I fancy myself as a somewhat cultured and knowledgable person. I once considered myself to have a basic idea of every state in the union and what it was like and what it had to offer. And then I met Vermont. I must have been absent the day they told us about it in US geography. I am humbled to say that I literally had no idea that there were MOUNTAINS in Vermont! Seriously. Mountains melting into more mountains. And sprinkled with fall colors of red, yellow, and orange no less!!! I just kept saying things like, “Stop it.”, “This is ridiculous.”, and “How can this be SO amazing!?!”. So much so, that when we finally packed up and got ready to leave this divine state, Brody said, “Finally, Mommy will stop freaking out about the mountains!” I may have taken a picture or two. Or a thousand. But none of them even came close to capturing the beauty.
It is an extremely rural state with two thirds of it’s residents living out in the country. And it couldn’t be more quaint. We stayed at the Onion River campground which is in Plainfield just East of Montpelier. Montpelier, by the way, is like the tiniest, cutest state capital. EVER.
The campground was one of the more affordable places we’ve stayed at. It was super simple. Just an open field with electric and water hook ups. I think they had a few full hook up sites, but none were available. There was a little playground and some trails you could walk. But that was about it. But that was really all that we needed. It was the perfect place to stay and it totally embodied all that Vermont was. We didn’t have good cell service or wifi. So it made us really shut off from the outside world and enjoy all the beauty that was Vermont.
The first day we went to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory. It was totally packed and that’s when we realized it was Columbus Day. Dang it, Columbus! You and all your exploring and giving kids days off of school for 500 years! It was like a can of sardines in the gift shop and we had to wait over an hour for our tour. But that was ok, because in the meantime, we ate some ice cream. And who can be grumpy while you’re eating ice cream!?!?!?
We finally got started on our tour. Nothing super fancy. A video about the background of the company and then a mezzanine view of the factory where they were making none other than Cherry Garcia. Then at the end of the tour, they gave us all a sample of a caramel apple flavor which isn’t in production. It was AMAZING. But, that also meant that we’d had two servings of ice cream, all before lunch. Thus giving us a slightly frustrating day with three kids bouncing off of the walls.
We took those bouncing kids up to the town of Stowe for the rest of that day. We ate at Idletyme Brewing Co for lunch which was really nice and then just took in the town. There was a lot to do there and I’m sure you could plan a whole vacation around that town. Especially in the winter as there were some ski resorts around.
The next day we did school in the morning and then headed to some maple sugaring farms. It was really interesting to hear about the process of making maple syrup and various other maple products. One farm in particular, Morse Maple Farms, had a really charming talk by a 7th generation maple sugar farmer. The kids had samples of the syrup (even more sugar. YEAH!) and of COURSE we bought syrup from both places. And I am happy to report that I will be making pancakes tomorrow morning with said syrup!
The point of this blog is: GO TO VERMONT. In the fall if you can. And I kind of hope that you’re like me and have no idea of all the amazingness you’re in for. But, you just read my blog. So now you know… sorry.