Wednesday, 18 June 2008
We were up early this morning at 6:15, even before our alarm went off! You would have thought that meant we were going to have a great day where all went according to plan. You would think…
We had in mind to eat just a little something as we left town, as we were headed to Manchester, VT, for breakfast at Up for Breakfast, which came highly recommended. So we had a Kashi bar and some iced tea, but it was still almost 8:00 by the time we got going. We got gas and finally got headed in the right direction, and then we got stopped at a sheriff’s checkpoint. Seat belts or inspection stickers, we’re not sure, but we passed. Then we came upon a Toyota dealer, so we decided to stop in and get them to get us a new fuse. Remember the day we sat in the driveway at the Pollywogg Holler office trying to get online? Pretty sure we blew a fuse then as we tried to use the AC adapter to charge the computer. Ever since then, that charger outlet and the XM radio have not worked… Anyway, even though we told the Toyota service people what we thought was the problem, and we told them we were from out of town and needed to be on our way, they told us they might be able to work us in. In an hour. Give me Mark Jacobsen any day! By now it was after 8:30 and we were still in Clifton Park!!! It was a sign.
Jill took us all over the countryside as we just tried to get to Manchester, but we made it. On the way, we saw this giant chair, so we had to have a photo of it. We bypassed Bennington, but we saw this monument to Robert Frost. Finally, we stopped at a pharmacy and got great directions to the restaurant, and boy, was it worth the wait! Kim had ‘The Standard’ (their menu title of her usual breakfast – two eggs, scrambled, with some meat (Canadian bacon today) and toast) and I had wild turkey hash (peppers, onions, mushrooms, pine nuts, spices) topped with two poached eggs and Hollandaise. It was fantastic! Kim had really tasty hot chocolate topped with real whipped cream and I had pomegranate iced tea. It was good, but hardly worth $3.95!! We sat at the counter and watched the cooks (one was the owner) at work. We knew we wouldn’t be needing lunch today! We realized we had neglected to adequately plan our route in Vermont, so we went to the library to get online. We were only semi-successful, but we came up with a plan. We took off for Highway 7, easier said than done, and eventually we even got there. We took 7 to Rutland, and along the way we saw “Boy with Boot” and the Bear Family. They came upon us so quickly that we didn’t even get pictures, but if you want to see them, go to http://www.roadsideamerica.com/ and go to Vermont.
At Rutland, we went west toward Killington, where we were looking for the Tree with Bras, which is supposedly on a ski run at Bear Mountain there. We drove up to the top of Bear Mountain (Killington is a total ghost town in the summer!) but saw nothing like what we were looking for. We saw the dragon and the bear, but we decided not to ask anyone where we could find the bra tree. On Highway 4, we saw a bear made out of hay bales, and when we went back for a photo, we realized the little store there was really cute and had a neat, working water wheel. We bought Powerball tickets (cross your fingers!) and then scooted over to Highway 100, aka the Skier’s Highway. It was a very scenic drive through many small towns, and it looked just like you would expect Vermont to look. Rolling green hills, lots of trees, a stream by the roadside, and quaint little villages with greens and white churches. We stopped at one point to walk over to see a waterfall, and who did we park behind? A couple from Raleigh, NC. Funny, huh?
Finally, we made it to our real destination: Waterbury, home of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream!!! We got a scoop each (Coconut Seven Layer Cake for Kim, Coconut Almond, Chocolate Chunk for me) and then took a tour of the plant. At the end of the tour we got a sample scoop – of the flavor Kim had! We learned about another new flavor, Yellow Cake with Chocolate frosting, so we split a scoop of it. Oink, oink.
It was raining a tiny bit when we left B&J’s, but it was not far from there to Stowe and our splurge at the Trapp Family Lodge. We arrived at just five o’clock, 200 miles after leaving Clifton Park this morning. We love the lodge! It really felt like Austria when more than half of the guests we saw were speaking German. The grounds are gorgeous and the hallways are filled with photos and memorabilia of the von Trapp family. Our room is huge and we have a balcony overlooking the mountains. We had a delicious dinner in the lounge (since the dining room required ‘smart casual’ dress, and we only brought dumb casual), starting with a beer and ending with us splitting the two house specialties – bratwurst and wiener schnitzel. No mistakes there, except eating it all!
We’ve spent a quiet evening in front of the tv, with Kim mapping our route for tomorrow and me blogging and becoming very frustrated when I finished yesterday’s blog and lost it as I got kicked offline just as I tried to post it. It was not pretty. We walked around the grounds after dinner – they are lovely, and even have the final resting places of the von Trapps in a beautiful garden. There was a gorgeous sunset and a full moon. Heavenly!
Screaming for ice cream and from frustration,