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3 Sep 2009
Vermont Balloon Rally at Shelburne Museum Sept 4 - 7

Here's another reason to visit the Shelburne Museum, a magnificent facility that I consider a must-see in Vermont.

This Labor Day weekend, the Vermont Balloon Rally will be held on the grounds of the museum from September 4 through 7. About 30 balloons are expected to attend.

Spectators will be allowed to walk among the balloons and watch the flights each day early mornings and late afternoons. Children are no only allowed, they're encouraged to come see this colorful event. There will also be face painting, bounce house, free rides on the museum's antique carousel, nighttime balloon glow and a balloon walkabout where kids and adults can actually walk through a partially inflated balloon lying on the ground.

Rides will be offered including tethered rides and full flight rides. If you would like to do a full flight, it's best to make reservations in advance which you can do on the website.

Thanks to some generous corporate sponsorship, prices for the event are very low: children 12 and younger are free; children 13 and older (yes, that includes adults) are $7 for a four day pass. Or, just pay $20 for a carload up to a maximum of 6 people. The value of the museum and this event far exceeds those prices.

The Shelburne Museum is located Route 7 a few miles south of Burlington on the shore of Lake Champlain. This Google map has it on the wrong (east) side of the road but it will get you close enough.

Balloon walkabout

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor (except the photos) Grunberg Haus
posted by  grunhaus at  19:36 | permalink

26 Aug 2009
Fiestavus Vermont Comedy Tour

The Fiestiavus Vermont Comedy Tour begins tonight at the Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield VT.

The tour features eight standup comedians traveling around Vermont giving five performances from August 26 through September 2. Some of them are traveling in a prototype Ford Fiesta as part of that company's Fiesta Movement program. One of the tour organizers, Seth Beck, was a winner of the Fiesta Movement contest which awarded 100 "agents" like him the use of a new Fiesta for six months.

Here is the tour schedule: Wednesday, August 26, 7:30 p.m., Big Picture Theater & Cafe, Waitsfield. $5 cover charge.

Thursday, August 27, 9:00 p.m., Positive Pie restaurant, Montpelier, VT. $5 cover charge.

Friday, August 28, 8:00 p.m., The Hartswick Studio, Sheffield, VT. Purchase $10 tickets here.

Saturday, August 29, 8:30 p.m., On the Rise Bakery, Richmond, VT. $5 cover charge.

Wednesday, September 2, 7:30 p.m., One Half Lounge, Burlington, VT. $5 cover

At all these events except the September 2 performance, the Ford Fiesta will be on display.

The Fiestavus Vermont Comedy Tour was created by native Vermonters Nathan Hartswick and Ford Fiesta "agent" Seth Beck.

For a preview of what to expect from the comedians (some R rated material by the way), you can take a look at the Vimeo or YouTube videos.

Fiestavus Vermont Comedy Tour's Ford Fiesta

(c) 2009 (except the photos) Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
posted by  grunhaus at  17:07 | permalink

11 Aug 2009
Fly Fishing Festival in Manchester VT

American Museum of Fly fishing, Manchester VT

I enjoy fly fishing even though I'm not good at it. And I'll probably never get good because I go so infrequently. Over the years though, it has been the motivation to put me in some beautiful places and that's what I enjoy most about fishing for trout. The fly rod is just so I don't look like some idiot standing alone in a river. Now I look like a harmless old fool flogging the water with a stick. That's much better don't you think?

Early last fall, instead of going fishing as I should have, I visited the American Museum of Fly Fishing. It is a very impressive facility located next to the Orvis headquarters in Manchester VT. The building itself is a beautifully restored home on Route 7A a few minutes south of the town. If you enjoy fly fishing and all its traditions, you'll enjoy spending some time there. When I visited, admission was free to the main part of the museum but the art gallery had a small charge.

I was able to visit the library, reading room, museum store, and other rooms - there is enough there to hold your interest for an hour or more. And if you bring your fishing gear, you can fish the nearby Battenkill, one of the most famous trout streams in the world.

This Saturday, August 15, the museum is holding a fly fishing festival with displays and vendors of antique tackle, rod builders, artwork, fly tyers, fish carvers, and more. New to the festival this year is a great opportunity to "Cast with the Legends" where you can test famous antique rods to see how they feel. It's a rare opportunity to not only hold but also cast rods that would cost a lot of money to buy.

While you are in the area, I also suggest a visit to Hildene , the estate of Robert Todd Lincoln, some of President Abraham. It's a beautiful home with impressive gardens and grounds.

Manchester is known for its outlet stores, many of them very upscale brands. If you are a shopper, brace yourself to see many compelling bargains. Also, as mentioned above, the Orvis flagship store is located next to the museum and is a must stop too. Be sure to see the huge trout swimming in the pond that is half outdoors and half in the store. Just up Route 7A going north toward town, the Orvis outlet store has some incredibly low prices.

Orvis Flagship Store

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor (except the American Fly Fishing Museum and Orvis photos which are owned by those respective organizations )
Attractions , Events , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  22:49 | permalink

1 May 2009
Billings Farm and Museum Starts Its Summer Season

Billings Farm and Museum is now open

Two of my favorite places in Vermont are the village of Woodstock VT and the Billings Farm and Museum located there.

Billings summer season of events gets underway this Sunday, May 3, with the 23rd annual Plowing Match. This contest pits teams of oxen and draft horses against each other. Each team and its handler is judged on how well they perform together.

The doors open at 9:00 a.m. and competition begins at 10:30 a.m. starting with the walking plow contest and continues into the afternoon with the team sulky competition. Special activities will include horse-drawn wagon rides, visitor plowing with the Billings team, ox programs, and rope making demonstrations.

Woodstock is located about 15 minutes west of White River Junction. Take Exit 1 from Interstate 89 and drive west on Route 4. Zoom in on the Google map from the link here and you will see Billings Farm clearly marked.

There is much to see and do in Woodstock including great inns, restaurants, shops, Simon Pearce glass works, and great country drives in the area. Charge those camera batteries.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Events
posted by  grunhaus at  16:16 | permalink

1 May 2009
Fiddlehead Festival May 2 in Randolph Center

Fiddlehead ferns are a delicacy in Vermont. Go to the festival and ask for recipies!

The third annual Fiddlehead Festival will be held tomorrow at the Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center VT about 30 mins north of White River Junction and 30 mins south of Montpelier.

Free admission to all events unless you want to buy a ticket to the farmer's lunch: $9 for adults and $4 for children under 12.

See the tractorcade, animal power parade, children's activities, wild edibles workshop, gardening with Henry Homeyer, sustainable living workshop, Gary Howe's Glimpse of the past restored Delco light plant, sheep dog demonstration, tractor obstacle course, Renewing Local Communities workshop, oxen power demonstration.

It does not get any more "Vermonty" than this.

See some impressive pulling power at the Fiddlehead Festival

Photos courtesy Roger Ennis & Robert Eddy, Randolph, VT

(c) 2009 (except the photos) Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Events , Food
posted by  grunhaus at  14:00 | permalink

30 Apr 2009
Learn How To Make Chocolates Workshops in Stowe VT

Photo courtesy of Laughing Moon Chocolates

Laughing Moon Chocolates is a wonderful little store in Stowe VT which makes and sells an extensive line of chocolates using mostly locally produced ingredients.

Laughing Moon is offering workshops this spring and summer on how to make chocolates. These Chocolate Experience Workshops are intended for recreational users who would like to learn how to make their own candy at home. The cost is $150 per person. For more information and to register, contact owner Leigh Williams at (802) 253-9591.

Friday May 1
Chocolate Dipping Experience Workshop
A two-hour hand-on workshop on how to cook truffles, melt and temper chocolate, and hand-dipping.

Friday, June 26
Marshmallow Making Workshop
A two-hour workshop on how to make homemade marshmallow, prepare them for dipping, and hand-dip them in milk, dark and white chocolate. How to prepare Símores or mix it with caramel or truffle centers.

Friday, July 10
Chocolate Dipping Experience Workshop
Same as the May 1 workshop above.

Friday, August 14
Local Bounty Workshop
Two-hour workshop highlighting Vermont made specialty foods including Mitziís Fresh Mountain Breakfast, Boyden Valley Winery, Rock Art Brewery, Green Mountain Distillers, The Nutty Vermonter & The Sweet Crunch Bake Shop. Thee will be instruction on how to make peanut butter using fresh Virginia-grown peanuts and work with other locally made foods to create chocolate specialties. Prepare homemade centers and hand-dip them in chocolate. Also, how to use fresh local blueberries and raspberries, and how to make make chocolate at home.

Laughing Moon Chocolates has created a niche by incorporating locally produced foods into their chocolates. They make truffles with Boyden Valley Winery Big Barn Red Wine, Green Mountain Distillers Sunshine Vodka and Maple Liquor, Flag Hill Farm Pear and Apple Brandys, and Rock Art Vermonster Beer. The store offers chocolate covered homemade cookies baked by the Sweet Crunch Bake Shop in Hyde Park, and using Mitziís Fresh Mountain Breakfast and The Nutty Vermonterís Triple Nut Butters.

Even if you don't want to attend the workshops, you should visit the store just to see how good it smells! There is a great selection of chocolates to meet every taste. Online ordering is available on the website too if you can't wait to get here and try them.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Events , Food , Shopping , Unusual , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  10:45 | permalink

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