As remembered by Cathy - others might beg to differ....
The doors closed and the engine purred quietly awaiting the driver’s command. The car groaned into "leveling" position, adjusting for the loads of luggage in its trunk and the occupants of its interior. Soon the Caddy would roll out the driveway and into VACATIONLAND!
Four ladies who had never traveled together before, but held the common thread of horse lover that bound them in friendship, embarked on a journey that would take them to the green mountains of Vermont and the Adirondacks of New York over the next four days.
Each passenger on this adventure would soon reveal their own unique personality that richly blended with others for the enjoyment of the trip.
Phyllis was the "take charge" person in the group. Ruth was the mischief-maker who liked to knock on men’s rest room doors among other things; Carolyn was the one who became known as the wrong-way driver, while I was simply referred to as "the boss". The Boss would later be known for spilling things on herself or dropping things in her tired stupor. Just couldn’t seem to hold on to anything for long.
By late afternoon, the car was piloted into the parking lot of the American Morgan Horse Association Headquarters and Museum. After touring the hub of Morgan activities, it was off to the motel. A not-too-friendly innkeeper who confirmed their reservations with a rude politeness first greeted me. After surveying the premises and finding just one lonely small bar of soap and two towels which was to be shared by four adults, Phyllis took it upon herself to ask for additional toiletries and linens. Big mistake… The manager was outrageously indignant when Phyllis made her plea. He insulted her, and turned away with the parting words – not to comeback to this establishment again. There was no worry of that! It upset everyone, but not for long as the modern buggy was spurred on to dinner at the famous steak house down the road. After a waddling good feast, the ladies decided to go for a stroll to burn a few recent calories they had just acquired. Off to a mall with Carolyn solidly behind the wheel.
It was becoming more apparent as the miles passed by, that our volunteer chauffeur had a bit of dyslexia when it came to white directional arrows on the black pavement. It seemed that the downward arrow meant forward to Carolyn and the upward arrow meant backwards. She just couldn’t get the hang of those arrows, no matter how many times she encountered them.
As the ladies began to march ahead with great gusto, Cathy and Carolyn quietly faded into a local popular hunt – Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Parlor, while Phyllis and Ruth continued their trek to conquer fat cells.
That evening, Ruth decided to entertain the sleeping quartet with her own musical renditions of Miss Piggy. You see, there is no subtle way to put it - Ruth snores. Oh dear, now the whole world knows!! Carolyn was too scared to move too much and awaken "the boss". She was the most silent member of the sleeping quartet. We never heard from Ruthie again, so I don’t know if she ever got any sleep after we teased her so much. Probably felt so guilty (as Ruth does) that she must have stayed up all night thereafter. There was no more snoring from her pillow for the rest of the trip.
After a restful night for Ruth, the rest of the weary travelers packed their bags and departed from the dust bunny motel post haste. It was a glorious day in the comfort of the Cadillac as the car gently followed the slow bends, opening up a new delight of landscape with each curve in the road. As the car climbed the last roadway to the Inn and found a shade tree to park under, the doors opened and everyone stepped back into another time. You could feel the ambiance of the old Vanderbilt/Webb estate beckoning you into its great vista rooms. They were decorated with freshly cut flowers from the ground’s own Victorian gardens. We were graciously greeted and invited to visit the estate before breakfast. Out through the wide screen doors, we ventured onto the tranquil and endless manicured lawns and wonderful gardens that lay before us with Lake Champlain as the backdrop.
After sampling the English garden with its fragrance, herb patches and beauty, the four of us strolled slowly back to the Inn and were ushered into the great dinning room. Like ladies of nobility, we were seated in the grand hall. Once again the décor of the room, the elegance of the fine china and bouquet of flowers made for such a pleasing sight. Classical music played softly as we enjoyed the fresh fruit cups, crepes and other delights. Soon it was time to leave the inn and hop on the wagon tour of Shelburne Farms.