5 day North East trip

My wife and I took a 5 day trip to the Northeast part of the U. S. over the last weekend in April.  We started in Cleveland so that I could see Roger Zelazny's home town and grab some pictures thereof.  We took off on Wednesday and landed in the early afternoon.  It wasn't early enough for us to grab a meal at one of Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" spots.  Sterle's Slovenian had closed about an hour before we got there.  So, we went on to Euclid and found the high school, the public library and Roger's boyhood home.

From Euclid, we drove on to Erie, Pa. where we ate at Joe Root's Grill.  Eire looks to be a summer tourist town, similar to Galveston, Tx.

Our goals for Thursday were to see Niagara Falls and get to Syracuse, N. Y.

We left the La Quinta after dining on their hot breakfast.  We headed up the coast.  K. noted that there was a Frank Lloyd Wright house along the way to the falls.  We found the house in Derby, N.Y. and pulled in.  Unfortunately, the Graycliff Estate is still in the process of renovation, so we could take no pictures.  We also did not schedule a tour, so we couldn't go see the current state of affairs.  From the visitor's house it looked neat.  Onward to the Falls.

We pulled into Niagara and found the Falls without any issue.  We did some walking about around the area and took some pictures.  A number of things are still closed for the season: Maid of the Mist, lower viewing area, restaurant, but enough was open for our purposes.

From the Falls, we took off to Fort Niagara.  It's a neat place and has been around in some form for about 350 years.

From Fort Niagara, we headed out to Syracuse.  The route to Syracuse amazed me.  There were tons and tons of vineyards along the way.  No green leaves yet, but there must be a ton of wine that comes out of this region.  We went through Rochester, on the way and then caught Hwy 104 and 370 on to the city.  In Syracuse, we ate at "The Distillery" which turned out to be a pretty worthless place to eat.

Friday morning, we woke up at the Inn at the Fairgrounds with a goal of making it to Brattleboro, Vt. by the end of the day.  We hopped on 20 and drove through a bunch of small towns.  We passed through one that I regret not stopping in: Manlius.  Manlius is the home to the Stickley furniture company.  They are the folks who made a lot of furniture of the style that Frank Lloyd Wright used.

We continued on to Albany, where we just happened to drive by the State Archives Library.  K. was excited about that.  From Albany, we drove to Williamstown, Ma.

From there it was a short drive up 100 into Vermont and drove up to catch 9 into Brattleboro.

Brattleboro is where we would stay the night, but it was too early to stay at the hotel.  So, on up 91 we went.  It is weird traveling in a state where they don't number the exits from the highway based on the mile marker.  I'm used to Texas, where exit 23 on Hwy 45 is 23 miles from Galveston where the road starts.  It's an easy way to guess how long it will take you to get to the exit.  In Vermont, exit 9 might be 12 miles from exit 8.

One nice thing about the roads in New York and Vermont is that there are no billboards.  It has a downside, however.  Trying to find  the Harpoon Brewery or Mitch's Sugar Shack (where we picked up 1/2 gallon of Maple Syrup) is not easy.  You have to spot little brown signs  and try to figure out what they mean.  Does that sign mean that Mitch's is 3 miles to the right?  Or does it mean that Mitch's will be on the right in 3 miles?

I'm not certain we got a firm grasp on the answer.

After Mitch's, we saw a sign for the Harpoon Brewery and figured we'd go take a look.  We were pleasantly surprised that they had a restaurant there.  We were hungry.  We ended up with the best meal of our trip at their restaurant.  I recommend it.

From there we went on to Brattleboro for the night at the Quality Inn.  On Saturday morning, our goal was to make it to Manchester N. H. by the end of the day in order to fly back home on Sunday.  The weather did not agree with our plans as it was SNOWING when we woke up!  Thankfully, it was not sticking in our area, so we felt it was safe to continue our drive.  We wanted to spend some time in Maine just wandering around.

Shortly after we got into the state we stopped into their Visitor's Center.  It was quite nice and had a huge selection of brochures.  From this point, we drove up highway 1 into Kennebunkport, just to see the town we've heard mentioned so often.  On the way back down, we stopped in Kittery to check out the Kittery Trading Post.  It has an amazing selection of outdoor gear and was quite busy.

From Kittery, it was on to Manchester, N. H. for the night at the Fairfield Inn.  We ate at the Red Arrow Diner that was on an episode of Triple D.  I had Chicken Tenders Parmigiana with Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert.  K. had Meat Loaf with Chocolate Cake for dessert.  She ate on the slice of cake for the rest of the week.  It was huge.

Sunday had us up at a pleasant time to pack and get ready for the flight home.  We turned the car in, passed through security and made it back to Houston.