Monday, July 06, 2009

green mountains

Number 41 in my ongoing quest to visit all fifty states is... Vermont.

First stop was Sugarbush Farm, a working maple syrup farm. They also sell locally made cheese, which they age and package right there on the farm. The free tour includes samples of fourteen cheeses and four maple syrups. A few farm animals are on display for the kids to feed. I saw a suggestion box for visitors to come up with a name for a female calf. In honor of Rev. Spooner, I submitted "Booger Shush."

To get to and from Sugarbush, we crossed the Taftsville covered bridge. On the way to Waterbury, we stopped to see the beautiful Quechee Gorge.

Everything I had read about the Ben & Jerry's factory tour said it was a disappointment but we went anyway. It was as lame as promised, if not more so. The so-called tour gives you less information than half an episode of "Unwrapped." The real reason to take the $3 tour is for the "free" scoop at the end. We went into the tasting room and found we had no choice of flavors. We were stuck with a white ice cream that had peppermint-infused chocolate chunks. It might have seemed better if they hadn't worked us up to try one of the new flavors like Mission to Marzipan. I couldn't even buy a cone of Mission to Marzipan at the Scoop Shop outside. It was only available in pints.

I always heard that Ben & Jerry had very strong political views. However I was surprised that they leaned so far to the left that the video presentation on the tour didn't even identify which president awarded them with a plaque as U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year in 1988. The video showed a close-up of somebody holding the plaque. Why not zoom out and show Ben & Jerry standing there with Ronald Reagan? At least the video did mention that Ben & Jerry sold their company to Unilever and no longer have anything to do with it. How capitalistic of them. Speaking of Ronald Reagan, I thought of him later when we drove past the Berlin Mall. Get it?

After dessert, we had some dinner in The Lounge at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. The three of us were able to each get a salad and then split an order of wiener schnitzel with spätzle. As you can see, it's a veal cutlet not a hot dog franchise.

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