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Old 28 Jul 19, 05:21 PM  
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anji
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Road Trip round New England in the Spring, not the Fall! Day 9 - Ben & Jerry's and Green Mountains

Day 9 – Ben & Jerrys and the Green Mountains

The chocolate stain looked even worse in the cold light of day! We went to breakfast, which was included, and a really good assortment of hot and cold offerings – although not a patch on Nellie’s cooking!

We got our stuff together and I wrote a note for Housekeeping, along with a tip, explaining it really was chocolate and nothing to overly worry about. After loading the car we went to reception to hand the key cards back. I complimented the guy on the desk for a great hotel and apologised for the stain, which I assured him was chocolate. He said that was fine and not to worry! Sure that in his head he was thinking something else!

I’d read on the Dibb a great tip about downloading the GyPSy guide to your phone. This gives a guided talk about your route with stopping off points etc. There was one for Route 100 in Vermont and I’d downloaded it prior to our holiday. This was the route we would predominantly be taking down to Bennington, through the Green Mountains.

We set off into Stowe and joined Route 100. We did stop this time and have a look around but not for long as we wanted to get to Waterbury for Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. I was so looking forward to this! The traffic was still bad because of the roadworks with a lot of dust. To be honest we were a bit underwhelmed by Stowe but maybe it changes completely when it’s a ski resort and everything is snowy.

We arrived at Ben & Jerry’s at 9.50 in time for the 10.15 tour.
Everyone congregated in the foyer and gift shop area. I did mental shopping while we waited! When they were ready to go they rang a cowbell and we all assembled – about 20 people. Sadly, we weren’t allowed to take any photos in the actual factory – which I guess is understandable.


We watched a short film about the history and ethos of Ben & Jerry’s and then were taken to a gallery overlooking the factory. This was such an amazing place – like the Willy Wonka of ice cream! The whole process was explained to us and it was fascinating to see all the pots zooming along and hear about each step of their filling. A worker was pouring giant sacks of chocolate chips into a mix! I do find all these factory things intriguing as to how the machinery is thought of and created.

Final stop on the tour was the tasting room. This is always of a flavour about to be released apparently. This is the flavour we had, already waiting for us in small cups. Now I was very excited about Ben & Jerry’s – free ice cream! But I absolutely hate anything remotely marzipan, almond etc. One spoon of this and it was, to me, disgusting! Of all the flavours ….! Why?!? I consoled myself by buying a T shirt and fridge magnet in the gift shop. Needed to be done.


From here we visited the Flavour Graveyard. Each ‘dead’ flavour has a gravestone and a little rhyme about it, together with the dates of production. Very entertaining!


Driving on into Waterbury, with me still moaning about the marzipan ice cream, we headed for the Green Mountain Coffee café and visitor centre. This was situated in an old railway station building and we had coffee – so many to choose from! – and our usual cookies (oatmeal & raisin and choc chip). The building was huge and there were some atmospheric old photos on the walls. We liked Waterbury a lot – good buildings, shops and seemingly lots to offer.


Our guide took us further down Route 100 and we stopped at points along the way which we wouldn’t have necessarily done otherwise. We stopped at Waitsfield Wooden Covered Bridge, Warren Falls (which I’d had on the list) and Moss Glen Falls. The roads were practically empty.


We stopped again at Weston. This a great village for people who like general stores and Christmas shops. We went into the Vermont Country Store. This was like the Tardis and sold everything and anything. Lots of food samples – chocolate, popcorn and cheese were my favourites! Also jams, crackers, bread, sweets etc. There was a large toy section with some dubious looking toys! Will declared it the best shop he’d ever been in – praise indeed!


Over the road is the Weston Village Store, smaller and not quite so pristine! Next door to that is the Weston Christmas Shop. I could probably have spent all afternoon in Weston!

At this point we decided the the GyPSy lady was irritating and switched her off. It wasn’t too long before we had to leave the 100 anyway. At Londonderry we turned right onto the Route 30, drove through Peru and emerged in Manchester. Love these names!

My aim from here had been to drive up Equinox Mountain. This wasn’t so high as Mount Washington and an easier drive. We got to the gate and it was shut! Not open yet for the season, despite the fact it was meant to be. Second disappointment of the day. Booo!

Onward to Bennington and as we approached we could see the Bennington Monument on the horizon. It was our intention to go up this – I’d looked and it had an elevator!


As it was now 4pm we went to the Paradise Inn to check in. We sorted ourselves out and had a walk around the grounds. Very pretty and a lovely pool.


We decided to see if the Bennington Monument was still open, rather than going in the morning, so we jumped in the car and set off. The approach road itself is something to savour and the whole area is laid out really well, a bit like a village green We parked at 4.50 and went to the ticket office/shop. It closed at 5 but we were told to try our luck.

The Monument is to the victory at the Battle of Bennington in the Revolutionary war in 1777 and is the tallest human-made structure in Vermont. It opened in 1891 and is 306 feet tall.


The attendant at the monument was only too happy to take us up for a quick look, along with one other couple. We could see other people being turned away at this point. As it was a lovely day we knew this was a good idea as the view may not be like it tomorrow! The lift reminded me of Haunted Mansion and we were left at the top and told to ring the bell when we wanted to go back down!

The views were superb and you could see for miles! It was also extremely windy at the top!
After we’d gone back down there wasn’t really time to look round the little museum there, so the attendant said to go back again next day and do it all again on the same sticker ticket we were given! Will was very happy as he loves towers!

There’s a beautifully painted Moose in the grounds and I liked this painting of the Battle in the museum.

We went back to the hotel and parked up. It was easy to walk into town. We’d debated walking to the Monument but would never had made it in time and it was up hill! We settled on the Maddison Brewery Company pub restaurant for dinner. Will had a flat iron steak and I went for cottage pie, which was home made and delicious! It was a very popular place and a typical micro brewery pub with the brewery machinery as part of the décor. Nice place.

We did the scenic route walking back to the Paradise Inn and settled in for the night. Tomorrow we were leaving the mountains behind and heading for the coast. Our half way point of the holiday had come round way too quickly!

Index - https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...8#post13903548

Edited at 05:49 PM.
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Old 28 Jul 19, 05:44 PM  
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Cannavar
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Great report! The day last year we went to the Bennington Monument we hit the worst storm you have ever seen. The rain was so hard you couldnt see 4 ft in front of the car. Although the rain stopped the lightning was still in the area so we couldnt go up Can I swap my photo of it for yours? lol

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Old 28 Jul 19, 05:47 PM  
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anji
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[QUOTE=Cannavar;13981848]Great report! The day last year we went to the Bennington Monument we hit the worst storm you have ever seen. The rain was so hard you couldnt see 4 ft in front of the car. Although the rain stopped the lightning was still in the area so we couldnt go up Can I swap my photo of it for yours? lol

Oh no! What a shame for you. We were really lucky as it was good the following day too. Feel free to use my photos!
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Old 28 Jul 19, 07:13 PM  
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We must have got lucky at Ben & Jerry’s as we had a S’mores ice cream! It was fab!

A great day! We loved Vermont!
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Old 28 Jul 19, 08:12 PM  
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anji
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
We must have got lucky at Ben & Jerry’s as we had a S’mores ice cream! It was fab!

A great day! We loved Vermont!
Very jealous! Lucky you! I'll have to go back to try my luck again
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Old 29 Jul 19, 08:08 AM  
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Cannavar
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We had a cinnamon Ben and Jerrys...it was lush

I wouldnt suggest people make a special trip to the factory as it is very small and quick for what it is but if you are in the area its worth stopping by. We'd spent the last night of our road trip in Manchester and had evening flights home from Montreal so used it as our lunch stop.

I remember you did a Seattle trip around the same time as us 3 years ago Anji... you have great taste in holidays
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Old 29 Jul 19, 09:04 AM  
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anji
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Originally Posted by Cannavar View Post
We had a cinnamon Ben and Jerrys...it was lush

I wouldnt suggest people make a special trip to the factory as it is very small and quick for what it is but if you are in the area its worth stopping by. We'd spent the last night of our road trip in Manchester and had evening flights home from Montreal so used it as our lunch stop.

I remember you did a Seattle trip around the same time as us 3 years ago Anji... you have great taste in holidays
Cinnamon is one of my favourite flavours! Even more jealous now!

Yes I remember... going back that way next year to Vancouver area. Where are you going?!
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Old 29 Jul 19, 11:10 PM  
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Love that you left a note about the ‘chocolate’
Thats funny.

The Ben and Jerrys tour looks fantastic! Especially the graveyard thats brilliant. My favourite flavour is the peanut butter cup... mmm..

Paradise Inn looks lovely, what a nice pool.

This is such a fabulous road trip. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 26 Aug 19, 08:46 AM  
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Ben and Jerry’s sounds ace. Mom I would have loved that ice cream! Think the graveyard is great !
Love the scenic towns and these covered bridges are so lovely.
Loving that store too . Erm maybe not putting an axe throwing game on the boys Xmas list 😱😂
Weston and Bennington sound fab !
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Old 27 Aug 19, 05:07 PM  
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anji
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Originally Posted by WileyCoyote View Post
Ben and Jerry’s sounds ace. Mom I would have loved that ice cream! Think the graveyard is great !
Love the scenic towns and these covered bridges are so lovely.
Loving that store too . Erm maybe not putting an axe throwing game on the boys Xmas list 😱😂
Weston and Bennington sound fab !
I loved all the covered bridges too - there were so many of them, all different! The store was massive - could have spent hours in there. Still upset about the ice cream ...
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