Vermont lives up to its name “Green Mountain State” this time of year, that’s for sure. We have been mesmerized by the rich green tones of the trees, ferns, and grass. Everything looks so alive.

The state of Vermont could also very well be known as the “Green State” for its dedication to the environment. We continually see examples of this all around us here in Stowe, and it warms our hearts. I loved seeing this electric vehicle charging station in the village parking lot,


and we have seen many homes and businesses using solar panels to generate electricity. At Cold Hollow Cider Mill, they had solar panels installed two years ago, and the cost is expected to be covered in ten years. After that, they won’t have to pay a penny for all of the electricity they are using in their large cider mill, restaurant, and corporate offices. (Don’t you just love this old truck parked next to the new solar panels? My, how technology has advanced over the years!)


 More on Cold Hollow Cider Mill later.

Our motel is located right next to the river, and the halfway point of the six-mile recreation path that follows the river was easily accessible. This was the way we started our day, since the mountains were too fogged in and rainy to visit the national park. We headed on the path upriver towards the mountain, taking in the scenery and shooting photos along the way. At the end of the path, we came across a covered bridge.
The six-mile roundtrip crisscrossed the river a few times along the way, and the view from each bridge was breathtaking, even on a cold and cloudy day.










After our walk, we went into town to enjoy the shops and see the other end of the recreation path that we missed earlier. What a quaint, cute town! There were some fabulous shops including Laughing Moon Chocolates where we watched Amelia make sea salt-topped chocolate dipped caramels. After tasting a sample, we just had to walk out of there with a box of our own.



Cold Hollow Cider Mill is where we ended up our day. Unfortunately, they had wrapped up apple pressing for the afternoon, but we did have an opportunity to sample their outrageously delicious apple cider while watching a video on how they process the apples. Tomorrow, on our way to Maine, we’ll stop back in and see it firsthand.



Vermont has been fabulous, so I’ll be sad to leave it behind. If it weren’t for the weather, I could live in this state! The entire state’s population is roughly half of the city of San Diego, so there’s plenty of room!


On a rainy day (and 20 degrees below normal temperature for June 1), what better way to spend the day than staying dry indoors sampling Vermont’s foodie favorites?

We actually did get a fair bit of walking in outdoors before the rain settled in for the afternoon. Burlington is a nice, walkable city in the historic downtown center. The 4-block long outdoor pedestrian street is lined with historic buildings on each side with shops and restaurants. “Homeport” was our favorite store– 4 levels of EVERYTHING you could possibly want for your home all loaded in a historic building. At the end of the year, it must be an inventory nightmare for them, because they have such a huge selection. From sink strainers to interesting decorative wall hooks, they had dozens to choose from. It was a very cool store.

Working up an appetite from our walk along Church St. and along Waterfront Park and back, it was time to sample Vermont.


While walking along Church St. we came across this 124-foot mural entitled, “Everyone Loves a Parade!”  It was custom-designed by renowned Canadian muralist, Pierre Hardy, wide-known for his inventive and meticulously-detailed, large-scale pieces.  Grand Master Samuel de Champlain leads the charge as the scene depicts an evolution in time along Church St.  Notable and everyday Bulingtonians, downtown businesses, and iconic images of the past 400 years are distinguished through overflowing illustrations.


Follow this panorama photo, and the next three photos from left to right.




First up for sampling: Lake Champlain Chocolates. Unfortunately, there were no tours today (or tomorrow) because of new flooring being installed, but we went anyway to check out the factory and hunt for factory seconds to purchase. (Hey, they’re just going to be eaten anyway, so why purchase at full price?)



Our next stop: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Photos weren’t allowed on the factory tour, but I did get a few shots where cameras were allowed.




New flavors- YUM!

Bruce and I felt right at home at the factory, because Ben and Jerry’s hearts are in the right place as far we are concerned. Their company philosophy is spot-on, and they value social justice and the environment. They even had free hook-up stations in the parking lot for electric vehicles to get juiced while they’re owners get a fill of ice cream!



AMEN to this!

Recycling is also huge there and everywhere here in Vermont. The state’s goal is to reach a 40% recycle rate, and the businesses we have encountered are enthusiastically in support of that goal. Our motel is on board as was the restaurant we ate at this evening.

This is my kind of place; such a cool vibe. Georgia (and most of the rest of the world), GET WITH THE PROGRAM if you have any hope of leaving Planet Earth habitable for future generations!

The sampling portion of our day concluded with a stop at Cabot Cheeses where they had samples out of every variety of cheese they make as well as selections of maple syrup, dips, and other delicious foods. Fabulous!

While there we picked up a small bottle of Mannaz Mead from Groennfell Meadery, and just popped it open to sip as I type. Strange. It’s made with 100% single-source honey, something we have never tasted (or heard of) before. I think it’s an acquired taste, and I’m not sure I want to acquire it.

Earlier, after all the sampling in Burlington and Waterbuy, we made our way north on one of Vermont’s most scenic byways to Stowe. The Stowe Motel and Snowdrift is ourTrip Advisor-recommended home for a couple of nights, and it’s a beautiful, spacious property with large expanses of grass in between the buildings.

Upon arrival, we were greated by “Remy”, the owner’s gorgeous German Short-haired Pointer. We were also upgraded to a larger room without even asking! NICE!

Dinner in town was at a casual little 5-table place, “Bender’s Burritos.” Check this out: A sweet potato and black bean burrito with Spanish rice, minced ginger, mild cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo, and salsa verde. De-LISH, all one pound of it!