Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Happens in Vermont, Stays in Vermont (but nothing ever really happens here)

I almost don't know where to begin, but first, I'm going to vent...WHERE'S THE COOL WEATHER?! WHERE ARE THE BEAUTIFUL LEAVES?! WHERE'S MY CHAUFFER?! WHERE'S MY HOT COFFEE & CIDER DONUT?! Sigh. I miss these things already. And just to prepare you, you'll probably hear "Vermonty" alot in the next few blogs, along with many references to "Green Mountains", the "Green Mountain State" and "Leaf Peeping", as well as an absurb overuse of the words "beautiful", "fabulous", "amazing", "lovely" and "maple syrup". So whether you stay tuned or tune me out, you've been warned!

This is may be an odd photo to start with, but just in case you didn't already know this, I HATE flying. The takeoff and landing are ok, it's the suspension in between that makes me come unglued. This is in La Guardia, and the plane waiting for us was a 70-seater. WHAT?! 70 SEATS?! THAT'S WAYYYY TOO SMALL!!! Breathe, breathe, breathe....praise God it was a 38 minute (yes, I timed it) flight.  I was extremely thankful to have my bff Laura with me (we love roadtrips, but they all involve that darned 'flying' part first!)

It was rainy coming in, but isn't this a fabulous first impression?! I can't wait! See the Green Mountains?! (note the use of 'fabulous' and 'Green Mountains'...)

 Our friend Peg had dinner ready and waiting at her home upon arrival: baked chicken, roasted winter vegetables, and baked acorn squash (my first ever, and delish!). I'm gonna like it here! Her home was warm, comfortable and inviting, and we felt like family straight away☺Off to bed (with lots of blankets), tomorrow is a busy day!

Peg told us initially that she was "an hour and a half from everything", and she wasn't kiddin'. The little towns lie far and away from each other, but we soon realized that was part of the Vermont charm. So with Peg as our driver (which was wonderful!) we set out for Montpelier, the smallest (but oldest working) capital in the US! This is the State House, where Peg serves as State Senator 24, so we got an insider's tour! We also met Lt. Governor Scott (super cute!) and Pro Tempore Campbell; man, did we feel special!

Next stop: Ben & Jerry's in Waterbury. I may not agree with their politics, but they make darned good ice cream! This is a "must do" for everyone visiting here, and their "Flavor Graveyard" is very tongue-in-cheeky cute. My favorite retired flavor was 'Vermonty Python'!

The cider mill down the road was enchanting with its locally made treats and gifts. We ate warm cider donuts while we watched them make fresh cider. Those donuts are just as good the next day, trust me!

This view is 'round back of the cider mill. Green Mountains everywhere, I tell ya!

The hills are alive...♫ at the Trapp Family Lodge!

Leading up to the side of the lodge. We clearly didn't belong there, but boy was it fun to run around and act like we did! It's expansive and charming, and I'm sure, expensive. Laura convinced herself that this was the cozy Columbia Inn in Pine Tree, VT, from White Christmas ('Brrrr! Vermont!' our favorite line from the movie), and we really hoped to catch a glimpse of General Waverly! Shucks, no such luck. Did you know Dean Jagger (Gen. Waverly) was the same age as Bing Crosby (51) when they made the movie?! And Rosemary Clooney was only 26! 

Looking out from the covered bridge in Stowe, a ski resort town, where we started a brisk (chilly!) walk around downtown. We're official Leaf Peepers!

Pumpkin carving contestants on the town hall steps!

We headed for home via Smuggler's Notch, a narrow mountain pass used by (go figure!) smugglers to transport illegal and embargoed goods (and booze!) over many years. There are no places to stop for pictures, so this is through the windshield, which can't even begin to show the beauty that we gasped and gaped at around every curve!
Disclaimer: Please know that all of this blogging-ness is for my own memory-deficient purposes to document my trips, and you will in no way be held accountable for feeling bored as you read them. Keep in mind this is only day one (I blew through a 2 GB SD card in one day)! Uh oh!
PS. The title of this entry references t-shirts we saw in every shop we stopped in. It's very Vermonty! ; )
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