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Thursday, April 26, 2018

On the Road to Stowe VT

Hi Blog!

After a wonderful dinner last night with Leigh Ann and Jeremy, we came away with loads of ideas for things to do in the area. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, we decided to drive over to Stowe, Vermont. The rainy weather provided a very striking background.

Our first stop was The Alchemist, a craft brewery in Stowe. Opened in July 2016, this state of the art facility was designed to be as low impact as possible while providing enough space to serve its community and the growing number of beer tourists to Vermont. In our six years of RVing, we have never visited a more beautiful brewery.

In spite of the rainy weather, we still found a few minutes to enjoy the view.  We also met a hophead or two:

The inside of this state of the "art" brewery has plenty of art.

While this brewery is a sight to behold, we found the folks working there to be totally lacking in personality and knowledge about the beers they were pouring. We were further disappointed that we could only sample 3 of their 8 beers. How can you run a brewery tasting room, but offer such a limited tasting? I guess looking pretty is more important.

Next, we went up into the hills overlooking Stowe, to find the von Trapp Family Lodge. In the early 1940s, the von Trapp family toured the United States as the Trapp Family Singers before eventually settling in Stowe on a farm with sweeping mountain vistas reminiscent of their beloved Austria. In the summer of 1950, they began welcoming guests to their rustic, 27-room family home/lodge. After a devastating fire in 1980, the original structure was replaced by the new Trapp Family Lodge, a striking, 96-room alpine lodge situated on 2,500 acres offering magnificent indoor and outdoor resort amenities. The entire property is owned and operated by the von Trapp family.

We were again disappointed by the snobbery we found, so we decided to head back into Stowe for lunch.

Stowe is Vermont’s largest town in land area with over 50,000 acres and a permanent population of over 4,000. Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak and a popular skiing destination, and some of the finest agricultural and woodland in the state, are located within this land area.

We had a lovely lunch at the Cafe on Main in Stowe. We then strolled up and down Main Street looking into all the shop windows. After our lunch stop, we headed over to Waterbury and the Ben & Jerry's Tour. On the way, we stopped at Vermont Artisan Coffee and Tea Co. We were excited to stock up on some fresh roasted coffee beans.

After getting our coffee buzz on, we were ready for ice cream! As we entered into the grounds of the Ben & Jerry factory, we came upon the "Cowmobile." Ben and Jerry drove their converted RV across the country in 1986, handing out free ice cream. Everything went great, until it caught on fire outside of Cleveland, OH. Lucky for us it was saved and returned to Vermont!

We couldn't contain our excitement.

Yes! You've always known we were half baked. Now you have proof!

As we waited for the tour to begin, we reviewed the "wall of flavors," trying to decided which flavor we would get after the tour.

No trip to Ben & Jerry's would be complete without a "Sundae Selfie."

Our tour guide, Katie, was great. She walked us through the creative process. Unfortunately, they asked that we NOT take photos of the production floor. They're afraid Haagen Dazs will steal their company secrets! At the end of the tour, we each received a sample of the flavor of the day. We were treated to "Sweet Cream and Cookies":

We stopped in the ice cream store on they way out, hoping to sample some of the flavors we saw on the wall of flavors, but we found their ice cream selection to be too limited. Apparently, they don't make all their flavors all year long. It must be a Vermont thing. WHERE'S THE PEANUT BUTTER????

We did, however, come home with a new addition. Look who "Stowe-d" away!

We are having a "Name That Cow" contest.  Our teddy bears George, Bubu, Ruthie and Eddie are prohibited from entering, but all humans are eligible to join in the fun. Get ready to "Name That Cow"!

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