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Food Travel / Foreign Grocery Friday / Vermont Travel / Burlington Travel / Fall in Vermont Field Trip / Drinking Travel / Fall Travel / Fall Foliage Travel / → All Tags
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
What comes to mind when you think Vermont? Lots of pretty trees in the fall and skiing at the rural resorts in the winter, sure, but what aboult foodie culture? We're talking about the land of maple syrup and chocolate and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, so Vermont often surprises with what can be found on supermarket shelves. One such item is Maple Seltzer by Vermont Sweetwater. You'll find seltzers in almost any flavor and maple goodies in almost any form, so why not combine the two? They did.
Looking at the bottle, you'll notice that it's got the typical liquid consistency of regular seltzer, so no drinking viscous maple syrup here. Turn it over and you'll see the plain ingredients of "100% pure filtered and carbonated Maple Sap...no water added." Sip it and you'll find that it tastes like plain seltzer at first, all bubbles and fizz until a slight maple hint hits your tongue as the bubble settle. It's sweet in only a very small way, and it's actually refreshing enough to enjoy on a regular basis, should you be lucky enough to live in Vermont. Plus, it's only got 52 calories for one whole bottle. We'd like to see Coca Cola try that.
Fall Foliage Travel / Fall Travel / Fall in Vermont Field Trip / Vermont Travel / Burlington Travel / Travel Snapshots / → All Tags
This is downtown Burlington, Vermont, as seen yesterday from the roof of a public parking structure in the Church Street Marketplace area. As you can see, the fall foliage is absolutely out there already, and pretty soon, those green trees leftover will turn fiery shades as well. It's just the beginning of the fun, as the real swathes of color should happen in about one week. Currently, the weather is rain, rain, mist, rain and more mist, with a few minutes of damp calm to capture images like this.
Still, we wish you were here. It feels like everyone else is, as tour buses chock full of Europeans roll past, keeping up with strict leaf-peeping itineraries. Listening to NPR last night, there was an hour discussion on exactly what turns leaves different colors, followed by something like two hours of locals calling in to confirm whether or not the leaves on their streets had begun the fall transformation. It was riveting in the way that only lifelong Vermonters find interesting. However, it did make us crave a warm breakfast of fresh waffles drenched in real maple syrup and a cup of steaming hot apple cider, so that's our weekend goal.
Going leaf-peeping as well this weekend? What does fall make you crave?
Tourism / Tourists / Vermont Travel / Food Travel / Travel News / Terrorism / → All Tags
Here is the most ridiculous news you will probably hear all day: the press reported earlier this month that Vermont's popular Maple Grove Farms factory tour was shut down due to terrorism concerns. Whoa, what?
The Rutland Herald attempts to make sense of this: "the company, the largest maple syrup wholesaler in the nation, had to shutter the tour as a result of 'food-defense' concerns that have sprouted since terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., nearly nine years ago." Apparently it's taken nine years for the factory to figure out that it'd cost them more than it's worth to retrofit the factory so that visitors are kept away from machinery. So they're just not allowed at all.
Trying to flee the freezing temperatures sweeping across the country is natural, but predictable. Instead, do what folks in these frigid destinations do—embrace it and Get INTO the Cold. The trick to staying toasty is chill-killing gear and lots of bone warming activity. So stop moping around waiting for summer to arrive and head to these five crazy cold places and get your winter wonderland on.
Cold Meter: Moderate-High
Early mornings at this classic New England alpine resort town can be deceiving when the bright sun makes it a bearable 30 degrees. But the mercury quickly descends to a body numbing 3 by late afternoon.
Skiing brings in beaucoup visitors to Stowe each winter season where two mountains are split into six different traversable areas. Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak at 4,395 feet, is where the big dogs hang out on the multiple wooded trails and “Front Four” black diamond descents. Expect to shell out some duckets for lift tickets (min $57 day per adult during early/late season; more during prime and peak times).
Experience the Australian Alps from the comfort of a movie theater
Film, at its best, has the ability to transport us to a different time, place or state of mind. The great leisure of cinematic travel is that you do so parked in a plush theater chair for two or so hours, with a jumbo pack of Milk Duds and Red Vines by your side. The Fifth Annual Backcountry Film Festival aims to take theatergoers on a tour of wintry locations the world over, from Vermont to Japan.
Your lift ticket to mountainous and blistering-cold regions comes in the form of films shot in the backcountry of different nations, including unlikely places such as Australia. It's a little-known fact that there is snowboarding along with surfing down under.
Fall-Foliage-Map / Fall Foliage Travel / Fall Travel / Outdoor Travel / Amtrak / Train Travel / Vermont Travel / → All Tags
Live in on the east coast and have a serious craving for some real, true maple syrup on your pancakes before you head out for fall foliage-spotting? There's no other option for such a weekend trip then other than Vermont, with its 50 state parks and late September fall foliage peak.
Actually, the trip to Vermont should be just as packed with red, orange and yellow scenery if you hop on Amtrak's Vermonter, which originates in Washington DC, and goes up through Delaware, New York City, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont almost to the Canadian border.
When you think of warm weather, Vermont isn’t exactly the first place that comes to mind. However, temperatures this weekend will be in the upper 80s in some places, so it’s fine to put the off the yard work for another week and hit the river. Vermont River Tubing fired up the tubing season in June, and things will run through Labor Day weekend—so you only have a few more weeks to start floating.
Reservations aren’t required, so you can just show up and drop your butt in a tube. It’s only $10 to take a trip down the White River, and you’ll be rewarded with an afternoon of relaxation. If you get lost looking for the place, just ask locals where the Stockbridge Yacht Club is located—they’ll know where you’re talking about.
Things start each day at 10:00, so if you get there around opening you’ll be able to get in a couple trips before the sun starts to set. Lately the river has been doing pretty well, so you don’t have to worry about dragging your lower half along the rocky river bed. Still, wear some old sneakers to protect your tootsies, just in case.
Related Stories: [Photo of wacky tubers in another location: Evil Erin]
· Vermont River Tubing [Official Site]
· Seattle's Terrain Is Good For At Least One Thing: Rivers For Tubing [Jaunted]
· Tubing coverage [Jaunted]
[Photo of wacky tubers in another location: Evil Erin]
It's not every day you turn 400. Heck, it's not every day anything turns 400, but that big birthday is coming up for our old friend Lake Champlain—the Northeast's far quainter answer to the Great Lakes.
Okay well, the lake itself is probably a lot older than 400, but July 2009 marks the 400th anniversary of French explorer Samuel de Champlain’s first sighting of it, and Vermont is going all out for its favorite body of water.
So how exactly do you throw a birthday party for a lake? Vermont has interpreted it as an excuse to celebrate all things aquatic, French, or both. The festivities kick off July 2nd in Burlington with Celebrate Champlain Burlington International Waterfront, a 13-day festival complete with French food, Quebecois artists, and concerts from big names like Tony Bennett and The Roots.
Events coming up in the ensuing months include a boat tour of more than 300 shipwrecks sunk beneath Lake Champlain, a French heritage festival in the tiny town of Vergennes, and tons more historical and education programs throughout the state all year long. For a full list, check out the Celebrate Champlain website.
· Penguin Plunges Keep Burlington Fit [Jaunted]
· Eat 'n Sleep in Burlington :: Trattoria Delia and Lang House [Jaunted]
· Summer's Swimming Holes [Jaunted]
[Photo: john w]
Our Eat 'n Sleep feature profiles a restaurant in a random city and a hotel nearby. It's kinda like that old show "Dinner and a Movie" but you know, with restaurant and hotels. And better jokes.
We love Vermont for its cheese, its beer and its hippie ski bums. But turns out it's a great place to go for summer hikes, too. That got us thinking that mountaineers heading out on the trails will be looking for a place to fill their bellies and rest their heads after a long day spent with Mother Nature. And as you'd expect, we know just the place for both.
Springfield Vermont is the official home of the The Simpsons, sort of. Now that we know where Homer and crew live, time to make a Vermont pilgrimage, to the official home of the first family of cartoons.
The fourteen Springfields of the United States were encouraged to make videos bolstering their Simpsons-worthiness for viewers to vote on online, and the town of 9,000 took first place with its donut-chasing adventure film.
One bitter Illinois resident, displeased with that Springfield's second-place finish, declared that Vermont isn't even a state in retaliation, while another blogger claimed that the real Simpsons hometown would never win such a contest in the first place. People, please, it's a perfectly cromulent prize, so let's embiggen the winning state.
Citizens of all Springfields in the contest will get a sneak peek of the "Simpsons" movie, although Springfield Vermont will host its July 21 premiere. The movie hits theatres nationwide on July 27th. Closest airport to the Simpson's new official home? MHT in Manchester, New Hampshire.