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5 May 2010
Waterside Dining in Vermont

One of the new Vermont travel blogs I've been reading for the past few months is called Love Vermont. It's written by Katherine Kerrigan who describes herself as a "girl who fell in love with a state and a state of mind" which is actually a common situation in Vermont and one that applies to me and many others who find their way here as well.

Her blog yesterday is especially helpful for Vermont travelers looking to find unique dining experiences. "top ten tuesdays - waterfront dining" is a great little article with quick reviews of the best dining next to lakes, ponds, and rivers throughout the state.

I've only eaten at four of the ten restaurants so I have some work to do. But in a state awash in great dining, it takes more than the decade I've been here to get to a large number of them let alone all of them. But that's part of the charm I suppose - the never ending discovery of new places to enjoy Vermont.

One word of advice about one of the restaurants, Hen of the Wood located near me in Waterbury: it is a small restaurant that is highly popular so reservations well in advance are always a good idea. The waterside here is a nice waterfall and river immediately behind the old brick mill building which houses the restaurant. See my January 11, 2009 blog post which has a winter photo (ice and snow) of the falls but will give you and idea of the setting during more hospitable weather.

Love Vermont is one of several fine Vermont blogs I have included in the right hand column of Vermont Travel Notes under the heading Travel Friends. I recommend going through it for ideas of things to see and do while traveling Vermont. There are a lot of good ideas there written by people who love Vermont and love to share their knowledge.

Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Advice , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  11:08 | permalink

17 Apr 2010
Round Barn Inn on YouTube
The Inn at the Round Barn is one of my favorite places in Vermont. It's in a beautiful valley a few minutes drive from the village of Waitsfield. It's not only a great place to stay but also the perfect venue for a Vermont country wedding if you're in the market for such a dream event.

Dave Hartshorn, shown in the video, owns a farm and farm stand nearby on Route 100 - - about half way between my inn and the Inn at the Round Barn. He has vegetables, maple syrup, honey, and other goodies on hand most of the summer and early fall. It's worth a stop just to see rural Vermont at work.

I have had the good fortune to sample some of chef Charlie Menard's creations and I am happy to confirm that his work is outstanding.

Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus

Advice , Attractions , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  20:11 | permalink

17 Apr 2010
Tour Vermont With an Expert Photographer

Here's a great way to get a personalized tour of the most picturesque parts of Vermont and also get some help in photographing it all. It's like getting two for the price of one!

Steve Mermelstein is a professional photographer who
makes a living doing commercial, fine art, and wedding photography. He also operates VT Photo Tours, a company in South Burlington Vermont that escorts small groups of people to photograph some of the most picturesque scenery around this beautiful state. You can see some client samples here.

Not only does Steve know where to go, he knows what time of day to be there to get the best light. As someone who has found a great scene but was unable to get a good photo because I was facing straight into the sun, I know the value of being at the right place at the right time.

As Steve says on his website, "You’ll have opportunities to take photographs of breathtaking landscapes, lakes, ponds, classic and historic architecture in small villages, covered bridges, barns and farm scenes, and/or visit locations where wildlife is often observed."

Plus, he's very willing to modify the tour to meet client requests.

Prices vary from $299 for a half day tour to $399.99 for a full day (up to 3 persons) and usually concentrates on northern VT but he is happy to accommodate southern VT tours for a small additional gas fee. Groups larger than three are welcome too.

Steve even has a money back guarantee! See the website for more details and contact information.

Right now he is booking both Spring and Fall foliage foliage tours.

Steve is on Facebook and Twitter.

Jeff Connor, Grunberg Haus
posted by  grunhaus at  18:46 | permalink

30 Aug 2009
Vermont Travel Videos on MSN

MSN has an online video series hosted by Andrew Zimmern in which he travels around the country recording interesting places to visit, usually focused on food. Zimmern was host of the Travel Channel show, "Bizarre Foods" and now hosts Travel Channel's "Bizarre World" in addition to being a chef, writer, and teacher.

Zimmern was recently in my area of Vermont to visit Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream, Little River Hotglass Studio, and Cold Hollow Cider Mill. He doesn't just visit though - he gets right into production, creating his own Ben & Jerry's flavor in the test room, blowing a glass jar at Little River Hotglass, and making cider doughnuts at Cold Hollow.

These Appetite for Life. episodes are a good way to get some behind-the-scenes views of popular attractions in Vermont and elsewhere.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Attractions , Food , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  19:32 | permalink

21 Aug 2009
Alchemist Brewpub Update

The Alchemist Brewery and Pub is one of the most popular spots in this area for tourists and residents alike. Anyone who is a beer lover should put The Alchemist on your must-do list (bucket list?). It's located on South Main Street in Waterbury VT.

To keep up with what brewer John Kimmich is preparing, you can subscribe to the blog RSS feed. A recent entry talks about the gluten free offerings as well as other Summer Time Beers. John started preparing gluten free beer and food offerings after his wife and co-owner Jennifer discovered she needs to consume gluten-free products.

The food there is excellent so be sure to give it a try too. Executive Chef Jeff Lang uses a lot of locally grown fresh produce in his imaginative menu which you can look over on the website before you arrive.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Food , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  21:13 | permalink

21 Aug 2009
Vermont Moose

Mad River Glen moose population has grown by two this year.

One of the most frequent questions we get here at the inn is "where can we go to see a moose?" There are several areas nearby where the possibility is greater but sighting a moose is a rare occurrence even for people who live and work in the forests.

The moose photo at the top of this Vermont Travel Notes blog is a good example. It was taken by a guest in early November several years ago while he was driving on Route 100 between Warren and Granville VT, a popular place to spot moose because of the swampy areas alongside the road. It's not a particularly good photo because he quickly took the shot through the car windshield. He got some better quality photos after he stopped the car and got out but by then the moose was into the woods and walking away so the angle of the photo does not work well. But he was lucky to see it at all. If he had left here a minute earlier or a minute later he would have missed the moose entirely. That's moose spotting for you (or seeing any unusual wildlife for that matter).

I have seen two moose this year but that is very unusual. Most years I don't see any. We have one walking through our property about once a month but we never see it. He or she comes through late at night and all we see are the footprints the next day.

Last winter, we had a few skier guests tell us of seeing a moose near the trails at Mad River Glen. One of them even hit the moose after coming around a corner and seeing it standing right in front of him. He reacted fast enough to squat down so he only bumped the moose a little bit. It must not have bothered the moose too much because it merely looked at the skier for a moment and then walked slowly into the woods.

The moose above may be the same one and, as you can see, it's a female with two calves it had this year. This moose photo and other Mad River Glen photos can be seen on the Gallery page at the Mad River Glen web site.

So, if you want to go moose spotting, the best area is the most remote part of Vermont, the Northeast Kingdom as it's known. Just try the roads around the town of Island Pond. Even if you don't see a moose, it's a beautiful area to do some sight seeing. Stop in some of the local country stores and ask around about where people have seen moose lately.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn except for the moose photo by Deb Steines and Bob Rogers on the Mad River Glen website
Advice , Nature , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  19:26 | permalink

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