Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Visiting Vermont part 2

First of all, let me introduce you to the welcoming committee:

These lovely folks were all around on the roadways, waving and looking oh, so rustic and friendly.  During leaf season, it's all about the tourists and Vermonters who are ordinarily very independent and reserved go all out to welcome sundry sources of their annual income. 

I would have taken some shots of the leaves, but frankly, why not let the professionals do that rather hackneyed exploration.  I prefer to stick with the strange and heretofore little known aspects of Vermont.

To wit, the cows.  As everyone knows, Vermont is an agricultural state and is home to wonderful cheese, maple syrup and Ben and Jerry's famous ice cream.  You would think Vermonters would be overwhelmingly fat, but really they're not. 

 Here are some of the cows we saw:

Each of these cows was sponsored and designed by various organizations and artists.  Come on now, you have to admit they are pretty cute.  (Probably Mrs. Cow back at Shelburne Farms would disagree, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.)

On Saturday night, we went to Barnes and Noble in South Burlington, the biggest one I have ever seen.  As we sat and read, in trotted our own Congressman, the independent and eccentric Bernie Sanders.  He wandered around the store looking at books and a Lego reproduction of the White House, all unnoticed by anyone at all! This is one of the really great things about Vermont.  Everyone is so accessible there.  You can hop into an elevator and find yourself standing next to Senator Pat Leahy or go to Mirabelle's bakery and get a pastry with the mayor. 

I love Vermont.

Anyway, the last thing I want to mention is that parking is never a problem here:

You can always find some big ape to help you out. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visiting Vermont, part I

I went visiting Vermont recently because I return there for dental work from time to time. (Long story...)
While there were we went to Shelburne Farms, one of my most favorite places.  If you look on the right between the trees, you can see a little bit of the farm barn, which is spectacular.  The whole place looks like an English castle.  You can even stay there in the Inn which is sitting on Lake Champlain. I like this path which begins by walking through these oak trees.  Sometimes there is a farm wagon loaded with people that comes through and you have to get out of the way.
As we got to the end of the path, there were these hand carved totems, which I hadn't seen before.  Vermont is full of interesting artisans who do things like this.  I don't know why they have the body cavities, but I suspect that they "sing" on windy days. 

Nearer to the farm barn they had arranged hay bales and kids and adults were running around on them and playing in the maze.
Chickens were running about picking up morsels here and there.  I loved them running single file.
If you wonder about the time, just look up to the roof and see the clock!  Easy sneezy!

We went into the barn to visit the animals, one of my favorite things.  Here is Mrs. Cow (and she had her baby right next to her.)  The cows at Shelburne Farms are Brown Swiss and they are beautiful with their soft coats and long eyelashes.  It's fun to pet them because I don't ordinarily get that close to cows.  I spent quite a bit of time standing and petting her.  All the animals at Shelburne Farms are spit-shined and sparkly clean. 

Here is her adorable little baby, just a couple of days old.
And my personal favorite...the piglets.

 There were ten of these little freckle-faced ones and Mama outside doing her best to fill up so she could keep nursing them.
She really looks like a walking milk bar, doesn't she?

There were other animals there, donkeys, goats, llamas and sheep.  Bunnies in cages.   The whole farm deal.  Being there is the best medicine around for lowering blood pressure. 

After we left the animal area, we went to the bakery.  Right on the premises is the O Bread bakery.  We went in and heard the angels sing! 


There were loaves and loaves of their delicious artisan breads cooling on racks, and croissants, cookies and other goodies.  We kept buying more and more!

Hey! How did that goat get in there? He better not eat any of the bread! He can just stick with the hay and tin cans and leave the bakery goods to me!

All of this seems so very Vermonty, doesn't it?  Wait til my next post for the funnier parts of the visit.  Meanwhile, can someone keep an eye on this hungry looking goat?!