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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

4 Aug 2009
Rave Reviews at the Weston Playhouse

Jeremy Leiner in "Rent" - photo courtesy of Weston Playhouse, all rights reserved

The rock musical, "Rent" is playing at the Weston Playhouse and receiving rave reviews. Great reviews are common at the Weston Playhouse and the comments for this play indicate that the cast and crew of "Rent" are giving a traditionally strong Weston performance.

Here are a few of those comments:

"It blew me away! I’ve been coming to the Playhouse for close to 20 years and this production goes to the top of my “fave” list."

"This was a wonderful show. A terrific cast, amazing voices, a fabulous set. You’ve got to see it…Go with an open mind and you’ll leave with an open heart. Well done all of you!"

"Came to the Sat. matinee and didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed by the show. First rate cast delivered a first class performance. The standing ovation was well deserved. How lucky we are to have such quality theater here -Broadway has nothing on Weston!"

"Rent" had a strong run off Broadway and later on Broadway where it won a Tony Award® for Best Musical.

The play continues through August 22 on the Playhouse Main Stage, Village Green, Weston VT

Note that the play has a rating of NC17 - Adult language, content, and brief nudity. It may not be appropriate for people under the age of 17.

Weston Playhouse productions often sell out so it's a good idea to get tickets in advance.

Weston Vt is also home to the Vermont Country Store, one Vermont's top shopping attractions. It's very close to the Playhouse, on the opposite side of Main Street.

(c) 2009 (except the photograph above owned by the Weston Playhouse) Jeff Connor
posted by  grunhaus at  20:46 | permalink

1 Aug 2009
Time to Plan Fall Foliage Travel

Our parking lot, September 27, 2008

With all the rain and cool temps, it seems like we haven't started summer yet so fall has to be far off. And, while we have about two months before the fall season rolls in, planning for it should be started.

Looking at our reservation book, I can see the early birds have been calling steadily already. We are far from full in late September and early October but we are close enough now that you should make lodging reservations very soon for the last week in September and first two weeks of October (maybe a week later in southern Vermont). Fall foliage is our busiest time of year and if you want to find a place to stay, especially on weekends, you should decide now.

That's not true just for us - every inn and motel is filling in their most popular rooms. You can wait until the last minute if you must, but you will get either the smallest or the most expensive rooms as options. And I certainly would not drive or fly here without having your lodging reservations lined up and confirmed. Every year we get some people looking for a room after they have arrived in the area and they often end up spending a lot of their valuable time looking for a room.

Last year's fall foliage colors were spectacular and the season was one of the best in the most people's memories. It was a year like this year with a very rainy June and July. Not so great for people but trees loved it. They had a low stress summer and celebrated with a fireworks display of color. I swear some of the trees looked fake they were so bright and colorful, especially the reds. Some of our maples had orange leaves that looked like they had been painted on with neon paint. I can't wait to see what our beautiful Vermont hillsides will look like this foliage season.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn

posted by  grunhaus at  14:39 | permalink

3 May 2009
Northwest Airlines Logo(s)

I've seen Northwest Airlines planes for many years but I never noticed something peculiar about them until it was pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago.

The logo is obviously a compass marker pointing in the northwest direction when you view the plane from the port (left) side. But if you view the airplane from the starboard side, the logo is suddenly pointing northeast!

Northwest is northwest no matter where it is viewed from. And it is so marked on every compass in the world. Why Northwest Airline chooses to do otherwise on one side of their airplanes is a mystery to me. If anyone knows why, I would appreciate hearing from you. The first one to respond gets a $30 discount voucher toward a stay here.

By the way, Northwest (recently acquired by Delta) flies twice a day between Detroit (DTW) and Burlington VT (BTV). You can see flights from all the airlines into Burlington on the BTV website. There are 45 to 50 flights a day into Burlington from 12 airports in 10 cities.

© 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Advice , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  20:40 | permalink

3 May 2009
Mother's Day Ideas

Nobody loves you as much as mom. You can give her a Mother's Day she will cherish with the gift of Vermont. Take her to a Vermont inn, restaurant, attraction, or simply a drive in the country.

If that's not possible this year, you can send Vermont to her with a Vermont Teddy Bear. They are very good at online orders and ship quickly. If you are going to travel to Vermont next weekend (Mother's Day is May 10), a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear factory in Shelburne VT would be fun.

Vermont Teddy Bear has several pages of Mother's Day bears on its website, plus a grandmother bear too.

Make reservations soon and enjoy your day with mom.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Advice , Attractions , Shopping , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  14:40 | 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

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