We took a trip to Vermont for our 30th anniversary. Five years ago we spent the week of our anniversary in San Francisco, which was a very attractive place for people who live in Texas to go in July; this year we were hoping for similar results in Vermont.
Initially I had hoped we could fly into Burlington using miles I had earned on USAirways in 2011, but it turned out that, between lack of availability of the lowest mileage level, and insufficient miles in my account, we could not do that. I burned my USAirways miles on another trip, and instead we used American miles to get at least as far as New England. Our choices were Boston or Bradley International, usually called ‘Hartford’ even though it is halfway between Hartford and Springfield, Massachusetts. Boston is a little closer to Vermont, but just getting out of Boston is not an easy task. Getting out of Bradley is nothing. So, we flew to BDL, using miles, on American, and in first class.
|Warm nuts in first class|
We carried on our bags, hoping to make a quick getaway from the airport, because we had a long drive ahead of us.
Our flight was uneventful, but landed a little bit late. Our rental car was a Chevy Cruze, a model I was completely unfamiliar with, but it had cruise control (essential for long drives) and it had an XM radio, which was not essential but was more than welcome.
Our first destination was in North Bennington, VT. This is a part of the state where I had never been. Our route took us up I-91, almost to the Massachusetts/Vermont border, where we took smaller roads over towards Bennington. Some of the smaller roads were just a touch too small and too winding, and so we didn’t make particularly good time. The scenery is fabulous, and everything is unbelievably green. I had printed directions from Google maps, but things sort of broke down when we got to Bennington, and we could not find the street where we were supposed to turn.
A side note – Vermonters are not very good at signs. In fact, they are terrible at signs, and are kind of proud of it. For a state that depends heavily on tourism for revenue, they are somewhat ambivalent about it. They’d really rather not depend on tourism and they often don’t go the extra mile to make it easy on visitors. On a person-to-person basis, Vermonters are very friendly and accommodating. But try to find Burlington airport some time. You would think a state’s largest airport would be easy to find. You’d be wrong.
We ended up having to use our iPhone map application to find our first B&B, and fortunately Bennington is a part of Vermont where there is pretty good cellphone service. Some areas have poor or no service, and you can’t use your iPhone map application if it can’t download the map from the Internet.
The first B&B was Henry House, an extraordinary place to stay. It was built in 1769, which in some countries is not a long time ago, but it is in our country.
|Henry House, and our Chevy|
David and Nancy Lively only recently took it over, and they are doing a good job with it. Our room was on the second floor, and was quite large, with good cross-ventilation, important because it was rather warm. We had a private bath, but it was not ensuite but across the hall. Nobody else was around so there was no privacy issue. Access to our room was by a stairwell that looked like a submarine conning tower or something, and I did hit my head fairly hard one time.
|Awkward stairwell at Henry House|
One of our goals for the trip was to see a covered bridge – we could see one out our window!
|Veal with too much pasta|
We got in pretty late – 7:30 or so, and asked our hostess for advice as to where to get dinner without having to drive too far. She suggested Kevin’s Sports Bar and Restaurant, a short distance away. That is, a short distance if you make no wrong turns. We found it, and it was crazy busy but they had a table for two. This restaurant features quantity over quality – but it was okay. And in a true rarity, when Jody asked for the tortellini dish without the chicken it was supposed to come with, they took something off the price. That’s a first.
|Too much tortellini|