I’ve never been to Vermont. I’ve lived in Massachusetts for 16 years (plus, I always go back up for holidays) but I’ve never visited Vermont, besides the two times my parents drove through it to get to Montreal. And my memory brings back the smell of cows. hmm…
And I never really flew short flights, mostly out of the states (except to Vegas and Minnesota, for Judi’s sake). Nicole (my traveling partner and also one of my many college roommates—that is a story unto itself) never liked the idea of flying but as the bridesmaid to Vy (the recipient of our duly noted affection), we both decided to fly together to attend the engagement party.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew Vermont to be small, rolling hills, trees everywhere, and a large population of white people. Then again, what place isn’t outside the metropolitan area? But let’s not forget that Vermont passed a law allowing gay marriage. That seems like a liberal enough state to visit.
Relaxing on the plane wasn’t possible with Nicole freaking out next to me. However, the high point was that I received ESPN and caught the World Cup game, US vs Slovenia. Just as I was about to kick back and watch the game, the pilot announces we are ready to descend. What? But we’ve only been flying 20 minutes! I was quite baffled. Both Nicole and I couldn’t get over the siftness of the flight.
Landing in Burlington International Airport, we were so awed by the quaintness and petite size of the airport. I’ve always flown in and out of large airports with multiple terminals and long walks to get out. If I came from someplace like Burlington, I’d be overwhelmed by the breadth of JFK and its likeness. Vy picked us up and we walked out of the airport right into the streets. Where was the air train?! Where was the taxis? What is it called? Suburban shock? Ah, yes, culture shock.
As we head to her car (such a novelty and luxury for a public transportation girl), I couldn’t help but feel bad that when Vy came to visit me, we went up and down catching multiple subways and dragging her suitcases all over town to get to my place. Nonetheless, I was so happy to see her. In actually, I’ve met this girl three times! Yet through emails, text messages, and Facebook, I feel so close to her. She’s like my modern day pen pal. It didn’t feel like there had been a year gap since al three of us saw each other.
After driving us around and showing us the UVM campus, we dropped our stuff at the condo she shares with her fiance. I was a bit anxious to meet him. I don’t know much except from what Vy tells me. I’m always a bit weary about men my friends date. Let me restate that. I’m weary of ALL men. The experiences I’ve encountered have always left a bitter taste in my mouth. Fortunately, he wasn’t there as he was watching the World Cup elsewhere (as I was missing it! No complaints because I hung out with my girlfriends.)
Vy drove us to a nearby town of Winooski to have lunch at a Thai place called tiny thai. How appropriate. The town is small, barely miles in radius. It’s a quaint mill town, now converted with condos running along a cascading river. It is obvious the town had been recently worked on with newly paved roads, fresh pain, full green grass, and up and coming local restaurants.
Tiny Thai boasts themselves on using authentic recipes but I noticed a bit of twist. Nothing to drastic to discourage me considering I grew up eating Thai food—northern Thai food anyways, which is similar to Khmer food but spicier.
We had it planned to strawberry picking because I wanted to bring a dessert dish to the engagement party. I was taught at an early age never to attend a house party empty-handed. It was also Nicole’s first time picking. While Nicole does her thing, Vy is quickly filling up her basket. And I scour for the most oddly shaped strawberry. Vy eventually dumped a few of her pile into mine since I was busy daydreaming.
After we relaxed back at home and met up with her fiance and his two friends, Vy took us to Echo Aquarium to check out the wedding venue. It is next to Lake Champlain so Vy decided that it would be a nice place following a cruise ceremony. saying vows on a ship close to sundown reminds me of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. let’s hope Ursula isn’t invited. The most exciting thing is that the whole aquarium is open to the party and you can view all the exhibits and walk the deck overlooking the lake at night. Quite interesting and romantic. The promenade along the lake is also lined with swinging benches and tall porticos but no rail-guards. In the distance, you can see a lighthouse sitting on a straight of land. It was short and stubby unlike the tall mammoth one I see in Montauk. Unfortunately no sighting of the Champ.
We made our way to Church St, the heart of Burlington. City hall flanks the start of the plaza where restaurants and sores lined up along the stoned pedestrian only path. We passed several painted cow statues along the way, which Vy explained was for business who pained and donated each cast. It is much like the New York Big Apple Campaign…but with cows.
We met up with Vy’s fiance and his friends for a patio dinner at Scuffers. At first, we wanted to go to Farmland but it was an hour long wait. Vy recommended even as I teased that they have have cows in the back to be called farmland. The boys were drinking earlier and one forgot his credit card at the bar. I guess it’s a normal thing for most people…I suppose. But it’s only fair they drank themselves silly since they traveled afar to see him too. They have a better alcohol intake than me. One wine and I slipping into my foul mouth, sarcastic, rude, and judgmental self. I wouldn’t be surprise if they had a bad first impression of me. At one point, I made a comment how the boys were going to do their white boy dance later. I should keep my mouth shut sometimes. I do incriminate myself and show people the real me when I was trying to hard to hide who I am.
Returning home, I had wanted to prep the custard for the trifle I planned to bring. I normally temper it in a glass over heated water. I forgot that the stove is electrical and I can’t see how high the heat is. to my utter bewilderment and embarrassment, before adding the egg, the glass bowl cracked and broke into the boiling pot of water. I stood there blanking out for a second. Vy reacted quicker than me by cleaning up. I can only say, thank god it didn’t explode in my face as I was standing directly in font of it. I quickly redid a second batch more successfully though. After recovering that disastrous cooking, we rested for a bit. The boys rang us up to go hand out. As tired as I was at this point, I was on vacation and determined to see the night life. Nicole opt to stay out and I understood her, We’d been up 16 hours and only 5 hours of sleep, and the plane ride mentally and emotionally exhausted her.
So Vy and I met them at Das Bier, a Beer Garden opposite of City of Hall. Walking there, I told Vy, the town reminds me a college town, which she reminded it was. I went to a small town school and never partied and even if I did, I’d be in the city after working at MTV. So the scene I encountered was exactly as I imagine a college town to be like. Bid, scholarly looking building but parties running amuck. I missed out a bit in college.
At the beer garden, Vy orders a Riesling wine, knowing I love wine. It was sweet and crisp just the way I like it. I love subtle taste—slow and melting into me like ice melting on skin. It isn’t like instant love but like a small fire that remain steadily into comfort and love. Ah…how I sprout poetry over a glass of wine. We then moseyed our way down to the Red Square, which is a local club with different rooms for different music. we hung outside there they had a live band. I got a chance to talk to Spenser and his friends. I find it interesting that they were so open. Once again, I blame my city life that I was a little taken aback by their sincerity to have a conversation with me. Vy And I went dancing afterwards. We begged the guys to join us because I know myself very well. I get very wild on the dance floor and into a lot of trouble. So I figure a little protection would be nice. I make no comment on what happened except that I had dun and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
As night waned, we returned home and rested in our respective rooms. I hadn’t partied like that in a long time and it felt like such a great release. Especially with a very close friend.