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July 21st, 2016


Josh, Meg, and I spent last week in Burlington, Vermont... I was a little disappointed by Burlington itself, but the surrounding area was incredible.

We got in late on Monday night and had an issue checking in. The hotel was trying to charge us nearly $300 more than we were originally quoted and the new amount was pushing my bank card over its $2,000 daily limit since it had gas, the rental car, and all of the stuff from Dave's birthday in Philly coming out at the same time. After a panicked call to Mom, one of the girls at the desk realized what was going on and fixed everything. We dropped our stuff in our room and went downstairs for FREE! HAPPY HOUR! We needed a few drinks after a long (7+ hour) drive and the check-in fiasco. Other than stuff our faces and drink beer, we didn't do anything except walk down to Trader Joe's to get some snacks (and beverages) for the room.

We spent the day Tuesday wandering around Burlington. We had our shuttle drop us off at the Church Street Marketplace, then walked down to the waterfront along Lake Champlain. There's an awesome bike path along the lake, so we walked down the bike path until we found the Burlington Earth Clock (sort of like a mock Stonehenge). My feet were burning and we were so hot, so we found Switchback Brewing around the corner from the earth clock and went there to hang out for awhile. We decided to check out another brewery that was within walking distance and on our way found the world's largest filing cabinet, which Meg had been super stoked about seeing, lol. We took a few pictures and wandered off to Queen City Brewing. It was getting late in the afternoon and we were all staring, so we called an uber and had him take us to American Flatbread back in the center of the city. My feet were STILL burning (my Queen of Inappropriate Footwear should be arriving any day now), so we decided to walk back to Church Street to see if I could find a new pair of shoes. Of course, nothing. We did get some UVM gear and some treats. We couldn't get ahold of the shuttle for the life of us, so after 10 minutes of calling nonstop, we finally got someone to come get us. While we were waiting, Meg and I went in to get coffee at Muddy Waters which had been recommended by someone I follow on Instagram and Snapchat. I had the healthiest thing I put in my body all week - an apple, pear, and kale juice. We enjoyed FREE! HAPPY HOUR! again (pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw) and Josh and I took a drive out to Fiddlehead Brewing to taste, then crashed early.

Wednesday was Josh's Big Day Out. We left early so we could head off to Stowe and wait in line at The Alchemist who had just opened their new brewery the week before. We got there at 10:30 and the line was already decently long. Luckily it was hot and they took pity on us and started letting people in early to get their beer. We left The Alchemist and drove an hour out to Hill Farmstead, another of Josh's Bucket List breweries. I really, REALLY enjoyed it there. I thought it would be super busy, but the beer line moved fast enough that the long wait for growler fills was painless. Their set up is beautiful - huge porch with views of the mountains. Definitely a good place to chill out. We stopped on the way back to Stowe to buy maple syrup out of a shed, then grabbed lunch at Lost Nation Brewing (brewery #6 if you're counting) and were off to the toll road up Mount Mansfield.

I legitimately thought I might have a heart attack driving up the toll road in a rental car. Thankfully I grew up driving on the back roads of PA and felt better prepared than the majority of people who left scary reviews on Trip Advisor. We didn't quite get to the top, but we stopped at the 2nd to last parking area, about 3,600 feet up, and got some beautiful pictures. The way down was a little better since I knew what to expect and I can proudly say that I only smelled my brakes twice. :)

We decided to stop at the Von Trapp Family Lodge for a beer on our way back, then headed into downtown Stowe to shop a little bit before we headed home. We ended up skipping dinner and instead, Meg and I walked down to Trader Joe's to get meat, cheese, and crackers for dinner in the hotel room. (Might as well take advantage of a full kitchen that you don't have to clean!)

Thursday was another big day out... We started at Ben & Jerry's, then went to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for some goodies (hello, fresh apple cider & donuts!). We ended up driving the opposite way to Waterbury to check out the Green Mountain Coffee visitor's center (mixed 12 packs of K-cups!), then wandered down to Prohibition Pig and a bottle shop across the street. Josh's dreams came true when Prohibition Pig tapped Sip of Sunshine, a beer he'd been looking for since we got to Burlington but is absolutely impossible to find. We stopped at a Cabot store for cheese, checked out Lake Champlain Chocolates (WAY too expensive), and visited Idletyme Brewing Co. for lunch. (I had a fried green tomato biscuit which may very well have been the best thing I've ever eaten.)

We decided to go a little out of the way on the way home to visit three more breweries which would put our total on our little beer passports to 10 (although we had really visited 13!), so we drove through an awful storm to Stone Corral Brewing, hit Burlington Beer Company (which has the cutest can designs), then went to Magic Hat. I was super disappointed in Magic Hat. I don't know what I expected, but it was legitimately like walking into the Cell Block. Everything was lit up by black lights and they were playing early 2000s rap. We had dinner at the hotel, taking advantage of our last free happy hour, and then Meg and I went to the mall next door to walk around for a bit.

Friday we decided to get a nice, slow start in the morning. We went to the Brewer's Festival for the afternoon and, my god, it was so hot. I actually really enjoyed it. It wasn't as busy and crazy as I thought it would be. We had some good beers, ate some good pizza, and got our free t-shirts for our 10 brewery stops. We decided to go to the Echo Aquarium since it was still decently early. Ended up grabbing another maple creemee while we waited for our shuttle to come get us. It was still kind of early when we got back, so Josh decided to go down the street to check out the health food shop and see if he could find Sip of Sunshine one last time and LO AND BEHOLD, the beer gods were in his favor and he ended up with a 4-pack. We went out to eat at the Vermont Tap House in a town nearby and spent the rest of the evening packing up.

We left early Saturday morning since we had a few places we wanted to check out that were further south in Vermont. We stopped in at Woodchuck Cider (!!) and had lunch at Otter Creek Brewing Company (that's FIFTEEN breweries! woo!). We drove down to Bennington to see the Stone House Museum where Robert Frost wrote "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" and visited his grave. Before leaving Bennington, we stopped to see the world's tallest ladder back chair. We pretty much drove straight home from Vermont, stopping for a pre-drive coffee at this little Lumber Jack shack right over the NY/VT border. Easy, but boring, drive home, and ended up in JS before 10 PM!

In the middle of the night, my back seized up and I ended up at the ER with mom at 4 in the morning. Just nasty back spasms. They gave me muscle relaxers and I pretty much slept the day away on Sunday.

I had a follow-up with my doctor this afternoon and she recommended some physical therapy and massage. I hate going to physical therapy. It's a waste of money and it's shit I can do at home. I asked her to print out some stretches I can do at home and made a mental note to find out about chiropractic care. Scheduled a 90-minute massage on my way home for tomorrow afternoon. I do believe I'll run in the morning, have a yummy lunch, indulge in a massage, and treat myself to some Dunkin on the way home... doctor's orders. ;)



me by kurt halsey

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