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Friday, June 5, 2009

Stowe-len Moments

Our previous posts may have created an impression (and that's all there is to it) that we spent our time in Vermont changing our residential address to "The Ben & Jerry's Factory, Waterbury" (which is so not true.) Thus, it is necessary to clear the air and correct this vagrant misconception that we travelled halfway around the world to eat ice-cream, and post an entry on what we did in Stowe (which is a lovely town minutes away from Ben & Jerry's, I mean, Waterbury....)

We drove along the interstate all the way from Boston to Stowe, crossing through New Hampshire and the city of Montpelier, capital of Vermont. We made a quick stop at the visitors centre in Montpelier, which was the nicest source of tourist information that I've ever seen. The moment we stepped out from under the clingy rain cloud and into the beautifully furnished room, we were taken by the cosiness of the place, and the warmth emitted by the kindly gentleman at the counter and the flickering fireplace. What was so special about this visitors centre, was that it doubled up as a small gallery for artpieces and handicraft created by local artists. Beautiful watercolour and oil paintings depicting stunning Vermont scenery lined the walls. In every nook and cranny, and even hanging from the ceiling, were unique pieces of handmade furniture, which you were most welcomed to sit and even swing on. Hot steaming pots of local Green Mountain coffee and a selection of fine teas beckoned to us cold, wet travellers. We gladly helped ourselves to the beverages in return for a small donation, which goes towards funding this simple but much appreciated service, so that future travellers may benefit from it too.

The best visitors centre ever (hear ye, STB!)

There is a very European air and charm about Montpelier and Stowe. The roads are lined with Bed & Breakfast cottages fashioned after alpine cottages and English homes, all delightfully named Bird's Nest Inn, Honeywood Inn, Auberge de Stowe, Winding Brook Lodge and the like. We checked ourselves in at Ye Olde England Inn, a Tudor-style lodging with an unmistakingly English air. It even has a pub named after Mr Pickwick, which literature buffs out there (and those who were forced to study it at 'A' Level) would remember as the gregarious gentleman thought to be Pip's benefactor in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. How more English can you get?!

Refusing to trade in my warm spot on the sister's bed for the pull-out couch :(

Four's not a crowd

In addition to taking in a bit of England, we also checked out an All-American malt shoppe and diner in town for a mid-afternoon snack.

Cosy booths for canoodling over burgers, fries and a malt

A nice place to spend a quiet afternoon

Supercute heartshaped backrests on all the chairs

After hanging out with one another in the same ol' clothes and handwashing underwear for almost two weeks, we were really glad to find the laundromat. So happy that we hung out there for the rest of the afternoon!

You... are... getting... sleepyyyyy....

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.........

We took a the scenic byway up the misty mountain overlooking the village, enjoying the lush greenery, nourished by gushing rivers teeming with meltwater from winter's harvest.

The mist closing in

Fresh green springing up in every nook and cranny

And look what we came across... a pair of freezing streakers!

Seriously, guys dare one another to do the stupidest things!

Did you know that the famous Von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame lived in Stowe? Well I didn't! After they escaped from Nazi-invaded Austria, Maria, the Captain and all their children moved around Europe and finally set up home in America - in Stowe! The Trapp family home is now a lodge, which is still run by a couple of Maria's grandchildren, who still organise annual music camps to bring together musicians and singers from all over the world. See, we did learn some other useful stuff in addition to how Ben & Jerry's ice-cream is made.

Outside the Trapp Family lodge

Vermont is home to hundreds of historic covered wooden bridges. These long pitch-roofed shelters spanning streams and rivers are so unique to Vermont that there is even a recommended driving route for visitors who wish to see these historic gems. Best of all, these bridges are conserved in a bid to preserve a part of Vermont's heritage - which is also a step taken recently for some of the historic bridges spanning the Singapore river.

One of Vermont's historic bridges

And this has been Yi Lin and Dannie, bringing you very old and out-of-date news from Vermont.

Over and out.

Your favourite newscasters hugging in front of Ye Olde England Inn

2 comments:

Celine said...

Photos look great! Fun with the family. Dannie's hair.... er... did u put a bowl on your head? hee hee.

Yi Lin said...

Nooo! His crooked haircut has nothing to do with me. Read our entry here:

http://danyilin.blogspot.com/2009/05/snip-snip.html

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