|Our day today started with a visit to one of my things to see list. For breakfast we went to downtown Burlington to go to the Penny Cluse Café, listed as the best location in Vermont for brunch. We had to wait about 15 minutes to get a table and then ordered our breakfast. I went for the recommended gingerbread pancakes. The verdict? The food was good, and plenty of it, but if this is the best place for brunch, these people are starved for...well, brunch! After breakfast we walked around a six block long pedestrian mall in the middle of downtown Burlington. It was a really nice area with a good blend of chain stores and local merchants. Add to that some artwork around the area including a 124' mural on the side of one of the buildings celebrating the 400th birthday of Burlington and depicting people from Vermont and the greater Burlington area. We spent about an hour there.
After our shopping trip, we went to the Ben & Jerry factory tour. The factory was about a 45 minutes trip from Burlington. We arrived at about 12:30 and we part of the 1:00 PM tour. The tour began with a 10 minute movie about the origins and history of Ben & Jerry's. That was interesting and amusing. We then went to a room with windows on three sides to see and hear about the manufacturing process. We were there for about 10 minutes. The next stop was the tasting room where we heard more about the ice creams. There are currently 70 flavors commercially available, and 300 flavors that have been sent to the flavor graveyard. We were told that there were more flavors that were attempted but never made it to production, including one flavor (broccoli and cheddar) that was produced as an April Fools joke to the visitors who came that day. It was not a hit. Then came our sample of a new flavor. It was a chocolate cookie flavor, kind of like an oreo mix-in with vanilla ice cream. Not bad. We then went outside to visit the flavor graveyard. About 70 gravestones with various flavors, the year(s) they were in production, and an amusing poem on each stone. We each had a cup of our favorite flavors, then were ready to leave.
We decided that we wanted to see the town of Stowe. Cheryl had read that Stowe was a charming town with a classic New England downtown. Stowe was about a 20 minute drive from Ben & Jerry's. We drove to the town, parked the car and proceeded to walk around.
The area is about 4 or 5 blocks long and has numerous shops along it. Most are shops showing various items from local Vermont artists. Very nice things. We did visit the Museum of snowboarding and skiing. Interesting to see the evolution of skiing and snowboarding equipment, and some memorabilia from various Olympic champions. The museum seemed to need some TLC, but it was interesting. Just as we were coming near the end of our visit, I saw a sign for the Stowe Free Library Annual Booksale. We HAD to go see that. The library is in an old clapboard building that looked like a large old house. Actually it had been used as a high school. Today, the library occupies the first floor and an art society gallery occupies the second floor. Nicely laid out and a nice size for a town of 5000 people. We didn't buy any books. The booksale was running from July 10-24. How do they find the volunteers to run that long?
After we left Stowe, we went back downtown in Burlington and had a nice dinner.
Tomorrow, Calvin Coolidge (finally) and the Vermont Teddy Bear factory.