Friday, September 19, 2014

Summer Adventures, Part Two

In July, we took the girls to their first concert. We were keeping an eye out for a low-key, outdoor show with a band they liked, and when I saw this Hurray for the Riff Raff/Old Crow Medicine Show concert pop up, I knew it would be a good one. It was at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, near Burlington on the banks of Lake Champlain. We made plans to drive up early in the day, see the museum, go to the show, and then spend the night in Burlington before heading home at our leisure the next day.

Listen to great music while watching the sun set over the Adirondacks? Yes, please!

The Shelburne Museum is an unconventional place. It's an art museum, but it looks like an old New England village, and the collections include both high art and folk art -- Impressionist paintings hung alongside handmade quilts. Electra Havemeyer Webb, from the art-collecting Havemeyer family, founded the museum in the late '40s on her husband's Webb family estate (the rest of which is now Shelburne Farms). She collected historic buildings and moved them to the property to house her art and crafts collections. Now, in addition to seeing the paintings and dolls and firearms and glassware and furniture and farm implements, you can also tour historic barns, a covered bridge, the Colchester Reef Lighthouse, a railroad station and train, replica shops and work buildings like a blacksmith shop, and the steamboat Ticonderoga, which is a National Historic Landmark.

The Ticonderoga was built in Shelburne in 1906 to carry passengers around Lake Champlain.

The relocation of the ship and it's dry docking at the museum was an engineering and preservation marvel in the 1950s.

Big chair (It's art.)

Relaxin' in front of the Colchester Reef Light

A rainbow of glassware

One of 225 carriages and sleighs and stagecoaches displayed in several antique barns. I also really liked the horse-drawn snowplow and the child-sized sleighs pulled by ponies!

The museum's famous Round Barn. This photo shows the entrances to all three floors of the barn. How else do you get animals and wagons up to the top floor and down to the basement?!

Kissy-faces (More art.)

Goofing around in the Jail.

The gardens were amazing, too.

Wishing Well

Maggie wanted to climb every single apple tree on the property and Kate really wanted to take that kissy lips bench home with us.

There is something there for absolutely everyone to enjoy.

And then we got to see a concert!

Hurray for the Riff Raff

Old Crow Medicine Show

I've never eaten so many snacks or stood in line for the portapotties so many times at a concert. The girls had such a good time, though, that it was worth it. Excellent first show!

Our tickets were actually good for two days, so we decided to go back the next morning because there was still so much to see. This was a tough call because it meant we didn't spend the morning hanging out in Burlington, which is one of my favorite little cities, but the girls were having so much fun - at a MUSEUM - so there ya go.

Ballet Dancer by Maggie (and Degas)

There's also an antique carousel. I'm just now realizing that we rode a LOT of carousels this summer.

Behind Maggie is a huge horseshoe-shaped building wrapped around the carousel which houses a 500 foot long, hand-carved wooden model of a circus parade. It took 30 years to complete the 4,000 pieces of the model.

The path through the woods to the train station and train cars.

The weather was totally gorgeous. Perfect summer day in the mountains.

On the way home, we took the scenic Route 125, aka the Middlebury Gap Road, through the Green Mountain National Forest to get back to the interstate. It was beautiful and cool and green, and even a city girl like me would love to spend some more time in the little village of Ripton. Next summer!

We even found the perfect farmhouse in a valley for my parents - it had this barn out back with a yard full of old antique trucks! Vermont is calling you...

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