A short trip to Burlington, Wisconsin

Vignette

Whew!  It’s been a busy summer!

It feels like as soon as we caught our breath, it was time to pack up and head out on a plane again.  This time, we were going out to my sister-in-law’s wedding in Burlington, Wisconsin.  Burlington is such a cute little town.  We stayed downtown at the Hampton Inn, which was very nice, and had a short afternoon to walk around downtown.

Downtown Burlington, WI

Downtown Burlington, WI

It has many historic buildings with great details that the town is trying to preserve.

Historic Burlington, WI

Historic Burlington, WI

We ran into a local shop keeper closing up, and she told us that a number of building facades had recently been restored.  They want to keep the historic, small town charm.

Detail Fancy Work

Detail Fancy Work

I loved the rosette on this building.  I think it’s supposed to be a sunflower.

Detail Rosette

Detail Rosette

And the details on this building.

Detail Rosettes

Detail Rosettes

As we walked around, we noticed these signs.  “Burlington Liar’s Club Winner, (year)”  Most of them were real slap-stick, but it was fun.

Liar's Club Winner 1978

Liar's Club Winner 1978

Not forgetting to look down, I saw these stylized grates around the trees.

Iron work

Iron work

Tucked away in a corner was a little doorway, which led through to a small courtyard between two building.  There was this neat cobblestone wall on one side.  I think it could make a nice desktop picture.

Stone Wall

Cobblestone Wall

Unfortunately, everything was pretty much closed when we were walking around late afternoon, but there were a few shops with some pretty vignettes outside.

Vignette

Vignette Painted bench

An ice cream store hasn’t quite opened yet, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture of their “address.”

Sweet 2th

Sweet 2th

We concluded our tour of downtown Burlington with a stroll through the park, next to the river.  It’s a very idyllic setting, with plenty of places to sit, eat, and stroll.

River and Park

River and Park, Burlington, WI

Looking at the map, there are lots of little parks all over Burlington.  And no matter which way you drive, you’ll probably cross over the river at least once.  We noticed quite a few fisherman out all weekend long.

Fisherman in Burlington, WI

Fisherman in Burlington, WI

It was a wonderful weekend getaway.  We left the hurricane behind (and thankfully didn’t come to any problems), and spent a lovely weekend with my husband’s family.  We flew in and out of Chicago, which was only about an hour away (without traffic).  I hope that we can go back and do a little more exploration of that city…

 

Upstate New York and Niagara Falls

American Falls Long View

I took a little time off this summer, prompted by my cousin’s wedding in upstate New York.  Since hubby had never been in the area, I felt that this would be an excellent opportunity to do a little sightseeing.

One leg of our journey was in this small plane.  I don’t mind flying, but Mr. Lucky Lass was not too happy.  I will say, I’m not sure I’ve ever ridden in a commercial plane this small, with propellers…

Small plane

Small plane

The flights went fine, no problems.  Everything was even on time.

First order of business, drive to Niagara Falls.

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara

I have been here about half a dozen times.  I am always amazed and awed by the size of the falls, and how powerful water can be.

I wanted a great view of the falls, so we stayed on the Canadian side at Embassy Suites.

Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

When we checked in, the hotel clerk upgraded our room for free to a Presidential suite!  So we had one of those big corner rooms.  Our view was spectacular:

View from the Presidential Suite, Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

View from a Presidential Suite, Embassy Suites, Niagara, Ontario

The room was nice, too.  There was an electric (no heat) fireplace, a lounge area, a separate sitting room with a fold-out couch, and a giant whirlpool tub with shutters that open into the main area for a view of the falls.  By the window, you could also view the American falls.

View of American Falls from room

View of American Falls from room

We ate at “The Keg” which is a chain steakhouse restaurant, found in the hotel.  It was excellent.  The breakfast the next morning however, not so good.  It was free, but because they were making so much food for so many people, it was pretty gross (i.e. not very good quality).

While there, we had to do the Maid of the Mist.

Maid of the Mist

Maid of the Mist boat tour

Everyone gets a poncho and you get a real close up of the falls.

American Falls from the Maid

American Falls from the Maid

It was really hard to get a decent shot between all the mist and other people on the boat.  We were surrounded by a group of teenage girls discussing their plans for the day, “Shopping, shopping, eat something, and then more shopping.”

There is a lot of different activities to do in Niagara, Ontario.  There were plenty of places to shop, eat, to entertain kids, things like wax museums and Guinness world records.  There are also much quieter or prettier places to see too, like the Horticulture school, and if you go for a short drive, cute little towns further up the river like Niagara-on-the-Lake.  With our short time however, we contented ourselves with views of the falls.

Horseshoe Falls Closeup

Horseshoe Falls Closeup

American Falls Long View

American Falls Long View

After spending a good day at Niagara, we jumped back over the border, and headed to the Martin House in Buffalo, New York.  It’s an architectural gem.  I loved the lines and proportions of the house.  It was raining when we first arrived, but by the time we left it was beautiful out.

Darwin Martin House

Darwin Martin House

Our next stop was Rochester.  I found a boutique hotel called the Inn on Broadway, and it was beautiful!  It started out life as the University Club, and has recently been transformed into the Inn.  For less money than it was to stay at the falls, we had a beautifully appointed room with furniture from Arhaus.  Luxurious robes, a Keurig coffee maker, flat screen tv, and multi-headed shower were features of this room.  I could tell that someone was hired to carefully decorate the room.  Here’s an overall shot:

Room at the Inn on Broadway

Room at the Inn on Broadway

And yes, that’s a step stool at the foot of the bed.

For dinner, we walked about two blocks away to “2 Vine” and had an excellent Italian inspired meal.  It was crowded with locals who all knew each other, always a good sign.

The next morning we met up with family and toured the George Eastman house, the founder of the Kodak company.  The house and grounds are amazing, and I thought it was really interesting how many of the interiors are still somewhat fashionable today.  It looked like a current spread from Architectural Digest.  The gardens are very nice.  I love all sorts of gardens, but prefer those with some architectural planning.

Garden at the Eastman House

Garden at the Eastman House

George Eastman was an exceptional man, who did a lot for his community.  The museum also had a fascinating exhibit on Norman Rockwell.  I had no idea he painted from photographs that he took of his models!

We spent the last few days near Lake Canandaigua, with family.  The wedding was wonderful and fun.  My cousin and his bride are very creative and had a number of fun touches throughout the day.  Both being science teachers, they poured two colorless liquids together as a symbol of their unity, and the color in the resulting beaker was bright pink.  They had a number of games for people to play throughout the reception to encourage mingling and conversation.  And there was a fantastic choreographed dance by four students to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”

Lake Canandaigua

Lake Canandaigua

The next day we headed home, exhausted from our whirlwind adventure in upstate New York.  We had a great time, and there is so much more we would like to do!  We’ll definitely be going back.

 

A favorite spot

Original front entrance to Belmont
Cherry Tree Downtown

Cherry Tree Downtown

This post is a little late for Spring, but I wanted to share some pictures I took of one of my favorite little spots to go visit.

At Belmont, the Geri Melchers estate, the grounds and gardens are free, there is a sweet little gift shop and visitors center, and they routinely have art exhibits.  Not to mention, the gorgeous permanent exhibit in the studio space.

View of Belmont, House of Geri Melchers

Belmont

This is the main house.   Originally built in the 18th century, Geri Melchers bought the estate (house, dependencies, working farm and acreage) for $12,000 around 1916.  He added some to the house, a studio, and a “summer house” (below).

Summer House at Belmont

Summer House

The house was deeded to the Commonwealth of Virginia is 1942 by Corrinne, Melcher’s widow.  She left the estate and contents, many of which are still on display.  The studio showcases Melcher’s work, which rivals that of his contemporaries, John Singer Sargent and Whistler.  The gardens have been worked on and restored, and they have abundant, beautiful tulips that bloom in the spring.

Tulips in the garden at Belmont

Tulips in the garden at Belmont

The dependencies are very cute:

Dependencies at Belmont

Dependencies at Belmont

Stable at Belmont

Stable at Belmont

The original front entrance of the house is stunning.  What a beautiful color on the ceiling of the porch.

Original front entrance to Belmont

Original front entrance to Belmont

I think the stairs are neat. I think it’s wonderful how they show their age.

18th century stairs

c. 18th century stairs at Belmont

A detail of the gate at the studio:

Detail of gate

Detail of gate at Belmont

A garden path takes you around the property.

Garden path at Belmont

Garden path at Belmont

As you come around the far end of the house, there is some beautiful Quince Blossom.

Quince Blossom

Quince Blossom

I love to visit Belmont in the spring!

 

 

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