Friday, September 06, 2013

Vermont, or, where we found the world’s best syrup

On our way from Bar Harbor to Vermont, we stopped in Conway, NH at a general store that Derrick’s brother told us about. Apparently they sell these amazing sleigh bells. So we went to check them out and they are indeed amazing. We balked at the price for a bit and then just bit the bullet and bought them because 1) they are incredible and 2) we only came to this stinking place for the bells, so we might as well get the bells! It honestly sounds like Santa himself is about to walk in the room these bells sound so perfect. If you are ever over at my house and want to hear these bells, just ask. I can’t wait to use them at Christmas!

We drove by the exit for the Cabot cheese factory, which would have been so cool to go to, had it not closed 10 minutes before we got the exit. So sad. They have the most delicious white cheddar.

Vermont has SO MANY TREES. I thought Wisconsin was green. It pales in comparison to Vermont. Vermont is so dense and lush and just beautiful. And mountainous. We’ve been spoiled with mountains  having lived in Utah for so long so these weren’t as impressive, but they were still big and picturesque. I love seeing the ski runs cut out of the trees. aDSC_3183When we were researching things to do in Vermont we didn’t really come up with much. And since we knew we weren’t going to really have that much time, we decided to stay at a nice place and just enjoy the scenery and our location. (It’s a good thing, too, because it pretty much rained that whole day driving.) With that in mind, we stayed at the Top Notch resort in Stowe, VT. It was newly renovated and gorgeous. Everyone even got a $100 resort credit as a perk for the new reno. Of course I shamelessly mentioned our anniversary (again!) and scored us a top floor room with a gorgeous view. Then a few minutes after getting to our room we received a basket of cheese (Cabot white cheddar!! woot!) and crackers. The cheese was, of course, delicious and the little cracker crisps they had were divine. Two points now for the shameless plug!aDSC_3181We used our resort credit in their restaurant, Flannel, for dinner that night. Holy amazeballs. Delicious. We got this gnocchi dish for an appetizer that was so tasty. I had the burger with pork belly, a fried egg, caramelized onions, and VT cheese on it. One of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Derrick got the salmon with a radish butter and he said it was the best salmon he’s ever had. So, so good. August 2013 iphoneAfter dinner we went in the hot tub outside, since it had finally stopped raining. The weather was perfect and after we got out we just sat in some Adirondack chairs and just enjoyed being outside and talked. Perfect night.

The next morning we went to Flannel for breakfast after a quick run in the fitness center. I got the eggs Benedict (again—my most favorite breakfast ever) and it was delicious. Derrick got the French toast and we both fell in love with the syrup. I pretty much drank what was left in the jar when he was done eating. I asked the chef what kind it was and he showed me the bottle and said it was made right there in town. I took down the information and we looked it up online and decided to go check it out. aIMG_0239We drove by the Trappe Family Lodge first, which is run by the family that inspired the movie The Sound of Music. It looks just like a little Swiss chalet. Very cute. aDSC_3188Then we went to the Nebraska Knoll Sugarhouse. It is a little building behind a house. We weren’t sure it was even the right place. But we walked in and there’s this lady in there and sure enough we’re in the right place. She was super nice and showed us how they extract the sap and the tube system they use and took us back to the huge kettle where they boil down the sap and it was just so cool. Then we got to taste all the grades of syrup they make, including the one we had for breakfast. She let us taste the chunks of maple sugar she makes after boiling down the sap until all the water evaporates. It tastes like brown sugar. Then we bought a lot of syrup. :) (Side note: I had kind of given up on eating syrupy breakfasts because I pretty much feel like I’m going to die an hour afterwards. But ever since I started using this pure maple syrup, I’ve been ok. I’m no expert or naysayer on HFCS, but I think that might have something to do with it.)aDSC_3196aDSC_3191We got the Grade A Dark Amber. aDSC_3195The sugarhouse is up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere. This was just down the road from the it. Gorgeous and so peaceful.aDSC_3199Next stop: Ben & Jerry’s! You can’t go to Vermont without going to Ben & Jerry’s, right? We did the little tour, which was cute and fun, and ended with a very delicious sample of Milk & Cookies ice cream. The best cookies and cream ice cream I’ve ever had. Why had I never had it before???? The place was packed, and we waited in a huge line to get a cone of peaches and cream, a special summer recipe. Tasty, tasty.

aDSC_3206aIMG_0246 aIMG_0249 aIMG_0262          Then we continued on our journey and headed towards Lake Placid, NY! Stay tuned!

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