Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Vermont, From Top to Bottom and Side to Side

Hubby and I have traversed the length and breadth of Vermont in the last few days. On Monday morning we left the wonderful, fabulous, delightful (can you tell I liked it?) Four Columns Inn in wonderful, fabulous, delightful, pretty and quiet as a mouse Newfane with its exceptionally friendly folk (can you tell I liked it?!) and set off to drive to Burlington which is in the north-west of Vermont. We stopped along the way in Woodstock (not the one where they had the hippy festival back in the days of yore), but another Woodstock where we fortified ourselves with a cup of tea (hubby) and coffee (me), and a little look round the shops before heading off again. We arrived in Burlington about 6pm, but we were rather disappointed I'm afraid; our guide book had made us all excited with talk of a "cafe society" as hubby and I do love a cup of tea/coffee and a slice of cake, but when we got there hubby thought it looked just like Watford whereas I was a little more gracious and said it reminded me of Wellington in New Zealand. But from this you can probably gather it was just like any other city in the world. Except for the fabulous setting on Lake Champlain. Such was our disappointment that hubby announced we should return to the lovely Four Columns Inn in Newfane and spend two more nights there. Imagine my delight!

So we left Burlington on Tuesday morning and decided to spend that day and the next heading back to Newfane. We stopped in Waterbury to visit the number 1 tourist destination in the whole of Vermont. Is it a) the lodge where the Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame lived; b) the Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Factory; c) the Windsor-Cornish covered bridge or d) Queechee Gorge, the Grand Canyon of Vermont?

Yes, that's right, it's b) the Ben & Jerry Factory. YUM! We had a tour of the factory and a free sample of one of their new flavours 'Imagine Swirled Peace', which was very good. A little way down the road we stopped in The Cabot Annex which is a shop selling lots of cheeses from around Vermont. They had about 12 different samples set out on a table which had foolishly been left unguarded so hubby and I totally filled our boots with all the varieties of cheddar, plus some crisps and crackers. Then I went next door to the chocolate shop and they had free samples too so I scoffed plenty of them. We had so many freebies that we didn't need lunch. Result! We then rolled across the parking lot and squeezed ourselves back in to the car and headed south back to Woodstock, which had looked so nice on the way through that we decided to stay there.

This morning, after a night at the very lovely Charleston House B&B, we headed for Queechee Gorge, touted as the "Grand Canyon of Vermont". Hmmm. The "Don't Blink or You'll Miss It Canyon of Vermont" might be a more apt name.

We actually had to turn the car round and drive back over the bridge as we missed it the first time. After that we decided to head for Hanover but took a wrong turning and couldn't be fussed to go back, so we carried on along the road to Windsor where they have the longest covered bridge in the USA. It makes for a lovely photo from the outside as you can see below, but actually driving across it is no great shakes as it just feels like being in a tunnel. And anyway, I don't get it, why do bridges need to be covered? Can anyone tell me? Am I missing a vital point?

So, here I am now typing this in the lovely sitting room at the lovely Four Columns Inn in lovely Newfane while poor hubby is upstairs lying down on the bed with a wet flannel clutched to his forehead, trying to figure out how exactly he is ever going to pay for this trip and what he did to deserve a wife with such expensive tastes.

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