I'm writing this from our hotel in Rutland, Vermont -- we finally got the wifi working for Dave's computer. We're here for a few days of R&R. Teddy is taking his morning nap so I thought I'd try to post.
We left on Wednesday morning (once again missing Canada Day in Ottawa) and drove through a very quiet Montreal. We crossed into NY at Lacolle (the border officer liked Teddy's passport photo) and met up with my parents in Plattsburgh at Friendly's, our usual stop. We had lunch, picked up booze and stopped into a K-mart (like a fool, I'd forgotten the bag with the baby wipes) and headed off. We crossed into Vermont at the south end of Lake Champlain and got to Rutland by 3. Woot!
I love Vermont; it is my favourite state. It's so idyllic and charming with the rolling green mountains, the beautiful homes, the yummy food and drink, and the friendly New Englanders. It also has decent shopping! My parents and I camped here when I was tiny (it's so close to Montreal) but we hadn't been in 25 years until we moved to Ottawa. Now we come at least once a year! Dave really likes it, too. Especially since his guilty pleasure fast food joint - Taco Bell - opened 400 feet from the hotel at which we stay!
We have shopped up a storm; apparently we like to stimulate the US economy, too. But the deals - holy cow! Dave desperately needed clothes (other than one visit to the GAP in April, he'd bought no clothes in over a year) and I wanted to pick up gifts for the many babies in/about to enter our lives. The outlets at Manchester (plus the stores here in Rutland) did not disappoint. Crazy deals - like an Ann Taylor tweed skirt that was normally $88 which I got for $3.58. And children's clothes at the GAP and Carter's for 80% to 90% off usual prices. Dave got some crazy bargains, too. All in all, we've done well!
Yesterday, I added another state to my overall total, now sitting at 34. We drove east along US Route 4, passing Killington and Woodstock and the Quechee Gorge to White River Junction VT. We drove north for 5 miles and crossed into adorable Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth as well as authors Janet Evanovich, Jodi Picoult and (for a time) Bill Bryson. We parked and wandered the downtown and the campus, having lunch at a restaurant frequented by both parents and students. I felt OLD; the students are now a decade younger than me! The town is lovely, as is the campus. We shopped a bit (Dave got amazing deals at the GAP; I got some books including one signed by Bill Bryson). Then, we headed down to Lebanon to shop a bit as NH has no sales tax. Vermont has none on clothes and shoes, but NH has none at all. I have to admit - Lebanon wasn't so great. We did hit our third K-mart (one in each of NY, VT and NH; we're all class) b/c my Dad was looking for a GPS which is on sale, but there werenone in stock. We bid farewell to NH and headed back to Vermont, stopping at the Long Trail Brewery pub for dinner and a pint before heading back to Rutland.
Today, the 4th, we are taking it easy. We were thinking of going to Calvin Coolidge's birthplace in Plymouth Notch (the most amazing spot; it's a little hamlet that is architecturally identical to how it was in 1920. HIGHLY recommended) but it's also Silent Cal's birthday so it'll be a zoo. Re-visiting the site will have to wait for our next trip! We thought about visiting Killington but there's a triathlon on today. So, we're going to stick around Rutland. We're going to take Teddy swimming (his first time in a pool) and we'll putter around. Maybe we'll see some fireworks? This trip has been great and it's a nice break for Dave who is heading into a BRUTAL month at work.
Teddy has been an absolute doll this whole trip. He's been hauled all over the place, but he is just such a happy kid that he's been fine. Lots of naps in the car seat, lots of new things to look at. He's such a sweet little boy; he's been charming passers-by the whole time.
I've hogged Dave's computer long enough. Off to celebrate Indepedence Day (the day that also indirectly led to the founding of my fair nation). I hope that you're all staying out of trouble!