Summer Vacation: Day 1 Burlington, Vermont

First vacation of the summer!

Last year, my friend who I was a bridesmaid 2 summers ago gave birth to a beautiful baby. I finally made plans to see this little munchkin. Last I saw my friend was when she was at the early stage of pregnancy still at a condo. This time, she is a mother and a homeowner!

I couldn’t ask for a better travel day with clear blue skies over JFK and amazingly accurate departure time with JetBlue. They never fail me when I fly to Burlington, Vermont.

Of course, the whole flight, this Vermont teacher whose husband works for IBM wouldn’t shut up and she was talking so loud across the aisle to talk to the man sitting by the window beside her husband. She was nosy, loud, and plain obnoxious.

On arrival, the plane lands fast, passing several small personal planes. It is a small but extremely cute airport without long waits and barely anyone for taxi. With a few fees, the taxi into Burlington’s Church Street came to about $15. It was a little after 10 AM and the street was being cleaned up, many of the restaurants and shops were closed or partially opened. One can confuse it for a sleepy town but it gets bustling quite soon.

I had introduced Brueggers’ Bagels to my boyfriend the last time we visited Boston and since Burlington is the birth place of best bagels ever (I am bias since I worked there during my high school summer), we stopped by and ordered some bagels. A breakfast and a short work-from-home away, we roamed Church Street. The design of Church Street reminded me of Copenhagen. Sure enough, there was a sign at the end of the street that stated it was inspired by Copenhagen outdoor mall.

Little shops inside old buildings, famous Vermont designs, chocolate, and Ben & Jerry lined the streets. We stopped for tea at Dobra Tea, warming up as it was a cool morning. The street slowly filled up, the smell of fresh food and cuisines swirled the air. Most of the shops sold Vermont made items and food were from local farms. It is a true Mecca for organic food and local grown pride.

At the end of Church St, turning left and walking to the end will lead you to Lake Champlain. There is a long bike path that snakes along the lake. We reached a cliff that overlooks the basin, looking towards the Adirondack of New York State. Puffy white clouds clumped and clouded the blue sky, rays god’s fingers rained through, giving warmth to the day.

We moseyed down the hill, passing granite and marble sculptures, art is an integral part of the design of Burlington. Down by the pier, we watched as people boarded daily boat tours, lunch and dinner being served. The Ecco Aquarium sits nearby and we get tickets, only $13 for adults and weaved in and out between children, taking a glimpse at various animals of the local area. A traveling dinosaur show was on display.

Walking back from Lake Champlain is quite a hike towards Church Street. Bikers biked sidewalks which I think is such a hazard. We stopped for a quick snack at Ri Ra’s Pub, which had this amazing sausage rollettes, basically a larger version of pig in a blanket. So delicious!

There are a lot of college kids in town so second-hand shops are dime a dozen. We shopped one, picking up a costume for Dragon*Con. Benches blotted the pedestrian-only street so we sat and relaxed before heading to dinner.

The last three times I’ve been to Vermont, I could not get a table at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill! So this time, my friend told me to wait for a table while she got ready to leave work. Got myself a Trapp Vienna beer and hung out in the garden and finally got a table! So worth the wait with pork burger topped with a Sunnyside egg and bacon. Delicious!

We ended the night seeing the little one finally! But she was cranky and sleepy and shy so no holding that night.

I should have stayed up that night since the sky was absolutely clear but exhaustion overtook me and I ended up sleeping quite early. Ah, vacation…