It’s vacation time! This time of year, many people are off to the beach or the mountains, a national park or a cruise ship, for refreshment and relaxation. Many take a book with them to give their minds a vacation, too.
I have written before about how my family vacations to Lake George, NY inspired me to set All Things Murder in a fictional village in the Adirondacks. Barton is a charming town that attracts many tourists, just as the real locales in the New York mountains welcome visitors each year.
I thought I’d let the star of All Things Murder, Veronica Walsh, give you all a tour of her hometown during this vacation season. Perhaps you will enjoy it so much that you will decide to pay a longer visit by picking up a copy of All Things Murder to take on your upcoming holiday!
Hello! I’m Veronica Walsh and it is my pleasure to welcome you to my beautiful hometown of Barton, New York. I have always considered our small village my home, though my acting career kept me close to Manhattan for thirty-two years. I’m back in Barton for good now and know all the places you should visit during your stay.
After a good night’s sleep at the Farley Inn, your day should begin with a hearty breakfast in the inn’s five-star dining room. After a cup or two of their coffee, you’ll be ready to check out Barton’s shops during a stroll along Orchard Street.
Your first stop should be at All Things. You are sure to find many lovely items for your home, and gifts for friends, in this fantastic boutique. Why not buy a memento of your visit to Barton with an ornament for your Christmas tree? All Things maintains a Christmas corner year-round, with a tree decked out with gorgeous decorations for your own celebration at home.
After giving All Things a thorough inspection, head just three doors up Orchard and drop in my mother’s bookstore, Orchard Street Books. The shop has been a mainstay of Barton and my family since my parents opened it in the 1960’s. I spent my childhood among the stacks, shelving books and helping customers. My mother, Nancy, will make you feel right at home and give you a great book recommendation or two.
By the time you get out of Orchard Street Books you’ll be ready for a snack. Walk just a few steps up Orchard and pop in at Rizzuto’s Bakery. This is another longtime family business, started by baker Nick Rizzuto’s parents in the 1930’s. Nick and his wife Rita will welcome you with hot rolls straight from the oven, cheese danish, and Italian leaf cookies that they will not give me the recipe for, no matter how much I plead. That rumbling in your stomach will certainly be sated by one of Nick’s delicious treats.
Now that your taste buds have been satisfied, make a stop at Emerson Florist to treat your other senses with beautiful buds of the floral sort. Carol, my best friend, owns this shop that sells gorgeous fresh flowers and wreaths as well as decorative arrangements of silk and dried flowers to brighten your home. I’m very proud of Carol for the successful business she has run for more than a decade. Tell her I said that and she will allow you to wander around the shop, enjoying the scents and sights to your heart’s content. Perhaps she will even give you the friend’s discount on your purchase.
While you’re on this part of Orchard Street, head one block north to see the former Griffin Inn. The Griffins’ ancestor Godfrey Griffin helped found Barton in 1765 and in 1770 he established the inn. The current-day Victorian stands on the same ground on which Godfrey built the family business. I consider the stately home the jewel of Orchard. Though no longer open for guest stays, Madeline would be very pleased to give you a tour of the residence. That is if Ella is not home. If the eldest Griffin sister is “in the house,” you’d be wise to keep your distance and admire the house from across the street.
Next you’ll want to explore Orchard Street’s antique shops and art gallery. It will be lunch time when you’re done, so head down the street to The Barton Hearth to relax and enjoy a juicy burger, delicious club sandwich, or hearty bowl of chili. The Hearth is one of my favorite spots in Barton, so maybe I’ll see you there!
Take a drive around Barton in the afternoon to see the beautiful homes in styles such as Adirondack, Craftsman, and Folk Victorian. You can finish your tour at Pierce Farms on Sunrise Lane. Take a stroll through the orchards and then head to the farm stand for a taste of their fresh fruits and homemade pies, cookies, and doughnuts. Pierce Farms offers something year-round: hayrides and apple and pumpkin picking in the autumn; fresh Christmas trees, poinsettia, and abundant mistletoe during the holiday season; and a wide selection of annuals and perennials for your Spring planting.
You’re probably ready for a nap after this whirlwind tour. I hope you enjoy your visit to Barton. It was my pleasure to host you and show off the wonderful sights our village has to offer. Please tell all your friends about us and do come again!
Have a great week, and if you’re heading off for a vacation, have fun!