Vermont: Lake Champlain and pretty, pretty scenery

We spent the last 24 hours traveling from Concord, Mass., through New Hampshire, and up nearly out of this country into Canada. Except, we decided to stop in Vermont.

We saw Lake Champlain (above and below).

And enjoyed the beautiful scenery right out our hotel back door.

Our back porch!

She’s getting artsy!

We quite enjoyed Vermont. New Hampshire was a bit more out there – with state liquor stores to greet you as soon as you crossed the border. State liquor store and lottery tickets! Exit here!

And, they had firework stores, to go with the liquor and lottery tickets. Which, frankly, is a great combo.

To be completely fair, we didn’t stop in New Hampshire, just drove through, so this is a purely cursory observation.

Vermont, however, we loved. The scenery, the towns, the capitol (we’ll talk about that later), it was perfection. Enough so that we were talking real estate ventures by the time we left.

That’s love, folks.

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Part One || New England road trip video

We have officially marked the halfway part of our New England road trip, and what better way to commemorate it than with a video?

Here for you I present part one of the video coverage of this adventure. This is the first video I’ve ever shot on a D-SLR camera (as opposed to just shooting footage exclusively with my iPhone 4, though there are two segments within this video that I captured with an iPhone). It was a bit of an adjustment and I certainly have a looooong way to go, but I think it turned out pretty well for a first go! (If I do say so myself…)

You’ll see here images from New York, the road, a brief glimpse at Connecticut, some famous authors’ houses, and Massachusetts.

I hope you enjoy this small look at what we’ve been through enjoyed so far! (I kid, I kid!)

Part One || New England Road Trip from anya semenoff on Vimeo.

Song: “Go do” by Jonsi. A great band. Go purchase their music on iTunes or Amazon, you won’t regret it!

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This trip brought to you by…

CONCORD, Mass. – We covered 240 miles today, driving along all manners of back roads, front roads and overly congested roads. From our hotel in New Jersey, across a bit of New York, through Hartford, Conn., to our final destination of Concord, Mass., we are rather loving this idea that you can drive for four hours and cross four different states. Not something you can easily do out west. It can take you that long to cross just Colorado itself!

However, with all this driving comes much navigation. And with great navigation comes great responsibility.

Emily, being over 25 and therefore a legally reliable auto operator, is the sole driver of our rented car. I, therefore, have been relegated to the passenger seat for the duration of this trip and hence am Navigator #1.

Luckily, this isn’t the 1700s and we’re able to rely on a number of technologies to harbor us from location to location. If this was the 1700s, (1) Emily and I wouldn’t be allowed to travel by ourselves because ladies just didn’t do that sort of thing without an escort; and (2) we wouldn’t have the handy invention known as the iPhone 4, or, as we like to call it the Fancy Phone.

With the Fancy Phone, all you have to do is follow the blinking blue dot wherever it tells you and voila’! You’ve made it!

OK, so there’s a bit more to it, but pretty much, this entire trip is being brought to you by Apple.

Well, except for those moments when the Blue Dot has an existential crisis and jumps all around the screen at 20 mile lengths trying to find itself with no warning and you have no idea if you’re on the correct path or not. In New York traffic. On New York roadways. Which frankly aren’t that well marked.

Those moments are fun.

However, though it was a rather long and stressful day of mis-navigation (it’s my new word), and two-hour traffic jams, at the end of it all we find ourselves tonight in a beautiful inn in Concord, Mass., soaking in the much more laid back atmosphere of a small, New England town. There’s history all around in these parts, and we absolutely love that.

More tomorrow!

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New England: the People

The east coast is notorious for having a lot of people packed into and around it.

A lot.


A load.

A great quantity.

A multitude.

There are people here is what I’m saying.

We’ve only been traveling for two full days so far, but here are a few images of the people we’ve seen.

Our tour guide for the Washington Irving house, standing in front of Mr. Irving's house.

And here he is again, describing a top hat that gentleman of the past wore.

A street vendor on the Highline Canal in New York City.

This little gal is a gal with a mission, on the Highline Canal in New York City.

Emily knows exactly how this woman feels.

But she handles it with grace.

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What we’ve been up to…plus a video

It’s been too long since we’ve chatted.

Sadly, Emily and I don’t have the resources to travel as much as we’d like. But, with another year comes another trip planning adventure.

We are heading back east this September, but not to just one locale. This time, we’re taking the east coast road trip style!

We are in the process of collecting maps, destinations, weird sites and scenes (so shout ’em out!). We are looking at train lines, car rentals, hotels and dirigibles. (OK not really, but that would be sweet!)

In the meantime, we are blogging in other places (my daily blog is here), and seeking adventure in our own backyards.

This weekend, we hit up a living history farm.

And I made a video…

Farm || Weekend roundup from anya semenoff on Vimeo.

Check back in the upcoming weeks for more September trip updates and local adventure stories. We’ve got things a-brewin!

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“I’m not dead yet.” Or: how Anya is stuck in Colorado while Emily travels the world in search of Mounties.

Well folks, I was feeling left out of the excitement that is traveling to Canada, and so in a wild attempt to be part of the action and remain significant to the Lost Lampshades team (read: I’m a middle child and therefore starved for attention. Just kidding…love you, Mom!), I decided to Shanghai the blog and write this little post.

Yes, I am still in Colorado. All alone. Except for our other sister, Squish. And our brother, Niko. And our dad. And many of my good friends. Oh, and our aunt, grandfather, other aunt, uncle, and two cousins. Oh, and another aunt. But other than that I’m all alone.

The point is, eventually there will come a time when Emily and I and the duo that is Lost Lampshades must be separated. It’s sad, but just the way of life.

So, while she is off traipsing through Canada, converting Celsius to Fahrenheit and kilometers to miles, and on an epic quest for Mounties, I’m in Denver.

Right here in fact.

At my desk. Working away. It’s kind of a cluttered work station. Two phones. Two computers. Doing all sorts of productive things.

Like trying to locate those Mounties. Emily, if all you do over the next week is take one picture of a Mountie, I will personally declare this trip a success. Just keep that in mind.

I hope you and Mom are having a wonderful, safe, intriguing, adventurous trip. I miss you and love you!

Posted in Denver

Day 7 | The final push

Emily has passed out already. It’s 10:40 p.m. local time, and after a day in the sun, and a cup of wine (poured from a very classy “juice box” we discovered at a local Target; yes, you read that right, we’re just that sophisticated), she’s gone for the night. I however am feeling exhilarated from the myriad of thoughts rushing about in my brain as a result of this week.

This is why I love traveling. I have absorbed so much from the past seven days of wandering about this city. There are the historical bits that draw so many to our nation’s capitol, but there are also these intensely personal thoughts I’ve discovered; a byproduct, if you will, of being around so much history, tradition, newness. I feel like it might be several more days before I’ve fully come to process and organize all said thoughts, but they’re there, just lingering in the chaos.

We fly out tomorrow afternoon. The problem is, we have to return our rental car by noon (we got a cheaper rate by opting into this constricting schedule), so we’ll have a number of hours to fritter away before we can board our plane. The things we do to save a few bucks.

Emily swears she’ll be updating her section of the blog with those extraneous hours, so join me in staying on her case with that one. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos from today’s adventures.

Lincoln Monument, from a different point of view

Vietnam Memorial

An adorable little tyrant at the Lincoln Monument

You’ve all been a great crowd! Stick around for the big finale! (For the record, I don’t yet know all the details of this finale, but I’ll try to make it good.)

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Day 6 | Mount Vernon

We ventured forth to Mount Vernon today, the estate of Gen. George Washington. It’s beautiful property. And today was an even more beautiful day. I’m mean it, just truly exquisite. The humidity that has plagued us since our arrival finally lifted today, and we were operating at a level much more reminiscent of Denver than the dreaded east coast variety. Heaven!

Emily, channeling her inner Vanna White today. Just raise that left arm a little…

And Emily thought she had a handful wrangling me all around the D.C. and Virginia (and Pennsylvania!).

I would live here in a heartbeat. The beautiful part about the Mount Vernon story is that as it lay in shambles 150 years ago, ignored by the government and politicians, a group of patriotic women decided to take it upon themselves to buy the property and revamp this essential piece of our collective history. They saw that no one else would step up and take care of the situation, so they did it themselves. My feminist side is glowing, just so you know.

In conclusion (not really sure there was much of beginning to this story, or that these random thoughts had enough of a structure to be considered a story): when I die, you have my permission to store my remains in the shed out back. What’s good enough for Gen. Washington, is good enough for me! (And yes, for all you history buffs out there, he was reinterred in a more sophisticated structure later on. But he started out here. And that works for me too.)

Tomorrow is our last full day in the D.C. area. We have a schedule packed with stuff, and we’ll update you with the highlights tomorrow evening.

Love ya’ more than vending machine coffee!


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Day 5 | When things go bump in the night…well, day.

Here is a bit of a look into how we function while on the road. Literally, the following, very short, video was shot while we sat in traffic during a wicked rain storm earlier today. Traffic on Sunday. We have decided such an experience should be outlawed.

Here is also a great example of why I shouldn’t be allowed to handle expensive equipment while Emily is operating heavy machinery.

Bump in the day

Disclaimer: While I am a rather klutzy individual, you should know this particular incident happened as a result of an impatient commuter deciding to merge right in front of us, into a slot only big enough for one of those Mini Cooper deals. All good and well, except this commuter was driving a Suburban. Emily hit the brakes, my camera nearly hit the floor. Luckily my camera-preservational instincts kicked in, and I managed to save the fellow.

Posted in Washington D.C. Tagged , |

Day 4 | Tour groups

In such famous and historical locales, there are a few inevitabilities. The biggest of which is the ubiquitous nature of tour groups. It doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit. In the school year, you’ll get student tourists; in the summer, there are tourist tourists.

We were playing ditch the giant buses all day long. Also ditch the Segway tour groups. And the bike tour groups.

There were a lot of tour groups is what I’m saying.

I love this guy’s expression. He’s all, “Hey you with the camera face, monuments thatta way.” (Take note of the fellow in the light blue shirt. He’s one of the kidnapped, “Rent-a-Rangers.” You can pay $55 to have one such ranger come along throughout the battlefields with you and tell you cool stories.)

The problem with tourists (and yes, I’m saying this with the understanding that for the past four days I myself have fallen into this classification), is that they’re human. And humans tend to be pack animals that behave in similar patterns. So when one person, many years ago, saw this…

…they got an idea.

And now Col. O’Rorke’s nose will never be the same.

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