Adam and I had back-to-back weddings in Vermont and Connecticut this September, so we decided to take the week off in between and turn it into a weeklong vacation. It’s not the beach, but Vermont in late summer is pretty darn nice in its own right! We actually crammed a lot into 10 days – a weekend staying with college friends (plus spouses and children) in a house on Lake Champlain, a few days in Burlington, a few days in Manchester (including a day trip to visit our college), and a weekend with my in-laws (including my insanely adorable nephew and niece) in Connecticut – so I’m planning to do separate recaps for each segment. You can check out Part I here.
* * * * *
After we dropped our friends off at the airport, Adam and I headed back to the bed and breakfast we were staying at in downtown Burlington. We’d pretty much lived on pizza, chips, cookies, ice cream and beer over the weekend, so we decided to try to find some place healthy to eat for dinner. We ended up at Duino Duende, where I was quite happy to order a GIANT plate of steamed kale and some cold sesame peanut noodles with lots of fresh veggies for dinner. The restaurant is attached to a coffee shop that has live music every night, and we were seated right next to the opening connecting the two, so we were able to enjoy listening to the funky little duo, Montana Skies, as we ate. They were seriously awesome – not something that I would have sought out on my own, but I really enjoyed their performance. After dinner, we walked home and headed to bed early, because we had a busy day planned for Monday.
As we’re in the midst of half marathon training, we really had to work in at least one long run during our vacation. So, we started off our Monday morning by running 10 miles along the bike path that goes by the Lake Champlain. We were able to pick up the path about a mile or so from our B&B. The weather was so great and the path was really pretty, so it made for a pretty good run. And we earned our trip to Ben & Jerry’s later in the day.
After breakfast, we drove out to take a little food tour. Our first stop was Cold Hollow Cider Mill, where we got a cup of hot cider and delicious fresh cider donuts. We browsed the store, which was chock full of all kinds of Vermont-made products, but didn’t end up buying anything.
Our next stop was the Cabot annex where were able to sample SO MANY kinds of cheeses (well, almost all cheddar, but tons of varieties), plus some other local treats. Apparently, Vermont really likes their”insert-your-face-into-this-cut-out” photos, because here’s yet another.
The Ben & Jerry tour was tops on my list of things to do Vermont. Ice cream is my favorite food (Adam says desserts don’t count as favorite foods, but I say they do!) and Ben & Jerry’s is just such a cool company, so I was really excited to check it out. Plus, giant free samples at the end of the tour!
Hallway displaying the top ten flavors – could only get 3-10 in the shot.
After the tour, we stopped in the shop to pick up some t-shirts and postcards, and then we walked around the factory to check out some of the exhibits and visit the Flavor Graveyard, where I took some photos with my favorite dearly departed flavors.
Entrance to the Flavor Graveyard.
Fun fact! The reason B&J had to stop making White Russian was because they were buying so much Kahlua, they drove up the international price of Kahlua and priced themselves right out of the market! Sadly, this meant no more From Russia With Buzz (a twisted duo of White Russian and Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz), my absolute favorite.
White Russian’s Tombstone:
A concoction so to-die-for
We were forever in its debt
As the liquor kicked the budget
We finally had to just say “nyet.”
Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz Tombstone:
It’s heady buzz made us zoomzoomzoom!
Bounce off the walls like a rubber room.
Now this zippy flavor’s gone,
But caffeine headache goes on and on.
Then, we went back to the scoop shop for even MORE ice cream. If it hadn’t been chilly and windy and kind of rainy, I would have totally attempted a Mini Vermonster (next time!), but instead I settled for a scoop of Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz, which is apparently still available in their scoop shops even though it isn’t in pints (hence it’s appearance in the graveyard).
We then headed back to our B&B for a nap before walking down to Church Street and checking out some of the shops again. A few hours later we were hungry again, so we stopped into El Cortijo for an afternoon snack chips and guac, a small margarita, and a sweet potato and kale taco (which we made for dinner last night… so good!). I probably could have eaten three or four of those tacos (and another margarita!), but I had to save room for dinner, because we were meeting up with my Blathering roomie Emily and her husband! (Side note: I signed up for the Blathering about two weeks before my vacation. Emily and I both happened to be looking for a roommate, so we ended up together… and then I saw that she lived near Burlington and we’d be able to meet in person and avoid the total awkwardness of sharing a room with a complete stranger! Pretty nice how that all worked out.) I knew Emily and I would get along just fine as soon as she ordered a plate of cheese for the table.
The next morning, Adam and I went back to Church Street. The day before, I’d noticed there was an olive oil store and, well, Adam and I apparently have a bit of a thing for fancy oils and vinegars, as we have one entire shelf of a cabinet full of them. I didn’t want to taste them all before dinner and then carry our purchases around, so I made a mental note to go back the next morning before we headed out. After tasting a bunch, we ended up buying a butternut squash seed oil, a coconut white balsamic vinegar, and a Portuguese (I think?) olive oil. Yummm! We then stopped at a local coffee shop, grabbed ourselves some mochas, and headed back to the B&B to pick up our car and drive to our next destination.
Next up… Manchester!