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Escape to Vermont

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Last month I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with life and decided to take a long weekend trip to Vermont. So I took the hour flight from DC, rented a car, and drove around the State for a few days. The peaceful landscapes of Vermont and its kind inhabitants provided a warm and very welcome escape from the chaos of DC life. Vermont, one of the smallest States in the U.S., is full of farmland, kind people and lots of wondrous mountains. Its inhabitants share a hippie mentality, very tied to nature and enthusiastic to support their local community. Almost all restaurants buy meats, produce and dairy from local Vermont farms. In some restaurants, the menus even specify from which farm the meats were purchased. I love this sense of solidarity

1. My home base was the charming city of Burlington, a big university town. The heart of Burlington is Church Street, a large town center with lots of shops and restaurants and, of course, churches!

IMG_2406

2. Here's a shot from Church Street, lots of quaint shops but also more well know stores like Urban Outfitters, GAP and a big mall in the center. Vermont's best-known company, Ben & Jerry's, is everywhere! I will write a separate post about my visit to the Ben & Jerry's factory. The city was just starting to decorate for the holidays and I'm sure Church Street is now twinkling with lots of beautiful lights. 

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3. In my autmum post, I explained that Vermont is perhaps the prime viewing spot for fall foliage in the States. By mid-November almost all of the trees were bare. However, on one Burlington street I was happy to see fantastic colors on a line of trees.

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4. I visited a few small towns but my favorite was Stowe, Vermont. The city is about a ninety minute drive from Burlington, with huge mountains staring at you through most of the journey. Stowe, like many Vermont towns, is a popular ski destination and the local economy is supported by winter skiers and nature enthusiasts in summer and autumn. Also home to this cool covered bridge. 

IMG_2591

5. Vermont is a nature lover's dream. Peaceful streams, bike and walking trails everywhere. With the mountains also lots of hiking trails. The State is great for landscape photography. I did not have the patience or skill during this trip to do the scenery justice. Because I was traveling alone I also made quick stops in the more remote stream and wooded areas. Probably I watch too many crime shows, waiting for someone to jump out of the woods, kidnap and torture me. 
 
revised stream

6. During a day trip to Middlebury, Vermont I came across this wooded railroad running right in the middle of the town. I've always been fascinated by abandoned or remote raliroads in the middle of nowhere. 
 
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7. Why do I love Vermont? First, in the winter it is freezing there. :) Second, I've never been a big city girl, attracted to flashy things or the fast-paced lifestyle. Vermont is a reminder that simple is almost always better, at least in my mind. 

In Stowe, I ate a festive Mexican restaurant. November is too early for the winter skiers to arrive so I was the only person there. My waiter explained that he lived in Vermont his whole life, but after college he thought there must be "something more", so he took a big corporate job in Los Angeles. After two months, he quit and came back to Stowe because he had no connection to the people in Los Angeles, or the hustle of corporate life. Now he runs the restaurant with his friends and they dream of moving to the "Northeast Kingdom" of Vermont, to live in a grand cabin in the woods. Maybe one day I will join them.

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If you're ever on the East Coast, consider taking a short plane ride to explore Vermont and support the wonderful Americans and farmers in this area. I promise they will greet you with a warm smile. 

Comments

( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
yarowind
Dec. 10th, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
Wonderful rural America!
peacetraveler22
Dec. 10th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, the heart and soul of America! It's a pity most foreign tourists don't visit areas like this. I live in Arlington, Virginia and work in DC but the Vermont lifestyle better suits my mentality. Work and family keep me in the DC area, otherwise I would move in a heartbeat.
yarowind
Dec. 11th, 2012 08:23 am (UTC)
Of course, when people come to America first time, they visit mostly big cities such as New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 11th, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
San Francisco is fabulous, one of my favorite cities. For a large city it has a lot of charm and character. I see you visited the city from your reports. Before I became a boring lawyer, I used to work for the airlines and San Francisco and Chicago were my two favorite weekend destinations. :) Which American city did you like best?
yarowind
Dec. 12th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
New York - a very different city, I like it:)
Philadelphia - this city I did not understand. Beautiful center, but I heard from people, that the suburbs are very criminal.
Washington - many museums, but too many officials :)
San Francisco - a great city, but without Castro district would be better :). Yes, I am conservative in such issues.
Las Vegas - the city of eternal holiday, which has done everything that a tourist has spent a lot of money there :)
Los Angeles is too big, but Universalan park is fun:)
Santa Barbara - a good city to live there in old age:))
peacetraveler22
Dec. 12th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
I agree with you on most points, but I do not like NYC and I'm socially liberal and fully support equality for gays. However, I must say I've never met a Russian or Eastern Euro male who was accepting of this lifestyle. :) Cultural difference I think. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided to hear a case on gay marriage, so the "law of the land" should be decided next year. Right now, gay marriage is legal only in a handful of states. And, next they will probably take up the case of pot legalization. You may have heard that Colorado and Washington state voted in the recent election to make personal pot use legal. This is in contradiction to federal law. The U.S. legal system, sometimes very complicated and strange.

Happy holidays!!
yarowind
Dec. 15th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
>> fully support equality for gays. However, I must say I've never met a Russian or Eastern Euro male who was accepting of this lifestyle. :) Cultural difference I think.

At home, they can do what they want, but I strongly against to consider it normal. Even if you look at the anatomical and physiological differences between men and women, we see that this heterosexual contacts it's norma, but homosexual - not.
Happy holidays! :)
yarowind
Dec. 18th, 2012 06:35 am (UTC)
Link to the topic. You'd think this is normal?
IMHO, Western civilization itself is digging its own grave.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-12598896
peacetraveler22
Dec. 18th, 2012 02:41 pm (UTC)
I don't agree with this decision. If they are qualified to be foster parents, they should get the child despite their views on homosexuality. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and I respect them, even though I disagree with their position. I see all sides to most situations, but stand firm in my beliefs on the side I choose. I went to a very religious school growing up, but I am now agnostic. I have a lot of conservative friends with completely different views than me and we get along fine. Plus, this makes for many interesting debates and conversations. :)

I'm socially liberal, but the most important thing is that children grow up in a loving home because this is where the foundations of their values and respect for humanity and others begins. If this couple can provide that, then the child already has a head start in life.

See, we probably do not think that differently after all. :)
yarowind
Dec. 19th, 2012 06:22 am (UTC)
>>I don't agree with this decision

I am very glad:)

>>Plus, this makes for many interesting debates and conversations. :)

Of course!
(Anonymous)
Dec. 10th, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
Beautiful shots!
Love the last photo! Small sample of tranquility!
LSArtem
Dec. 15th, 2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Beautiful shots!
I very love the small American town! They all look the quiet, peaceful and a little bit romantic.
peacetraveler22
Dec. 16th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Re: Beautiful shots!
I guess it depends on your idea of romance, but yes for me small towns are very charming and romantic. When I was younger, big cities were more appealing and exciting but now I prefer peace and quiet. :) Happy holidays to you.
_nevidimka
Mar. 13th, 2013 04:53 am (UTC)
How very beautiful! But it doesn't seem freezing cold, I assume it's early December? And still there is no trace of snow, and everything is so peaceful, it looks like the day isn't windy...
peacetraveler22
Mar. 13th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC)
HI! Welcome to my blog. This was in mid-November. It was cold but no snow. However, this area of the U.S. (known as New England) gets A LOT of snow in the winter time. Not as much as Russia but one the heaviest snow fall regions in the U.S. All of these States (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut) are really beautiful. It's my favorite area of the U.S.
mybathroom
May. 26th, 2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
Such charming towns and landscapes! I like that!
peacetraveler22
May. 26th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
Me too! Vermont is wonderful but in the winter it's one of the coldest States in America.
anna_sollanna
Jul. 8th, 2013 02:49 pm (UTC)
Wow, I thought there can be nothing more beautiful than American autumn you showed in one of the previous posts but this American winter is improbable! I adore such serene and clear sceneries when there are no leaves on the trees and you can see into the distance. Now I see why Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn chose Vermont as place to live in the USA! :))
Btw what time does snow usually appear in this place? December, January?
peacetraveler22
Jul. 8th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Snow usually starts falling in December. I'll write another report about a farm in Vermont this week. I hope you will enjoy the story. :)
pasha1980
Oct. 18th, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
Beautiful pictures. They vividly remind me of my Vermont adventure that took place 13 years ago.

By the way, I also think that derelict railroads are interesting. Have you been to Skyline in NYC? It's a derelict subway line in lower Manhattan that is covered in all sorts of vegetation and flowers. A very nice place.

Edited at 2013-10-18 06:59 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 19th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
No, I don't really like New York City. I'm more of a small town/country girl. That's why I love Vermont! Abandoned places are always interesting (old buildings, railroads, entire cities). Have your heard of Centralia, Pennsylvania? I traveled there with my buddy Alexander last year. He wrote a nice report about it - http://macos.livejournal.com/797194.html.
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )

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