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Published: September 25th 2013
Phillip cooked us breakfast this morning and introduced us to his daughter, Layla. He has travelled the world and adopted her during a two year stay in Azerbaijan. His life story was fascinating and we enjoyed talking with him throughout our scrumptious eggs and potatoes. Big shout out to him and his route suggestion which took us on the most beautiful scenic drive up through Massachusetts and Vermont. There are plenty of places to buy maple products throughout New England, but we wanted to wait and buy it from a Vermont farm. Just a ways into Vermont we saw a sign for a small maple farm down a little turn off. We pulled up to several large fields of cows and a small farmhouse with a sign on the barn saying something along the lines of, “knock on the back door for maple syrup.” Seemed legit. We felt awkward walking up to the house, but luckily the farm owner pulled up in a truck just in time to catch us and guide us in. Turns out the place is a Cabot cheese dairy farm besides a maple syrup farm! Score. He let us taste three grades of syrup, which was surprising
because I didn't know that syrup had grades. The heaviest one was way to concentrated, so I bought a couple of the medium and light grades to bring home for gifts.
So we'd met the cows, but hadn't had a real taste of Vermont cheese yet. Turning to our trusty cheese trail map (seriously-there is a cheese map here
!), we found a nearby farm called Hildene. We got a two for one deal with the farm also being a great historical site. The Hildene farm was built by Abraham Lincoln's son Robert and had several components to the visitor tour. First was the Pullman train car; Abraham Lincoln was involved with the company for 50 years, and president of the company for 14 years. The train car on the Hildene grounds wasn't one that Lincoln actually rode in, but it was used by President McKinley and his family. Very fancy schmancy inside! Second stop was the farm itself. I forgot to mention—they make different cheeses at various farms, and at this one they make one of my favorite—Havarti!! Mmmm. Dear ol' Russ was our guide for the factory, and bless his heart couldn't hear a
darn thing. Questions I asked him were met with a nod and a smile and... another nod and a smile. I am still wondering how long they can keep the pasteurized milk at 42 degrees... a question I will never know the answer to. Moving on, we toured the house itself and saw a bunch of historical memorabilia from the Lincoln family.
Lunch was in Manchester and the Posce Bistro. I had a turkey sandwich with gala apple slices and havarti dill cheese, then topped it off with another couple dessert foodgasms; a moist pumpkin cupcake and a cookie dough ganache brownie to die for. I MUST EAT ANOTHER ONE SOMETIME IN MY LIFETIME. The long drive on beautiful route 100 allowed plenty of time for me to dream of that chocolaty goodness, and plenty of time to behold the brilliant orange and red fall foliage. The more north we traveled, the brighter the colors and the colder the weather. We passed several post-card-worthy covered bridges, picked some apples on the side of the road, and eventually made it to Stowe, Vermont. Picture a Park City-esque setting but with a less hoity toity vibe. I
could absolutely live in Stowe! Last stop of the night was a quick dip in the hot tub at our motel, which felt fantastic in the cool autumn air.
And that's a wrap for today's adventures! 😊
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