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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was the best dang tomato basil soup we had ever flopped a lip on.
Mom was a super happy camper.
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.
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.
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.
And then I thought I had spotted Champ creeping up in the wake of this sailboat, but nope.
Just a dinghy.
We did see some rocking rock formations along the trip.
And lovely lighthouses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Need I remind you it was a very foggy day?
And that just because the road is on a map in Vermont does not mean it is a paved road?
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.
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!”.
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.
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.
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?
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.
As if that was possible.
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.
Home again, home again, jiggity jog.
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 you too, hot Daddy. Thanks for holding down the fort while I was away.