Thursday, May 3, 2012

Travel Thursdays - Burlington, Vermont

'We're almost there and nowhere near it. All that matters is we're going.' - Lorelai Gilmore
I love this saying - I guess with my never ending list of places to visit, that is how I will feel always!
And of course, I love 'Gilmore Girls'.

My travel post this time will take you to Burlington, Vermont.


I landed in Burlington purely out of a series of unforeseeable circumstances, obviously good ones for me. My work is not one where the job description includes any travel which is perfect for a working mom like me who prefers to be near her darling kids as much as possible (or should I say her darling kids also want her around as much as possible too). But a couple of weeks ago, a work situation arose which required me to go to Burlington along with others from our group. The timing was ideal for my DH since the kids were having their spring break so he did not have to worry about getting them ready in time for school that whole week I was away.
The weather in Vermont was wonderful. It was a glorious 80 degrees when we landed in the tiniest airport I have seen in the US. I zipped out of the plane and picked up my luggage within 10 minutes. As we drove out of the airport, I was pleasantly surprised again at the quaintness of the place – the airport was right in a residential neighborhood of old, tiny, quaint homesJ. The hotel we were staying in was less than a five minute drive away – in fact, everything in Burlington seemed to be less than a five minute drive away.
Burlington is touted as one of the most livable areas in the US and it definitely lives up to that reputation based on what little I have seen of it during my short stay there. Burlington is Vermont’s largest city though in California, it would be a town rather than city.  Beautiful Lake Champlain graces its borders and you can take a ferry across the lake to the state of New York on the other shore. The city's founders were Ethan Allen and his family. His brother Ira founded the University of Vermont.

Some of the must-see sights of Burlington, that I managed to see during my work trip (at least part of it) are below:
  • Church Street Marketplace – it is on the list of 10 great American Public Spaces made by the APA. With historic buildings lining the paved foot-traffic streets and amazing restaurants, shops, entertainment in the buildings as well as street performers and beautiful architecture and sculptures all around, this is the not-to-miss attraction of Burlington. We ate at ‘American Flatbread’ and the over one and a half hour wait for our dinner there was totally worth it – the beets pizza and the salad special (brussel sprouts, fresh greens, Vermont cheese) of the day wowed me.

  • Lake Champlain waterfront – Walk down a few blocks from Church Street and you will find yourself by the waterfront and Lake Champlain in front of you – keep an eye out for the Lake Champlain monster! But fear not, he is so adorable you will want to cuddle him instead of running away if you do meet him. Walking along the lake is pure bliss - beautiful sights, the swings on the path by the lake to provide a moment of respite (not that you will need it), and the lake itself make this walk wonderful. You can catch a glimpse of New York on the horizon.
  • University of Vermont – I saw it as we passed by on the way to Church Street but this is definitely a university to stroll around in. 
  •  Whales in landlocked Vermont - Drive a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Church Street to catch a glimpse of something you will not see in a landlocked place (if you do not include the lake) – whales! You will find whale tails poking out of the ground at you along highway 89– this is a fascinating structure - it is titled ‘Reverence’.
  • Vermont gift barn – If you are looking for a perfect memento or souvenir for your trip, you should hop into this store – just a few minutes drive (or you can walk if you want) from Church Street and from the airport – this store has everything you can think of when you think of Vermont and some more – the usual touristy souvenirs of magnets, t-shirts accompany other Vermont specialties like maple syrup and goodies made from maple syrup, homemade jams and other baked goods, chocolates/hot chocolate powder made locally (loved the Lake Champlain chocolates), even nut-free chocolates made locally, as well as cheese and pottery as well as other crafts made by local artists.
For parking, Burlington Town Center has an attached 5 story garage with entries/exits on Pine Street and Cherry Street. This is parallel to Church Street with very reasonable parking rates.

Things to do next time I am there:
Ben and Jerry factory tour – the tours were during the work hours and I could not make it here on time this trip
Lake Champlain chocolate factory tours – the tours were during the work hours and I could not make it here on time this trip
ECHO aquarium – the location is beautiful, right by the lake. And my little ones will see an aquarium, anywhere, anyday!

To sum it up,  a beautiful, quaint town, wonderful views, a friendly lake monster, great shops, talented local artists, and of course - the food, oh glorious heavenly food – ambrosia, the maple syrup - ,mmmmm(I ate this with the awesomest waffles ever and with grilled oatmeal - at Trader Dukes) and the cheese, and for people from busier places - the joys of two lane freeways with no traffic jams.

Memes:
For
3WW (Generous just penalize) and Theme Thursday(family):
My family – they have been totally generous just superb, I should say. When I had to go away traveling on work (for the first time ever) during the kids spring break, they did not make a fuss but said I should go ahead and take the opportunity – since traveling for work is not anywhere in my job description.  They were totally nice when I could not call them on time each day or when I called them when I was totally exhausted. And when I returned and had to work constantly for another week, instead of penalizing me for not being mommy, they were again super troopers! So here is to the bestest family of all.

For Theme Thursdays (agree):
" ‘How can hapless Alessandro have suddenly acquired such knowledge and skill?’ It was, they all agreed, most  curious. Then one All Hallows’ Eve, Contarini’s neighbors heard him screaming in agony"
From the ARC copy of 'On the Day I Died' by Candace Fleming

8 comments:

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    1. it definitely is.. always have loved towns like this..

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  2. Wow! Wonderful post. I also like this type blogs or postings. Keep it on with this type of post. Good Luck!

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    1. thanks...love traveling and love writing so will try to keep writing ..

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  3. It is funny when you live in an area that tourists come to visit. We here in CA can drive by Disneyland day after day and not pay any attention to it or by so many sites that we just ignore. But then we can travel to another place and go crazy looking at the different sites. Or if family comes and wants to go to Disneyland then we get all excited like a tourist. I love to travel but gas is getting to be very expensive.

    And it sounds like you have such a great family who supports you when you travel, what more can one ask for. A great story about them.

    Happy Theme Thursday, have a fantastic weekend.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you... totally agree with you and that is why we have started being tourists in our own town for the past couple of years and exploring the places we tended to skip or miss earlier thinking we anyway live here..
      and yes, looove my family...

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  4. lovely you really told us a lot about Burlington.I'm glad the weather was good for you

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    1. thank you Sheilagh.. I am looking forward to another visit there - with my family..

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Love to hear from you! I do read all your comments and do reply whenever I can.. but I will definitely hop on over to visit you...