What an interesting day, on a whole variety of fronts, from start to finish.
Well, start with last night. We went to a restaurant here (there aren’t many) that promised “Vermont’s best Barbeque”. I was a bit skeptical and ordered the Prime Rib (they had a huge variety of things on the menu BESIDES barbeque, which to me is always a bad sign….). Dad insisted on trying the “pulled pork and brisket combo”.
My prime rib was excellent, and we’ll leave it at that (hint to Yankees: we won’t try to do maple syrup and clam chowder. You leave the BBQ to us).
This morning, we got up to another –less than stellar- hotel breakfast. Jettisoning my carefully laid plans for the day, we elected instead to go to Woodstock, Vermont, through which we’d passed on the way up here. We were certainly glad we did so.
Woodstock is great; you could almost wonder if Walt Disney used it for his model for Main St., USA at Disneyland and Walt Disney World (he didn’t). “Quaint”—they’ve got it by the bucket.
We went to a great little restaurant (Ok, it said, “Creamery”; who knew it was a breakfast place? We thought it was an ice cream store; the locals clued us). While waiting for breakfast, I overheard (the tables are less than 1 foot apart and you fall over people getting in and out) the conversation behind us; 4 ladies “of a certain age”, discussing, in unmistakable accents, the possibilities of their favorite football team, the South Carolina Gamecocks, going all the way. The biggest concern seems to be the Arkansas game…of course, I had to turn around and give them a big Woo, Pig! Sooiiee. They loved it.
So naturally, walking out of the restaurant (there was a line to get in), I also passed a cute young couple fully decked in Auburn attire. I WPS’d them, too, and was delighted to hear, “Oooohh, we’re scared of y’all! Y’all are the scariest team we’ve got all year!” (the young lady) and “We’re not afraid of ‘Bama, but y’all OWN us; y’all are going to kick our ass!” (the young man). I assured them of good will except when we play them. Dad was already ahead of me (you can see that in one of the pictures), and I was hurrying to catch up. I couldn’t help but stop, though, and pat an older man on the back, saying, “How bout ya, Georgia Dawg!?” to which he responded, “Man, y’all should have whipped ‘Bama worse than you whipped us!”
As I said before, it’s GOOD to be da Hog!
We left Woodstock and headed up IH-91. Dad had heard on the radio at breakfast (I wasn’t listening, I was too busy eavesdropping on the Carolina ladies) that the leaves were really turning on Vermont 111. Using my trusty Crackberry, I determined that VT 111 runs from right around the Canadian border south through a mountainous area. So, off we went up IH 91; we then cut back on 111 past Lake Seymour, the largest lake wholly contained within Vermont’s borders (“Feed me, Seymour!”). Beautiful. Dad was shocked at how very GREEN everything was (as opposed to Woodstock/Killington/Rutland, which is in the southern part of the state and blazing with color. Dad remarked again and again how tall and green the corn still was, and they were haying still. I guess here in Yankeeland, fall goes from south to north?
Dad had my camera (I was driving; we got a great rent car, a Volvo C70, and I was having fun with it; Dad won’t let me put the top down….what a “looser” as they mis-speak on the message boards…). Dad made over 300 photos today, some really excellent, some not so much. I took quite a few myself (with the same camera), so they’re mixed. A random sampling is below.
We made it back to St. Johnsburg and had lunch/dinner, then back to the hotel, where it’s now 11:00 pm and I’m starving.
One more little tidbit: I was standing in the hotel lobby this evening, and heard the tail-end of a commercial for a "sports store" (I think they sell sporting goods, and of course here that's big business....). I didn't catch the name of the store! But they had some very, very interesting music playing in the background--it was the Razorback Band playing "Arkansas, Fight!" I honestly thought I was in the twilight zone.
Observations of Vermont:
1. It’s “quaint”, but where do these people buy gasoline? or groceries? or eat out? or go to the drugstore? I haven’t seen any of that here, except in Rutland, 20 miles away. They drive?
2. If you want salt on/in your food, there’s a shaker on the table. Same with pepper or any other spice.
3. Don’t ask for Tabasco, it hurts their feelings.
4. Was cole slaw invented in Vermont? It’s been served to me at every meal since I’ve been here except for breakfast. “Oh, we’re very proud of our slaw!” Is this some New England thing I’ve forgotten? I don’t remember it in Boston? They serve slaw like we serve chips and salsa.
5. “Quaint” = add 25% -–or more-- to the price you’d expect to pay.
6. In Houston, if you’re doing less than 70 mph, you’ll get run down. In Vermont, if you’re doing 40 mph, you’re “FLYIN’ “(insert Yankee accent).
7. It is totally beautiful here. Mountains, trees, lakes, all perfect. What do these people do for a living? They can’t all own b&b’s or operate gift shops? The occasional farmer, yes, but what else is there? We’ve seen no industry here at all.
8. They build their houses directly on the street, I mean, like, 4 feet from the street. Then they don’t draw their curtains/drapes/blinds at night. Um, I just need more privacy than that.
Photos from today (a random sampling of the 300+).
Nice back yards, on the river…
I have to look up the story on “Suicide Six”.
James Wilson’s plaque^^^
and his place…
Clear as a bell. No trash.
Look at that stand of corn. Dad couldn’t get over it.
More tomorrow. Tomorrow, after stopping again in Woodstock for some maple syrup to take home, we’re off to Maine.