Burlington, Vermont

This will be a short blog, because we’ve only done one voyage since leaving Whitehall and heading up Lake Champlain to Burlington.

Let me make this clear–we love Burlington. It is such a FUN town. Reminds us a lot of Seattle and/or Portland, including thinking they have the corner on “weirdness”

There is one big difference however–it is virtually devoid of litter and graffiti and large numbers of homeless. I saw exactly one cigarette butt and one guy sitting on the ground along the pedestrian thoroughfare asking for money. We appreciated the cleanliness of the city immensely.

Started our visit the first night by eating out at “The Hen of the Woods”, a fantastic restaurant about a 5 minute walk up the hill from the marina. We sat at the “kitchen counter”–long bar overlooking the cooking area, so we could watch the cooks concocting appetizing dishes.

One guy worked right in front of us, and spent the entire evening shucking oysters, sniffing each one, and arranging them on individual platters as orders flowed in. Another guy roasted chicken, or broccoli, or mushrooms in big cast iron pans by pushing and pulling them deep inside their wood fired oven, while another grilled meats over an open fire. For appetizers, we tasted two different types of local, handmade cheeses (Moses Sleeper, and Eleven Bros), with a side of apple butter and served with tasty crackers. We then shared a 1/2 chicken that had been roasted in that wood fired oven we’d been watching all evening, along with mashed potatoes (rich, soft, and tasty) and a zucchini in a cream sauce. Everything was beautifully prepared, presented, and delicious. Our only complaint was the prices for the size of their servings. The tiny bits of cheese, a couple of ounces total at most, and a few crackers we ate as an appetizer cost $16! My chintzy 5 oz glass of prosecco was $12, while David’s tiny glass was a steal at only $10. Of course we had to have two glasses since the first only contained 2 gulps, so the alcohol portion cost almost as much as the food! We enjoyed ourselves, but not enough to justify the cost, and had the uncomfortable feeling we were being gouged.

Next day we did a lot of errands (to West Marine, to grocery store, checked on packages we were waiting for, shopping, replacing bike cable), all primarily by bike. Burlington has an AWESOME trail system, and we took advantage. We did take note of Ben and Jerry’s, which began in Vermont.

We provisioned at one of the best grocery stores we’ve seen since we left the Northwest–reminiscent of Metropolitan Market in Seattle. We really enjoyed the college/funky/gourmet/biking atmosphere of this town, and we were glad we stopped here.

Today was a gorgeous sailing day–blue sky, mountains, and clean NON SALT water! The only problem was that there was an oncoming north wind, and because we were headed north, we were in the shade, and thus had to really bundle up to keep warm for the entire voyage. We passed a couple of sailboats headed south. With the wind at their back, and facing the sun, they were in shorts and shirtsleeves, and looked to be in a completely different climate than we were. Luck of the draw, I guess. We are now staying at Rouse’s Point, 40 miles or so north from Burlington. We’re walking to get pizza for dinner soon.

Tomorrow, we cross the border into Canada!

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