This past weekend we went to Vermont and spent a couple of days. Except for Pat who went to school in Vermont, this was a first for all of us. Vermont is an incredibly beautiful state, made even more beautiful by the fact that there are no billboards along the highway messing up the view!
If you are from Florida, or have ever driven through Florida with small children that are just learning to read, you will understand why the absence of billboards is such a thumbs up for me.
Our first stop was to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
We left New Hampshire right after lunch so that we would arrive at the factory early in the afternoon on Friday. The production floor is closed (you can see it, but there isn't any production going on) on the weekends. We were disappointed to discover that they had reached their weekly quota earlier in the week and therefore weren't making any teddy bears that day anyways.
It was still cool to see the factory and learn about how the bears are made. Although it would have been cooler to see an actual bear being made.
So if you are in Vermont and want to visit the Teddy Bear Factory, make sure you go early in the week!
The kids were more interested in the store than the factory anyways.
They all thought they should go home with a teddy bear.
But there were so many to choose from.
Including my favorite bear!
Jami was a little underwhelmed with the teddy bear factory. She was much more interested in the next factory we visited!
On Saturday morning we got up early and went into downtown Burlington and walked around the Farmer's Market.
An entire block was filled with vendor booths from local farmers, bakers, cheese makers and artists.
Jami was on the look out for the sample givers.
After the market, we walked down Church St. Church St is full of restaurants and shops and street performers. Libby was especially intrigued by the guy playing his violin on the street. She asked if she played her violin outside Bagel Works, would people give her money?
I told her if she practiced really hard and played as well as the young man we passed, that she would probably make some money too.
Although with this cute face, she would probably make tips even if her playing was terrible!
After a few hours at the Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center, we left Burlington and went to New England's version of the happiest place on Earth:
Ben and Jerry's!
Ben and Jerry's production floor is also closed on the weekends so we were pretty much 0 for 2 with the factory tours! But we still got to see the factory and learn a little bit about the history of Ben and Jerry's. And at the end of the tour, we got samples!
It was like a full scoop of ice cream.
Jami ate most of mine.
I personally thought the sample scoop was plenty and that there was no need to buy more ice cream afterwards...
Not everyone agreed with me!
Even though he didn't spill the ice cream, doesn't John look guilty here?!
On Sunday, we visited Shelburne Farms.
This is the barn, or as Libby called it:
the animal mansion!
Seriously, this barn was nicer than my house!
The whole farmyard was hands on. There were lots of animals to see and touch and a whole room full of farm toys to play with.
First on the agenda was the chicken parade!
Emma Jane was determined to hold a chicken. She stalked several before managing to sneak up on this huge hen. I'm amazed she could even pick it up!
All the kids (except for Ryan) took a turn milking a cow.
We ate a really good, farm-fresh lunch at the farm stand before heading back to New Hampshire.
We had a great time in Vermont and saw so many fun and interesting things!
But the most interesting thing I saw was at the top of a telephone pole outside my car window:
A bald eagle's nest!
Now that is something you don't see everyday!