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Friday, November 9, 2007

Green Mountain Dreams

This afternoon we head to one of my favorite places on Earth - Vermont. I know, I know! I haven't been to that many places (well actually, I've been to quite a few, but nowhere near as many as I'd like to go...), so maybe there are other potential "favorite" places. But. there's something about Vermont - the minute we pass the state border from New York to the Green Mountain State, my blood pressure seems to drop. Small, quaint towns; lots of farms and white clapboard churches; and, as a friend pointed out to me recently, no roadside billboards [think about it]!

The great thing about a trip to Vermont is that you can basically cover the whole state in 2-3 days. We stay in Rutland, which is around the center of the state, so 1 1/2 hour up to Burlington near the top of the state, and 1 1/2 hour down to Bennington, which is around the bottom of the state, and back and forth and side to side, and there you have it!

Of course, it would be just another quaint and rural state if it weren't for all the fun stuff to do there. Burlington, being the largest city and home to the University of Vermont, has a lot of great shops and restaurants. Close by is Shelburne, which houses the Shelburne Museum, a step into the past. Along the way you can take the back roads to Waterbury and Stowe, stopping at the Ben & Jerry's factory, the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and the Trapp Family Lodge (what could be better?).

Heading back down towards Rutland there's Montpelier (the state capital), and Killington (fun for the growing interest in downhill skiing by the Bakers). Then north of Rutland is Manchester (if you like outlet shopping) where Mark has to make his yearly pilgrimage to the Orvis flagship store, and this year's stop: Robert Todd Lincoln's family home, historic Hildene (to feed my obsession with the Lincoln family; Mary Lincoln is the object of much fascination). On the way out on Monday, it's off to Bennington for a stop at Bennington Potters, at which I always wish I could buy "more."

Then, back to reality to face the long, cold winter!

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