Thursday, July 17, 2008

Joyeux Anniversaire

We've just returned from a delightful week in Vermont and Montreal, where we helped Dad and Mom celebrate their birthdays (7/14 and 7/18 respectively). Their Middlebury home is lovely; the flowers are blooming, the weather is cool, and the pool is warm (enough). What more could you ask for.

The first full day of our vacation, we headed to Fort Ticonderoga. We took the ferry (where we watched our children) from Vermont to New York, which amazed the kids (and impressed their Mom, too). The Fort itself was fun and interesting (despite the bees), as was the little town where we had lunch, bought Ticonderoga pencils and drove to the top of a mountain, from which we could ostensibly see seven states.

Unfortunately, there was no clear delineation as to where one state ended and the other began. Nevertheless, the view was beautiful.

On Friday, we headed to Montreal. Where I proceeded to annoy everyone with my tres mal French accent. Still, it was fun to attempt to order in French, and Maddie, who has a very successful first year of French under her belt, enjoyed hearing it all around her. We hit all of the Montreal highlights - Vieux Montreal (Old Town), the Port, the Biodome (which housed four distinct ecosystems), the Underground city.

Mom and Dad went to the Museum of Contemporary Art, but they should get to share that story themselves. Suffice it to say that they didn't pick up anything in the museum gift store for their Vermont home.

Monday was Dad's big day; we greeted him with a morning celebration of balloons, presents, and a hand painted banner (courtesy of Maddie), then we got an early start back home (which, we figured, was the perfect way to honor Dad).
We stopped at Shelburne Museum on the way back, where the kids got to ride an antique carousel, sit in the desks of a one-room schoolhouse, and run around the Ticonderoga ferry. It was a great way to reacquaint ourselves with American ways ;-)

Our final day was spent enjoying Middlebury - the town, the house, the pool. Maddie and Dad played a Backgammon tournament (Maddie took the series by a hair) and Daniel started to wield a cue stick without instilling quite so much fear in those around him. We had our final creamee (at least I think that's how those wacky Vermonters spell it) and relaxed.

Of course, Daniel didn't want to leave "for another seven weeks."
Can you blame him?


Anonymous said...

A belated Happy Birthday to Uncle Doug and an early one to Aunt Peggy. :)

What a lovely trip. It sounds like this trip was a lot less labor intensive than the last one, but with a very nice payoff. The Ticonderoga pencils thing sounds pretty cool. And anything called a creamee (or however you spell it) would definitely receive high marks in my book! :)

The garden and pool at the house are so pretty and I'm glad you got to run up to Montreal. It's so close, it's a shame not to go. We enjoyed the old town the most.

Glad to see you've had a fun filled summer on both sides of the country (and visiting our neighbor to the north).
Hugs and kisses to everyone.

pegclifton said...

The best part for us was spending time with everyone. We had back to back visits with our children and grandchildren, doesn't get better then that! Love the pictures of the garden, inspires me to keep on weeding.

Anonymous said...

Nice pictures... those first two would look great ina brochure if Mom and Dad ever want to start up a B&B. They could charge half-price for the slanted room. :-)

Looks like a great trip. I think we'll have to do the Montreal thing one day. I have no recollecton of going there when we were kids (but that Dr. Riskin encounter... ETCHED into my brain).

Amy said...

These are the only things I remember from our childhood trip to Montreal:
- cobblestone in the old city
- the notion of spending a whole day underground shopping, dining and entertained
- Dad driving the wrong way (further into Canada rather than back to Vermont) when we left at the end of the day.

Does that jog your memory, Clay?

pegclifton said...

going the wrong way back to Vermont certainly jogs my memory!