October was a big month for travel because I had two big trips. The first was a trip to Vermont for a library conference. I was going as a leader within the within the organization and because I was going to be doing a session about bullet journaling. It has been a few years since I got to visit Vermont, so I decided to make few stops on my way out to Burlington.
The last time I went to Vermont was about four or five years ago. I was looking for a relaxing weekend at a spa and decided a night at a place in Vermont was my best bet. I picked Stowe, VT because it was the exit for the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. I had only been out to Ben & Jerry’s once before- the winter before I moved to Fitchburg and started my first job. I loved it and decided it was time to do it again, even if on my own. I realized, on that spa trip, that Burlington wasn’t too far away, so I decided to stop at the Vermont Teddy Bear factory.
This trip was similar in structure to that one, except I stayed a few nights in Burlington. I got on the road and made my way, with my road trip mix on the radio, back up the highway to Stowe. Not only did I stop at Ben & Jerry’s, but I did the tour and ate some ice cream before moving on. Where did I go next? But to Cabots, the cheese makers! They are another Vermont stop worth the time. They are just tasting and shopping locations, but the one in Stowe is the best of the three I know about. You walk around a table and taste cheddar cheeses. My favorite was one called “Everything Bagel” and it was covered in poppy seeds. I bought some and saved it until Thanksgiving when my family enjoyed it.
I hopped back in the car and went out to Vermont Teddy Bear Company. It was close to their closing time when I got there and it was crazy with kids after a Halloween event. I skipped a delightful tour for the sake of my sanity. The tour is adorable if you ever get the chance to go. It’s like walking through a Disney ride, but teddy bears! I did get a gift for one of my favorite little girls and specifically picked one of their bears that could stand up to love. I find most of their bears are good for display only. I have this amazing one with red/black fur that reminds me of cooling lava. I didn’t get an outfit for it because the fur was enough. They seem to have discontinued the fur since my last trip.
The conference was good. My session was very well attended and my co-presenters were so much fun to work with. They gave me a ton of ideas on what I can do on campus about bullet journals. The session sponsored by my interest group were well received and author Anne Hood gave one of my favorite key notes. I would pick up a copy of her latest book when I was in Miami about a week later. What touched me the most was when she spoke about the death of her child and finding herself unable to read or write again in her grief. She turned to knitting as a way to do something and cope with her loss. As a knitter, reader, and writer (and I was knitting as she spoke and I wasn’t the only one) it was a reminder that these are not just thinks I do to entertain myself, but ways of coping with things that happen in life.
It felt weird going on a trip with out plans to promote the book or research anything specific. I jotted down a few ideas for short stories, but it was really just a business trip with a hint of pleasure. I didn’t want to linger long. I was anxious to get home and thinking more about the trip to come in Miami.
In the comments, tell me what you think of when you think of Vermont or your favorite places to visit there.