Celebrating Eight Years on Snowbird RV Trails!

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We invite all our friends to visit us on Pinterest where we have 37 boards (so far) and hundreds of photos and descriptions of many of our adventures and discoveries from eight years of RVing up and down the East coast – from New England to the Gulf Coast – and from the Atlantic Seashore to the Mississippi River at https://www.pinterest.com/snowbirdrvtrail/. We’ve found our favorite routes, met some beautiful people, sampled some fine Regional home-cooking and seen a little of what has made America the place we are so proud to call home.
Find also an Index of all of our articles at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/quickclickindexnew.htm
and more about us at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/aboutus.htm.

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Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour and Ice Cream Shoppe

It all started when 2 college buddies took an ice cream making course and traveled the countryside, far and wide, giving away samples of their new and somewhat unusual concoctions...
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Not so long ago we visited a small Vermont Town where once upon a time 2 guys with very little money, a beat-up VW bus and some wild ideas about a tried and true food  icon thought they just might fix something that wasn’t broken.
Join us for a visit at http://www.snowbirdrvtrails.com/daytripbenandjerrys.htm.

Norman Rockwell’s Vermont

Norman Rockwell's "Triple Self Portrait"
Norman Rockwell’s “Triple Self Portrait”
On a recent bright and beautiful summer day we made a day trip to Arlington, VT to visit the area Norman Rockwell called home from 1939 to 1953. The home he lived in when he painted his famous “The Four Freedoms,”  for which he used local people as models.
 Four Freedoms - freedom to speak, to worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want
Four Freedoms – freedom to speak, to worship, freedom from fear and freedom from want
Entrance to the "Covered Bridge Green"
Entrance to the “Covered Bridge Green”

Norman Rockwell’s home is a few miles out of town, just across the covered bridge over the Battenkill River

The little white church on The Covered Bridge Green
The little white church on The Covered Bridge Green

and past the little white church.

Norman Rockwell's Vermont home on the right
Norman Rockwell’s Vermont home on the right
The home on the right was Norman Rockwell’s. It is now a B&B called “The Inn on the Covered Bridge Green,” where you can spend the night in Rockwell’s former bedroom (Inn rooms run $185 to $225) or in the detached studio. The artist’s studio, which easily sleeps four, is $280.  Rates include a hot breakfast.

Arlington Vermont Farm neighbor
Arlington Vermont Farm neighbor
Though a beautiful area it is important to note that both Rockwell and his wife  began to feel isolated in this area and ended up moving to their final and more well-known residence in Stockbridge, MA. The move was to be closer to the psych hospital where his wife Mary was an inpatient and he himself became an outpatient in his later years.

Route 7 through Vermont's Green Mountains
Route 7 through Vermont’s Green Mountains

Bookin’ it through Vermont

Three of our passions are seeing new places, enjoying good books, and finding great local places to have lunch (or dinner)!

One of our hobbies that allows us to do all three is finding a new “Friends of the Library” book sale to visit, and what better place than a small town in Vermont.

Big Book Sale Today!
Big Book Sale Today!

There are so many small communities in Vermont that bring to mind what life must be like behind a Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post magazine cover. Maybe it’s the friendly people, or maybe it’s the Town Squares surrounded by beautiful old homes, a meeting hall, and well attended Church or two. That’s exactly what we found on our recent trip to the book sale in Middletown Springs, Vermont.
Town Square in Middletown Springs, Vermont
Town Square in Middletown Springs, Vermont

Middletown Springs Library is housed in what was once an early Episcopal Church building that was donated to the Town. The building is small by big city library standards but loved and well used by the local population of book lovers.

Middletown Springs Public Library in the former Episcopal Church
Middletown Springs Public Library in the former Episcopal Church

As with most small libraries’ not having the space for tables inside, they hope for nice weather on the advertised day(s) of the sale so the tables and treasures can be set-up and displayed on the lawn outside.

Book Sale on the lawn at the Middletown Springs Public Library
Book Sale on the lawn at the Middletown Springs Public Library

We never know what we will find when we visit a sale. Sometimes there are baked goods or plants for sale as well as books. Usually there are movies and CD’s in addition to a good selection of age-appropriate books for the children to pick through.

Mom and the Kids at the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale
A Mom and the Kids enjoying the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale

Niki and I both usually find books we haven’t read from our favorite authors. A lot of times the books will be titles once on the library shelves but have been moved out to make space for new titles that the proceeds from each book sale will help them buy. Often upwards of 90% of the books for sale are donated by local people. That’s where “you never know what you’ll find” comes in.

Something for everyone at the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale
Something for everyone at the Middletown Springs Public Library Book Sale

When checking out and paying for our books we ask if there might be a local mom-and-pop restaurant they would recommend to have some lunch. Sure enough we were pointed “Just up the hill there is Sissy’s. You can almost see it from here, but watch closely because their sign is kind of small!”

This is the place! Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
This way to Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs, Vermont

Good food at Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
Good food at Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont

Once again we found ourselves in for a real treat! Sissy’s encompasses everything you look for in a great lunch spot. Everything homemade with local ingredients. Fresh soups and sandwich specials everyday.

What will you have at Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
What will you have at Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs? Vermont

Niki chose the mushroom and fiddlehead quiche and I had the Vermont ham and egg salad sandwich. We both tried the homemade potato salad and I also tried the beef and pork chili. In addition we both had locally made root beer and ginger ale, then topped it all off with individual strawberry-rhubarb pies for dessert.

Good food at Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
Good food at Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont

Sissy’s is not licensed as a sit-in restaurant so we enjoyed our food and the warm June day sitting on the front porch watching the World go by.

The front porch of Sissy's Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont
Niki on the front porch of Sissy’s Kitchen in Middletown Springs Vermont

All in all a very good day trip. We visited a new part of Vermont, bought some new-to-us reading material, and found a new, favorite place to have lunch whenever we come through this area again. Want to bet we won’t find a reason to pass by this way again real soon?

On the Road with snowbirdrvtrails.com,

Jack and Niki