Sunday, May 22, 2011


Last night, we had a date and went to see Follies at the Kennedy Center. This was the first of several shows that we have tickets for this summer.

Follies is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Goldman. The musical is set during a reunion of the Weismann's Follies performers in their old, crumbling theater, which is set for demolition. The story focuses on two couples, Buddy and Sally Durant Plummer and Ben and Phyllis Rogers Stone, both of whom are bitterly unhappy in their marriages.

Many of the former show girls perform their old routines, sometimes accompanied by the ghosts of their former selves. The ghosts or memories of the past are frequently on stage and drift through the action, often mirroring the action in present day. The show ends with a dreamlike sequence in the style of the old Ziegfeld Follies, in which each of the four principle characters act out their own follies.

I was not very familiar with this show before going, but as a general rule, I love Sondheim's work and this show did not disappoint. The cast includes the always lovely Bernadette Peters as Sally, Jan Maxwell (Phyliis), Danny Burstein (Buddy), Ron Raines (Ben), Linda Lavin as Hattie and Elaine Paige (Carlotta). The show runs through June 19th.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vermont Weekend

This weekend, Jim and I ran away to Vermont. Yes, I know we spent almost as much time on the train round trip as we did in Vermont, but it was so worth it. Plus, I like taking the train. We were basically disconnected from technology for the whole weekend. There was no wi-fi on the train, but we had cell service; there was wi-fi in the Inn, but no cell service, and no television anywhere.

We arrived in Bellows Falls, VT at about 6:00 Friday night and paid a ridiculous amount of money to be driven the 12 miles out to Grafton. I should be happy that there was, in fact, a taxi in Bellows Falls, but I swear that he charged an insane amount because he knows that we are out-of-towners and have no choice.

Anyway, this is the Old Tavern Inn in Grafton. We plunked our stuff upstairs in our room and then walked around a little bit before heading the Phelps Barn Pub for flatbread pizzas with local Vermont cheese (it was a cheese intensive weekend).

Saturday morning, we slept in and then had breakfast. This is my very favorite part about staying in a bed and breakfast. Jim had the omelet of the day (maple cured sausage and cheese) with toast and home fries. I had the bacon quiche (which incorrectly came with a salad - I ate it too. Bonus salad for me.) and a bowl of fresh fruit. They also put cranberry scones on the table.

After breakfast, we walked around town for a bit taking pictures of everything. We went up to the elementary school, which actually has a tower where a bell would go, and the forge. Then we took a nap. Yes, it was 11:00 in the morning. We don't care.

Grafton Elementary School

Then it was lunch time and cheese buying time, so we headed over to Mack's Place for sandwiches - I had a grilled turkey, bacon, tomato and cheese and Jim had a cheese steak. Yum! Then we decided to walk out to Plummer's Sugar House, which the town's website and the innkeeper said was about 1.5 miles out of town. We walk and walk forever and never find it so we turn back, with a detour to find our very first out-of-town letterbox. Once we got back, I plugged the address into Google Maps and found out it's really three miles out of town! We went about 2 miles before we gave up, so with our extra hike for the letterbox, it was about a 4.5 mile walk.

This is me stamping our book once we found the letterbox and the view from the site.

For dinner, we had a Vermont cheese board to start. I loved the jalapeno cheddar. Jim had the sweet pea and mascarpone ravioli and I had the salmon that was the special of the day. The fish was great, but the rice was over cooked. Neither of us was very impressed. After our late dinner, we went to the game room and played pool.

Sunday breakfast was omelet again for Jim (ham and cheese this time) and french toast for me. Then back to Bellows Falls and the train home. I've uploaded more photos to my photobucket account here.

Things I Learned in Vermont
1. Never trust the information on the website. Holy crap, my feet still hurt!
2. I still don't like blue cheese
3. I'm ok without two of three links to the outside world.