck Festival from 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.   Over 50 food truck will be offering a wide selection of food. Additionally, there will be music, artists, and vendors on Main Street It will again span six blocks North and South along Main Street and three block East and West along Capitol Avenue.   


Harvest Fest

Head to the historic Hillcrest neighborhood for a full day of family fun on October 14, 2017. It starts early with a bird walk in Allsopp Park at 7:00 a.m. The pancake breakfast starts at 9:00 a.m. and the farmers market will be open from 7 a.m. to noon. The festival opens at 11 a.m. and goes on into the evening with live entertainment. The Kids Zone is a favorite destination for the youngsters. Check out their website for places and times.


Pumpkin Patch

Motley's Farm Pumpkin Patch September 230 through October 31 on the weekends. Pick a pumpkin, take a tractor-drawn carriage ride, jump on the hay bales and enjoy the animals on the farm. Feed is for sale if the kids want to feed them.


Pooches & Pumpkins

The Good Earth Garden Center's 5th Annual Pooches & Pumpkins fall family festival will be held on Saturday, October 17 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is a family affair and includes the family pets.


Arkansas Cornbread Festival

The fifth edition of the Arkansas Cornbread Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct 21, 2017, brings local flavor, live music, and vendors to South Main Street. Come early and plan to stay all day enjoy everything that will be offered including  musical acts, local breweries, and vendors selling Arkansas-made food, crafts, and gifts.



 When it comes to fall happenings in Little Rock, you will find yourself overwhelmed with the number of choices. Overwhelmed in a good way, that is.


More information:
http://nlrchamber.org/chamber-news/a-taste-for-business-3 
http://www.heart.org/lrwinefestival
www.motleyspumpkinpatch.com/index.html

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Things to do in Florence, South Carolina in the fall

Florence, South Carolina is in the area of South Carolina known as the Pee Dee Region. It was named for the daughter of General William W. Harllee. The city was founded as a railroad town and he was the president of the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad.

Known as a thriving business community and a friendly place to live, there are lots of things to do in Florence in any season and fall is no exception. Here are a few things to do in Florence SC in the fall that will be of interest to residents as well as visitors.

Golf

The Chamber of Commerce sponsors two golf tournaments a year. One is in the spring and one is in the fall. The fall tournament takes place Oct 5, 2017, at The  Country Club of South Carolina. It is a great way to meet people and make business connections.

Pee Dee Fall Plant and Flower Festival 

As the weather starts to cool down, residents know that it is time for the Pee Dee Fall Plant and Flower Festival. Located at the State Farmers Market on West Lucas Street. In 2017, the dates are Sept 29-Oct 1. Friday and Saturday the festival is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The festival usually has at least one day in the month of October. Expect to see boringly fall colored flowers, pumpkin, fall themed decorations as well as tasty fall treats. They also host a spring plant and flower festival in April each year. People come from all over the state to attend these two events.

Oktoberfest

Saturday, October 14, 2017 ,from 6:00 to 10 p.m. Germany comes to downtown Florence with Oktoberfest. Come and enjoy the great vendors, fun games, German dancing and lots of food and beer. Entrance is free

East Carolina Agricultural Fair

The largest event every year in Florence is the East Carolina Agricultural Fair. It brings crowds of people to the fairgrounds for 5 days in October. It is an old-fashioned agricultural fair where you will find all the livestock judging, 4H projects and local women bringing out their canned fruits and vegetables. A full offers midway with lots of exciting rides and games of chance.

The fair provides entertainment for family members of all ages. Lots of vendors will be selling a variety of goods including crafts and other items of interest. Tickets are available in a variety of configurations with advance tickets being for sale online. It promises to be a great time for everyone with lots to do and see for residents and visitors of all ages.

Pecan Festival

Be sure to save the first weekend of November for the South Carolina Pecan Festival from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be events for the entire family and over 250 vendors will offer great food and craft and local items. Come and enjoy the entertainment located in downtown Florence.

These are just a few of the things to do in Florence, SC in the fall. It is easy to see why this is such a popular place to both live and visit.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Best destinations on the east coast to view foliage

As the days get shorter and the air gets crisper, the leaves start to turn to colors of red and gold. Every year Americans decide to take to the road to catch the best glimpses of color. Where are the best east coast destinations for viewing fall foliage?  If you ask five people you will get five different answers. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Vermont

Vermont is the favorite choice of leaf peepers everywhere. Knowing this, accommodations need to be booked well in advance and if possible avoid the weekends and the most popular spots. Head to the areas that are quintessentially Vermont and off the beaten track. 

Depending on how far north you want to go that can mean going to the delightful town of Wilmington in the south or up to Barnet in the north. You will want to also check on the availability of activities beyond leaf peeping in the area.

Fall festivals, church fairs, apple orchards and cider mills are all favorite places to spend some quality time. To find out how the leaves are doing visit Vermont's tourism site and for up to the minute news on where the color is best in New England visit yankeefoliage.com .

Pocono Mountains Pennsylvania

If you think that the Pocono's are just about honeymooners you need to rethink that attitude. The Delaware Water Gap offers great opportunities to see some bright colors in an already scenic location. The Water Gap circles through over forty miles of old growth trees and you can spend a day hiking in places like Bushkill where the hundred foot main falls have been attracting visitors for over 100 years.

Mid-October the Pocono's host the Shawnee Autumn Timber Festival at the Shawnee Mountain Ski area in Shawnee on Delaware, Penn. Check their website for more information. 

Shenandoah Valley Virginia

Staunton Virginia is a favorite spot of leaf peepers who want to take part in their Fall Foliage Bike Festival. Enjoy the sight while biking over ten miles or one hundred miles of trails designed for all levels of expertise. Check their website for details. 

While you are in Staunton you can see a performance at the Blackfriars Playhouse where some of the best Shakespeare in the country is offered or visit the house where Woodrow Wilson was born.

Up and down the Shenandoah Valley you will find fall, harvest and pumpkin festivals. Check out their website for dates and times of all the events this area has to offer. 

From Mid-September to mid-November the leaves along the east coast of the United States will be offering their best color. Visit any of the areas suggested or find one of your own but be sure to make your reservations early.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mount Hope Cemetery Rochester, NY


While doing my research for this trip to Upstate New York I read that Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony were both buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester. I was not surprised about Susan B, Anthony since Seneca Falls is not all that far away but I had no idea about Frederick Douglass. It seems that he made Rochester his home for many years.

Sunday, after visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Eastman House and Museum we decided to pay a visit to these very historic figures.

I tried to find a map of the cemetery online unsuccessfully but by using find a grave was able to determine what section they were buried in. While looking through brochures at the Metropolitan Museum I found one of Mount Hope Cemetery that very clearly marks where the graves are located. It does make it very much easier when we have a map.

Mount Hope also puts signs with arrows to make it easier to locate these famous final resting place. The first one we visited was Frederick Douglass who is buried between his two wives. It was a very touching moment and it started to rain on us making it even more exciting.


By the time we found Susan B. Anthony in a totally different section it was raining quite hard but we didn’t let that deter us. She is buried with her siblings and we ended up finding her and having to run back to the car with thunder and lightning flashing.

We have visited many cemeteries over the years and we always leave feeling that we know the person better for having seen their final resting place. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

TownePlace Suites New Hartford Whitesboro, NY

I chose these particular TownePlace Suites for the location and price. Located slightly outside Utica, New York it is within easy proximity to dining. We could not walk to a restaurant but the short drive, about a mile, to Carmella’s was well worth the effort.


We wanted to have a two-bedroom suite and TownePlace does offer these, however, unlike Residence Inn, you don’t have a private bathroom with each bedroom, there is one bathroom that is shared.

The suite has an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, table with four chairs, sofa, chair and ottoman in the living room and two bedrooms. The two bedrooms are both on the same side, one closer to the bathroom and one off the living room. It was very modern and comfortable and frankly works great for a family, not quite as well for friends traveling together.

Both rooms had a queen bed and extra towels and pillows were provided per my request as part of every booking. Great mattresses, plenty of pillows and the room was very clean. 

We were in a corner of the building which is where the two bedroom units are all located. When we were in the hall we could hear our neighbors quite distinctly but when in the room, all was quiet. We liked the fact that our windows opened a little so we could let in the fresh air.

I loved the TV, it has the option for Internet TV built right in and you can watch NetFlix, Hulu or YouTube as long as you have a subscription. The suite had three TVs, one in the living room and one in each of the bedrooms. 

Breakfast is included and is the typical buffet with omelets or scrambled eggs, sausage, make your own waffles, cereal, yogurt, oatmeal and things to toast. Not the greatest selection but since it is included, we are not complaining.

Wi-Fi is also free and easy to access. It is available throughout the building. A small gym and a pool are also available for guests to use.

Staff was friendly and we enjoyed our stay here and would recommend it to anyone traveling to the area. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Sara Glen Motel Glens Falls New York

Located on the outskirts of Glens Falls New York, the Sara Glen Motel offers a respite from the hecticness of the day and has the charm of the quaint motels that we remember from our childhood with the modern amenities that all of us have come to expect.


Sonny the owner is charming and our welcome was warm and genuine. With our bottles of cold water, we headed to our rooms, #9 and #10. Both of them were identical inside, two beds, a table with two chairs, adequate lighting, atmospheric fake fireplace, flat screen TV mounted on the wall, fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. Plenty of plugs to charge your devices and a closet to store your gear.


The bathroom is brand spanking new, with a pedestal sink, hair dryer, bright lights and shower with good pressure and plenty of hot water.

Outside the room, there are two Adirondack chairs and many guests were taking advantage of them to enjoy the late summer weather. The rooms each have air conditioning, we turned it off and opened the rear window and were very comfortable.

The bed has a firm mattress with white bedding. We all slept very well. The rooms looked and smelled clean. Wi-Fi is available but in all honestly,, I didn’t use it while I was here so I can’t really comment on it.



We had a great night’s sleep both night and would not hesitate to come here again and recommend it to our family and friends. Sonny will give you recommendations and show you menus if you ask and ice is available in the office as well as soft drinks for sale, not at elevated prices either. We used this location to visit Saratoga and certainly, the prices were much more reasonable and the drive was easy. If you are an art lover, The Hyde Collection in downtown Glens Falls is just a few miles away. 

Give Sonny a call to book,  you will be glad you did.