After our month with family in Connecticut, we headed north to revisit one of our favorite states, Vermont. We returned to two campgrounds we’d previously visited – one near Woodstock and the other near Stowe – and enjoyed some downtime after all the family activity.

We made sure to hit all our favorite Vermont stops like:

The Woodstock Farmers Market



and we confirmed that it is actually possible to take a corner on just two wheels when we saw a sign for “fresh garlic” as we were driving down a busy road.

A tiny farm with a selection of their products available for purchase using an honor system…

After replenishing our stores of Vermont goodness, we headed off to explore Burlington. Located on the shores of peaceful Lake Champlain, the city is the largest in Vermont. It is home to the University of Vermont as well as a thriving downtown. Burlington has done an excellent job making use of its waterfront property with an impressive series of interconnected bike trails, lots of community green space, and a couple marinas. It’s the perfect place to stroll and people-watch on a warm summer day.

Just up the street from the lake is the Church Street pedestrian area. Full of shops, restaurants, and outdoor performers, the area is a magnet for locals and visitors alike. Day and night, it’s a lively, energetic, entertaining place to wander.

Burlington is our kind of place – a college town with a good deal of energy, a plethora of independent shops and restaurants, and lots of outdoor activities. It’s just one more fantastic locale in a state full of highlights.

The Shelburne Museum

I first heard of this spectacular museum from our friends, the Lowes. Of all the many interesting and significant places they’ve visited, Mona Liza took the time to write a separate post about this place on their blog. I took that as high praise and added it to our list.

The Shelburne, located just a few miles south of Burlington, is no ordinary museum. 150,000 objects are spread out among 39 structures, many of which are historic in and of themselves. And all of it is located on a beautiful 45 acre campus full of rolling green lawns, peaceful gardens, and inviting sitting areas.

To say ‘there’s a lot to see’ would be an understatement….

From a one room schoolhouse, circa 1840:

One room school located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

to a gorgeous round barn, circa 1901…

Round barn located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

To a two-lane covered bridge built in 1845….

Covered bridge located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

the structures are unique and rare.

There’s a light house that stood on the shore of Lake Champlain from 1871 to 1952…

Lighthouse located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

a meeting house built in Charlotte, Vermont in 1840….

Meeting house located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

And a stone house built in 1790…

Stone house located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

Inside these and other structures are an astonishing collection of Americana. From a large collection of horse drawn carriages:

Horse drawn carriage located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

Horse drawn hearse located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont
A horse drawn hearse….

to a building full of textile processing equipment:

Loom located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

to a fully stocked general store and apothecary….

to multiple buildings full of paintings, pottery, sculptures, and furniture, there is a little bit of everything.

Of all the fascinating bits of history located at the Shelburne, arguably the most unique and impressive is the Ticonderoga, a 220 foot steamship built in 1906. The boat traversed Lake Champlain for almost 50 years before it was decommissioned in 1953. It would have been torn to scrap if not for the forethought of this museum.

The Ticonderoga steamship located at the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont

Now, visitors can examine the entire boat from top to bottom, observe all parts of it as they would have appeared on a particular day in 1923, and get answers to all their questions from the friendly and knowledgeable docents.

The Shelburne was created by Electra Havemeyer Webb in 1947. She wanted to preserve hers and her family’s extensive collections of Americana. The museum continued to grow throughout her lifetime and after her death. In fact, after she passed away in 1960, her children had an additional building built on the museum campus to house several rooms from their mother’s New York City apartment. Similar to our art collection, she owned several Monets, Manets and a Degas or two.

You know, the usual.

Museum tickets are good for two days and one could easily spend that long here and not even scratch the surface of what’s available. If you find yourself in the Burlington area, this place is absolutely worth a stop.

RV Repairs

When we were in Connecticut in June, we brought Barney in to Connecticut Motorcars – an excellent facility for Tiffin repair work – for his yearly oil change and engine service.

While there, the techs noticed that our front cap was coming unsealed. While we’d noticed a tiny bit of space in the seam many months ago, it was barely noticeable and we didn’t think much of it.

Looks like it just needs some glue.

However, somewhere along the line (*cough* – Indiana roads – *cough*), the cap began to completely separate.

Maybe a lot of glue.
We’re gonna need more glue.

The service manager told us that Tiffin considers front cap separation a warranty-covered structural issue, but they were booked in June and we would need to come back to get on their schedule. Hence, why we returned to Connecticut after our trip to Vermont.

While there, we also pointed out the black spots we’d noticed appearing all over the silicone sealant on the outside of the rig.

The service manager surmised the spots were mold – the result of someone at the manufacturing plant grabbing the wrong type of silicone (for indoor use, rather than outdoor use) when our RV was coming down the line. Again, he expected Tiffin would cover the correction of this issue, and, thankfully, he was right.

All fixed:

Again and again, we’ve been thankful we bought the coach we bought. Not only have our problems been few, but other than time, we’ve had to part with little else to get these issues corrected. Tiffin is known for standing behind their products and, for us, they have. And Connecticut Motor Cars made the whole process easy – getting us on their schedule, completing the work in a timely manner, and – most importantly – dealing directly with the Tiffin check-writers, so we didn’t have to chase anyone around. All in all, it was a completely painless process.

A Solution to the Connecticut Camping Problem

Speaking of pain, after all our aggravation in June, this time, we decided to stay at the Bear Creek Campground at Lake Compounce Amusement Park.

I knew about this campground before, but (a) it’s really expensive and I had been trying to avoid paying $45 per night weekdays and $60 per night weekends for electric/water only, (b) you can only stay for a week or two and I had been looking for a month-long stay for our June visit, and (c) I was concerned about some reviews that noted a particularly small dump station. But, given our experiences at Portland Riverside Campground, I went ahead and booked this place. It ended up working out really well. Yes, it was overpriced, but if you stay more than 5 nights, they give you a discount, and at least the 50 amp was actually 50 amp and water actually came out of our faucets, so… Success!!

Plus, as commercial campgrounds attached to amusement parks go, it was pretty nice – with big spacious sites and some reasonable greenery!

If you had told me 3 years ago that I would, one day, talk animatedly about parking spaces, I would not have believed you.

We checked out but did not utilize the dump station. It is tight, but it can be done with any size RV.

The campground is only open seasonally, so it won’t help you during the colder months, but if you find yourself in central Connecticut and you’re desperate for a place to stay, it’s a decent spot (and, to tie it in to the previous subject, it’s just about 10 minutes down the road from Connecticut Motorcars).

Next Up….

We head through upstate New York, Thor decides he loves lake-living, and we visit the incomparable Niagara Falls….


Where we stayed:

Crown Point Camping Area, Perkinsville, Vermont

Maplewoods Campground, Johnson, Vermont (updated review)

Shelburne Camping Area, Shelburne, Vermont (No review. Campendium link)

Bear Creek Campground, Bristol, Connecticut


  1. VT is one of our favorite places! It’s too bad it gets so damn cold in the winter. Burlington is awesome and for all your running friends/readers, the Vermont City marathon over Memorial Day weekend is a great race. There is so much support for the runners – the neighborhoods you run through are so welcoming and for spectators it is a breeze, you can see your runner several times without moving much. We will need to coordinate that one year, we were so close to being there together this year! The museum looks wonderful, we’ll add it to the list for the next time we visit. It was great to see you both in Niagara, can’t wait to read your post on that one ???????? safe travels!!

    • Yes, I am still bummed we missed your race there. We were so close, but just couldn’t make it work at that point. I can certainly see, though, why it is a popular marathon for runners and spectators. It’s a great city and fun place to meander around. If not for the whole “bone-chilling cold” thing, we would consider a city like Burlington for a landing place. We don’t want to be in the boonies, but we also don’t need to be in Manhattan. It really has a lot of the things we want, but we just can’t get by the winters. Oh well, having family in the vicinity means we will most certainly be back to visit!

    • Yup, I’m not sure how I first ran into them when I started researching, but I kept seeing consistent commentary about how they stood behind their products, and the more I researched, the more I learned how rare that is in the RV industry. I’m sure there are plenty of great RVs out there, but we zoned in on this particular brand and we’re endlessly thankful we did.

  2. Over the years we’ve visited Shelburne Museum numerous times, one of the best visits was during the lilac festival. Thanks for a reminder of what we loved about living in VT. Glad you found a good a place to stay in CT, sometimes we just have to suck it up and pay the piper for a decent place.

    • Oh man, I love lilacs. If I was in Vermont and there was a lilac festival, I might lose all common sense and just buy a house right then and there. 🙂 And yes, I agree. In some cases, as maddening as it is to overpay, it’s just worth it to suck it up and hand over the cash.

  3. Vermont is special. My aunt and uncle lived there and it was a part of the yearly drive, via auto, to visit our East Coast family. They were south in Brattleboro. You had me laughing from the garlic post to the end.

    • Yes, I don’t know what it is specifically about that state, but being there just makes us happy. It really is special and I’m sure having great childhood memories makes that even more true. We only stopped in Brattleboro for a couple nights on our first venture through, but would like to go back and explore more. I have no doubt that will happen again at some point.

  4. I’ll bet it’s nice to revisit an area, so you already have an idea of what to expect from the campground and you know the highlights that you really want to see again, and can add in new things to do. This is one of the things we are most looking forward to about being back in Florida this winter, besides seeing friends and family. I am glad that on your second trip through Vermont it was just as great as you remembered it being!

    • You are so right about the value of revisiting places we’ve already been. I think about half our travels so far this year have involved places we were at least somewhat familiar with – either through our RV travels or prior visits. While it’s obviously exciting to check out new places, revisiting old favorites allows us to really relax, settle in, and find spots that are off the beaten path. More importantly, knowing where to find the damned mustard at the grocery store is truly life changing!! By the way, we’ll need to exchange Florida itineraries at some point.

  5. Someday I would like to go to that area of the country. I saw MonaLiza’s post about Shelburne Museum and decided I must get there! Probably not for a couple of years though. So glad you are having a good time and Tiffin made good with their warranty. We’ve been happy with our Tiffin also. :|)

    • Yes, the east coast provides lots of cool stuff, but a whole pile of extra aggravation. It’s worth getting there eventually, but you could stay busy out west for a good long while without all the aggravation. Whenever you do make it, the Shelburne is definitely worth a visit! I’m glad to hear you guys are happy with your coach too! There are no shortage of horror stories out there, so having one you like and trust is huge.

  6. Just when I was thinking that Henry Ford was the biggest hoarder ever, Electra Havemeyer Webb comes along. I was telling Eric the other day that since we’re seeing so many living history villages and assorted museums in our travels this summer, perhaps we can bypass the Shelburne when we get to Vermont in October. But after seeing your post (and remembering MonaLiza’s), I’m putting it back on our list. I find it particularly interesting that Electra’s art collection rivals yours, LOL!

    Burlington is definitely in our plans for the fall. I haven’t been there in about 20 years and I can’t wait to go back! I’m hoping to participate in one of those yoga classes on the lawn. From Thor’s blissful expression, I’m assuming he just finished the class. Oh, and is Honey Road the restaurant you told me about? Thanks for all the fun ideas for things to do when we get there!

    • YES!! Honey Road! Go eat all the things!!!!! We went there multiple times and ate 3/4 of the menu and I think there was only one or two dishes that were only “OK” as opposed to “super-awesome-amazing-delicious!!” You will like it, I promise!

      As for Shelburne, HA! We do appreciate our hoarders, don’t we? I do love how one man’s “hoarder” is another man’s “collector.” 🙂

      We obviously haven’t been to the Henry Ford yet, but from yours and others descriptions, I am sure they are very similar. We tend to love those kinds of places, but after seeing multiple, I can understand getting burned out a bit too. I think what stood out at Shelburne, beyond the quality and variety of the collection, were the awesome docents. I was really impressed with how friendly and knowledgeable they all were. However, at this point, you all could probably BE the docents for many of these places! If you’re really burned out, I could totally understand skipping it. Just don’t skip Honey Road!!!

  7. Vermont is on my list! I’ve always heard great things about Tiffin. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard one negative thing and that is saying a lot.

    • There are certainly some folks who’ve had a lot of problems. Along with every other RV manufacturer, Tiffin has ramped up production the last couple years and is pushing more units off the line – which leads to some people having a lot of problems. We lucked out with ours – it was well built – but the bigger thing to us is having a company that fixes the problems. Of course, if you were one of the people who got a lemon, all of it is still cold comfort. If you’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars just to get stuck sitting in a repair facility for weeks on end, or having to consistently bring your rig back to your dealer, you’re justifiably pretty annoyed, but at least the company tries to do right by its customers. That’s a lot more than can be said of some other manufacturers.

  8. Yes! thank you for taking me back to my all-time favorite museum excluding, of course, the Smithsonian. (Laurel. having been to both, I think Henry Fords cant light a candle to Electras collection 🙂 just saying).
    Glad that on your second visit in Vermont you found time to check out Shelburne. Wasn’t it a mind-blowing collection? I hope you went to the Circus and the doll and miniature collections in one of those buildings. It was overwhelming.
    Cabot cheese yum!
    Thank you for the shout out, I’m just happy that you went and found it worth your time.
    Speaking of RV repairs our Betsy has problems here in Canada 🙁

    • Uh oh… what’s going on with Betsy? That sounds ominous. I hope it’s nothing too serious. At least you’re in Canada though! With the exchange rate, everything is 25% off!! (Maybe???)

      Anyway, yes, you certainly did not lead us wrong with your post about the Shelburne. What a collection! It is simply impossible to see everything that is there – even the docents I spoke with mentioned that they’d only seen portions of the collections. It is simply incredible how many rare and valuable items they’ve collected. Like so many other times, you did not lead us wrong! So, thank you again!

  9. We really enjoy Vermont. Too bad it is in the east. Glad you found my favorite Vermont stop…Cabots!! Absolutely wonderful cheese and the BEST sample area ever. Your repairs on Barney look awesome. Glad everything was taken care of so smoothly.

    • Cabot is one of our absolute favorite stops in a state full of them! The first time we visited, we went to the actual plant and did the tour and tasting there. This time, we went to one of their stores in Stowe and tasted all the cheeses there. They were both awesome and if we could store more, we would have bought more. Also – I’m not sure if you like yogurt, but if you do, and you’re able to get Cabot’s yogurt, it is fantastic. The best we’ve had anywhere! And we, too, are glad the repairs went smoothly. Hopefully we can avoid any more of those for a while!

  10. Looks like you hit all the Vermont highlights! We visited the Shelburne Museum quite a few years ago and absolutely loved it. It nice to hear about a repair facility that makes everything easy and smooth. There are far more horror stories than happy ones.

    • I agree on both – the Shelburne absolutely lived up to its reputation – both the collection and the beauty of the place, and we know how fortunate we are to both have an RV that’s solid and a shop that we can rely on to handle repairs with minimal hassle. There are a TON of horror stories these days, so we are endlessly thankful Hope you guys are doing well!.

  11. Mmm Farmer’s Market! Mmm ice cream! Mmm cheese! Mmm garlic!
    I just want to have a picnic now on that green, green grass.
    Glad you had a better experience the second time around with CT campgrounds, and that Barney’s boo-boos were fixed up!

    • I just saw that I never responded to this comment. I am sorry. I suck. In my old age, I am becoming forgetful. I guess. Or maybe I was just always forgetful and I didn’t even remember. I guess we’ll never know. Wait, what was I saying?? Anywho…. sorry for not responding earlier. I do think you would quite enjoy all the lovely goodness of Vermont. I’m not sure that there are many people who would not enjoy it, really. It’s a wonderful state to explore!

    • Thanks for your comment! I try to keep this site as accurate as possible. We’ve certainly benefited from the helpful posts of other bloggers along the way. Thanks for stopping by!


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