I spent my vacation in the homeland of Ben and Jerry (hello Caramel Sutra!), the Trapp Family (hello Sound of Music!), President Coolidge (I had to google him), maple syrup (hello sugar high!) and the Taffel family (hello my new big American family).
Vermont is green. And full of mountains. One of which I climbed — I didn’t realize it early enough because I was half asleep on the way up. Vermont is so beautiful that sometimes you feel like you stepped into the movie set of one of those films that win awards for the blue and green backgrounds. Come with me:
On August 8th, we crossed the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit to Canada.
Ontario is kind of boring, but of course I didn’t get to see much of it. A few hours later we arrived at Niagara Falls. The Falls were amazing. The area surrounding them reminded me of Las Vegas:
But, if you turn your back to the touristy side, you find yourself staring with your mouth half open.
It used to be the honeymoon spot in the 50s and 60s (but you already knew this from Mad Men). Now it seems to be the spot for loud children and their families.
Crossing back to the USA, I used my green card for the first time. It felt great!
So, Vermont. If I had paid more attention to my french professor I should have known that the name itself means green mountain. Green mountains and lakes.
And Will’s family who never stop moving, swimming, jumping off bridges into the water in different styles. I wish they would tell me where they go shopping for energy.
The Greek found a shady spot and watched the show.
Did I tell you about the green mountains and the blue skies with fluffy clouds that remind you of your childhood collages with cotton?
Montpelier is the state’s capital with lots of cute shops and cafes.
One of them had some interesting art on the walls:
One evening they decided to take the Greek canoeing. Feeling really adventurous and active, I agreed, with only one condition: I don’t want to get wet (it was freezing cold by my Mediterranean standards). They promised me loons. Have I told you that Loons are my new favorite birds?
Seeing a lake on a canoe can be magical.
Especially if you are not doing the paddling.
If Coco Chanel had designed a bird, this would be the black and white loon. I just LOVE them.
Maple trees turn red in the fall and on our walks we’d find the first signs of the new season.
Local stores are loaded with maple syrup and candy that looks like it’s all sugar.
Patti’s garden made me appreciate nature a little bit more. I think there is a scheme going on here, everybody is trying to turn me into a nature girl.
For my name-day weekend we drove to Newburyport in Massachusetts, the cutest little town ever. Nobody knew what a name day is but we celebrated nevertheless. Highlight of the day: the beautiful card I got which everybody had signed, even 2-year old Calli with her crayons.
People actually go on whale watching trips from here. Obviously, they haven’t read The Swarm.
Lifetime first: I dipped my toes in the Atlantic.
Nannette made her world famous cheesecake for my name day.
(they made this day soooo special and I’m so grateful since I got kind of homesick at some point!)
Back to Vermont the next week, we explored Stowe.
Sampled apple cider and local products
got handmade soaps
followed the road to the mountain
made a pit stop at the Shed for their award winning burger
explored the ski resorts without the snow
and the Trapp Family lodge. I was one of the kids who spent countless hours on their belly before a VCR watching again and again Sound of Music. So, this was kind of touching.
Of course my adult self was also touched by the local fudge makers
and the pilgrimage to Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory.
you can actually watch them make it. Takes all your self control no to jump in, like the kids in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
I finally jumped in a cooler and came out with my favorite flavor: Caramel Sutra, the ice cream I would have made if I was Ben or Jerry.
Back to downtown Barry
there is the sculptured bench where you can sit on one end and whisper things to the person sitting on the other edge and he can actually hear them.
Taking advantage of my Ben-and-Jerry’s-induced good moods my new american family suggested a hike up the mountain. I agreed without realizing what I was getting myself into. Part of my bad decision was waking up at 6 or something, something that felt more like last night than this morning. Ι was half asleep on the way up so I didn’t really get the point of going through all this trouble. I suspected that there is NO point at all.
Will was really excited, so I didn’t say anything to ruin his happiness. I consoled myself with little things like mushrooms that belong in a Sarah Kay world
and then we finally made it to the top, where I learned that I also had 97097567039769037673 steps to climb to reach a tower that promised a nice view. I swallowed my idea of this tower and climbed them.
OH MY GOD THE VIEW.
and then I knew the point.
“Hey Ma, I’m on top of the world!”
We drove back loaded with maple syrup, homemade strawberry jam, lots of pictures and the warmth of loving hugs.
Back to Ann Arbor, a few days after our arrival came our shipment from Greece (hello Dad’s olive oil!). So, we were busy framing and hanging the posters and art work from the Old World
Finding the right place for memorabilia, like this turtle from Syros that Eleni gave me last year (and I’m actually wearing one of her T-shirts while taking the picture)
and of course the legendary set of Pots that my Mom gave us as a wedding present and traveled the Atlantic to come here. We had to wash all of them and ran out of drying space.
Will’s Mom also gave us her wedding china, so for a few days we were washing and drying beautiful porcelain dishes AND new pots and pans so it really felt like we were newlyweds settling down in our own house.
Which is kind of true, this is the first home we are decorating together from scratch and it’s exciting!
Actually, life with Will is exciting.