Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Vermont Flavor

One of the crop of swinging benches along Lake Champlain

The view from the bench

As each country in Europe has its distinct flavor, so does each area of the United States. Vermont's flavor is soft and pure, with hints of maple, pine, and lake water. 

In Burlington, Vermont's largest city, bus drivers chat to their clients; everyone's clothes appear to be freshly ironed; kayakers, Sunfish-sailers, and ferry-boat drivers dip through the gray waters of Lake Champlain. At the co-op, at least twenty varieties of Annie's organic Macaroni and cheese is available, and people choose tiny wooden crates of strawberries from the produce aisle. At the used book store, "Thai Yoga" and the "Real Food Revolution" feature boldly in the display. I found myself suggesting that people I didn't know "have a good day", swinging on a lakeside bench, and buying fudge from cheerful shopkeepers. 

On the drive from Burlington to Middlebury, Steve and I saw a couple of droopy cows eating on a hill, looking as though they were long term gossip buddies chatting about their kids' achievements in between mouthfuls. We passed an ice cream stand called "Cremees" at the edge of a field with a burgeoning line, and made a mental note. Sun streaks hit the forested mini-hills on both sides of the road, and rust-orange cloud edges hovered just above the not-too-distant mountains. 

Ah. Vermont. 

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