|(Just a quick sidenote for our PSU peeps: when we were in Michigan, we hung out one night with Dramaine at Michigan State. He's lookin fine and doing even better!)
We ended up staying only one full day in Burlington . . . not that we didn't like it, we just felt like moving on. When we entered Vermont from Canada, we stopped at the first rest area and grabbed one of their coupon books, which helped us find a cheap place to
stay Thursday evening. Burlington is the largest town in Vermont, but it's tiny (population, 40,000). We spent a good amount of time just wandering about the city and along Lake Champlain. The town slopes down to the waterfront, which makes for some awesome vistas.
Perhaps the most important reason we stopped in Burlington was to go on the Ben and Jerry's factory tour. The factory is about 30 minutes outside of Burlington in Waterbury, and we drove there first thing on Friday morning. The factory is big, but unassuming - there's only a tiny sign indicating the huge building is actually a Ben and Jerry's plant. The tour was $3 and included a short educational movie, a quick walk through the plant, then two samples while listening to sales pitches about their new flavors. These pitches were fairly easy to ignore while chowing down on ice cream. The tour was pretty fun, plus I think we got some pointers for our own ice cream making practices which are famous throughout Portland. First, find a gigantic rotating freezer cooled by sound waves . . .
Overall, we enjoyed Burlington. Through the center of the town is an area called the Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian only area with restaurants, coffee shops, bars, etc. We spent a bit of time in the Muddy Waters coffee shop getting juiced on caffeine and reading the paper, then had to sprint to a restaurant called Sweetwater's to stop the shaking hunger that accompanies several hours of not eating and drinking coffee. The restaurant had an awesome glassed in outdoor patio on the Marketplace, so it was awesome for watching people. We even got to see some dude wipe out on his skateboard while trying to do a trick in front of some chicks. HAAAA!
In the evening, it started raining a bit, so we completed our wandering and headed to the movie theater to see Kung Fu Hustle. Though there was a similar fighting theme as found in Million Dollar Baby, this movie was a bit different. It was good.
Saturday morning, we got up early (say 9:00 or so), grabbed some breakfast at a local place and headed out of Vermont in the pouring rain.