My Love Affair with Vermont

I don’t think of the first day of my road trip as the first day of my road trip. It was really more about staging myself in New Jersey to get a head start on my first day of adventures. I had a really long list of things I wanted to see or do, so I drove up to Bridgewater, NJ. There wasn’t much memorable about that drive, since it was all freeway and Labor Day Weekend traffic, but I had an awesome playlist and I’m driving a topless MINI, so I totally enjoyed it! I checked into the Hilton Garden Inn and called it a night.

I got up early to get an early start. After a quick breakfast with some horrible coffee, I went out and loaded up My Precious.

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My Precious stands out in a sea of SUVs.

The coffee at the Hilton Garden Inn was really terrible! I had to stop at the first Starbucks I found to power up with some delicious cold brew.

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This guy parked next to me while I was getting my cold brew on.

My first destination was supposed to be the Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY but I misjudged how fast I drive and when I got to the area, it was over an hour before they opened. I popped into a rest stop to reevaluate my choices.

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I love how New York has embraced technology!

I decided to skip the Art Center. I’ve seen art. I haven’t seen Vermont and I decided I’d rather spend my time exploring there. So, I took a few back roads to get away from the freeway and passed right by the NY Renn Faire. I’d have stopped, but I worried they hadn’t open yet either! I pushed on.

The weather was glorious. My top was down and my radio was blasting. The playlist I settled on for this leg of my journey was all chick rockers. So I drove on and on and belted out tune after tune until finally I crossed the state line.

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Welcome to Vermont! Only 8 states left…

Right across the state line, there’s a wonderful little shop that’s kinda hard to miss.

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Everyone was stopping here, not just me!

Inside the shop there were all kinds of maple… maple syrup, maple jerky, maple candy, and Elvis.

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And it was the hawt Elvis! Score!

I picked up a few souvenirs.

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Not hard to add to my magnet and postcard collections.

On my way out I stopped to see the Blues Brothers.

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The Blues Brothers!

For some reason, all of the animals and gnomes on the exterior of the building look like cows.

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What a way to welcome visitors to Vermont! I totally heart this state!

I finally took off again and the drive just got more and more picturesque!

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That’s a beautiful sight!

There were little festivals all over the place. I got stuck in traffic at the Garlic Festival and then had to stop for gas.

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I don’t know if it’s a state law like NJ, but this gas station was a full service station. I would have gone inside and shopped but the parking lot was totally full so I kept going.

I was starting to think about lunch, so I pulled into an overlook area to enjoy my carrot sticks and an apple.

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Even the roadside pull off areas are gorgeous in Vermont.

Then I passed through some charming little towns.

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I’m fairly certain every town in Vermont is adorable.

And then suddenly, I was in New Hampshire.

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Poor New Hampshire. They are forced to live next door to Vermont, who is clearly the most awesome state in the nation. I feel bad for them… They’re like the Jan Brady of states.

I was taking the long way to Bedford, because it was a road trip and MINI, but I expected better roads. (Seriously, New Hampshire, Costa Rica has better roads on the sides of their volcanoes! Can’t you pave them or something?) At one point, as I was belting out Total Eclipse of the Heart or Joey or something I realized my voice was warbling just like when you’re a kid and you are trying to talk and your little sister is beating on your back. My lack of vocal range and rhythm don’t need that kind of added pressure!

Even worse, I realized I needed to stop and use the restroom, the horribly uneven and pitted roads were not making that any better. So I pulled into the first gas station I saw. They had a little deli and a store and a sign that said they had all I needed, so I went in.

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Whatever you need. Unless it’s a restroom, in which case you are out of luck.

Their only bathroom was out-of-order. They had an outhouse, but I decided to take my chances and push on to the next gas station. That’s when I learned gas stations are few and far between in New Hampshire. When I did find another one, I had to wait for the girls ahead of me to stop chatting with their friend the cashier to ask her if she had a restroom. She said they didn’t but they did have an outhouse. I left and tried another. Same result. It wasn’t until I was nearly in Bedford that I finally spotted the Golden Arches. I almost wept with relief. Instead I celebrated with a large tea and a small fry.

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My opinion of New Hampshire began to change when people came into McDonalds to seek me out and ask me about My Precious. Clearly, the citizens have a keen eye for beauty and an appreciation for high quality cars!

The rest of my ride was pretty uneventful and not very scenic, at least until I arrived in Bedford.

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MINIs!

I checked into my room so I could update my status and post this entry. Tomorrow I am going to drive to Maine before sunrise so I can watch the sun come up from the beach.

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New Hampshire is definitely growing on me now!

About isherri

I'm the Director of Consultative Services at big time education publisher and a half hippy, half clown, latte sipping, brunch munching, MINI driving, rabid social media enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Getting Around, Life Story, MINI and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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