Thursday, July 19, 2007

Summer in Vermont (and New Hampshire)

My nephew and new niece (below) were married in a lovely chapel at Dartmouth in Hanover, NH on 7-7-07 -- a lucky date --

--and their wedding gave us an excuse to visit that beautiful area.

We like the off-beat in our travels so we checked out a "mom & pop" motel website and made reservations at an old-fashioned motel. This has worked for us before. This time, wellllll.... we stayed at a run-down little motel in White River Junction, Vermont,

whose only positive feature --- I don't count the coin-operated Magic Fingers vibrating bed or the owner's eagerness to purchase weapons, as positive features --- was its wonderful proximity to Hanover and the Quechee Gorge.

It was clean, and though your rotund blogger had difficulty manuevering in the cramped shower, we managed to sleep and attend to the necessities there.

I snuck out one morning while Sheila and the girls slept to take a few pics.

Lovely evergreen forests

and ferns, ferns, ferns

and birches

and the gorge with a small lake upstream.

Some links:
Quechee State Park
Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)
The VINS site at Quechee was interesting, They have a little flight simulator where you can don "monarch wings" and "fly" like a butterfly. We didn't have a chance to try that out. We just walked the nature trail and visited the little book shop. Click on the education tab for some Vermont environmental education resources.
Matthew and Emily had an unusual wedding reception. They reserved the Montshire Museum of Science. Dinner was served in a large room, but the whole museum was open for the guests to explore and center staff were on hand to assist. What a wonderful science center! I wish I had had more time to explore! I especially enjoyed the live exhibit of a leaf-cutting ant colony. All the exhibits are very interactive. The insect collections, for example, are on low tables with built-in microscopes that can be rotated and revolved about the table to view any specimen. Level afetr level of exhibits, bridges to outdoor exhibits and trails. If you are in New England, find an opportunity to visit this fine museum.

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