Tag Archives: Vermont

Day 5: Vermont’s Finest… Ben, Jerry, and Whitney…

Y’all would be impressed with how fast I moved on the morning of day 5… I was up before the rooster knew the sun existed and with masculine strength, I done lugged both 50-pound suitcases down that rickety old stairwell.  It’s amazing what a germ-a-phobe will do to escape the gross.  I was ready to get myself away from Smuggling Notches and move on to more important things… like maple syrup and haunted bridges.  Our first stop on that gloriously chilled day where the sun decided to peek out for the first 2 hours and then immediately decided rain was in the cards, was to the Maple Outlet, which according to Freda the GPS was supposed to contain breakfast… not so.  But, we did get to conversate with the nicest older lady on the planet and she gave us some good tips for places we needed to see in her home state of Vermont.   First stops… COVERED BRIDGES:

This last one is called Emily’s Bridge and is supposed to be haunted… Ghostbusters must have been in town since I done never saw one ghost… let alone any orbs!   There’s just something so quaint about a covered bridge.  I’m not exactly sure why they felt the need to cover some of their bridges, but it sure brought in the tourists in later years (me and Madre count as 3,000,000).  Next stop you ask?   Stowe, Vermont, where we briefly checked out the Trapp Family Lodge… that of The von Trapp Family singer fame, Sound of Music fans anyone?  This piece of land is where the von Trapps settled in the United States because it reminded them of their beloved Austria.

We then took off for downtown Stowe, VT where they were having a rained out artisan festival on Main Street.  All y’all wimpy artisans afraid of some wind and liquid falling from the clouds… seriously now.  Instead, we went inside of a cross stitch shop (MY WEAKNESS) where we were told we needed to drop by the cider mill!  Y’all… the CIDER MILL contained more delectable gooery per square inch than every Martha Stewart Thanksgiving special put together.  Apples and cider and donuts and pastries and jellies and jams and maple syrups and candies and any sugary delectableness you could think of all conglomerated into one building… and it was crowded.  I had to reign myself in because I knew where we were headed next… instead I shared a bite of an apple cider donut with Madre and a sip of hot cider… I’m still kicking myself for not getting to try the homemade maple apple pie with a chunk of Vermont cheese on the top.

Those delectabilites left behind we were on our way to the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Factory tour!  We must have arrived just as 85 tour busses did because we waited in line for hours just to buy tickets to the tour… and then in line again just to buy some ice cream!  Thankfully, I had some entertainment whilst standing in the cold, windy, rainy line… this lady was feeding her dog, who just so happened to be the size of a horse, ice cream whilst her husband was feeding her… and it went on for forever… Clickety click here to see video evidence.  I didn’t get it, but at one point she’d feed the dog ice cream and then eat a bite herself from the exact same spoon!  OH LAWS, SLAY ME NOW!  Sorry, you who don’t mind eating from the same silverware as your pets, but the breath alone is enough for me to say heck to the no to that!

I have a schoolgirl crush on Jimmy Fallon and so when I found out that he had his own ice cream flavor, I HAD to get it… no matter that it was potato chips covered with chocolate chunks.  It was not my most shining moment.  Not a good flavor.  Madre got this delectable clustery flavor that was like heaven on a spoon.  I tried to get her to trade me, but she was not interested in my potato chips!

Rub it in why don’t ya’, Madre!  Lactose intolerance over and done with, we loaded up in the contraption to head to Sharon, VT, which is the birthplace of Joseph Smith.  The monument and grounds were so beautiful.  I wished it wasn’t so cold and rainy and that we’d gotten there earlier so there was more light for picture taking.

I seriously am considering bringing more really large umbrellas to picture taking time to cover up the bane of my existence!  Totes effective until you have to put it down!  This cute little lady tour guide was insistent that we get pictures for our “Christmas cards” so had us pose in approximately 500000000 different ways while she snapped like we were Heidi Klum at a modeling convention… needs more fan!  It was pretty much the most hilarious thing I’ve ever been a part of.  Thank goodness I graduated from Supermodel Anonymous Academy.

The day ended with a rainy drive to our hotel for the night in Tilton, New Hampshire.  Tilton was the first “big” city we had stayed in yet (aside from Buffalo, NY)… they actually had places to shop and eat… it was miraculous!  My day in Vermont was a fun one.  I’d go back again… pretty sure Ben and Jerry will be asking me to come on as a partner… I have a few notes on the potato chip ice cream, fellas!

Question of the Day:  What is your favorite ice cream flavor?  Do you have a favorite ice cream brand? 

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Day 4: Smuggle Me a Notch…

I think it’s a rule that there will always be at least a couple of bad days in a vacation… I’d say day 4 was one of those.   It began in Syracuse, NY the night before when we had to trade cars because my seatbelt refused to work 85% of the time… which is totes ironic since there were years when I couldn’t fit a seatbelt around my bulk and now that I can, my seatbelts won’t come out of the door frame.  Frustrated me all to hades and back trying to get that thing to budge.   It was fine, though, because we were driving a Jeep Patriot and we weren’t so much fond of it.  It kind of sucked.  We traded her out for a Kia Sorento… totes an upgrade, even if the seats were all stained and looked like someone decided to have a “bring your own mud” volleyball party on the seats (see Ma… I explained it nicer like than I did on the trip).

Here she is in all her glory… with Illinois plates… hmmmm… I wonder how that worked out… coughcough!  I’d also like to take this opportunity to propose marriage to my GPS… Freda.  Oh laws, I’m in love with that thing.  I’m sorry Northeasterners, but your roads are screwed up!  😛  I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag with them windy streets.  That’s one thing I missed about UT streets… block system is the best invention in the WORLD… look it up… you’ll find it right next to the invention of sliced bread.  Anywho, Freda saved our butts on an hourly basis.  We rarely got lost when we had the address plugged into good ole Freed.

Day 4 was spent driving… the longest travel day so far.  We were driving from Syracuse, NY to Jeffersonville, Vermont in POURING rain the whole way… THE WHOLE WAY.  This was not a friendly little sprinkle of lemony goodness… this was like standing underneath the Niagara Falls all over again.  We stopped at a rest area at one point and just walking from the car into the building 20 feet away left me looking like a weasel stuck up a crick.   It was in that rest stop that I also managed to burn my tongue on a sip of hot chocolate, drop half a cup of hot chocolate on the floor, and then wreaked havoc when I threw the rest in the garbage can because it burnt my hand.  Did I mention I was valedictorian?  Good… because I wasn’t!  It only got worse when it got darker… the roads were narrow, the rain was heavy, and we couldn’t see a dagnabbed thing.

It was with much relief that we finally arrived at our destination at around 8:00ish to check into the “Smuggler’s Notch Inn” or as I liked to call it “GET THE HELL OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN!”  Oh lawsy Gertrude in a pile of cow manure, this place was bad.  It didn’t look that bad when I’d booked it on the Internet (PHOTOSHOP), but in person… laws almighty.  It was an old house with original floors that slanted toward the middle of the house… thank all that be holy I left my silk sheets and pajamas at home this time… otherwise I’d have spent the whole night sliding out of bed.  The room contained 2 twin beds and was the size of a small jail cell… oh, and there was no elevator and our bags weighed 50 pounds each… no problem.  I usually carry mine around on my head.  Cleanliness was also not a strong point… they should have put that on the brochure.  We seriously considered trying to get out of the stay and find somewhere else and even went as far as to get Lindsay on the computer back home to try to find us something.

In the meantime, it was time for dinner!  We asked the lady that checked us in where she’d recommend going.  Turns out it’s an itty bitty town with only 2 restaurants, both of which she said were fabulous.  Okay… we’ll take your word for it.  We picked the wrong one obviously because I swear to you I got food poisoning.  My pasta was nasty and the sauce on top of it tasted rancid.  I ate 2 bites and then pushed the rest of it to the far side of the plate so it would look like I’d eaten more.  Madre got pumpkin ravioli that made her want to vomit… and don’t even get me started on the dinner salads… unless you enjoy wilted spinach leaves and wilted vegetables and dressing reminiscent of liquid tar… and it only cost me $30 for my dish alone… well worth the 2 bites I had!  NOT!   Never fear… I had my bed to look forward to back at the Smuggler’s Notch Inn.

It’s a wonder I didn’t take any pictures on this day.  It was too rainy to get out to take them and I didn’t want to remember my Inn.  I was determined to get up early and make day 5 one to remember… you best believe it.  Rain behave yourself!

Question of the Day:   Have you ever had a bad hotel/restaurant experience?   Misery loves company, so let me know the details in the comments! 

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Filed under Tripping 2011: New England