Phase 1: Vermont
We only had one day between returning home from Utah and leaving for Vermont, and that day was supposed to be spent unpacking, doing laundry, repacking and picking up the minivan we were renting. Instead Ed spent it in the office, and I did laundry with the girls, unsure whether to pack, unsure whether we were going anywhere the next day. Long story short, we got the green light from The Man Wednesday morning, so rushed our preparations and pulled out of town about 2pm.
The whole point of the trip was to get a look at, and taste of, New England, especially for Ed who has not seen it at all. The drive to my sister Maren's house in Middlebury, VT was uneventful except for the usual road-trip-with-kids stuff, and we made good time - about 6 hours.
We spent two days and three nights there and highlights included:
- meeting our almost-1-yr-old nephew Torin
- having them meet Ginger
- watching the other girls play
- apple picking
- walking around downtown Middlebury and lunch at a funky deli "Noonie's"
- swimming in Lake Danbury
- playing in the back yard sprinkler
- admiring (and using) their awesome new bathroom addition
- catching up and hanging out
I am always so relaxed when I visit their house. I think it's a combination of Maren's inherent ability to make a house a home and the quiet calm of their neighborhood and town. Whatever it is, it was a wonderful start to our trip.The cousins : Ginger, Laurel, Hazel, Sonja and Torin
We left the Mecham's on Saturday with hugs and kisses and a full day of delicious fun ahead of us. We first headed through Green Mountain National Forest and enjoyed the scenery at some overlooks, but unfortunately it was quite cloudy and foggy so we missed out on long-range views. Especially memorable was the overlook where, when it was time to get back in the car, Hazel threw a kicking fit as Ed forced her into the carseat. When he stood back up we realized Hazel had stepped in dog poop and it was all over her shoes, her pants, the carseat, Ed's shirt and Ed's pants. And we had just done laundry at Maren's.
By midday we arrived at Ben & Jerry's, where we took the factory tour and lucked out in the sample room - the sample that day was Half-Baked, which is YUMMY. Unfortunately Hazel thought so too and we forgot to bring the food smock along. (Souvenirs: NY Super Fudge Chunk dessert bread mix, B&J fridge magnet, cow socks for Hazel, ice cream cone bib for Ginger.)After a picnic lunch on the B&J grounds, and a visit to the graveyard of past flavors, we drove another hour or so to visit the Cabot cheese factory, where we also took a tour and helped ourselves to samples of everything. (Souvenirs: several sweet and savory infused maple syrups.) Along all the drives we passed plenty of dairy farms, so we really got a well-rounded taste of the Vermont dairy industry.
After Cabot we headed into New Hampshire - see Phase 2, coming someday.