Seniors! Travel doesn't have to be daunting. If it's been awhile since you were eager to plan trips, organize your clothing, find sitters for the dog and house plants, you probably think, "Oh, what the heck, let's just stay home and save some money and energy."
Take some Tiny Trips: is there something within an hour's drive that has always sparked your interest? If you live here in the Burlington, Vermont area there are dozens of options, and depending on the season, you can head north, south, east or west.
Let's go west for a visit to Plattsburgh, New York. We can have a casual, reasonable and delicious lunch at the end of a navigational challenge. The first decision is, "How will we go?" The choices are among two ferries or all by car.
The Champlain Ferries run to Plattsburgh from two Vermont locations: downtown Burlington, and Grand Isle. The former is an hour ride and you end up in Port Kent, while the latter takes twenty minutes, runs roughly every twenty minutes and takes you to Cumberland Head, just outside Plattsburgh. Check the link for times and fares. The car and driver are one price and each passenger pays separately (check the Senior rates).
The restaurant we revisited after a five-year hiatus is The Naked Turtle. It's just as casual, friendly and kind of funky as before. When you enter the gravel driveway, pull up to the store front (handicap parking available), then go to the entrance on the left of the porch. If it's lunchtime, you'll think it's closed, but go in and a waiter will appear to take you to the deck (other side of the bar) where there are plenty of tables with or without umbrella.
The dock borders a bustling marina with boats of every size, style and mode of movement; sail, power and armstrong (slang for rowing). Also bustling are the servers; plenty of eager-to-please young men and women who offer you menus for food and drink. Libations range from iced tea to beer, wine and exotic tropical concoctions. The meals range from clam chowder or hardy appetizers to fried fish, salads, sandwiches, etc.
We can recommend first hand the Mai Tai and Pina Colada along with Nachos Grande. We planned to follow up with the chocolate brownie sundae, but the nachos were so plentiful we passed on the dessert. Instead, a box of left-overs went home with us and mystically became nachos soup for lunch the next day: not bad with a little sour cream and salsa.
Plattsburgh has excellent shopping centers along US-3 just west of town. All the big box stores are there and the parking is more than ample. Handicap parking is excellent, but I'd suggest a walker or even electric cart. Vermont lacks many of the large chain stores (Target, Dollar Tree) so make out your list before you go.
Actual time elapsed: left South Burlington at 10:30 a.m., took the ferry from Grand Isle, spent a couple of hours at the Turtle ($30.00 including tip), and another at Target ($-plenty). Took the same ferry back ($30.50 round trip for the car and one senior passenger) and were home in time for a 5:00 nap.
Avid travelers may not consider that a big trip, but seasoned travelers (those who have traveled for more than 70 seasons) might find it "just about right."
Google Maps: study it, then use your GPS too. US-9 plays hide and seek as you get nearer the center of town. Be prepared to hear "Recalculating" quite often.