Home Again

Posted: Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm
By: Doug Lund
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Baseball fans in  Boston and New York are probably blaming our New England tour group for jinxing their teams. Both lost their chance at a World Series birth on the days we were there. 

At the end of this  last week, all 45 of us tired but happy explorers boarded our big Alaska-painted bus for one last time and made our way from Midtown Manhattan through the busy Lincoln tunnel over to the airport in Newark, New Jersey for the flight home.  

That's our motor coach in the background. Hard to miss with it's Alaska paint scheme that includes a grizzly bear.

That's our motor coach in the background. Hard to miss with it's Alaska paint scheme that includes a grizzly bear.

 Now, I wish I could invite you all over to the house for a big supper then roll out the screen and give you a slide show of all our pictures. That’s not possible of course..plus I remember how my mom’s good cooking and dad’s home movies could put dozens of relatives and friends sound asleep in minutes. So even though I run the risk of  causing you all to doze off, here are a few more highlights from our glorious time in New England.

We were anxious to try some real Vermont maple syrup. Who knew the best in the country was made in NEW HAMPSHIRE by this guy, Jim Fadden. He has the awards to prove it.

We were anxious to try some real Vermont maple syrup. Who knew the best in the country was made in NEW HAMPSHIRE by this guy, Jim Fadden. He has the awards to prove it.

This covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont is one of several spotted on our tour.

This covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont is one of several spotted on our tour.

hurricane damage house     hurricane damage pittsfield

I don’t think any of us were prepared for the amount of flood damage in Vermont and the Berkshires brought about by torrential downpours from Hurricane Irene in early September. Remarkably, most of the road damage had been repaired by the time of our arrival there.  All of the fun stops were open for business too including Bennington’s Apple Barn and Orchards in Southern Vermont.

Lots of pumpkins and unusually colored moose at the apple barn too

Lots of pumpkins and unusually colored moose at the apple barn too

Although our group had already been treated to apple pie and ice cream upon our arrival, Doc O'shea couldn't resist another Honeycrisp

Although our group had already been treated to apple pie and ice cream upon our arrival, Doc O'shea couldn't resist another Honeycrisp

The Berkshires are where many of the well-heeled elite from Boston and New York would come during the gilded age for a little R and R. They built humungous mansions for themselves and called them “cottages.”  

One of the smaller cottages is this one called Linwood built over a century ago by Charles Butler a big shot New York lawyer. It stands on an estate where the Normal Rockwell Museum is now located.

One of the smaller cottages is this one called Linwood built over a century ago by Charles Butler a big shot New York lawyer. It stands on an estate where the Normal Rockwell Museum is now located.

This is the view from lawyer Butler's cottage. That's Norman Rockwell's art studio in the background. It was moved here from downtown Stockbridge, Mass. After the Rockwell museum opened some 20 years ago.

This is the view from lawyer Butler's cottage. That's Norman Rockwell's art studio in the background. It was moved here from downtown Stockbridge, Mass. After the Rockwell museum opened some 20 years ago.

Inside Rockwell's studio. Note one of his infamous pipes at the lower right.

Inside Rockwell's studio. Note one of his infamous pipes at the lower right.

A quaint little tavern in Lenox, Mass. A person could overdose on "quaint" in New England but this place had the best clam chowder and French onion soup I've ever tasted.

A quaint little tavern in Lenox, Mass. A person could overdose on "quaint" in New England but this place had the best clam chowder and French onion soup I've ever tasted.

I wore my Vikings sweatshirt on Monday just to demonstrate my loyalty and to spite our tour guide and driver who are both from Wisconsin and Packers fans.

I wore my Vikings sweatshirt on Monday just to demonstrate my loyalty and to spite our tour guide and driver who are both from Wisconsin and Packers fans.

 

Our next stop was a tour of the Hancock Shaker Village. There are only about 4 actual Shakers left and the history of their religious sect is too detailed to go in here but our guides wore traditional Shaker garb and spoke of the Shaker's amazing religious fervor and innovative yet modest inventions.

Our next stop was a tour of the Hancock Shaker Village. There are only about 4 actual Shakers left and the history of their religious sect is too detailed to go in here but our guides wore traditional Shaker garb and spoke of the Shaker's amazing religious fervor and innovative yet modest inventions.

The Shakers were known for their amazing wood craftsmanship such as seen on display here at the village.

The Shakers were known for their amazing wood craftsmanship such as seen on display here at the village.

Our final destination; New York City. A local guide joined us for a  motor coach tour of Manhattan. One of the first stops was at the World Trade Center site and memorial. No one except special guests are allowed to visit the memorial just yet because construction of the new World Trade Center tower is underway and already soars above most city skyscrapers. Our viewing vantage point was from the Bank of America building across the street.

Seven Bank of America employees died on 9/11. Our guide stands before a special fountain built in their memory.

Seven Bank of America employees died on 9/11. Our guide stands before a special fountain built in their memory.

The new World Trace Center 1 reaching higher and higher

The new World Trace Center 1 reaching higher and higher

Site of the former twin towers and the new trees that mark the 9/11 memorial

Site of the former twin towers and the new trees that mark the 9/11 memorial

 

A stroll through Central Park

A stroll through Central Park

All  aboard the Liberty and Ellis Island ferry. Amazing view of the NYC skyline including the new WTC tower under construction

All aboard the Liberty and Ellis Island ferry. Amazing view of the NYC skyline including the new WTC tower under construction

The sun's reflection off Lady Liberty's torch made it glow as if actually burning

The sun's reflection off Lady Liberty's torch made it glow as if actually burning

Ellis Island. It's said the ancestors of 100 million americans passed through here

Ellis Island. It's said the ancestors of 100 million americans passed through here

The Great Hall where all immigrants had to be processed. 2% did not pass muster and were sent home. Can't imagine their dispair

The Great Hall where all immigrants had to be processed. 2% did not pass muster and were sent home. Can't imagine their dispair

One of the ferry boats that daily transport thousands of tourists to Liberty and Ellis Islands

One of the ferry boats that daily transport thousands of tourists to Liberty and Ellis Islands

Once again, New York City lived down to my expectations as far the incredible congestion and people with their condescending attitudes.. but we loved all the places we visited.  Both Linda and I agree that one of the most unforgettable experiences of our tour, and there were several, was attending the Broadway musical, “Anything Goes”  starring the Toni award winning actress and Broadway diva, Sutton Foster. We had great seats and the show was simply spectacular!

One of the Toni Award winning dance numbers from "Anything Goes."

One of the Toni Award winning dance numbers from "Anything Goes."

I know these Keloland/Holiday Vacations tours aren’t within everyone’s financial reach but if you ever find it possible, I’m pretty sure you’ll treasure the experience .

9 Comments

  1. L McKinney says:

    Doug
    find it hard to believe that your pictures or the stories that go with them would put anybody to sleep I just love it when you go on a trip Thanks

  2. jp says:

    Doug thank you so much for sharing, I look forward to all of your posts.

  3. prairierose says:

    Doug….Sounds like a super duper trip. Love your pics and commentary. Glad you and Linda are home to enjoy the wonderful Fall in KELO country. Thanks for sharing with us.

  4. Marlys Mutschelknaus says:

    This is the 1st time I’ve commented to any of your blogs. It is always interesting no matter what you write about. I find it hard to believe that you think your tour videos would put anyone to sleep. Where are you going on tour next? The bottles of maple syrup resembled bottles of whiskey! I thought your tour had stumbled into a liquor store! Ha. Keep blogging along, Doug.

  5. Paula B says:

    Wonderful photos and narrative!! Having just traveled to Alaska with you and Linda and Holiday Vacations, I feel compelled to comment…..you and Linda are GREAT hosts and Holiday Vacations is top-notch. I would highly recommend trips with you and them any time. Larry and I can’t wait to go again!! I hope you keep doing this for a very long time!!

  6. GT says:

    Very nice!

    Doug, on a sidenote I am wonder if maybe you can enlighten us all on what is occuring in TVland recently. I was watching the baseball series with the Brewers and Diamond backs. What is this with the F word and no bleeping noticed this on comedy central, whY??

  7. Doug,

    Loved your pictures, Dave and I were lucky enough to take a New England tour. The leaves were beautiful. We went to some of the places you went. As it happens , on one of Daveys and mine trip to New York we saw Anything Goes. That was many years ago, but we loved it too. Long time no see ,tell Linda hello.

  8. Bob says:

    Sure looks like fun but will have to enjoy your travels through your storie and pictures. Thanks so much.

  9. TomCar says:

    Thanks for the beautifu lpictures! Enjoyed them all, thanks for sharing them.

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