Covered bridges, white steeples, hills

Driving through Vermont is very relaxed. I felt at home immediately! The turning roads with villages and little stores along the road, the hills and the woods, the creeks running down along the road.... it all reminded me very much of British Columbia, only with more and older villages. Even the pouring rain the first 24 hours in Vermont couldn't spoil my joy.

And then going through up to the White Mountains in New Hampshire towards the east strenghtened the analogy with BC. The White Mountains aren't nearly as high and spectacular as the Rockies, yet they also hold some beautiful treasures as flumes, lakes, trails, views, rocks, ... Only a pitty that we did not see any other wildlife beside playfull squirrels and a couple of road kill racoons and skunks.

These days we had planned less distance to cover, so we had the time luxury to stop anywhere that looked interesting enough to stop: a Vermont maple syrup sugerhouse, a Vermont cheese maker, an very old fashioned general store, a Christmas store (I always mock the fact that these exist in the USA: all year round Christmas stores... yet with the cold pouring rain outside it felt totally right to hop in and enter a totally different peacefull warm cosy world !! But I still think it would be weird to go Christmas shopping when it was hot outside!), the Vermont bear factory, ... We searched the map and hunted for all covered bridges that were more or less along our route. We adore covered bridges :).

We also did some short hikes in Vermont (dancing in the grasses their near the Von Trapp lodge, pretending to be Julie Andrews) and in the White Mountains to find some falls and... some covered bridges of course.

Very typical Vermont is also its tiny state capital Montpellier. Gosh, I knew it wasn't big, but it just felt like a small village with a very oversized state building in the middle. Where else in the sometimes so paranoid USA could you find a parking spot directly in front of the state building, walk through the gardens, walk inside through the open front doors to be welcomed there by a very nice lady handing out leaflets and inviting us to have a look around on the first and second floor on our own where the senat and house of representatives is meeting? Nice! What a welcoming simplicity after going through an airport security like screening to visit the USS Constitution in Boston or after almost getting refused a beer because we were only carrying our Belgian identity cards rather than our international pasports? (ok, those were the 2 incidents where we got the most security hassle, otherwise it all went pretty easy though).

As total predictable tourists we also toured the Ben & Jerries factory which was fun but my pessimistic guess was correct : the free sample we got at the end was chocolate ice cream. Booohooo I don't like chocolate. Why doesn't ever anyone consider the possibility that someone might not like chocolate ??? So I decided to go into the shop next door and buy myself some ice cream : Cherry Garcia apparently the most popular B&J tast ever. Cherry ...that would be nice. Only I did not get the expected red ice cream scoops but some balls that had had a caramel pinkish color full of ...... chocolate chips. Grrrrrrrr. Why is there chocolate in something that was supposed to be a cherry ice cream?? I give up: Ben & Jerry's seems like a cool brand, but their taste names are too confusing for me and almost all their tastes seem to have some chocolate in it. Jan had to eat half of my ice cream once more and I was glad to eat something else to get the taste out of my mouth.


Jen said…
You were definitely in my DH's old stomping grounds. Vermont is, indeed, beautiful. I spent a summer working near Montpelier and a trip to "town" was a big deal, lol. And yes, the B&J flavors ARE confusing. Their strawberry, strawberry shortcake and peach cobbler are just fruit, and their vanilla is pretty good. But you know, none of it is like European gelato. Our stuff is pretty sickly sweet.
1) I can't believe I missed all these posts!! I don't know what I was up to in my time at home.

2) You're from Belgium and you don't like Chocolate??
I don't really like it either!

3)The covered bridges are very cool, I have never been to Vermont or seen anything like this!! So exciting!!

4)I hate it when they refuse you beer!! It happens to me in the USA, also.

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