Exploring and Tasting Vermont


Since we were in upstate New York for the weekend (which I’ll write about exploring in a separate post), decided to spend Sunday morning exploring Vermont since I had never been there. Couldn’t help but take the opportunity to cross off another one of the 50 states in my travel bucket list!
And I was really wanting to taste some local maple syrup, since I had heard that’s what they’re known for.  
From Ticonderoga we had to take a short ferry ride across Lake Champlain, which according to folklore has a monster in it named Champ or Champy (guess that’s what his folklore friends call him). No, we did not see him, although I did look around. You just never know.  
We exited the ferry, which, by the way, this was my first time to drive a vehicle on a ferry.  Woohoo!   I’m usually a passenger on ferry rides. Took about a 20 minute drive through the country side that looked mostly like farmland with old buildings scattered about. I did notice that it was not as vibrant of a green as it was in New York. The landscape seemed like a watered down version, but still pretty.
Stopped at a small restaurant on the side of the road called the Halfway House for breakfast and I couldn’t help but think that maybe they employed people that were transitioning from being incarcerated. We were greeted by the sweetest blonde waitress that immediately made me realize my assumption was wrong.  
I was a little disappointed that they didn’t have some type of dish or side order that was made with maple syrup. I read the whole menu trying to find something. So I decided to try something called ham hash, which was mashed potatoes, cubed ham and onions Made me think it was a variation on shepherd’s pie when I ate it. And I ordered toast so I could drizzle maple syrup on it and create my own little maple flavored side order.  And that was good!
Made friends with an adorable 2 year old boy that had the biggest, fullest set of tight, blond curls & the bluest eyes. He tried to come over to our table and play, but his parents told him he couldn’t sit with the pretty girl & he needed to sit with them.
Already on a bit of a sugar high, went ahead and made our way to Middlebury Sweets, which is Vermont’s largest candy store. Read they had a 27 lb gummy bear and was really curious about how big this bear could possibly be! Plus I wanted to get some maple syrup and some type of maple flavored candy. I was all about maple! Maple! Maple! Maple! 
As we approached Middlebury, all of of a sudden noticed this multi-story tan building that looked really old that seemed to be in the midst of nowhere. The closer we got, the curiosity was building (no pun intended)! What was this place? Turns out it was Middlebury College that was founded in 1800. Drove through the campus. It was small and buildings had an old world feel and charm about them. Wanted to stop and stroll around the campus. And maybe even find a spot to sit and read some poetry. 
But we were on a mission to see that 27 lb gummy bear! When Google maps said we had arrived at our destination, I was a little puzzled. It was a slate blue building that looked like it was a feed store. However, that was the candy store! Had colorful signs on the storefront designating what it was.  
It was for more smaller than I had expected given that it was Vermont’s largest candy store. As I walked in I couldn’t help but feel like Buddy the Elf and how he said that elves stick to the 4 main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup. In this case it was maple syrup.  
Immediately started searching for the 27 lb gummy bear. Found it in a plexiglass case up by the register and it was also smaller than I had expected. Perhaps my Texas is showing, where everything is bigger, so my expectations are heightened! It was still pretty cool. 
Once that mission was accomplished, I felt like a kid in a candy store! Started looking through all of the candy searching for anything maple flavored. Settled for some maple bacon and then just plain maple salt water taffy. Grabbed a few non-maple gummies and bagged them up. Picked up a bottle of Vermont maple syrup on the way to check out and finished my maple themed purchase by ordering maple-walnut ice cream on a cone. It was sweet, delicious and decadent. I enjoyed every drop of it and then drove back to New York (and I may have nibbled on some my candy along the way)!

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