Friday, January 15, 2010
VERMONT!!! Be prepared for a long read...
Good morning blog readers! You had to know this blog was coming eventually... Yes, this is all about Vermont! Anyone that knows me knows that I have recently developed a slight obsession with Vermont. I guess it all started when my friend Lori moved to Portland, OR. We would email back and forth when she first moved, and she would always tell me that everything reminded her of me. She would say "Portland it so you!" and it made me happy. I of course started having fantasies of moving to Portland, regardless of the fact that I'd never actually been there. I then decided that Portland was too far away, but thought maybe there was an east coast city that was similar. So I googled "East coast cities that are like Portland, OR" and a whole bunch of message boards came up. A lot of them talked about the Carolina's, but one mentioned a small town called Brattleboro, VT. At this point I knew nothing about Vermont, but I liked what I read. From there I googled "Should I move to Brattleboro, VT" and got another handful of message board posts. One post said that they preferred a town called Burlington, VT. SO I googled Burlington and the love I felt for it was instantaneous. Of course I knew nothing about it really, but judging solely by the pictures, I knew it was the place for me.
I would sit on the computer every day looking at pictures and imagining my life in a city that was voted "the best small town that has it all," by A&E television. I imagined living in the state that was voted "the healthiest state in America," and thought about how different life would be with beautiful scenery all around me, clean air, and friendly health conscious people. Nobody would laugh at me for buying organic products, and instead of going to the NCR trail when I felt like I needed to get in tune with nature... Well, I could just hike on a beautiful mountain instead.
Vermont became an outlet for me... Every time something annoyed me about Baltimore I would mentally check out and head to Vermont. Whenever something bad happened, my first response would be "That never happens in Vermont." Of course I was kidding since I had never been there and had no idea what it was actually like, but I did know that there was practically NO crime and that the average murder rate for one year is... are you ready for this? Zero to one. Yes that's right, zero to one murders a year. Coming from a city where there are more murders than days in a year, that seemed unheard of to me, but oh so nice.
Of course I talked about my dreamland all the time to Bryan who promised me that in the next couple of years we could actually go visit the green mountain state. Then, on my 25th birthday, he surprised me with a trip! He had booked a room at a cute little bed and breakfast in Burlington, planned out all sorts of activities, and the best part, we were going at the peak of foliage season! Did I mention people come from (literally) all over the world to look at the Vermont leaves in Fall? Cause they do.
I'd be lying if I said that Vermont was everything I hoped it would be from the second we crossed the state line. It was actually quite the opposite. Everything I thought I knew about the wondrous state was slowly slipping out of my brain and reality was setting in. We passed an olive garden, some more chain restaurants, fought through some of the worst driving I've ever seen, just to get to a town that might as well have been in Maryland. But, it was my present from Bryan and I was doing everything I could to hide my disappointment. Little did I know he was thinking all of the same things that I was.
We decided after checking in and unpacking, that we should to check out Church St. in Burlington. That was, after all, the majority of the pictures that I had been looking at. I prepared myself to be blown away, but alas... More disappointment. "Umm... I kind of feel like we're in Towson or Federal Hill right now..." Yeah, lots of bars, little cafes, and a bunch of college students who were a whole different kind of pretentious. Baltimore kids are annoying in their own way, but Vermont college students seemed to have a more "I'm better than you" kind of attitude. Again... Hugely disappointed.
At this point the weather was getting bad and I was doing everything I could to stay positive, but I could feel myself starting to melt down. Where was the Vermont that I thought I loved?? What is this place? Why did we think this was a good idea? And for goodness sake, where is all the pretty scenery?? I went to bed more disappointed than I'd ever been on a vacation. "This," I thought, "Was NOT a good idea." Vermont was better as a fantasy than a real place, and now I'll never think of it the same again.
Boy was I wrong. As quickly as the disappointment set in the day before, day two redeemed everything. Why? Because of a little town called Montpelier. The capital of the state, and a culmination of everything I thought Vermont should be. It was quaint, adorable, friendly, and absolutely beautiful. I was finally starting to renew my faith in my dreamland, when out of nowhere it became the most beautiful day I've ever seen. I think god was just waiting for me to cheer up haha.
I was FINALLY as happy as I always thought I would be, and it just got better when we went on a driving tour of the country side. I can't even begin to describe the scene that unfolded before us as we drove. I have NEVER seen anything so beautiful, and nothing I say, no pictures I took can do it justice. My brain did not even know how to process what I was seeing because I'd never seen anything like it. I felt like I was dreaming. "Is this heaven? No, it's Vermont, and it's just like I thought it would be!"
The next couple days were a whirlwind of beauty, good food, and touristy fun. I left Vermont with the feeling that I hoped I would have, and cried for a good part of the car ride because I was so sad to leave it.
I can't begin to describe the feeling that I had when I was there, and i honestly spend at least a few minutes of every day trying to get that feeling back. I look at pictures, and google the cities that I visited, and count down the seconds until I can go back.
Ahh Vermont. Do you have room for one more??