Autumn in the East

I’ve been on a road trip for the past week, soaking in the fabulous fall colors in New England and the charms of Quebec City. And I’m the first to admit I’ve exercised no restraint with food. I could have contracted gout from all the rich, delicious duck and rabbit dishes I consumed in Quebec, and we had some lovely seafood in New England–stuffed sole that melted in your mouth. Here’s a shot of the Lapin Saute, where we ate our final night al fresco. Food is beyond words!!

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But the biggest rush came from the scenery–first the drive up from New York through the Adirondacks which were ablaze and awesome in their beauty. Some of the drives felt very spiritual–with a canopy of trees overhead creating a gold tunnel. We will head back there to do some hiking in the next few years. If I were younger I’d be looking for land up there.

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The old town of Quebec-is very charming, but at certain hours is choked with cruise boat tourists. (Here’s a photo of  what our condo looked out on. It happened to be on the main antique store street!!)

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The size of some of those ships is unbelievable–three of them pour 25,000 people into the city. We worked around those hours and had a wonderful time–especially driving around the perimeter of Ile d’Orleans–an island in the St. Lawrence that’s loaded with small farms growing strawberries and apples and making maple syrup and selling it all at little roadside stands. It’s a lovely place dotted with darling little villages. We pulled over in a field and had wonderful duck pate on fresh baguette. Very few islanders speak English, but we got by with our pathetic attempts to speak French. Shopping in Quebec City wasn’t high on my list of ways to spend time, but I did run across some wonderful French soap and two new santons.

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We came back through Vermont which wasn’t at peak color yet, but probably 60%–good enough for me. I’ve seen peak color in New Hampshire, so I was not disappointed. It’s almost too much beauty, day after day. The villages, each with their steepled white clapboard churches nestled against mountains of lush red, gold, and green. And of course, I bought a little Vermont smoked maple cheese from Grafton.

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I didn’t drive, but was the full-time (sometimes stressed out) navigator. The twisty little roads, the granite outcroppings, the rushing streams and waterfalls–a dream landscape. We hiked at two places-to an Alpine lake at Smuggler’s Notch near Stowe and the Appalachian Trail outside of Killington. Hiking here is different than Colorado, much less altitude but difficult trails–VERY steep, lots of wet granite and tangled tree roots to watch out for. But oh, what sights!

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One of the best experiences was staying at Vermont B&B’s and meeting some wonderful people, lots of Brits who are invariably well informed, well traveled, and witty. Highly enjoyable swapping stories with them. And despite hurricane Joaquin, only one day of our trip was cloudy. Who can ask for more! That’s it for travel for a while. But I’m ready for a winter rest.

Hope you’re having a lovely autumn, wherever you are!

 

 

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