Vermont Vacation: Day 7 & 8- Waitsfield

Finally, I’m getting around to blogging about the final day of our awesome 2007 Vermont vacation. I think I’ve confused some folks by blogging about something that happened over a year ago. So just for some clarification, read this for further explanation about that. If you wanna read about the previous 6 days of the trip, you can view them here.

Day 7:

The last full day of our trip was upon us, and we woke to a great breakfast at the Inn at Round Barn. We ate our quiche and took our last cheesy photos at the breakfast table.

Breakfast mom

Breakfast Me

We had tickets aboard the Spirit of Ethan Allen cruise for lunch, so we decided to venture into the Burlington area early and see if we could hit up the rest of the tourist traps that we hadn’t yet seen. It’s hard to believe we hadn’t seen them all yet, but it’s true.

We started out at the Shelburne Museum but after seeing what was on display we both decided that we were not very interested in taking the tour, so onward and upward we went.

Shelburne Museum

We headed down to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, but we arrived at an off time for the teddy bear tour. What sucky luck for us, huh?

Teddy Bear factory

We wandered through the store and snapped some photos behind the giant plywood teddy bear cutouts. This day was shaping up to be a real rip-roaring fun-fest.

Teddy bear

Teddy bear mom

We had booked an excursion on the Spirit of Ethan Allen tour of Lake Champlain. We decided to drive on into Burlington so we wouldn’t miss the boat.

Spirit of Ethan Allen

Lake Champlain is bordered on one side by Vermont and another by New York. Did you know that there is a legend that Lake Champlain has it’s very own Loch Ness Monster named Champ? I certainly didn’t.

boat

We were told to be on the lookout for Champ during the cruise around the lake. I was sure to keep my camera ready in case Champy poked his head up through the waves, but no such luck.

Just rocks.

Lake Champlain

I should note that it was a dreary day outside. Foggy, drizzly and kinda chilly. My mom had been saying all week that she was craving a bowl of tomato soup. And on the boat, her wish came true. We got a bowl of steaming hot tomato basil soup with some oyster crackers.

oyster crackers

It was the best dang tomato basil soup we had ever flopped a lip on.

Tomato soup

Mom was a super happy camper.

Happy Soup mom

We enjoyed our lunch and listened to the pre-recorded voice of the tour guide point out sites that we were not able to see through the fog.

on the deck

Somewhere behind those clouds we were supposed to be able to see the Camel’s Hump State Park of the Green Mountains hovering in the distance.

flag mom

And somewhere along the foggy shoreline is where Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys had their run-in with Benedict Arnold during the American Revolution.

There’s some serious history around those parts, fo sho.

And here I thought Ethan Allen just made furniture.

dingy

And then I thought I had spotted Champ creeping up in the wake of this sailboat, but nope.

Just a dinghy.

foggy flag

We did see some rocking rock formations along the trip.

rock formations

And lovely lighthouses.

Lake Champlain lighthouse

But after all that soup eating and history lessons and Champ-watching I was tuckered out, so I decided to do a little of this on the second half of the tour.

sleepy

Gimme a break. I was cooking a baby.

After we got off the boat tour, we took a gander at the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center. It was quite an educational day.

After all that learning my brain was tired, so we wandered into town to do some mindless shopping.

Bennington Potters

We shopped at Bennington Potters where I bought some souvenirs, and I lusted after this bear wearing a backpack for my unborn child’s future nursery.

bear

After that, we decided that we needed to get back to the hotel and pack up our stuff because we were leaving the next day. We asked our trusty NeverLost to lead us back to Waitsfield via a route we hadn’t seen before, and she sure lived up to that request.

She led us directly over the Stark Mountain and just to the south of the Camel’s Hump State Forest on State Route 17.

foggy road

Need I remind you it was a very foggy day?

foggier

And that just because the road is on a map in Vermont does not mean it is a paved road?

foggy roads

And remember how we couldn’t see the Camel’s Hump on the boat tour because of all the clouds?

Well, the higher we climbed, the deeper into the clouds we drove. And there was not another car in sight. It became kind of scary.

foggy still

Until it was so foggy that I could barely even see the road anymore. I stopped and looked at mom and asked her if we should keep going or turn back. We debated for a minute, then she broke out in a wild grin and said, “Let’s go for it!”.

foggiest

By the time we reached the summit of the mountain I was just creeping along at a snail’s pace so we rolled the windows down in an attempt to hear if another car was coming. There was absolutely nobody on the road but us, so I finally just stopped the car in the middle of the road and took some magnificent photos of the foggy trees.

Foggy trees

It was kind of creepy and kind of cool all at the same time. You almost expected Ichabod Crane to come galloping away from the Headless Horseman at any minute.

foggy trees 2

I have since read that State Route 17 has some of the most awesome sweeping views of the Champlain Valley on a clear day, but we will never know, now will we?

yellow fog

But that’s ok. I’ll always treasure the foggy mountain drive I took over Camel’s Hump with my mom. It was quite an exhilarating experience.

And as we wound our way back down the mountain, the scenery got even better.

winding down

As if that was possible.

two red trees

I’ll never forget that creepy drive or the evil little grin on my mom’s face when we decided to be adventuresome and see what was on the other side of that mountain.

meadow and clouds

Day 8:

Home again, home again, jiggity jog.

driving with spritzer

We had seen just about every single thing that Vermont had to offer in our week long whirlwind tour. When we returned our rental car at the airport, the man told us that we had logged over 1,000 miles since we had picked up the car the week before. A THOUSAND MILES in a state that is just like 1/4 the size of Alabama. Unbelievable.

It had been quite an amazing trip, and I’m so thankful to my mom for going with me and making it happen. We truly had the best experience that Vermont and the neighboring states had to offer us, two southern ladies who certainly are not world travelers. And one of them six months pregnant!

Thanks, Vermontians, for preserving so many pieces of our country’s history. Ya’ll are doing an outstanding job of being historians and handcraftsmen and hostesses. I’m proud to say that I was able to visit your fair state. I hope one day to return, and I expect absolutely nothing to be changed.

Well, nothing on your end, anyway.

As for my end, I might change the fact that I had a baby in my belly next time I visit. That part I might do differently in the future. Even though it meant arriving home and seeing my husband wearing this t-shirt when he greeted me at the door after my week long vacation.

I heart hot moms

I heart you too, hot Daddy. Thanks for holding down the fort while I was away.

Catch the rest of the story here!
Day 1
Day 2 & 3
Day 4 & 5
Day 6
Day 7 & 8

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Comments

  1. The scenery pictures are gorgeous! Autumn in Vermont is beautiful!

  2. Simply beautiful! Makes me wanna go. Also, makes me want some soup 🙂

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