‘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 homes.
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.
Sights To See
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’. 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
- Spirit of Ethan Allen III
- Lake Champlain ferry rides
- Explore the Biking paths
- 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.
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