06 March 2010


Hi everyone,

I was away the last few days.  My husband swept me away for a few days for my birthday!  We went South to Burlington, Vermont.  Its always nice to see what our neighbors to the South are up to.  Its just an hour and half drive and part of the trip included a ferry boat ride on beautiful Lake Champlain.

We stayed at the Willard Inn.  Its a beautiful Victorian Mansion built in 1881.  It was built by Mr. C. Woodhouse and appropriately enough there is extensive wood used in many architectural details.  These are not my pictures  (my camera is on the fritz again) but they will give you an idea of how picturesque the hotel and surroundings are:


Each suite has its own name, this is the Flower suite.

This is the Champlain Suite with a view of the lake.

This is part of the lobby!  Mr. Woodhouse sure loved wood!

This is Lake Champlain.   Its thawing slowly but there are still people ice fishing.  To our amazement, we saw someone pull out a big fish.  I always thought that fishing in the winter yielded fish the size of sardines but I was wrong!

A typical snow day!.  They have beautiful big trees in Burlington and the city is filled with historical mansions.  Many have been transformed in lodges or houses for students.

This is Church Street at night.  Its filled with fun shops and restaurants.

This is Leunig's Bistrot.  We love this restaurant.  Its small but full of character.  It offers French cuisine.  I had a really good French Onion soup and Mr. Husband had a beef bourguignon.  At the end of the meal, they offered us 6 die that we had to drop on the table.  They added the total and the amount was subtracted from our bill.  Ours added up to 17 so they took 17% off our bill.  Not bad!

Of course no trip is complete without shopping.  Right ladies?  There is a store called HomeGoods.  I'm really addicted to this place.  Before I go in, I have a serious talk with my dysfunctional brain.  I remind myself how I have just cleaned out part of the house and of how many things I had to give or store away because there is just no room to display them all.  But as soon as I  enter the store and my eyes scan the floor, my mind takes a leave of absence and something happens:  I go into a coma and then I find myself at the cash with a cart full of treasures.  I'm warning you, stay away from this place:

Its a huge discount store and offers discontinued items.  Everything and anything you need for your home is here.  Its just gorgeous! My husband did not raise an eyebrow when he saw the total, I suppose its part of my birthday gift(I hope)I also went to Macey's and a whole bunch of other stores.  I cant say that this is a typical trip a man would enjoy but I suppose someone was trying real hard to please me on my birthday!


  1. I hope this message works...I just got a funny message that my first one didn't work.

    Happy Birthday to you!!

    So glad that you had a great time for your birthday. I love your St Patrick's theme for your blog too.

    Best wishes and happy weekend,

  2. Thanks Natasha. I went a "wee" bit over the top on the St. Patrick's theme!

  3. Your husband sounds like a very sweet man. Burlington is a nice town. My husband used to talk about moving to VT and I said the only area I would consider was Burlington. Seems like he's given up on that idea.

    There is a HomeGoods about 5 minutes from my house and I try not to go in there too often. I love it and can always find something I have to have.

    You asked what we did with the meat, etc., from the safari. The meat was used to feed us, the guide's family, the Africans and families he employs and lives on his ranch, plus he sells some in Jo'burg at a reduced price for people who can't afford to shop in the stores and while we were there two women came with a refrigerated trailer and took away many pounds that he donated to a nursing home.

    The heads and zebra skin when to a taxidermist and are trophies in our game room. Nothing went to waste.

  4. Happy Birthday hon *mwah mwah mwah*
    What a smashing treat from G! I am extremely jealous! Oh how I'd love to be let loose in a home store again *sigh* (if you read my post about customer service here & the bit about the drycleaner, well they told me to go buy another comforter & they'd refund the money. Pukka thinks I, until I went shlepping round all the stores & there's not a king size comforter to be found!)
    Hope the girls treated you too hon :-)

  5. Hi Sandy,

    Yes, HomeGoods is addictive. Your husband did well on his last trip in SA. The pictures you took were excellent. No wonder you win awards. Of course its hard to look at dead animals but they lived a great life in the outdoors and eventually they will be eaten by others or die of natural causes. Its great how the meat was used to feed so many deserving people. I tasted all of the wild meats while there. If you ever go back try the restaurant "The Carnivore". They also offer crocodile and elephant. I hope you will write up more posts on your trip. It was really interesting.

  6. Hi Jayne,

    Mwah, mwah, mwah, back at ya! I hope you feel better. I wonder how much it would cost if I sent you a duvet comforter by mail. Do they charge by weight or volume? Let me know what you want and I will send it off to you!

  7. Shame darlin', thank you so much for the offer, but there's no need honestly :-) I do have spare comforters, but it's just the bloody inconvenience of having to shlepp a coupla hundred kilometres in order to buy a new one, because stores in this town rank useless. We too T2 down to Roodepoort on Saturday (for her 1st service awww) & seeing as we have to go back down again this coming Saturday (to collect her) I'll ask Mike (again) to please stop at a mall (just over the road, which he conveniently ignored while we were nearby 2 days ago)(bloody men!) so that I can replace the 'lost/stolen' one.
    *very big sigh*

  8. Hi Jayne,

    T2's first service. Aaaw! Hope everything is going to be OK. Well if you ever want anything from around here, let me know. Duvet's are cheap here because of all the geese and what not. I remember Roodepoort fondly. Had a very good friend that lived there. Our kids are still in touch after 15 years. So your husband also suffers from mall blindness? This must be a genetic weakness that has afflicted males all over the universe. Good thing they have us. :)

  9. Happy birthday to you! Anne-Marie, it looks so lovely -- what a wonderful gift from your husband.

  10. Hi Jeannine,

    Its been a while! Hope you and your family are well! Its fun to follow you on FB. Thanks for the Birthday wishes.