“This time, like all times, is a very good one if we
but know what to do with it.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
After exploring the Falls we drove from Niagara cross country to Vermont. We stopped off in Syracuse for a quintessential mall visit before finishing the rest of the long journey in the dark. Ordinarily this wouldn’t have mattered but we afterwards learned that the route took us through some incredible National Parks that would have inevitably been stunning in daylight. However thanks to our own poor planning we ventured through with no light or other cars in sight for several hours. Between that and the falling snow it did feel like an evolving plot for a horror film. Especially when our choice of accommodation for the night was a classic motel (I was adamant no road trip/US stay is complete without one.) They did however have a super fun waffle maker we could use for breakfast and I think the whole staff joined us for a chat in the morning. I got the feeling they don’t get many young British couples staying with them.
From the motel it was onwards into Burlington- the largest city in Vermont and situated right on the water. I’m going to go ahead and call the ambience “Harbour Chic.” The town is a mixture of French brasseries and all weather clothing stores and almost emanates an Old English vibe. We met with my friend Renee who is a Vermont native and she took us to the perfectly cosy Leunig’s Bistro for lunch where we naturally had to sample the local cheeses and wine.
After some souvenir shopping (no lie- the maple syrup moose we bought that day is still sat in our cupboard. Semi nibbled at. Two years later) we parted ways and it was full steam ahead to some classic Vermont attractions which of course involved apples, cider and ice cream. Please, as if I was going to come that close to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory and not be first in line for a tour.
The Cold Hollow Cider Mill is situated south of Burlington in Waterbury. Home of apples, cider and local fruit wine it made for a very fun visit. Especially for the non driver (i.e. me) You can peek into the factory and then surround yourself with all kinds of local produce. Their cider jelly is divine and I would very much enjoy bulk shipment if anyone happens to be passing by anytime soon. After a tasting we chose a couple of bottles of fruit wines from the selection and this ignited a new interest for me as it was previously unfamiliar. We ended up drinking the Back Roads Berry Wine on Christmas Day back in Brooklyn and it was just lovely.
A quick drive down the road and we arrived at the home of my two long standing friends- Ben and Jerry. The smell of the factory was every bit as sickly and that all important free scoop was every bit as delicious as you can imagine it would be. The tour was informative, or at least it felt it at the time. I struggle to recall any key facts without Googling but if you’re in the area definitely stop by. Everyone loves Ben & Jerry’s.
Vermont is a state I had always wanted to visit and although our stay was short and sweet (no really, much sugar was consumed in a very small amount of time) I loved the scenic towns and landscapes alike. Equally as appealing in summer and winter for it’s lakes and mountains it’s certainly somewhere to spend a few days and enjoy going back to a more basic, nature filled way of life.