POD PLANET IV: Things can only get Better
Trip Start Sep 25, 2006
10Trip End Nov 01, 2006
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The entire point of coming to Vermont for me was to check out a little known Trivia fact. Montpelier, the capital city, is the smallest provincial US state capital, boasting of population of only 9000. It is also the only US state capital city that doesn't have a McDonald's. Intrigued by this, and used by myself as a true/false question at trivia nights, it was imperative that I come here and verify for myself that this town did not have a McDonald's. I signed Allan and myself up for some day tours of the area and Montpelier was the first place we visited. After being told a whole pile of useless trivia on the town we were then proudly told that this town did not have a McDonald's and was the only provincial capital to do so. A drive through the town proved that this was in fact correct and that it also did not have a KFC, Burger King and many other American chains. Though it did have a Subway and Quinos Sub. I can now leave here content and anyone foolish enough to challenge this fact at a trivia night will look mightily stupid.
The highlight of our tour, that was lacking many such things, was a trip to a Maple Syrup Farm
Known as the Green Mountain state, Vermont's name evolved from the French, Vert meaning green and Mont meaning mountain
The problem with Vermont is that there really isn't much to see other then all things green but the locals think its the best state in America. Tree's can only keep you entertained for 10 mins at the most and the best the tours could manage were trips to a quarry, a maritime museum, a cemetery, some glorified lunches and alot of talk about the war of 1812 that really isn't all that xciting. The locals speak as if they're either half asleep or half dead. Allan thinks they're half dead because it takes them 5 minutes to complete a sentence. People have been surprised we're Australian and many people have asked us what bought us here. Its difficult for them to comprehend we're only passing through as they all think we came especially to visit Vermont. This guy in the service station told us how much he loved Australians and where we could buy meat pies and Vegemite. Our tour driver had a case of excessive verbal diarrhoea (no doubt what some of you think of my emails), and couldn't go 30 seconds without saying something about Vermont. He either went on about how great that restaurant was that we just went past, bridges, moose, bison, his son, his late wife, scuba diving, asked questions on Australia or it was his 1 hour explanation on the effect of "Zebra Muscles" on the American eco system.
A potential highlight of the trip was seeing a live ice hockey game between 2 University teams. We made our way to the ring and ran into this local couple who showed us the way. They asked if we were from the northeast (I thought we were in the northeast!) and when I said we were Australian the wife said, "Oh my god - are you lost?!". We said we just wanted to see the game but this of course was sold out. We waited around hoping to buy a ticket off someone but had no luck. This was particularly disappointing cos Allan thought he might meet a girl at the hockey. Depressed we then headed to Vermont's biggest mall. This was also disappointing as there were no supermarkets or cinemas and we browsed our Sat night away in bookshops. We didn't even make it to the state's #1 tourist attraction, Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Everyone eats it here and are so surprised when we tell them we've never heard of it. I'm not a great fan of ice cream so I didn't bother tasting it.