Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring travels: Burlington, VT

It has been pouring all week here. It is so frustrating because I have so many projects that require dry weather. I am painting our front porch, which is actually a much bigger job than I anticipated. It hasn't helped that the weather has been so unpredictable. I have the railings completed, but still have the pillars, ceiling, and floor left. We are also giving our laundry room a face lift. Laundry room is pretty generous- it's basically a dungeon with a washer and dryer in it. I have scraped the chipping paint and washed the walls with bleach and water. Now, everything must dry out so I can paint. So, while I wait for the weather to improve, I thought I'd take this time to catch up on this blog. I actually have many east coast stories to tell you about. Get ready for several posts in the next few days!

Adam had a few days off at the end of March. We decided to head up to Burlington, VT for a day trip. We had not been up to that part of Vermont before and had heard that Burlington was a fun town. It's also the home of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. We thought Gavin would enjoy that, so I punched Ben & Jerry's into the GPS and away we went. Now, hilariously enough, I did not type in the exact location of the factory- just Ben & Jerry's. Basically, that is like punching in "Starbucks" on a visit to Seattle, if you wanted to see the headquarters. I took some crap for that when we pulled up to an ordinary Ben & Jerry's store! Oh well, the location was right downtown, so we decided to go have some ice cream and walk around. The other funny part of this trip, it was absolutely freezing outside! So, we were all eating ice cream while wearing hats and gloves.
The popular area in Burlington is the Church Street Marketplace. It is a pedestrian-only, cobblestone street that is lined with shops and restaurants. I love visiting towns like these- fun atmosphere, and perfectly walkable. I wish we had prepared for the chilly weather and dressed warmer. We would have spent more time walking around. Burlington is surrounded by the Green Mountains and sits on the shores of Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain is one of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen. It is just stunning. Come to think of it, Burlington reminds me a lot of Bellingham, WA.
Church Street
THE Ben & Jerry's (or the one that the GPS led us to :))
Lake Champlain, still iced over a bit in late March, 2011
After our stroll through the Church Street Marketplace, we headed over to the actual Ben &Jerry's factory for a tour. The factory is just outside of Burlington in the town of Waterbury. It was actually very interesting to learn about the history of Ben & Jerry. After taking a correspondence class in ice cream making, they opened up their first store in 1978. You can check out the highlighted link above to read how their story evolved. What impressed me most is their long-standing commitment to make their product in the most environmentally friendly way. This is extremely trendy right now, but from what I can tell, this has been important to this company from day one. It is why they do not sell their ice cream in larger sizes. They use fresh, local, and therefore more expensive, ingredients which drives the cost up. They sell their one pint containers of goodness at a specialty price, but really it's a specialty treat. Anyhow, I enjoy success stories like this one. Gavin mostly enjoyed the free samples. It was actually snowing when we got to the factory. I later read on their website that they offer guided snowshoe tours. That sounds like a blast! Might have to add that to next winter's adventures. Here are a few pictures we took at the factory. It was a rather touristy thing to do, but fun nonetheless. Enjoy!
Olivia and I bundled up outside the ice cream factory...


Emily said...

What color are you painting your porch and laundry room? Burlington looks darling, I'll add that to the list next time we're on the east coast! And I'm thrilled to know Ben & Jerry's is such a great company. That means I can feel good about all their ice cream I eat! :)

Jenny said...

We are painting the porch the same color- white with a gray floor. The paint was chipping terribly, so it needed to be freshened. For the laundry room, we are using light blueish gray on the walls, with a light gray floor. We are using garage paint for the floor- should give it a clean look. We are also going to put in some white shelving. Basically, we want to give it a laundry room feel and less basement-like. Fun, fun!