Where we stayed
Best Western, South Burlington – again, a very pleasant room.
Where we ate
Lunch was ice cream. Hell yes.
Dinner was at American Flatbread in Burlington, and it was so good – definitely one of my favourite meals. We shared a massive New Vermont Sausage flatbread, and then I had a brownie for pudding, whilst Husband had carrot cake
No watching the sunrise this morning – the view over the closed mini-golf wasn’t particularly epic – so today started quite ordinarily. The breakfast room was packed full of French-Canadians and we weren’t used to hearing French, especially not when we were half asleep, so it felt a little surreal. I had another go at the waffle machine and shared a waffle with Husband, and I was also very thankful for the free fruit (something I had missed at previous breakfasts).
Our drive today would be through the amazing White Mountains, and over the Kancamagus Highway. Wowsers. This was a beautiful road with plenty of places to stop for a wander round. Paying for a parking permit was really quaint – you had to put $3 in an envelope with your license plate number and post it in a box in one of the car parks, then hang the receipt on your rear view mirror. So trustworthy! We paid for our permit at the first place we stopped – Lower Falls and made a quick visit to Falls Pond. It was a little grey and overcast, so no beautiful blue skies for our photos but it was still really pretty.
We stopped again a bit further along at Sabbaday Falls, and had a lovely little walk up to the falls. Unfortunately, it had started raining at this point, but the mist over the hills were making it look really dramatic. If not grey. Back down from the falls, and I decided I would be brave enough to have a drive. There was no one else on the road, and I knew if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t get a better chance. I drove for about 10 minutes up the highway and I found it so ridiculously frustrating. Because we were going up hill, I knew what gear I wanted to be in, but the bloody automatic wanted to decide for itself. I pulled over into a car park, gave up, and left the rest of the driving to Husband. One last view point, and then on to one of the absolute highlights of the trip – the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, VT.
I. Was. Excited. Despite the pouring rain as we ran across the car park. Tours are every thirty minutes, and we got there just as one left, so we wandered about the shop and the mini-museum. First stop on the tour was the Cow Over the Moon Theater where we watched a short film about the history of Ben & Jerry’s, and then our tour guide Blair took us to the mezzanine over the production room. No photos were allowed (Blair made sure he weeded out the ice cream spies) and we got a little wave from someone on the production line as Blair explained how the ice cream was made. It was such a great tour, and Blair had a great sense of humour. Someone asked if there were any new flavours coming out, and Blair said that there was a film tie-in coming out (which was then revealed that very day to be Scotchy Scotch Scotch!) so we got a bit of an exclusive there.
They were making Peanut Butter Cup so I assumed that we’d be getting a sample of that, but instead we got a (quite large) sample of Mint Choc Chunk which was delicious.
But this wasn’t enough ice cream for us, and we went over to the scoop shop – I had Chocolate Therapy and Husband had Maple Walnut which is apparently now only made for the scoop shop in Vermont. I asked for a small cone and got a ridiculously sized thing – I don’t know if I misunderstood or if this was the small, but I couldn’t finish it! The rain had died down, so we took a trip to the Flavor Graveyard to pay respects to the ghosts of ice cream past. The first gravestone we saw was for Peanuts! Popcorn! – NO FAIR, I WOULD HAVE LOVED THAT!!
We took the obligatory comedy photo in the Ben & Jerry’s photo cut-out thingie before driving the extra half an hour to South Burlington, VT for our evening stop. And one of my most important purchases – Allegiant by Veronica Roth – from the Barnes and Noble across the street. Yes, I did choose the Best Western based on it’s proximity to a book store the day that Allegiant was released. You’d all do it too. I accidentally ended up buying two other (hard back) books as well, which would eventually be a massive pain in the arse when it came to packing my suitcase, but it was totally worth it.
I of course immediately started my read in the hotel, but I was able to tear myself away for some incredibly delicious flatbread in at American Flatbread in Burlington that evening. This was after spotting a free space in Burlington, driving towards it, then realising it was “Mayor Parking Only”. HEE! The restaurant was absolutely buzzing but it took about 5 minutes before we got our table which wasn’t bad at all. The pizza oven was in plain view, so I spent the evening mesmerised by the two bakers making up the pizzas, then a third baker whisking them into the “earthen oven” to produce a very tasty flatbread.
To walk off the yummy food and because we had free parking (something else I loved about the towns we visited), we wandered around Burlington and soaked in the college town life. We hadn’t decided what we going going to do tomorrow at this point, but Burlington by night made us want to visit Burlington by day. With plans decided, we drove the 10 minutes to our hotel where poor exhausted Husband fell asleep in front of Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl, and I read a little bit more of Allegiant before sleep called me as well.