Riding the Train for $12… Until December 31!

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Villages and surroundings

If you missed our earlier article called “Take the Train between Vermont for $12 in 2009“, take a look at this video about the Amtrak’s Vermonter, produced by Burlington’s Seven Days Magazine. Until December 31, you can still enjoy a nice ride, and a nice visit somewhere… may be on one of the last days of foliage… or on a snowy day in December! It really sounds like fun, and a pleasant thing to do on a week-end day!

 

A Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese Event

September 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Gastronomy events, Regional specialties

vermont-institute-for-artisan-cheese-575Photo: Courtesy of Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese.

We have to confess: we like cheese and Vermont cheese! Last month, we brought the news to you about the Vermont Cheesemakers’ Festival. It was unfortunately sold out so we’re glad to tell you that you can still attend an evening on Cheese and Wine Pairing, at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, at 255 Carrigan Wing Building, University of Vermont: it’s on September 22nd from 6 to 9pm.
More information at: Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese website.
To learn more about Vermont cheeses, you can also listen to the recent Vermont Public Radio interview of Allison Hooper, from Vermont Butter and Cheese Company and Paul Kindstedt, from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. They are both authors of books on cheesemaking. You’ll learn the definition of artisan cheese, farmstead cheese and much more!
And finally don’t forget that cheesemakers in Vermont always welcome you to visit them: you can consult the cheese trail map or read “The Vermont Cheese Book” to plan your visit.

Related articles:
First Vermont Cheesemakers Festival
Award-winning Vermont Cheeses

Take the train between Vermont towns for $12 in 2009!

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Villages and surroundings

amtrak_vermonter_randolph_575Photo: Downtown Randolph, one of the Amtrak Vermonter’s stops in Vermont.
What a wonderful way to discover the countryside and the towns of Vermont this summer and this fall.
You can ride the train between towns within Vermont on the Amtrak’s Vermonter for only $12 (one-way rail fare). And the landscape is so breathtaking.
This is wonderful news for tourists and Vermonters, after all the talks over the winter that Amtrak might actually cancel its routes to Vermont.
The Vermonter can take you from Washington DC or New York to Vermont, all the way to St. Albans, VT.
You can enjoy the beautiful landscape, and you can also stop and visit some of those towns, recognized for their scenery, their architecture of historical significance, their shopping and dining. Each town visited by the Amtrak Vermonter’s has actually been recognized by the state for its significance as one of the “22 designated downtowns”. And Randolph – one of the stops – is among the quaintest villages in Vermont (our 2008 article Historical Vermont Towns & Commons)
While you are in Vermont, you can also attend one of the summer festivals the state has to offer. The Vermont Mozart Festival  is taking place from July 19 to August 9, and there are several signature events of the 400 years of Lake Champlain on the route as well, such as the St. Albans Franco-American Heritage Festival on June 18-20 and the “Celebrate Champlain Burlington International Waterfront Festival on July 2-14.

So, to plan your trip: simply plan your trip between any other Vermont town on the route for the special rate of $12 per each trip (discount code V189). And if you come from outside the state of Vermont, take the train from Washington DC or New York (discount code V446) to the first Vermont stop in Brattleboro, and from there, plan your stops within Vermont with the discount code V189.  Major holiday blackout dates are Sept 4, Sept 7, Nov 24-25, and Nov 28-30.
The Vermont stops are: Brattleboro, Bellow Falls, Claremont, Windsor-Mt. Ascutney, White River Junction, Randolph, Montpelier-Barre, Waterbury-Stowe, Burlington-Essex Junction and St. Albans. See the towns on the route on this Amtrak map.
Reservations can be done at 1-800-USA-RAIL and you can find more information about Amtrak’s Vermonter on its web page.
Watch a video on the Vermonter train, produced by Burlington’s Seven Days Magazine: Riding the train.

Enjoy! I surely hope I can try it myself sometimes this summer!

Related article: Planning your Summer Vacation to Vermont

Handel’s Messiah Concerts in Vermont

December 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Celebrations, Music events

Christmas concert

Note: This is the 2008 article. Check our 2009 article on Handel’s Messiah concerts.

Christmas is not quite Christmas without the joy of listening to Handel’s most famous creation, the Messiah, written in 1741 and still played every Christmas all around the world.
For the Vermont Philharmonic, it will be the 50th anniversary of performing the Messiah but there are several other groups playing this beautiful music throughout the state of Vermont this Christmas.
- Montpelier – Friday December 5th, 2008 at 7:30 pm – Saint Augustine Church – and in Barre – Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 3:30 pm – Barre Opera HouseVermont Philharmonic performs the Messiah with guest conductor Brian Webb.
More information at: Vermont Philharmonic
- Brattleboro – Saturday December 6th, 2008 at 1 pm – 38th Annual Community Messiah Sing – Centre Congregational Church. Conductor Patty Meyer, organist Bill McKim, and trumpeter Charlie Schneeweis will perform with 4 soloists and more than 300 singers will join in the choruses. It is a fund raising event for the homeless.
More information at: Friends of music at Guilford
- Wells River – Saturday December 6th, 2008 at 7:30 pm – 61st Annual Christmas Concert – Congregational Church – Soloists, orchestra and chorus of the North Country Chorus, all under the direction of Alan Rowe will perform the Messiah.
More information at: North Country Chorus
- Peacham – Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 3:00 pm – Congregational Church – The North Country Chorus will perform there.
More information at: North Country Chorus
- Rutland – Sunday December 7th, 2008 at 3:30 pm and 7:00 pm – Grace Congregational Church – The annual performance of Handel’s Messiah will take place in the beautifully decorated sanctuary.
More information at: (802) 775-4301.
- Burlington – Ira Allen Chapel at the University of Vermont – Tuesday December 9th, 2008 at 7:30 pm – It is the annual Handel’s Messiah Sing-along lead by David Neiweem with a chorus of students and enthusiasts. For the first time this year, they will be accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Michael Hopkins. Free admission.
More information at: University of Vermont
- Middlebury – Sunday December 21st, 2008 at 2 pm – Middlebury Congregational ChurchA sing-along led by Jeff Rehbach, conductor of the Middlebury College Community Chorus.
More information at: Middlebury College – Annual Messiah Sing
- Stowe – Monday December 22nd, 2008 at 7:30 pm – 17th Annual Handel’s Messiah Community Sing – Stowe Community Church – It’s also a sing-along with the soloists and the 20-piece orchestra.
More information at: Go Stowe
And finally,
- Arlington – Sundary December 28th, 2008 at 3 pm – 6th Annual Messiah Sing-along – St. James Episcopal Church – See comment below the article for more information.
Also visit their website: St. James Episcopal Church

Enjoy the music!

Historical Vermont Towns & Commons

July 2, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Villages and surroundings

norwich_common_5751

This article has been moved to: http://christineseclecticlife.com/historic-vermont-towns/

Harpoon Brewery – BBQ Competition

June 29, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Gastronomy events

Harpoon brewery
Note: In 2009, the dates for this competition are July 25 and 26.

The 2008 dates are July 26th and 27th. And it definitely seems like great fun. Nothing less than 40 teams are competing and they are coming from everywhere in New England and as far as Texas. But if you want to participate as a competitor, you’ll have to wait until next year, because all the competing spots are already filled. So when the weather is warm and a cold beer and nice BBQ seem like the best thing you get, we imagine that Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition must be the place to be. We’ll be there for sure and we suspect this could become one of our favorite summer events in Vermont. It should make our upcoming Vermont Top Summer Events list if it lives to its expectation. One thing for sure is Harpoon Brewery - one of the top micro-breweries here in Vermont – always seem to have the greatest ideas for fun and well-organized events! We were already there a couple of week-ends ago for the 150-mile bike race (all the way from Boston to Windsor where their headquarters are!), and despite the heavy rain at the end of the afternoon, we definitely enjoyed seeing all these great athletes arriving at the site and sharing a nice cold beer with us! (Yep, we were the lazy ones, just there for the beer!). As usually, if you attend this event in July, we would love to know what you think about it!
More on Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition.

President Calvin Coolidge House

President Calvin Coolidge Homestead
This posting has been moved to: http://christineseclecticlife.com/president-coolidge-house/

Battle of Hubbardton – Reenactment

June 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Historic events, Historic sites

Hubbardton reenactment

This blog post has been moved to:
http://christineseclecticlife.com/battle-of-hubbardton-reenactment/
More on Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site

Our Favorite State Historic Sites!

June 21, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Historic sites

Calvin Coolidge House - picnic
Picnickers relaxing at President Coolidge house

Last week-end – June 14-15 – Vermont Days were our excuse to drive around. The weather was gorgeous as we drove through the beautiful hills and farm lands of central Vermont. Every road seemed more of a “scenic drive” than the previous one! Aren’t all roads in Vermont “scenic drives”? On Saturday our exploration took us from Sharon (exit 2 on I89) to Woodstock, the President Coolidge House, in Plymouth (with a quick stop for a famous Vermont maple cremee!), the Eureka School House and finally to Windsor and the Old Constitution House. On Sunday, we enjoyed a long visit of the Justin Morrill Homestead, in Strafford and finally a nice trip back on the very, very picturesque Route 100 all the way to Montpelier.
We’ll describe our visits in the next couple of postings, but for now here is our traveler’s tip of the week: our favorite sites were first the President Coolidge House and second the village of Strafford and the Justin Morrill Homestead. In both places, you should plan to have a good 3 hours if you want to fully enjoy the place without feeling rushed.
The President Coolidge House has lots to offer: the visit of the buildings relating the history of the site at the time of President Coolidge; the gorgeous surroundings where you can enjoy a nice walk or picnic; its restaurant in an old brick house and finally the cheese factory which is still operating (on week days) and which you can visit (and where you can buy the local Plymouth cheese.
The Village of Strafford is no doubt one of the most picturesque villages in Vermont (and the most photographed it seems!). With its white Town Hall standing high above its green common, it has been frozen in time since the 19th century… no sign of any restaurant or gas station here! In the village, still stand the house where Justin Morrill was born, the store where he worked and made his fortune, and the cemetery where he is buried… and of course the homestead he built before becoming Senator Justin Morrill. There we can appreciate both his love for horticulture and farming as you walk the grounds and his love for architecture during a delightful visit of his house…
So make sure to read our next postings for more details on these sites!

Vermont Culinary Classic – Jun 13-22

vermont culinary classic

10 days of delightful gastronomy experience in the Stowe area! You cannot miss it if you enjoy food and wine. You can taste wines, beers, cheeses or all-natural chocolates, learn to make bagels, take a 2-hour cooking class with Vermont 2007 Chef of the Year Michael Kloeti, have a “farmer’s lunch”, visit cheese farms and have a “cheese dinner”, enjoy some fancy dinners all made with local farmers’ products, etc. The list of events and activities is almost endless! The brochure for the program includes location and prices for each event. Some are pricy but I am sure everyone can find something to enjoy. Don’t wait, the kick-off is today!
And don’t hesitate to give us your comments on your favorite event!
For more information, visit their website: www.vermontculinaryclassic.com or download their brochure at: http://www.vermontculinaryclassic.com/2008Brochure.pdf
Related post: Waterbury award-winning restaurants

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