Always tweaking something!

Yes, We Survived

Day 1893

So we went to Vermont, did the touristy things & came back. I am happy to say my truck thinks it gets about 27.3mpg when doing highway type traveling. Counting miles, putting gas in and doing the math yields more like 26mpg. When compared to the whopping 20mpg the van got? I still can’t complain.

I have 150+ pictures from the weekend. Friday’s pictures were mostly from the ferry trip across Lake Champlain. Saturdays the weather was horrendous. Mt. Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont was supposed to be visible directly out the hotel room widow. Couldn’t tell by looking out. Seems that the clouds were hiding everything above 2000-ish feet.

Took a trip through Smugglers Notch. So named because it was a prime route for smuggling alcohol down from Canada during Prohibition. Large buses and tractor trailers are forbidden to travel through the notch. After being there, I know why. Pictures just can not do the place justice. I have many from the area and will post links (eventually), but a picture showing two switchbacks with house sized boulders marking the inside of the turns just doesn’t match the impression of watching it unfold before you as it comes into view.

The birch trees are oddly stunted at that elevation (around 2400 ft.) At least they don’t seem tall enough when compared to their trunk diameter. They just look wrong.

We clearly missed the peak leaf color as evidenced by almost all my pics (and the rate of our room 2 weeks prior to our visit!), but at the lower elevations the oaks were hanging tough, all rusty looking, and some of the non-sugar maples were a gorgeous golden tone.

Sunday the weather improved to the point where we could see the top of Mt. Mansfield (4300ish feet). Impressive hunka granite. Littered with ski slopes. We re-ran the trip through the notch, just to see it when it wasn’t all foggy. It’s beyond words. Also impressive were the views we had of Vermont’s Green Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks on our trip back Monday. Monday’s weather was perfect. Cool, crisp, low humidity, visibility good for miles.

The food in the Stowe/Waterbury area is very good too. Maybe not up to New Orleans standards, but still quite tasty. Only one word of caution. When dining at The Olde English Inne for breakfast, don’t order the egg dish with the black bean salsa. I can only begin to list the problems with that salsa. The short rundown is this:

1 – last I knew, black beans did NOT look like cannellini beans. They are at the very least a very dark brown, not white.

2 – Ripe tomatoes are a rich, deep red. Not pink with tinges of green.

3 – Cilantro, garlic, chili powder, and Mexican oregano? Use them.

4 – Mango? In black[SIC] bean salsa? Sadly, it was the best part of the dish.

5 – Corn. Hot peppers. A little mole sauce. The last bb salsa I had featured all of these. The Olde English Inne version did not.

If you can’t guess, the salsa consisted of this – Cannelini beans (white kidney beans), coarsely chopped unripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped red onion, chopped mango all mixed together. No salt, no pepper, no chili powder, no flavor of any kind. The worst part? The waitress never said anything. I had a few bites & sent it back. It wasn’t even close to what was intended.

Conclusion? Don’t expect much from a salsa at an English style restaurant. British cuisine has always been laughed at. Now I know (one of the reasons) why. They took enough time making the dish, they could have made the two mile trip to a grocery store and bought a jar of black bean salsa and done better.

Ok. Food rant done. Food rave? Maple muffins. Oh my! It was really, really good. Unfortunately, crumbs of it are now ground into the seat of my truck. That was my breakfast while we were headed north through the north on our way to checking out a bunch of covered bridges. And yes, they are every bit as quaint as they look in pictures. The other really, really good food? Ben & Jerry’s. Did the tour, learned how ice cream was made, learned a whole lot about the history of the company (now owned by Unilever – Ben & Jerry are no longer actively involved with operations!) and got our free sample (mint chocolate chunk – delicious!!) Of course, after that little taste, we got in line at the real scoop store and got a real sized dish. I might have a new favorite – Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Gotta try it with honey on top too.

What didn’t get accomplished was any sort of resolution to the questions I posed to Cindy in out last couple of counseling sessions. She did eventually thaw some, but wouldn’t venture into any conversations dealing with “the issues”. Being isolated together, I didn’t want to push things. That’s what Friday’s counseling session will be used for. Unless I start pushing things a bit before then.

I’m trying to decide – does she hold the power by refusing to put an answer to my questions, or do I hold the power by continuing to live my own life and seek my own happiness in spite of her unwillingness to really accept her condition? Interesting, no? Then the question becomes “for how long?”

Before that gets answered, there’s bowling Thursday. Figured something out. Been sticking my thumb into the ball too deep and it’s hanging up. Causes some inconsistencies in the release which leads to adjustments that don’t need to be made. Bowling should be simple. Don’t over think things, be consistent, react to what’s real.

Kinda like good advice for life too. Hmmm.

Hmmm again. Someone’s been poking around a bit. I need a stat tracker. Hmmm.

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5 responses

  1. Welcome back! Sorry about the salsa….. I look forward to seeing the pictures. I hope to make it up to Vermont one of these days myself.

    October 29, 2009 at 6:08 am

  2. Bonnie

    Sorry, the tracks were mine, as usual

    October 29, 2009 at 12:33 pm

  3. Q

    Now I need to try to find some Mint Choc Chunk. That’s what I usually get at ice cream shops, but I bet B&J’s would be much better. Haven’t seen it at my stores, though…

    I watched the episode of Dinner: Impossible that they had at Ben & Jerry’s the other day. They didn’t get very “behind the scenes” of the plant, but it was still really interesting. That guy is crazy to take those challenges on!

    October 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    • bikinfool

      Some flavors are only sold at their scoop shops and aren’t available in stores. And I saw that dinner impossible you mentioned. I was trying to size up the plant in Waterbury, but I don’t think the show was done there. There’s another plant up in St. Albans – bigger city & twice the production capacity.

      Their Mint Chocolate chunk is really, really good. Very strong mint but not overwhelming and the chocolate chunks are, well, VERY chunky.

      October 31, 2009 at 11:57 pm

  4. Q

    The only time I’ve ever seen one of their scoop shops was in Madison, Wisconsin. The college down the street had amazing ice cream too, though. Was more fun to get some there & sit by the water & watch the ducks 🙂

    November 1, 2009 at 2:52 am

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