The train trip lasted five and a half hours and it was pretty boring, although the train crew gave sometimes very entertaining announcements. Rolf and Sharon Anderson picked me up and brought me to a very cozy inn where I stayed the night. Monday morning started with a very nice breakfast, thick pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit. We spent some time downtown Burlington on the walking street, but then we decided to go to Shelburne Farms south of the city. It's a large area with an educational center for children, cheese production and an inn, among other things. We went on the guided tour in a wagon pulled by a pickup truck. It was pretty cold, even though the sun was shining. It was interesting to see the architecture of the barns and houses, it was an entirely designed farm from the mid/late 19th century. Later in the afternoon we went on a small car-ferry (but without the car) to the other side of Lake Champlain, to a small summer town named Essex, which is in New York State. We were determined to have some ice-cream, and we managed to get the saleswoman at the only open convenience store to lend us a knife so that we could share the container of chocolate ice-cream. Afterwards we went to the park by the lake and admired the view of the green mountains in Vermont. Dinner in Burlington was a very delicious pasta carbonara.
Tuesday I had waffles with chocolate chips and maple syrup for breakfast. Not the kind of breakfast I'm used to, but it's fun to try different things. We started the day by going to the special collections department at the university library in Burlington. Sharon did some book searching there, and was happy with the results. We also viewed an art gallery and some minor exhibits on Native American and African culture. Around 1 p.m. we picked up Earl, who is a friend of the Andersons. All of us went to Shelburne Museum, which is an outdoor museum with several different buildings. I saw the exhibit on quilts, where the oldest dated from around 1790. Amazing what patterns they could create from just small pieces of fabric back then. We also visited the 19th century general store, the drug store from the same time period and looked at a large boat placed on land. Dinner was at the Ice House, situated at the lake. The crab cake and tomato soup were very tasty. Earl had to return to his job (pilot), but the rest of us attended an amazing theater performance called Stomp. There were eight people on stage, basically making sounds (stomping) with everyday objects like plastic containers, metal cans, brooms, pots and newspapers, and they also used their hands to clap and their feet to step. It's really not possible to describe it in words, it was so funny and energetic.
Today (Wednesday) we drove to Montreal in Canada, but I will have to save that for the next blog entry.