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Friday, May 11, 2012

Touring Vermont - Stowe Mountain Lodge - Von Trapp Lodge - Stowe - Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory

This is the Stowe Mountain Lodge. On this day - it was sunny and we were virtually alone there for lunch.

The north face of Stowe Mountain has about 8 trails. There was still a little bit of snow on some of the slopes. My iPhone said we were at about 1600 feet above sea level.

Lulu loves prowling the halls of the Von Trapp Lodge. Supposedly - one of the kids is still alive and he runs the lodge. The family moved there to a farm house in 1942 - later building the lodge and entertaining there.

This is not the famous Ben & Jerry Ice Cream - camper. The original burned up on a cross country tour. They were returning home from California. The burning of the van gave them a ton of publicity.

Lulu completed her Burlington conference presentation by noon. So this afternoon we had some time to tour on our own.

We took a winding two lane road to the top of Stowe Mountain. The road through Smuggler's Notch dwindled down to one lane where you had to back up if someone was coming the other way. The giant skiing lodge was empty there - but the restaurant was open and we had a nice lunch there - virtually alone.

Not too far down the road was the Von Trapp Lodge. The famous Sound of Music family settled here when they ran from the Nazis in Austria before World War II. This lodge was pretty empty but Lulu loves to look at all the pictures on the walls there. She is an endless romantic for the Sound of Music story. A few years ago - we visited Austria and took the tour through the original Sound of Music area.

Next we walked the streets of Stowe - just shopping and enjoying the 65 degree weather and clear blue skies. The Green Mountains are certainly very green this time of year.

Finally - we rushed to beat the clock to 5 PM and the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Factory. This is the oldest of about 6 factories they have now. In the tour - they show you a video - they give you a history lesson - let you watch them making ice cream (not today - they were cleaning the machinery) - and finally give you a sample. 

One of my favorite stories is about the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Truck. They bought  a giant Travco motorhome to cross the country hyping their ice cream. They go a lot of good publicity - especially when the camper exploded and burned to an ember in Cleveland.

We are back at our Burlington hotel. Saturday morning early - we leave here early - getting home in Tallahassee around 2 PM.