Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer in Vermont: Saturday

After a long night of travel and border crossing, we were excited to explore the area on Saturday.  A 15-20 minute drive after breakfast got us to the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury.

Ben & Jerry's

We took some obligatory photos -- don't you think we'd make great ice cream tub artwork?

We took the tour ($4), which maybe lasted 30 minutes total.  It ended with an ice cream sample in the FlavoRoom.  There was a sign up on the counter that read "Flavor of the day: Cheese and Broccoli".  Yuck!  I was so disappointed when I saw it.

Turns out our sneaky tour guide had played a trick on us.  The actual flavor that day was salted caramel - or something of the sort.  It was goooood.  They put the ice cream samples in a larger version of the condiment cup (where you squirt ketchup into at a fast food restaurant) -- which I thought was quite genius: no spoons necessary!

After the tour, these three hooligans bought some ice cream and had fun eating it:

Just outside of the factory entrance, there was an arts/crafts booth set up for kids.  You squirt paint onto a spinning card, creating neat designs.  When we initially walked up to the factory, I knew I would have to come back to that booth before we left.

So on the way out, I waited in line behind some six-year-olds so I could make a card.  Max made one too!

Trapp Family Lodge Brewery

Our next stop was the nearby Trapp Family Lodge Brewery.  If you've never seen The Sound of Music, stop reading and go watch it now.  Or at least place a hold for it at your local library.  Ok, resume reading.

The von Trapps actually settled in Stowe, Vermont after fleeing Austria and touring the USA, because the mountains reminded them of home.

We stopped at the Brewery for a drink, and 29-year-old European resident Hermann learned that you must have an ID with you in the states in order to be served alcohol.  Luckily Hannah found his passport out in the car, so he could have a beer with us.

"Mini Putt"

After leaving the brewery, we went to a mini-golf place -- which by the way, the game is called "mini putt" by Québécois.  

On holes 13 and 18, you won a free game of mini golf if you got a hole in one.  I was doing pretty terribly for the first half of our game.  On hole 13 one of the boys went first, and actually got pretty close to the hole.  Then Hannah went, and she wasn't far either.  The other boy went next, and I thought he almost had a hole in one.  Then it was my turn.  I knew there was a slim chance I'd make it in, so I just kind of swung at the ball without really taking time to line up or look at the hole.  My ball made its way down the course, over a hump, curving, coming near the hole, coming closer, oh my gosh it's headed right in, IT'S IN!  Hole in one!  Free game!  I can still hardly believe it happened. 

We were right by the window where we bought tickets, so I hopped over to see if I needed to do anything right away, or if we waited until the end of the game to claim my free game.  I got the young worker's attention, "Um, hello?"  He walks over.  He's a bit of an oddball character, by the way.  "I just got a hole in one on hole 13," I explained.
He replied, "Well I just beat the whole game.  The course record was 39, but I got 37".
I responded, "Wow, when did you do that?"
"This morning," he replied.
Uh cool, but let's not forget about what I just did!  Hole in one!  This is about me, me!

He told me to come back at the end to get my free game.  It was a coupon, so I gave it to a couple that pulled into the lot just as we were leaving.

We spent the evening back at the house, grilled out, ate way too much food, drank some Canadian beer, and played some card games.
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