My first glimpses of Vermont was through sleep-laced eyes as we left New Hampshire and the White Mountains behind. The rolling farmland was beautiful and we passed a few dairies that were picturesque. Cabot cheese comes from this part of Vermont. Okay, so it really comes from the rich milk the cows produce but you know what I mean!
Sad to say I did not get any photos of idyllic scenes of cows contentedly chewing their cud as the colorful foliage blazed around them, offset by the rolling landscape. There. Was that a good enough word picture to suffice? Good.
We also drove through Montpelier, the capital city which has a population of less than 10,000. We ended up driving past capital building and got a kick out of the activities going on on the front lawn. Seemed it was a great place to throw frisbee.
We also did not stop at Cabot’s processing plant but we did get to stop at their annex store aka free cheese samples. And cheese is not all they sell but oh, was it good! And if you know me very well you will know that to me free cheese leaves me speechless. For a few minutes, anyway! I will not tell you how many cubes I ate.
But having just come from Ben & Jerry’s and having a cup of Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz ice cream. Oh, I didn’t tell you about Ben & Jerry’s? How could I have missed that?
Well, Waterbury, VT is the home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, a couple of good old mountain boys who started making and marketing ice cream. Their business nearly got away from them, as in they had no business experience but had a good product and loved selling it. Let’s just say the business is really scooping up the money, if you know what I mean!
The factory in Waterbury is a fun, colorful place. There is a tour that includes a video, as well as “top-secret” peak into the factory (no photos allowed).
And apparently their employees like to have fun. This guy had popped around the corner down the hall and I told him I wasn’t necessarily trying to get a picture of him so he struck a pose.
At the end of the tour you get a free sample.
There is a graveyard of flavors that didn’t make the grade.
And for some of them you can see why. And as you can see, this flavor has been . . . well . . resurrected.
Ben & Jerry’s employees get 3 free pints of ice cream for every shift they work. Can you imagine?
The sight of this is enough to give you diabetes!
Some goofy tourists. (Photo from Carol’s stash.)
There was a busload of Amish from Indiana that got there a little ahead of us. We didn’t know any of them but were able to make a few connections. They were quite delighted to chat with us.
So after we had ice cream, we had cheese samples, and after that we stopped in at Cold Hollow Cider Mill where they have lots of goodies for sale and cider samples to taste. This is some wonderful cider!! They also have cider donuts that are more like a spice cake.
They have a cloth press that they use for demonstration purposes.
We ate lunch at a 50s style diner which was full and the food was good but the service rather poor.
We then walked thru town stopping in the stores. There were a couple general merchandise stores that had lots of neat things.
There were not any touristy stores like you would see in places like Myrtle Beach & Gatlinburg. We had heard lots about Stowe and judging from the costs of lodging in the area, they can get high prices because there is the demand for it. But we were surprised at what Stowe was like. The weather was overcast (again) and even rainy while we were there so we didn’t do much outside stuff. We were told there is a nice bike path but like I said, the weather was not conducive to biking.
We went to Von Trapp Family Lodge where we took a tour led by Carla, a great-granddaughter of the Captain and Maria.
The setting for their lodge is beautiful!
The family owns around 2,000 acres at the “top of the mountain”. 360 view was magnificent. The clouds were starting to clear so we got to see tops of surrounding mountains.
The tour was very interesting and included a film made by BBC that showed an interview of Maria, and the real von Trapp home in Austria.
Maria also told of the real wedding proposal which was a bit different than the movie. They sold the rights of the story for a “song” as Carla said. So the only benefits they received was publicity. Carla said they probably would’ve given away most of the $ had they earned lots from it.
They were pleased that movie stayed as true to the real story as it did but there is a bit of difference between the two. Click here for more info:
The Captain, Maria and several of the children are buried beside the lodge.
Some artist had drawn cartoons of their family and they were framed and hung in the one hallway. I though they were so cute!
An HDR image of the view from inside looking out.
We drove on several local scenic drives and saw some more beautiful scenery.
This horse farm is for sale. The house nearby looked empty.
On the way back to Massachusetts, we took Hwy 100, another scenic highway, part of the way. We passed the Moss Glenn Falls near Granville. These are right beside the road and are beautiful!!! These are all taken with a slow shutter speed to get the water to look this way.
Vermont Country Store would’ve been another very interesting stop to make but it was too far out of our route as we had to head back to Boston airport to drop off another tripmate, leaving Lois and I for the last 5 days. Check out the vintage FP toys they carry.
Next up … Massachusetts