This summer we drove to Vermont to drop my daughter off for a 10-day summer wilderness retreat at the Sky Meadow Retreat in Greensboro. My wife thought it would be a great way for her to learn relaxation and stress reduction techniques while taking a break from technology. No bacon, no wi-fi, and no reading. Argh!
Sky Meadow is located at the northern end of Vermont, not far from the Canadian border. The iPhone mapping app indicated that it would take about seven hours to drive from New Jersey. We decided it was best to drive up the day before and stay overnight in a hotel before dropping Kiran off and leaving on our return trip the next day.
Day One in Burlington
Her drop off time was the next day was in the afternoon so we spent the evening of the first day and the morning of the next day sightseeing in Burlington.
The first night we drove into Burlington and parked near the Church Street Marketplace. On the way into Burlington, we stopped at a beer retailer in Winooski and bought some six packs to take back in the cooler we brought with us. We bought Sip of Sunshine by Lawson's Finest Liquids, Heady Topper, and Switchback Ale by Switchback Brewing Company.
Some time ago, a long section of Church Street was closed to vehicular traffic and converted to an outdoor shopping mall. Restaurants, bookstores, and shoppes lined both sides of the street. We arrived early so we walked around the centre of Church Street observing people walking around or dining outdoors.
We had dinner at Pascolo Ristorante. Bhavana and I sampled some of the Vermont ales from the menu including Fiddlehead IPA and The Alchemist ‘Heady Topper’. I finally got to try Heady Topper! Heady was good but I think the hype over this ale affected my enjoyment. I may have expected an earth moving experience.
After dinner went drove a few blocks away to Zero Gravity Craft Brewery on Pine Street. I don't remember where I had read it but I wanted to visit Zero Gravity because I had ready an online article about how they were making beer in the traditional method that did not involve hops. Apparently, before the discovery of hops and German beer purity laws, beer was "seasoned" with a wide variety of herbs. I was excited to try the Zero Gravity Summer Gruit. Zero Gravity uses organic Sweet Gale, Yarrow, Stinging Nettles, and Mugwort from Hallow Herb Farm, as well as Labrador Tea. The gruit was slightly sweet but quite enjoyable.
Bhavana and I also sampled Conehead, C.S.A IPA, Bernie Weisse, Cote de Champlain and Little Wolf. I really like the Cone Head. Bhavana and I think it's better than Heady Topper. Zero Gravity may be underrated. We had fun chatting with a couple visiting from Massachusetts who were originally from Hamilton, New Jersey. Talk about a small world. We bought a four-pack of Cone Head and a 750ml bottle of Cote de Champlain to take back with us to New Jersey.
The Church Street Marketplace in within proximity to several other Vermont micro-breweries but alas we had time to visit only one that night.
Kiran's drop off time was 3PM so we had the whole morning to explore. Shaan and I were up before Bhavna and Kiran. We went for a 30-minute walk around the area near the hotel before making our way across the street to the Athens Diner. The diner was moved from its original location in New York.
Later we drove to the Lake Champlain Waterfront. Bhavana was excited to see the sailboats as well as the rowing crew practising. We had lunch at Splash At the Boathouse before heading off to drop Kiran off. It was a quick stop. After signing some paperwork we said bye to our daughter and headed home.[exif id="22188"]