Sunday, September 02, 2007
Imagine a state where you couldn't find a McDonald's. Or a CVS. Or a Burger King. Or a Wendy's. That would be Vermont, where we couldn't find one of the standard chain restaurants or stores in our six-hour drive-by Saturday. And that was kind of neat. Vermont didn't seem like part of the U.S. It seemed like a little slice of Switzerland, with its green mountains, small towns and quaint shops.
It was our first visit to the state, so Carol, the girls and I did the tourist thing and checked out the Ben and Jerry's ice cream factory in Waterbury (yeah, that's me by the tank room with the fake smile) and the Boyden Valley Winery (above right) in the middle of nowhere. Carol and I sampled about seven different wines there (she drove back to Connecticut), and we bought three bottles. The Big Barn Red gets my vote. The 30-minute tour at Ben and Jerry's concluded with a sample or two. We were disappointed to discover that Ben and Jerry sold out to The Man. Some mega-conglomerate purchased the company a while back. Ben and Jerry are probably out on their yachts somewhere off the coast of Florida eating Haagen-Daz.
Vermont should be one popular place in about a month when the leaves begin to turn. The mountain scenes you see here will be quite spectacular then, and tourists will pack the back roads. We're gonna go, and we'll be sure to take a camera.