May 2nd 2018
Back again, with new people, places, and things to explore~
I feel like it has been ages since I have made a true “Wish You Were Here” travel post and I am so happy to be back at it. This was my first trip of (hopefully) many of 2018 and I think it was a good place to start. Before I get into my trip as a whole, I thought I would give a bit of backstory to what spurred this trip.
Back at the beginning of my college experience, I met my friend Michaella. Over the past 5 years, we grew up together and bonded a ton and I am proud to call her one of my best friends. So what does that have to do with going to rural Vermont? Well, some time early into college we both realized we shared a love for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and vowed to one day go to the factory in Vermont and take a tour together. That is what brought us to Waterbury and Stowe this past weekend.
But first, let me start at the beginning. Waterbury, VT is about 5-6 hours from where we live so before we could start our travel adventure, we had to make it through a nice, long roadtrip. We left on a Friday morning, bright and early, and took a ferry to Connecticut to avoid the Friday rush hour traffic through the city. The ferry was a drive on ferry which I haven’t been on before so it was a very exciting (and slightly nerve-wracking) experience for me.
However, after we managed to squeeze Michaella’s car onto the boat, we were good to go and able to walk around and see the views from the top deck, enjoy our bagels, and even got to meet two adorable Golden Retrievers. The ride went by pretty quick and soon enough, we were back on the road again.
And before we knew it, we made it into Vermont! It was a bit of a dreary day so mountain fog was everywhere which made the whole drive feel a bit more mystical. After a few more hours of driving, we made it to our Airbnb, a cozy basement apartment on a small farm in Waterbury.
The one thing that really attracted my friend and I to the Airbnb was the fact that they owned goats. And I must say, they were so cute and friendly and just as affectionate as dogs. They just love to be pet and weren’t even looking to be fed, which let me know they were well fed and taken care of!
Another cool thing about the Airbnb hosts was that they owned a restaurant right down the road called Zenbarn. It was a very trendy restaurant with unique food that was actually housed in a converted barn. Some nights they would even have live music and they would host yoga some mornings (sadly, we didn’t experience either during our visit but we should go back someday!) They had some really cool food options at Zenbarn, but I was most drawn to the ramen. We ended our first night in Vermont by snacking and watching movies so we could be awake and ready for the long day ahead.
We woke up around 7 the next morning and started mulling over how we wanted to spend the upcoming day. We decided to start our morning off with a walk around the farm because they had a beautiful creek that ran through the entire plot of land. The morning light hit it in such a beautiful way.
Around 10 o’clock we decided to make our way to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory which was right down the road. However, that was also the first time we saw the goats, so we got a little sidetracked and ended up missing the first tour of the morning and had to wait until 10:30 for the next one!
Upon getting to the Ben & Jerry’s factory and realizing we had missed the first tour, we decided to explore the gift shop. I got a patch and a pin for my denim jacket and Michaella got a Frisbee for her niece and a hat for herself to wear hiking later on our trip.
The tour was only $4 and super cute and quick. It even came with a decently sized sample of the ice cream which I was totally excited about. And after, we were able to take some cute photos around the factory and enjoyed some ice cream cones in the nice weather!
After we got our pictures and enjoyed our ice cream, we headed back to the apartment to get changed and ready for a hike. We went to a local nature park that was super nice and super empty because it was the off season. I found that to be perfect because we were able to enjoy the quiet and got to explore at our own pace. The park also had a lot of places for photo ops which was really fun. It was like living inside a postcard!
We hiked around for a little over an hour because we wanted to make sure we didn’t get caught in the rain. Plus, we were getting hungry. After sitting on a bench and enjoying the fresh air for a bit longer, we went to a cafe about 10 minutes away for lunch. The cafe was seemed to be very popular, however, my friend and I regret what we ordered because it definitely wasn’t what we were hoping for. So my review of Stowe Street Cafe is, “very cute, just don’t order the protein bowl because the miso dressing tastes like ocean water.”
After that, we explored a cute local bookstore and a few other stores including the Cabot cheese store, a cute boho boutique, and a chocolate store. We also popped inside a farmers market to take a look around.
After we finished shopping and exploring, we stopped back at the apartment again to freshen up and change to go out to dinner. We went to a restaurant called Prohibition Pig which had really good BBQ styled food. I didn’t take pictures because I forgot and Michaella broke a glass and got soda everywhere so it was good that I didn’t have my phone out. But we split shoestring fries with the restaurants own homemade ranch, and we each got a chicken biscuit with honey, which I recommend.
That night, we went back to the apartment and watched another movie and ate some of the ice cream we bought to bring home from Ben & Jerry’s. Then went to sleep early to get ready to wake up and pack up the next morning to leave.
The next morning, we enjoyed some great pancakes at a local restaurant called Maxi’s and headed home. Overall, I found it to be a very relaxing but productive trip and I still feel like there is so much more of Vermont to explore that we could easily plan to go back someday.
Vermont, thank you for your kindness. And until next time, wish you were here…