Posts Tagged With: Vermont

The Full Vermonty

Today started with an al fresco breakfast in our lovely little Vermont village before visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory.  After a brief but illuminating tour of the factory, we had a lovely taster of Triple Caramel Chunk then a potter about the Flavor Graveyard, paying our respects to long departed ice creams of years gone by.  Sniff.  And, in a scene reminiscent of yesterday, we met an American woman who had spent time in Gosport, the last place we lived in England.

We then hit Highway 100 for a wonderfully scenic meander across Vermont, through rolling hills somewhat reminiscent of the Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia.  It was so much more picturesque than taking the Interstate and even though this route increased our overall journey time, it actually seemed to go much quicker because we had lovely views to look at.  We stopped at a service area, which is obviously another one of my “really interesting” facts but bear with me.  In my experience on American interstates you only get “Rest Areas”, which consist of a couple of toilets and a vending machine.  To my excitement, in New York State they actually have full-on service areas with the addition of a couple of food/drink places, much more like (a scaled down version of) our UK service stations.  Best of all, in the one we stopped at we saw this T shirt, which sums up my feelings perfectly:

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After about five hours on the road we finally reached Liverpool in New York State, and we’re now relaxing and recharging before getting across into Canada tomorrow.  It’s only 8pm but after a day of ice cream, doughnuts, cookies and beer, it’s no wonder I’m a little sleepy!

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Uncle Sam

Well, this is a first.  As I write this, we are hurtling along the interstate.  I should point out that, a) I am not the one driving and, b) I’m only writing it offline, being an out and proud Luddite who does not believe in smartphones and all that malarkey.  By the time I publish this, I should be in the comfort of tonight’s hotel room in Vermont.

So, for our last morning in Boston we had an appointment with Mr Samuel Adams for a tour of his brewery.  For a 15 minute subway ride out of town and a donation of $2 to local charities we got a souvenir glass and three beer tastings (a total of about one English pint).  And of course you get educated in the beermaking process and that is why we all really want to visit the brewery, isn’t it?  We also found ourselves sitting next to two people from the town in Cornwall that we used to live in and one of whom worked at the same place as the husband.  Walt Disney was right.  It’s a small world after all.

I had to buy subway tickets from the vending machine (bear with me, it gets more interesting) and for my change I received one dollar coins.  COINS!!  I’d heard rumours of their existence but I have never seen dollar coins before.  I was beyond excited.  Okay, it didn’t get more interesting for you to read, but it was quite a moment for me.

Blinking in the sunshine as we left the brewery into nearly 100F heat (wasn’t summer supposed to have finished last week?), we made our way by very circuitous route back to the airport via the Clover Food Truck, which is positively the best food I have had since moving to this country over a year ago.  And, unlike the Cheers Bar, they actually do know your name and call it out when your food’s ready.  Satisfying on every level.

At the airport we called into the USO to a warm and friendly welcome as always.  After a nice recharge we grabbed the hire car and set off to Vermont.  We’ve just made it over the state line and have about 30 miles to go.  The weather has just changed from 90F down to 70F and I just got the sunroof closed in time before the rain started.  We now have an immense storm going on around us.  So maybe summer is over after all!

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This part is being written (and uploaded, as predicted) from the comfort of one of the two double beds in our Vermont hotel room.  After today’s brilliant lunch, I had the other best meal of the last twelve months for dinner tonight.  We arrived in this tiny little village and it is just like Cicely, Alaska in Northern Exposure (one of my all time favourite TV shows).  It has one little main street (called, er, Main Street) with just the one general store, one church, one doctor etc.  It seemed to be totally dead but I’d heard rumours of a half-decent restaurant so we sought it out and found it down a little staircase at the side of a building.  As we opened the door we found that the entire population of the village must be in there, hidden away from the quiet street.  For once, I had a choice of about three excellent dishes, none of which were veggie lasagne.  I plumped for a stir fry with the most amazing orange and ginger sauce.  We also had a homemade mini loaf of honey wheat bread with maple butter.  Wowee.  Why can I not find a restaurant like this within twenty miles of my home?

Taking a moment to review my life from the comfort of this hotel room, I would surmise that realistic career options now appear to be Park Ranger, Undergraduate Admissions Officer at Harvard, or Beer Tour Guide at Sam Adams Brewery.  I have extensive experience in at least two of these fields.  Tomorrow may bring another potential career, I’m fairly sure.

We have ended the evening in our hotel room cracking open one of the three special beers that we purchased earlier today.  They are all about 10% strength and we started with the cherry one which was most agreeable.  Tomorrow I may embark on the chocolate and coffee one.  In the meantime, I’m off to starfish in my own gigantic bed.  Thank you Sam.

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