“Vermont is a country unto itself.” – Pearl S. Buck
Okay okay, I know this is supposed to be a DC-centric blog, but like most people I know in the District, DC was not my first home. I’m originally from Vermont. Going back these days I feel a little bit like a tourist. I have become so used to the noise and rhythms of the city that the lushness and quiet of the Green Mountains can feel a little spooky. But soon enough I find myself sinking back into it. When Birkenstocks and flannel meet dirty work boots and chamois shirts I know I’m really back.
I spent my July 4th weekend away from DC this year for a very good reason – two of my dear friends from college got married (yes, I cried. I am now a wedding crier). I’m at that point in life where it feels like everyone I know is either tying the knot or having a baby. I have 8 – count them – EIGHT weddings to go to in the next 11 months, and I have a feeling there are a few more coming down the pipeline. Its all good though because it gives me a chance to see some of my favorite people in the world. Some friends I haven’t seen in years but we all picked up right where we left off, which is truly a wonderful feeling. It gives me faith that some things to endure despite distance and time.
“All in all, Vermont is a jewel state, small but precious.” – Pearl S. Buck
Other than seeing two wonderful people get married, it was great to be able to revisit some of the places (and foods!) that made Vermont such a wonderful place to grow up. Literally the first thing I did after crossing the state line was look for a creemee stand. When I mention creemees in DC absolutely no one understands what I’m talking about. I invariably have to backtrack and clarify that I’m talking about the Vermont version of soft serve. Trust me, its a thing. No one that I know of can pinpoint the exact origin of this sweet treat or why its called a creemee but every kid growing up in Vermont has this stuff in their DNA. And my favorite flavor? You guessed it – Maple. I followed up my creemee with classic Quebecois poutine.
I also had the chance to indulge in something else Vermont has become famous for other than cheese and maple syrup – beer! As of 2015, Vermont had the most microbreweries per capita in the U.S. I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty cool. So of course before the wedding we had to get our fix at Long Trail Brewing. I had their Cranberry Gose and let me tell you, it really hit the spot along with my grass fed burger. And of course there was my favorite local hard cider at the reception. Vermont weddings for the win!
Sadly, the trip was a short one. We drove back to DC on the 4th. And although I am currently overtired and under-caffeinated, it was all worth it to see some of my favorite people in the world. The creemees didn’t hurt either.
“I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people. They are a race of pioneers who have almost beggared themselves to serve others. If the spirit of liberty should vanish in other parts of the Union, and support of our institutions should languish, it could all be replenished from the generous store held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont.” – Calvin Coolidge