Tag Archives: travel

I scream, you scream…..

 

 

 

Calm down. No one’s going Postal….

But we are going to Ben and Jerry’s for ice cream!

 

IMG_1270

 

Nestled on a hillside in Waterbury, Vermont….. it’s the must stop tourist attraction that we’ve managed to avoid for years.

 

IMG_1272

 

You enter through a forest of metal trees.

 

IMG_1278

 

Follow the signs…

 

IMG_1279

 

And find yourself in a cow filled world.

 

IMG_1274

 

They’re on tee shirts in the gift store…

 

IMG_1275

 

On the vintage Ben and Jerry’s bus…

 

IMG_1276

 

Basically, everywhere you look.

 

IMG_1289

 

Cow-Posts

 

I could, but how about a blurry shot of that rare genetic mutation… the clucking cow?

 

IMG_1283

 

Having a few minutes to kill before the tour, the husband found an exhibit of antique ice cream scoops.

 

IMG_1281

 

Some of which were kind of interesting.

 

IMG_1280

 

Our tour guide was young and enthusiastic….

 

IMG_1282

 

But you would be too if you took home 3 free pints of ice cream every day.

We were herded into a cow filled room (herded, get it?) and shown a cow filled film about the company’s origin.

 

 

When the tour commenced, I was told absolutely no pictures…

And a little part of me died.

 

 

We were given free samples, which I couldn’t photograph.

 

h8E35C924

 

I know, but I did manage to bootleg this shot of their secret new flavor..

 

IMG_1286

 

The tour included a history of the company’s charitable works and environmental programs…

 

IMG_1287

 

Because you see, they were basically hippies who made good and had a strong commitment to social justice. If you’re interested, read this.

I admit to being disappointed that the company is no longer is privately owned, and was sold to Unilever (who make Breyers and Good Humor) for $326 million back in 2000.  Ben and Jerry are still on the board of directors however,  with 7.5% of profits going to the charitable foundation.

The tour ended with the wall of fame….

 

IMG_1291

 

And the top ten flavors.

Mine came in #2..

 

IMG_1290

 

 

Ben-Jerrys-Flavor-Reject-Daily-Show_o_43020

 

Ooh la la! Best meal in Vermont….

 

 

We had to drive to Montpelier to get it, but this little unassuming place was worth the wait.

 

IMG_1267

 

It was funky inside..

 

IMG_1253

 

With fabulous lighting and quirky decorative touches.

 

IMG_1251

 

Red leather, white marble and deep circular booths, smooth jazz playing in the background…

 

IMG_1252

 

It had that laid back, 1950’s Rat Pack vibe.

 

1kl7x3

 

I loved it at first sight.

 

IMG_1258

 

The cocktail list was delivered on a leather bound iPad, and while it was full of maple goodness…. I opted for the fresh raspberry mule.

 

IMG_1262

 

The menu was endless…

 

IMG_1255

 

With a whole page devoted to salads. The husband ordered the Vermonter.

 

IMG_1261

 

And then the French Onion Soup…

 

IMG_1259

 

And finally the Vermont chicken with roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower.

 

IMG_1264

 

Me?

I’m a burger girl, and when I find a good one I will happily crow.

 

IMG_1265

 

Oh yes….

 

untitled

 

I’m surprised you couldn’t hear me squeal from there.

Let’s deconstruct this tower of mouth watering goodness shall we?

Buttered and toasted Brioche bun, bacon blue cheese slaw, perfectly cooked rare ground sirloin glazed with a sweet and spicy sauce, topped with fried onion strings and a cherry tomato.

 

 

(We won’t mention the mountain of garlic parmesan truffle french fries I shamefully inhaled. Seriously don’t…. It wasn’t my finest hour.)

And if that gargantuan plate wasn’t enough, I had to try the highly recommended strawberry cake.

I had to…. really.

 

IMG_1266

 

Yes, it was as divine as it looks….

And I swear if I lived anywhere near this restaurant, I would happily pitch a tent out back and scrounge their dumpster. It was that good!

 

 

Clearly, I would be better dressed…

But you get the idea.

They’re dying to get in….

 

Stop number two on day 3 was Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont.

 

27658044_10211006684744096_6157292879155929419_n-1

 

Yes… I said cemetery.

But not just any cemetery… au contraire mon ami. This final resting place is in Barre, Vermont… the granite capitol of the United States.

 

“Established in 1895, Hope Cemetery consisted of 53 acres designed and planned by the renowned landscape architect Edward P. Adams. By that time, stone cutters from all over the world, especially Italy, were flocking to Barre, Vermont, to enjoy the booming granite industry in the city. It is estimated than one out of every three memorials found across the United States was made using granite mined in Barre.”

“Barre is also known for having an uncommonly high death rate, but that, too, is related to the industry that made it famous. Silicosis, a respiratory disease that is caused by inhaling granite dust, led to an abnormal number of deaths in the area. When the Spanish Flu swept through the area, many knew that death could be just around the corner and got to work designing their own tombstones. This tradition has carried on ever since and about 75 percent of all of the tombstones found in Hope Cemetery were carved by the occupants of the graves they sit above.”

 

So we strolled among the dearly departed.

 

 

 

Have we met?

The weird thing is… it really isn’t.

 

 

IMG_1218

 

 

We walked and we marveled…

 

IMG_1223

 

And knew right away this wasn’t your ordinary cemetery.

 

IMG_1225

 

And while it felt disrespectful to chortle in a graveyard…

 

IMG_1221

 

Sometimes you just had to.

Instructions. What’s to learn…?

Die. Get planted. Take the eternal dirt nap.

Easy peasy.

 

IMG_1215

 

Some of the carvings were lovely.

 

IMG_1216

 

Some were serene.

 

IMG_1224

 

 

Some were intricately wrought.

 

IMG_1234

 

 

Some a little narcissistic.

 

IMG_1217

 

Some were odd.

 

IMG_1220

 

Some downright strange.

 

IMG_1229

 

 

Cat lovers wanted everlasting furballs hawked on them…

 

 

IMG_1231

 

And soccer players wanted giant balls.

(I can’t prove that, but I know it’s true.)

 

IMG_1232

 

This was a testimony to love everlasting.

 

IMG_1222

 

And this a heartfelt sentiment about mothers.

 

IMG_1237

 

This chicka is famously known as the Bored Angel… seeming to say, “Come on, die already. Get it over with.”

 

IMG_1238

 

There were hands clutching posies…

 

IMG_1240

 

And massive monograms.

 

IMG_1250

 

There were ducks…

 

IMG_1245

 

And a fair share of art deco.

Here’s a door for my Thursday Door people.

 

IMG_1241

 

But the one that really got me?

 

IMG_1247

 

The chair.

Really… wth?

 

IMG_1248

 

Chairs are made to be sat upon.

Did this dearly departed’s family members really think, “Hey kids… want to plant your tuchis on Uncle Shmuel for generations to come?”

The husband dared me to sit on it and have my picture taken. And don’t think I didn’t imagine some interesting selfies….

 

Untitled

 

But walking around a cemetery, gawking and taking blog pictures seemed blasphemous enough.

A girl doesn’t want to push her luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So…. cheese.

 

Never let it be said we don’t know how to have fun on vacation.

November is an odd month in Vermont. Since it’s after leaf peeping season, but before ski season… many places close down for a we’re sick of the stupid tourists month long winter siesta. This leaves explorers like us with limited opportunities, hence cheese on day 3.

Cabot, Vermont is home to Cabot cheese…. and they take it very seriously.

 

 

It’s cheese, how can you not?

 

IMG_1213

 

A tour of the creamery and free sampling is a must, so off we went.

 

IMG_1211

 

Only to arrive and be told they no longer give creamery tours because the government shut the program down due to food contamination concerns.

At first I was bereft….

No cheese?

 

a-life-without-cheese-is-no-life-at-all

 

Then I was mad.

 

194bd17fe9ebff42ef71ae80eab865d0

 

No cheese at the cheese factory?

 

 

The salesgirl must have seen my  “I have PMS and a handgun, any questions?”  face because she immediately directed us to the tasting station.

 

IMG_1206

 

Slightly mollified, I got my cheese on.

 

cheesememe1_main

 

I made my way around the table, but still must have looked  homicidal  dissatisfied, because the salesgirl made a special tasting plate for us with the expensive limited reserve cheese and pairing jams.

 

IMG_1210

 

I must have smiled…. she retreated behind the counter.

 

IMG_1207

 

This was as close as we got to the creamery.

 

IMG_1208

 

But there were cow facts.

And a gift shop full of tasty treats.

 

IMG_1209

 

We bought the elderberry.

I believe I heard the salesgirl exhale loudly in relief when we left. Clearly she realized how close she had to come to death…..

Do not come between me and my cheese.

 

funny-cheese-meme

Vermont, where I make friends with pigs.

 

As we were leaving Lake Champlain behind…

 

IMG_1182

 

We (read, the husband) took a wrong turn. How this is possible when I’m constantly pointing and screaming  “LEFT!”  or  “RIGHT”  at the top of my lungs I really don’t know, but it happens.

So where did he choose to turn around?

 

IMG_1174

 

Here.

In a field full of pigs.

 

IMG_1177

 

 

you-lookin-at-me-cmonyou-know-you-want-me

 

Why yes, yes I am.

And when I rolled down my window to say hello,  all his brothers and sisters came running out of the woods.

**Note to self – Add Pig Whisperer to resume.**

 

 

 

Driving south through Burlington to eat at a restaurant the husband remembered, we passed this.

 

IMG_1194

 

Yes, those are fire hydrants.

 

IMG_1195

 

Though, as usual… the husband was driving too fast for me to get a good picture. But apparently this is a famous sculpture in those parts and a bit of a tourist attraction.

Ah, Vermont. Ya gotta love it.

Arriving at the Windjammer after lunch but before dinner  (4:00)  we weren’t allowed to sit in the dining room and had to go upstairs to the bar where I had the worst cranberry orange mule imaginable. Blech. Pink dishwater…

 

IMG_1197

 

There was also a limited ‘in between’ menu which always ticks me off. If you’re open? Serve. If you don’t want to serve? Close. It’s a simple concept.

I was starving from missing lunch and ordered the rather interesting sounding meatloaf.

 

IMG_1196

 

Naturally I wanted mashed potatoes with it…  I mean, hello? It’s meatloaf!

But since it was 4:00? No dice. (Or potatoes.)

I settled for broccoli.

 

 

Sadly, no. I’m not.

 

even-i-know-thats-just-wrong

 

 

Order placed, we clomped downstairs to the salad bar which was shaped like a ship.

 

IMG_1198

 

13wbp5

 

Isn’t it just.

 

IMG_1199

 

The salad bar was mediocre, nothing to write home about… but the meals? Lord love a duck, they were horrible. The husband didn’t eat his Shephards Pie, it was as dry as the Sahara and while I tried to struggle through the pasty, how can it be this tasteless meatloaf, I gave up rather quickly and ended up having a plate of broccoli.

No pictures…

 

 

Agreed.

You really weren’t. Management took it off our bill, but I really have nothing good to say about that place.

As we drove back to the resort to pick through left overs in the fridge, I made the husband slow down so I could take a few quick pics of the fabulous silo that greets you when you come into the town.

 

 

IMG_1201a

 

How fun is that?

 

IMG_1201

 

 

 

 

The Grand Canyon of the Adirondaks.

 

Some of the best places we find are by accident, and had the weather been  warmer than a Dick Cheney embrace  more conducive to strolling…. we would have taken full advantage of this gem we stumbled upon.

 

IMG_1164

 

At first we thought it was just a cool bridge….

 

IMG_1171

 

With some interesting stone work…

 

IMG_1168

 

Which it was.

 

IMG_1169

 

But as we got out of the car and walked around….

 

IMG_1140

 

We realized the bridge spanned a massive chasm.

 

IMG_1161

 

And it was actually a park you could explore…. with winding trails and breathtaking views.

 

IMG_1163

 

Had it not been  cold enough to freeze my genitals shut  a bit brisk to walk around, that’s exactly what we would have done.

 

IMG_1146

 

(5 points if you know the difference between a cavern and a chasm without looking it up.)

 

IMG_1138

 

I’m not sure if you can tell, but in this next picture?

 

IMG_1152

 

That batch of white stuff on the right hand side is ice, clinging to the trees and rocks from the spray.

 

 

I believe my husband might have said that once or twice.

 

IMG_1151

 

So yes, Ausable Chasm is on our list of  “return to when  our genitals are not in danger  the weather warms up”  places.

 

IMG_1148

 

But here’s a little taste of the vertigo inducing water hole to hold you until then-

 

 

Island hopping in Vermont.

 

 

e87c9eff5b2eed169b80567c62fabef03c2a2a3ad84755b953f69dae266da48b

 

No, not yet.

But there are indeed islands in Vermont.

 

IMG_1063

 

It’s possible because Lake Champlain is so frickin’ big. I swear as you drive around it, you’d think it was an inland sea.

 

IMG_1046

 

So on our first full day, we drove north through the Heroes, (North and South…not super) and Grand Isle.

 

IMG_1043

 

It was lovely.

 

IMG_1048

 

Rich, rolling farmland with mountain backdrops…

 

IMG_1068

 

And the lake on both sides.

 

IMG_1073

 

There were cows….

 

when-i-see-cows-i-will-make-an-announcement-to-the-rest-of-the-car-that-there-are-cows-nF9pX

 

( I do. I totally do…)

 

And we happily played tourist, enjoying the natural beauty.

 

IMG_1055

 

Again…

It’s a big friggin’ lake.

 

IMG_1062

 

As we came to the end of the islands…

 

IMG_1079

 

And realized we didn’t have our passports, New York it was.

 

IMG_1081

 

Which is where we saw geese.

 

IMG_1088

 

Lots and lots…

 

IMG_1083

 

And lots of geese.

Seriously, they went on forever.

 

56ab9bfdedf2a

 

More farmland on the New York side.

 

IMG_1108

 

As well as a massive apple orchard.

 

IMG_1105

 

How massive?

 

IMG_1093

 

That massive.

 

IMG_1096

 

So naturally we had to go inside and partake of it’s massive appley goodness.

 

IMG_1097

 

And oh, the smell!

 

IMG_1095

 

They should bottle it…. Eau de la Apple Crate. I would happily bathe in it.

Heavenly!

 

IMG_1094

 

So after buying apples, apple pie, apple turnovers, apple cider donuts and apple blossom honey we waddled out and continued touring.

 

IMG_1044

 

More lake…

 

IMG_1050

 

More farm land…

 

IMG_1126

 

More geese. You get the picture…

We headed south through Plattsburgh, and I’m sorry… but Plattsburgh? You suck. The part we experienced was dirty, foul smelling, full of air pollution and had that “we just don’t care anymore” attitude.

As boring as my vacation blogs are, even I’m not going to post pictures of you.

 

16g6tq