2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 42 (Oct. 14 – Oct. 20): Adventure
I “first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.
If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!
My biggest adventure I’ve ever had was when I married in 1971… and after only knowing my soon-to-be husband for a short six months. But the most adventurous part of marrying, was when I left my home state of Georgia… and headed to Connecticut. At that time of my life, at age nineteen… it seemed like going to the moon. I had never traveled outside of Georgia, except on a family vacation to Florida and to visit family in South Carolina. He, on the other hand… being in the Air Force… had traveled around the world to Okinawa, as well as other various states.
When I look back now, I’m shocked how I never gave moving so far away another thought… or hesitation in leaving home… now headed to live in his parents home as he was being sent overseas to Thailand! I would never do such a thing today… but again, I think much differently today!
I remember feeling like I was on an adventure as we left… I was on my own, well almost… no parents to give me curfew or to answer to. Suddenly, I thought I was all grown up… boy was I in for an awakening!
We weren’t even on the road long, just over the border in South Carolina when we had car trouble… but once that was repaired, we were on our way… making our next stop in South Hill, Virginia. I’ll never forget Greenhill cabins… small individual pine cabins… all the inside walls were knotty pine… reminding me of my grandfather’s farm house. I’ve often wanted to stop there again in our travels to Georgia, but I’ve since learned that they’re no longer standing… torn down years ago to rebuild in a different style. In having nothing to be afraid of on that first trip… I enjoyed my 1000 mile drive up the East coast… watching state by state line go by… putting me further away from Georgia… closer to where I’d soon call home… for more years than I ever lived in Georgia.
May – 1971 pricing: Our unexpected stop just out of Georgia… car trouble right off the bat!
I saved the postcards I bought to mail home as we traveled… although I wrote them all out and even addressed them… I never mailed them!
Since my retirement a couple of years ago, we have ventured to Vermont and New Hampshire for fall foliage… as if we don’t have enough in Connecticut! He enjoys driving… and I enjoy navigating when Siri doesn’t take us on a wild goose chase! She has taken us on dead end roads… really! And it quickly becomes very adventurous when suddenly you’re in the middle of “nowhere”… and have no cell service!
When we drive Route 7 North into Vermont, our first stop is usually in Bennington… and breakfast is always at The Blue Benn. It’s one of the most popular local breakfast spots… be prepared to take a wait for a table… but so worth it. Anytime I see an iconic silver diner… I want to stop!
I was ecstatic to find a real working jukebox at our table… I used up all our quarters at breakfast! I’ll be sure to bring more next time!
In late March of 2018 we took another road trip to Vermont for sugaring maple season. What a fun adventure! Fun because everytime we stopped at one of the maple cooking barns… we were treated to free tastings of their freshly cooked maple syrup and often apple cider doughnuts. I have to say that they have the best doughnuts in Vermont… although I have another in mind (potato doughnuts) in Maine. Without even having a map, you’ll easily find the maple barns as you drive… just follow the billows of steam coming out of the barns. Our first stop is usually in Bennington, Vermont on Rt. 7 North… especially upon discovering The Blue Benn diner; there’s also a great donut place in town, but we’ve yet to stop there, but we have eaten at a local brewery restaurant on Main St. which has never failed to please us. If you continue on Rt. 7 North, you’ll come across a great sugar maple place… and great doughnuts. Don’t worry in knowing the name… you won’t miss it with all the steam billowing up from the maple sugaring barn!
When you see steam… the smell of maple syrup isn’t far behind!
On this trip, we followed Rt. 7 all the way up into Vermont… but soon decided we’d better turn right… after seeing a sign that said… Canadian border, 30 miles ahead! Having no passports, we thought it wise to head over toward New Hampshire instead. We never make reservations ahead… as we never know where we want to stop… we are flight and fancy free when we take our adventure road trips.
Siri took us over many back roads on that trip, and we stopped at whatever we thought interesting… like the Vermont Country Store… always fun to browse through, but expensive to buy! I did leave with fun “penny candy” for the grandchildren for Halloween… although it certainly was no longer a penny!
Six Loose Ladies… Yarn & Fiber
My eyes were always peeled for knitting/yarn stores to wander through and I found a couple that I’ve marked to return to. The name of “Six Loose Ladies Yarn & Fiber Shop” caught my eye in Chester, Vermont… and while hubby took a rest from driving, I wandered through their shop. Since I had recently learned to knit socks, my objective was to buy sock yarn on this trip. Nothing caught my eye inside, but a pair of knitted mittens, called “Thrum Mittens” struck my interest as I was leaving. As I knit, I seldom will purchase something I can make myself… so I snapped a photo with the owners permission, as she explained the process, somewhat, to me. I jotted the name down and once back in the car… I googled! Another item to add to my bucket list to make!
Thrum Mittens at Six Loose Ladies shop… if you’d like to visit my blog and see my knitted mittens… head over HERE!
Further down the road, we planned to stop at Curtis’s BBQ in Putney, Vt., but found it closed. In turning around, I spotted a shop directly across called “The Green Mountain Spinnery“… now you know that meant yarn! Being the good natured hubby I have, he drove over and took another rest! It was a very small shop, with yarn everywhere… along with knitted sweaters hanging by many patterns and books. The smell of animals had also greeted me at the door… as his work area of spinning, carding, and dyeing yarn… was just off to the side.
The Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont
Photos from the website of: The Green Mountain Spinnery… do check them out… they even offer tours at various times!
I was quite taken back at the amount of women who came in while I browsed their yarns. In not knowing what I really wanted, I eavesdropped their conversations to the owner… I could tell that they were frequent customers, and strong knitters of sweaters… which were abundant inside; no one seemed to knit socks in this area. I did leave with a Nancy Blue yarn.. that I so named… but had no idea at the time as to what I’d knit! I later turned that blue yarn was turned into “thrum mittens” for the granddaughters. I haven’t been back, but I haven’t forgotten it… and it’s on my bucket list for a return visit… and maybe even Curtis will be open on the next trip… we left the area hungry that day.
Heading to New Hampshire
In winding through Vermont, headed to New Hampshire, we also found several antique stores… and we never pass up a stop. While spending the day on backroads, we discovered the quaint town of Bellows Falls and their famous diner. Love the quaint New England towns and their diners… as we don’t have them in the South. Once I leave the Mason-Dixon line, I see no more diners… and no home fries with breakfast… it’s usually only hash browns… but I do love my grits when I’m down South!
Look what we found in town… Miss Bellows Falls diner! I knew this town was where we’d be stopping for the night! This diner had breakfast written all over it and I couldn’t wait for the morning… and it didn’t disappoint. FYI… Arrive early… as there are only a few booths!
Such a quaint New England inside, with wooden booths, good food, and friendly locals!
My search for dinner suggested a hometown place called Father’s Restaurant on Rt. 5… just down from where we were spending the night. While it looked like a rather plain brown building… we did give it a try and stop. It was quite an interesting hometown dinner restaurant and just like the google search said… it was home cooking… and very good! The dinners were quite large… giving us extras for another nights meal. Always good to return home with food for dinner!
We saw “moose crossing” signs at every turn… and kept hoping our adventure would yield us one… but instead we found other types of moose!
We ate at The Muddy Moose in North Conway… great food along with many more moose inside… including a moose antler chandelier!
While North Conway was also a big touristy spot, it had great scenery, country stores, lots of Moose statues, and gave us our first view of Mount Washington... one of the most majestic vistas in the White Mountains… it was already covered with snow on the very top. The rangers told us we’d never be able to drive up at this time of the year, (Oct. 2017) as once snow and ice arrives… at an elevation of 6,288.2 feet, the roads are closed to the public. Actually I’m still not quite sure I’d even drive up in the summer, as I’ve heard stories of how close to the edge of the mountain you drive, and how you have to keep stopping on the way down to let the breaks cool… I think I might just bypass that drive unless I feel brave enough to take the Mount Washington Cog Railway to the summit… but even that sounds scary too!
Way in the distance is Mount Washington with a peak of white… it’s also so-called “Agiocochook” by some Native American tribes. It’s the highest peak in the Northeastern United States, and the most topographically prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
Unfortunately, we were forced to leave North Conway a few days earlier than planned as heavy rains were forecasted… and there were reports of how many roads might be washed away. After hearing those weather reports, I didn’t feel adventurous enough to wait out the rains and see… so we began our descent towards home. We did manage to stop at various book stores in search of Nancy Drew… and no luck on any other yarn shops, but I did find a restaurant so-named Jeanne’s Diner… just my luck though, it was closed! Even with all that, we enjoyed our ride home and saw many things we hope to rediscover again.. on our next fall or spring “adventure” trip.
We enjoyed New Hampshire, with its scenery of fall covered fields and iconic barns… making me feel like we were actually in Georgia at times. We both were amazed at how much both Vermont and New Hampshire share a very Southern look in appearance… and how everyone is more social and friendly… versus in Connecticut.
Food Adventure continue in Georgia…
One of my favorite adventures when I return home to Georgia is visiting “The Varsity” in Athens. It’s the local hangout for locals and tourists… but when the Georgia Dawg’s (Georgia Bulldogs) are playing a home game… better to stay away… as there is No parking anywhere! I love walking up to the counter and being immediately greeted with a “What’ll Ya Have.” They’re so quick with that greeting, that it almost makes you almost forget what you wanted! Stopping at The Varsity is a must when visiting Athens… it’s the most well-known local spot to visit! There are seven Varsities between Atlanta and Athens… my father even worked at The Varsity in Atlanta for a short time. What I wouldn’t give to have known if he worked the counter… greeting customers with their famous “What’ll Ya Have!”
Step through those doors at The Varsity and you know what’s coming… you’re gonna hear “What’ll Ya Have!“
Love their fried pies… and in season, they even have sweet potato fried pies!
While there was no adventure traveling with my children… which I so regret… hubby and I certainly do our share of adventurous traveling today… and often at the drop of a hat. I hope my children learn from my mistakes… and take their children on many more road trips than we did!
Believe me… I have many more “adventures”… but I think I’ll end it here! Thanks for reading! If you’ve visited any of the places I’ve mentioned… do drop me a line… and if you haven’t… go visit and let me know! If you’re a crafter, follow Here for more craft stories.
Need a laugh… when I first read the week prompt of “adventure”… I was like, I have nothing, but 2460 words later!
Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!
To read more Family Stories… click HERE.
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