Sunday, October 28, 2007

Vermont Fourth Honeymoon Vacation: Burlington

Hayden and I went to Vermont this month. We spent our first day of
the trip in Burlington, Vermont. It's the state's largest town, and
home of the University of Vermont (abbreviated as "UVM" for the
school's Latin Name.(1))

We stayed at the Doubletree using points we'd accumulated on our
"Hilton Hhonors" account over the past six years. They gave us an
upgrade to a suite; that was neat. But the best part was at
Doubletree is the large, brave chocolate chip cookie with nuts.(2) It
was a nice room.

For lunch, we went to a small restaurant, Mirabelle's, in the
downtown area near the University. I was overly hungry, and a little
grumpy. It was very crowded, and we had to wait, but the food was
good. Mirabelle's was also a bakery. We also noticed a Vermont bakery
phenomenon: baked goods on plates, open to the air, sneezes, flies,
etc. The baked goods were definitely easy to see. Perhaps I've been
ruined by draconian restaurant sanitation laws, but something seemed
wrong about having food for sale completely exposed and uncovered.(3)

For a fancy, Fourth Honeymoon dinner, Hayden and I went to Al's
French Frys. They have hamburgers and fried chicken, plus some
seafood, but we went to Al's for the Frys. The Frys seemed home-made,
fried dark in grease rich with potato starch. They were really good.
The other food was fine too, but paled next to the Frys.

We sampled Chocolate at the Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory, and saw
them making chocolate. We also took an excursion across Lake
Champlain to New York State, and a picnic on the boat. It was pretty
chilly out on the water. It was the last day that ferry would run for
the rest of the year. Normally, the lake has some ice, but this has
been a warm fall season.

Footnotes.

1. I've been to six different schools in my life so far, and I'll bet
that not a single one of them had a Latin name.

2. Won't anybody think about the children allergic to nuts and gluten?

3. Here's a PhD topic for any of you UVM students studying Public
Health or Microbiology: is there a statistically-significant
different in the bacteria or virus density on the surface of baked
goods displayed in public areas with no cover?

4. Somebody actually asked the tour guide at Lake Champlain
Chocolates: "Is the chocolate fair trade?" The tour guide explained
that, basically, there is no such thing for chocolate.

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